Otherwise referred to as “the capital of Silicon Valley,” San Jose has since been a popular place for fellow inventors and entrepreneurs wanting to learn how to start a business. As the home of major global tech companies such as PayPal and America’s very own Tech Museum of Innovation, never has the city experienced such a time when learning how to become your own boss is considered more valuable than learning how to climb up the social ladder.
Here at Bold Patents, we understand that starting a business in San Jose isn’t the easiest thing to do. That is why we created this list of top 23 resources for inventors and entrepreneurs in San Jose.
Standing as the oldest state university in California to date, this university has since been regarded as the place where innovative artists such as musician Stevie Nicks and author Amy Tan learn to take their skills to the next level.
For those looking to take their current entrepreneurship skills to the next level, the school offers programs such as the Lucas Graduate School of Business. It also operates research centers that study the lives and works of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and legendary composer Beethoven.
By now, this world-renowned university of innovation should come as no surprise to most people. However, for those of you who aren’t in the know, Stanford University is a private research university that is home to over 17 Nobel laureates and is renowned for its STEM, business, and law programs.
Founded in 1885 by Jane and Leland Stanford, Stanford is one of the first universities to have a Computer Science and Creative Writing joint major and has since conducted more than 6,000 externally-sponsored projects while boasting a $1.63 billion research budget.
According to its website, “At the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by Stanford, President Barack Obama praised the university as ‘a place that celebrates our ability as human beings to discover and learn and to build, to question, to reimagine, to create new ways to connect and work with each other.’”
While other Ivy League schools force students to sit in a room and either take tests or write boring academic papers all day, Stanford allows its students to become their own fellow inventors and entrepreneurs starting on day one.
As part of a national chain of small business development centers, The Silicon Valley SBDC helps its fellow inventors and entrepreneurs succeed by offering them free counseling services, low-cost training, seminars, and other resources since 2001.
According to its website, this branch serves the Greater Silicon Valley Area, which includes Santa Clara and South San Mateo Counties. It is also hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley, which is ideal for owners whose first language isn’t English.
For those looking to start a business in Silicon Valley, the SBDC will be hosting a free workshop on how to write a business plan on Thursday, November 14th, 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm PST.
As the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce, the Silicon Valley Organization helps make Silicon Valley a great place for even beginner entrepreneurs to thrive in from hosting networking events to offering internships to college students.
According to its website, this group is comprised of over 1,200 businesses and 300,000 employees throughout the greater Silicon Valley region. Regardless as to which industry your business caters towards, all owners are welcome to join in and participate!
They even offer breakfast and lunch gatherings ranging from $20 (typically for members) and $40 (typically for non-members)!
When it comes to inventing, it’s always important to connect with the right inventors! Here in Palto Alto, no group does that better than NVNTR!
Founded by a group of self-made entrepreneurs and inventors NVNTR is an inventor group that meets every Tuesday evening to discuss the fundamentals of how to invent something from conducting market research to getting your invention through a patent litigation.
While some inventor groups are only open towards inventors, here at NVNTR, anyone who is interested in the art of inventing something can come join in on the conversation(s)!
By the way, if you want some tips and tricks on how to find the right software patent attorney, check out this Bold Patents article on the 10 things to look for in a software patent attorney!
Looking for a place to showcase your inventions? How about a place to network with other fellow inventors and entrepreneurs in the heart of Silicon Valley? In any case, look no further than the Silicon Valley International Invention Festival!
Around since 2017, the SVIIF not only, “gives you a chance to experience new technology from the display of diverse products but also serves as a venue for consultation on successful commercialization of intellectual property for a new market.”
Whether you’re in the market to learn more about what it takes to become the ultimate inventor or learn about it for fun, the festival is considered one of the best places to do so! They have workshops for people who prefer learning about the wonderful world of inventing from a hands-on approach.
For those who are interested in attending, mark your calendars for June 23-25 2020!
Considered as one of the largest and most recognized international venture & technology summits in the Bay Area, the Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum & Fair (SVIEF) helps business owners and inventors connect them with the best resources and people on the market!
Every year, over 100,000 from across the world come and participate in this once-in-a-lifetime fair and forum, including some business owners from China! From competitions to training sessions, the SVIEF offers a little something for everyone to take away from.
For those who are interested in learning how to apply for a green card here in the United States, the SVIEF will be offering a session on Thursday, October 17, 2019.
While some people prefer to learn more about the wonderful world of entrepreneurship by taking a couple of classes, here at the EPIC Palo Alto Young Professionals Meetup, anyone can learn how to become their own boss just by meeting with other like-minded entrepreneurs!
According to their website, “A few times a year, [they] partner with other young professionals groups in the bay area, host speakers on current relevant topics, and arrange group philanthropy events.” For those who are interested in learning how to become their own boss without having to sacrifice their 9 to 5 jobs, the Young Professional meetup is the place to go!
The next meetup will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019.
As one of the few women-led business programs in Silicon Valley to offer women a scholarship and sponsorship program, the Women’s Networking Alliance organization helps to bring female business owners together professionally and personally.
Every 3 weeks, the group meets to network with one another and give each other advice on how to succeed in today’s competitive environment. While non-members can attend up to 2 meetings for free, generally speaking, this group is members only.
In order to apply for the scholarship and sponsorship program, the applicant must be a new business owner who has launched a business within the last 90 days. She also must have a copy of a one-page business plan.
From marketing and sales to executive coaching and business planning, the Pacific Community Ventures group is an “impact inventors” group that offers free, confidential mentorship and affordable small business loans ($10,000 – $200,000) to qualified businesses across Silicon Valley.
As one of America’s first impact investors, Pacific Community Ventures has helped, “shepherd the growing impact investing movement, launching the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative, advising the GIIN on the first and subsequent sets of IRIS impact metrics,” and much more!
While the group works primarily with brick-and-mortar businesses that have the potential of succeeding, all are welcome to apply!
We mentioned this organization a number of times in some of our previous business resource articles (Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and so on), but for those of you who don’t know what SCORE already is, it’s a national volunteer business group that offers free, one-on-one confidential advice and free to reduced cost business courses.
Around since 1965, the San Jose chapter has been open on most business days from 9 AM to 1 PM. Depending on the needs of its client, the office is sometimes open in early evenings and Saturdays for appointments and classes.
For those who are interested in learning how to bring volunteers to their non-profit organizations, there will be a free session on Wednesday, November 13th at the office from 9:30 am to 11:30 am PST.
Founded in 2001 by a group of Pakistani American entrepreneurs and corporate executives, OPEN Silicon Valley (Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America), is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational programs, career coaching, business mentoring and network opportunities for its members in the Bay Area.
From networking opportunities to mentorship opportunities, OPEN provides a gateway to rewarding connections and accessibility to all of its members.
Regardless of what your background is, anyone can join in!
According to its website, members get exclusive access to mentorship events, as well as 40% discounts on regular events and a 20% discount on its yearly forum.
Manos Accelerator is a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides “hands-on” education, business resources, infrastructure, capital, and guidance for promising Latino-led startup companies looking to become the next Fortune 500 companies of America!
As a participant of Manos Accelerator, startup teams are expected to achieve certain milestones such as participating in a Demo Day, where members demonstrate their product or service to a crowd of entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists Shark Tank-style.
While the company is primarily interested in product-focused companies that focus on consumer internet, mobile space, and cloud computing space, all Latino-led organizations are encouraged to apply.
Around since 2015, ABC Accelerator is an accelerator that teaches businesses of all different backgrounds how to build their businesses, attract investors, close sales, and ultimately, lead their businesses into becoming the next Fortune 500 companies of America!
While some accelerators take equity upon a certain organization’s completion of the program, ABC does NOT take any by all means. Instead, they provide businesses with free office space, as well as 1 on 1 counseling sessions and lectures focused on sales, marketing, business, and team development, and many other topics once they are accepted into the program.
For those looking for a general accelerator to apply to, ABC Accelerator is considered one of the best places to go to!
Founded in 2014 by a group of startup junkies, Founders Floor is a co-working accelerator for startups and entrepreneurs looking to accelerate their growth and increase their probability for success upon completing the program!
According to the website, “Members to Founders Floor are provided with a complete office environment for their startup to work in, access to strategic partnerships and connections to help build their business, and potential funding opportunities to fuel their growth” once they are accepted into the program.
For those looking for a place to unleash their creativity and take their businesses to the next level, Founders Floor is considered a good starting point to do so.
Helping members learn how to help others since day one, San Jose BioCube is a state-of-the-art biotechnology incubator that offers its members user-friendly workspaces, fully-resourced labs and shared areas that are clean, secure and professionally maintained.
Rather than telling its members what to create, San Jose BioCube gives its members the freedom and creativity to invent whatever they believe will help save (and/or improve) lives.
Winner of the 2019 International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP) Distinguished Program Award, IDEAS is a student-led startup incubator that helps students at San Jose State University connect with others from different majors and different backgrounds in order to succeed in today’s competitive environment.
From hosting guest speakers to offering workshops, students can learn how to take what they’ve learned inside of the classroom and apply them to real-life settings.
Hacker Dojo is a 24-hour community center like college for inventors and entrepreneurs of all different backgrounds looking for a place to work and interact with one another.
Since 2009, this group has dedicated itself to providing a space for creators “ to connect, communicate, exchange knowledge and build things up together.” While the organization does not provide classes, workshops, job placement services, and other programs commonly found in accelerators and incubators across America, it nevertheless gives its members a place to learn how to become their own bosses for many years to come!
For those who are interested in trying out the space for a day, Hacker Dojo offers Day Passes for $20 a day. You DON’T need to be a programmer in order to use or enjoy the space.
When it comes to running a business, there’s no doubt that finances are one of the biggest hurdles for startups to overcome! That’s where Kruze Consulting comes in.
Kruze Consulting is a financial and accounting service that offers all of the necessary tools needed for fast-growing Seed, Series A, and Series B startups to flourish on from payroll to 409A valuation. For those looking to fund and organize their business, but don’t know exactly where to start in, Kruze Consulting is considered one of the best places to go to!
At this time, they are currently located in both San Jose and San Francisco.
While some people would imagine a library as a place for people to check out books and study, here at the San Jose Public Library, anyone can learn how to become their own boss as young as five years old (within reason, of course).
More than just a place to check out books and magazines, the San Jose Public Library offers its fellow inventors and entrepreneurs a chance to learn how to build up their skills by providing them with makerspaces and a mobile workshop that consists of a plethora of makerspace equipment such as a 3D printer and laser cutting tool.
Regardless of what your background in entrepreneurship is, anyone can learn how to become so just by filling out a form and getting a card. Not a bad deal!
When it comes to bringing ideas and inventions to market, there’s no question that the patent filing process can be so confusing to navigate.
That is why here at Bold Patents, we exist to help our clients through the legal processes of intellectual property in San Jose. This way, they too can get their innovations to market as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible.
Because they focus only on patents, they are able to find the lawyer(s) that best fit a certain company’s needs.
If you would like to know more about what a patent is and what the steps for finding the patent that’s right for your invention, then check out this article on what is a patent.
There you have it! The top 23 resources for inventors and entrepreneurs in San Jose:
San Jose State University – The place where innovative artists such as musician Stevie Nicks and author Amy Tan learn to take their skills to the next level
Stanford University – “A place that celebrates our ability as human beings to discover and learn and to build, to question, to reimagine, to create new ways to connect and work with each other “ – Barack Obama
Offices for Small Businesses:
Silicon Valley SBDC – Providing free counseling services, low-cost training, seminars, and other resources to its members since 2001
The Silicon Valley Organization – The Bay Area’s largest Chamber of Commerce
NVNTR – an inventor group that meets every Tuesday evening to discuss the fundamentals of inventing something in today’s competitive marketplace
Silicon Valley International Invention Festival – Great for those who are interested in the art of inventing, but don’t exactly know where to start
The Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum & Fair (SVIEF) – One of the largest and most recognized international venture & technology summits in the Bay Area
EPIC Palo Alto Young Professionals Meetup – Great for young fresh-out-of-college students who want to learn how to become their own bosses
WeMeet San Jose Networking & Social Mixer – A community of like-minded entrepreneurs looking to get out of the grit-and-grind of a 9 to 5 job
Women’s Networking Alliance – One of the few organizations in Silicon Valley that offers qualified rising female founders sponsorship and scholarships
Pacfic Community Ventures – One of America’s first impact investors
SCORE San Jose – A national volunteer-led organization that provides free, confidential counseling to its members, along with free to reasonably priced workshops
OPEN Silicon Valley – A great place for Pakastaini American entrepreneurs especially to learn how to succeed in today’s competitive environment
Manos Accelerator – A mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides “hands-on” education, business resources, infrastructure, and other resources necessary for Latino-led startups to thrive upon
ABC Accelerator – An accelerator that does NOT take equity from those who complete its programs
Founders Floor – A co-working accelerator for startups and entrepreneurs looking to accelerate their growth and increase their probability of success upon completing its program
Incubators and Makerspace Groups:
San Jose BioCube – A state-of-the-art biotechnology incubator that offers its members user-friendly workspaces, fully-resourced labs and shared areas that are clean, secure and professionally maintained
IDEAS San Jose State University – Winner of the 2019 International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (ISSIP) Distinguished Program Award
Hacker Dojo – A 24-hour community center like college for inventors and entrepreneurs of all different backgrounds looking for a place to work and interact with one another
Seed Funding/Venture Capital:
Kruze Consulting – A financial and accounting service that offers all of the necessary tools needed for fast-growing Seed, Series A, and Series B startups to flourish on
First Round – An investment company that helps companies like Blue Apron and Uber build themselves up from scratch
San Jose Public Library – A great place for entrepreneurs and inventors of all different backgrounds to build their STEAM skills
San Jose Patent Attorneys:
Bold Patents – Your future go-to place for all of your patenting needs!
Now tell us, what do you think of these resources? Are there any others that you recommend that we add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Legal Note: This blog article does not constitute legal advice. Although the article was written by a licensed USPTO patent attorney there are many factors and complexities that come into patenting an idea. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice for your particular situation. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists by simply reading and applying the steps stated in this blog article.