Hub101 gives startups room to grow in Thousand Oaks

Natalie Edell spent most of her time in the office at a coffee shop after graduating from Northwestern University and returning to her home in Westlake Village. That is, until she met Greg Monterrosa community manager of Hub101, a California Lutheran University initiative.

“He said, ‘You’re awesome, let’s work out of an actual office space.” Soon, Edell traded the coffee shop for a real office in what would soon become Hub 101, an incubator for entrepreneurs trying to get a foothold on their business plans, at California Lutheran University.

Launched in 2016 by the California Lutheran University Center for Entrepreneurship, Hub 101 offers startups an opportunity to network, strategize and grow without the high cost of going it alone, or some of the uncertainty.

Edell’s business plan began as IndieU, a singular station showcasing new musical artists to college students, and has pivoted into “a modern-day MTV through daily music shows and short-form content.” Though Edell is now working out of Santa Monica, she says that Hub 101 is especially unique and helpful.

“It’s very open and encouraging for everyone, as opposed to it being a competition. It’s about bringing people together to network and being introduced to people who can further your career,” said Edell.

Monterrosa says that the Hub has “allowed a lot of interesting people to come out of their bedrooms, home offices and Starbucks and come work in a collaborative setting.”

Rayaan Arif, founder and CEO of Funding Tree headquartered out of Hub 101 in Westlake Village, says that he was somewhat experienced in the business of real estate before signing up. His concept was born of having dealt with real estate projects that faltered due to a lack of funding. Taking advantage of the new wave of crowdfunding, Funding Tree was created.

“I realize what it was doing was actually helping me shape my business model in ways I hadn’t previously considered,” said Arif, such as pivoting to make use of Blockchain funding such as Bitcoin. “It gave me validation, direction and gave me a better perspective on how I should be positioning myself in the industry and I probably wouldn’t have had that had I not started the incubator.”

In August 2016, a Hub 101-incubated startup, PureSpectrum, raised $1.6 million in funding. Others have competed for $1 million in funding via competitions hosted by Hub101, and the incubator attracts speakers from a wide variety of industry leaders such as Netflix.

For newcomers, Arif offers a bit of advice.

“If they’re looking to network, expand and potentially get their validation for their idea, then they absolutely have to be in a community like Hub101,” said Arif. “I don’t know too many other communities that have come close to this place.”

For more information on Hub101, visit

St. John’s Regional Hospital acquires super magnet

If you’re in the mood for an MRI, there is no better place than St. John’s Regional Medical Center, where the installation of a Toshiba Vantage 3T MRI gives the hospital the distinction of having the only 3T magnet in the county.

The new 3T MRI offers a large area for imaging, making it comfortable for patients of all sizes, and reduces noise associated with the imaging.

“The whole-body imaging technology and patient-friendly features of St. John’s new MRI provides advanced imaging unavailable in other systems,” said Darren Lee, president and CEO of the St. John’s Hospitals. “With a more patient-friendly environment and excellent image quality, our new MRI is helping us improve patient care.”

Grocery delivery service expanding into Ventura County

Residents of Ventura County too exhausted to hit the supermarket, rejoice: A new delivery service is expanding, meaning you’ll not have to lift more than a finger to get your activated almond milk and nutritional yeast.

Instacart, an online grocery delivery service, has expanded operations in to Ventura, Casitas Springs, Mussel Shoals, Solimar Beach, Faria, Camarillo, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Saticoy. Residents in these areas will be able to place orders online for supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Ralphs, as well as Petco, for delivery straight to their home.

“Since our initial launch in Los Angeles in 2014, we’ve seen incredible demand from a variety of Southern California areas to expand service,” said Sean Twersky, Instacart senior regional director. “This large expansion will allow us to serve an additional 1 million California households and deliver groceries from local retailers to their homes in as little as one hour.”

For more information, visit