Biz Buzz: Technology Park attracts local firm

Cal Poly’s Technology Park has signed another tenant.

Couto Solutions Inc., a San Luis Obispo-based software development firm, will lease about 3,500 square feet at the Technology Park for its headquarters.

The company expects to relocate at the end of November or in early December.

It was founded in 2004 by chief executive officer Justin Couto, who attended Cal Poly as a business major with a focus on managing information systems. The 36-year-old left Cal Poly to pursue his first company, Somnio World Web Solutions, which he sold in 2004. Couto started the new company immediately after the sale. The company has nine employees and would like to expand to 35 in the new facility.

The park, a project of the university’s California Central Coast Research Partnership (C3RP), is home to technology-based businesses, particularly those with an emphasis on research and development.

“We are pleased to have Couto Solutions in the largest available suite of our Tech Park,” said Jim Dunning, project administrator for the research partnership, in a prepared statement. “They are truly a success story we would like to replicate many times over — talented graduates of Cal Poly creating and growing high-wage, technology-based jobs in our region.”

Couto, who noted that it has been a challenge to find qualified engineers locally, said the partnership with C3RP, as well as the development of the firm’s new internship program, will help to further Couto Solution’s success on the Central Coast.

His is the second firm to announce it would lease space in the Tech Park. Applied Technologies Associates, a Paso Robles-based company that designs, builds and manufactures technology products for the oil industry, leased 3,000 square feet of lab space in February for its core software development team.

Another potential tenant is close to being finalized, Dunning said, and could take up an additional 2,500 square feet. Negotiations are also under way with a Bay Area firm.

“We have an active list of local companies that are looking for smaller spaces,” Dunning said. “We’re getting a lot of demand and requests for smaller spaces of about 500 square feet. We haven’t decided yet if we’re going to break off little labs. Right now, we have 2,000 square feet and above.”

The first phase of the Tech Park encompasses a 25,000-square-foot building off Mount Bishop Road on the campus that was completed in June. A total of 11,000 square feet of space is still available for lease.

— Julie Lynem

New lawyer at firm

The San Luis Obispo law firm Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard (KMTG) has hired Shauna N. Cunningham as an associate attorney for its education department. She represents school districts and county offices of education on a variety of matters, including labor and employment, student issues, district governance and property contracts. Cunningham has moved to the Central Coast from Virginia, where at Fiske & Harvey, PLLC, she represented private sector clients on a wide range of commercial, real estate, land use and zoning transactions. Established in 1959, KMTG is a full service law corporation with offices in San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, Bakersfield and Walnut Creek.

— Julia Hickey

Ad agency hires designer, director

The advertising agency S. Lombardi and Associates recently hired Central Coast native John Zane Zappas as its new senior designer and Cal Poly graduate Freya Wilkerson as its client services director.

Zappas previously worked as art director and illustrator at Premise Immersive Marketing, and Wilkerson was the promotions assistant and social networking coordinator at San Luis Obispo’s Downtown Association.

— Julia Hickey