Locals get it.
We know that SLO is more than an acronym for San Luis Obispo, because we live here. We imbibe the “SLO life” every day, preferring “slow food” over the run-of-the-mill burger chains and slow strolls through downtown over the rat-race pace of our bigger cities to the north and south. It’s a lifestyle we’re proud of—a lifestyle that brings thousands of tourists and some of America’s brightest students to SLO town every year—and it’s this culture that has been attracting millennial professionals and the companies who understand their needs, reaffirming what’s been whispered in business circles for years: San Luis Obispo could very well be the next technology hub.
Case in point: MindBody—a Fortune 500 software firm that focuses on helping small businesses manage their clients needs. Their new 60,000 square-foot headquarters on the corner of Broad Street and Tank Farm Road was designed by RRM with the millennial professional in mind. With sweeping views and light spilling in through every available space, it’s a place that connects people to each other and to their greater environment. It’s open. It encourages collaboration and innovation. But there’s more to it than even those details. Because the millennial professional—as well as the culture that drives companies like MindBody—are distinguished by their recognition that people are more than the business they work for.
“The success of any great company stems from its culture,” states Rick Stollmeyer, the chief executive officer of MindBody. It’s a culture that’s purpose driven, humble and helpful, caring and happy, committed to wellness, environmental consciousness, as well as leadership and continuous evolution—and this culture is reflected in the new MindBody campus, which has a daycare center for the children of all employees, grassy yoga mounds, a large outdoor space that serves as a meeting area, and a cafe with delicious health food. The headquarters considers a whole person and not just the needs of the business, because today’s young professionals want it all: the beauty of rolling hillsides and the promise of advancement in a rapidly growing industry, the surf breaks of Pismo Beach and the chance to further their career with companies that are making waves.
SLO is increasingly providing these opportunities to young professionals, as well as opportunities for the tech world at large. We have a talented and educated workforce streaming out of Cal Poly, a vibrant downtown with great music and great nightlife, plenty of open space, parks, and hiking trails, as well as connectivity to the rest of the world via our airport, the 101 freeway, and (of course) the web. We’re a fertile environment for growth. We’re a little piece of paradise. We’re SLO town—a burgeoning force in the tech world—and it’s exciting to watch the SLO life spread far and wide.