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Student-Run Startup To Expand Business



SBprinter.com, a student and alumni-owned storefront, is scheduled to open at the Isla Vista Bookstore early next month.

The store provides course readers, pamphlets, business cards and other printing services and will open its doors no later than Feb. 5. The website was created as an alternative resource to the various copy shops and printers on and off campus.

According to co-owner and fifth-year sociology major Albert Carrasco, the company is expanding due to growing clientele numbers.

“We are turning into something else — something more,” Carrasco said. “We have been growing in clientele and we have made some pretty big jumps, been gaining a lot of momentum. … We are really excited to take on this new step.”

Carrasco said the company plans to implement a tuition scholarship, provide monthly Costco gift card giveaways and assist other local and student start-up businesses.

Company representative and third-year global studies major Martin Longino said the new store aims to accommodate its student consumer base’s needs.

“What’s great about this company is that it’s run by the very kinds of people that it tries to cater to,” Longino said. “It is put on by students and it makes for an interesting experience. We know how it is to budget college expenses, so we do the best we can to make the prices affordable.”

SBprinter.com initially offered its services to Santa Barbara until it shifted its focus toward UCSB students and campus organizations.

The company recently donated over $10,000 to the non-profit organization Kids Helping Kids for its Sara Bareilles concert at the Granada Theater earlier this month, Carrasco said.

“It was really cool to see that we were able to help with that,” Carrasco said. “That is what we want to be about. We want to get involved with the community and give back to them.”

Additionally, SBprinters aims to institute a cash rewards program called “Gauchos4Gauchos” for campus organizations and athletic clubs.

“I know how much of a pain it is to apply for money on campus, and not everyone receives funding,” Carrasco said. “I just think it would be great for them to have another source to go to.”

However, UCSB alumni and Isla Vista Screen Printing co-owner Garrett Gerstenberger said ambitious business models could backfire if not properly planned.

“I am always for entrepreneurism, and I support the people who have that mindset, especially those who come out of UCSB,” Gerstenberger said. “A big lesson is to mind your own business in the sense that you should make sure you understand everything you are planning to do before doing them. … There are certain things you cannot do and it is a lot more efficient to accept what you can produce and work from there. You have to be careful about spreading yourself too thin and working on things you may not understand.”

SBprinter.com’s website is currently being edited, but all updates and news will be posted on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sbprinter.

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