About Us

Start with Bakersfield (SwB) is a locale-focused venture capital firm based in Bakersfield, California in the south San Joaquin Valley. Through its ventures, SwB bridges the gap between the technical talent of the community with the business acumen and latent capital of the petrochemical and agronomic environment of Kern County. Bringing technical understanding to the investor community via the heavily word-of-mouth business network that exists here, we aim to deliver unique opportunities for investors and product teams alike.

Start with Bakersfield partners with providers of capital to fund vetted startups and established small businesses in converting and growing intellectual property assets into recurring revenue streams. Because SwB is not tied to any one business, industry, or source of capital, it can tailor unique solutions to fit each product company's needs.

SwB provides to its network of capital partners unique insight, operational management capabilities, and investment management tools as a continuously available service and online platform.

Start with Bakersfield is committed to promoting economic growth, industry and social diversity, and technological savvy in the Bakersfield area and greater San Joaquin Valley.

Kevin Mershon - Managing Partner

Kevin Mershon

Kevin Mershon is the founder of Start with Bakersfield, Inc. Kevin also owns and operates Mershon Enterprises, a Bakersfield software consultancy. Kevin has built a career and name for himself locally as a software developer and business systems consultant. As the founder of Mershon Enterprises he has lead his team in the support of numerous local and remote businesses, developed and managed the production of software intellectual property, and trained numerous developers from novice to senior level skill. As a software developer of fourteen years, Kevin has developed experience working in and with the oil & gas, shipping, and enterprise resource planning industries.

Though one of a great many software developers in the Kern County region, Kevin has an infectious enthusiasm for empowering others to create and innovate. Kevin was a founding member of MESH Cowork, Bakersfield's premier coworking space and also helped found (and fund the creation of) Kern Innovation & Technology Community, Bakersfield's first tech-centric non-profit. Kevin remains good friends with the founders of MESH, Tabari Brannon and Scott Burton, as well as the founder and director of KIT, Alyssa Haerle. Kevin also sits on KIT's Board of Directors as the interim Chief Financial Officer.

Kevin is a Bakersfield native, attended San Jose State University majoring in Computer Science, and is married, with a six-year-old son. He is an advocate of entrepreneurship, technology adoption, income gender and race equality, environmental issues, and animal welfare.

Investment Advisory Council

Advisor 1

Application Pending

Chad Tongco - Campus Director, Unitek College

Bio forthcoming...