Author: Jeff Bennett

StartupSac Happy Hour AMA Returns with Fantag Founder Brian Dombrowski

  StartupSac Happy Hour returns on Wednesday, October 4 with another guest entrepreneur ready to answer your startup, innovation, and entrepreneurial questions. October’s guest startup founder will be Brian Dombrowski, Cofounder and CEO of Fantag. Brian Dombrowski relocated his tech startup to Sacramento earlier this year amidst much fanfare from the Greater Sacramento Economic Council and the City of Sacramento. Fantag’s pioneering mobile video technology enables people at live events to capture, replay, and share their favorite moments, with a simple tap on their mobile phones. The goal of StartupSac Happy Hour is to provide an opportunity for early-stage entrepreneurs to...

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Get to Know Sacramento VC Firm Moneta Ventures

Just a few short years ago, the funding opportunities for startups here in Sacramento was very limited. Seeing a need for venture capital for early stage companies, three successful business people; Lokesh Sikaria, Denise Ferre, and Vaibhav Nadgauda founded a new fund, Moneta Ventures in 2014 which has since become Sacramento’s largest venture capital firm. As an Associate Partner at local venture capital fund, Moneta Ventures, Sabya Das, focuses on the development and analysis of Moneta Ventures’ many internet and software based portfolio companies.  Sabya evaluates new opportunities for investment and assists Moneta’s portfolio companies in a variety of operational roles. I met with Sabya...

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How Startups and Fast-Growing Companies Can Take Risks

The following is a guest blog post by Charong Chow Head of Content at San Francisco startup Embroker who provides tech-based insurance packages to startups. D&O insurance, or Directors and Officers insurance, is one of the most misunderstood forms of business insurance. Particularly for startups and small, growing ventures, D&O insurance is not seen as essential in the same way that other forms of coverage (such as professional liability insurance, business property insurance, and workers compensation insurance) are. In fact, some entrepreneurs don’t even know what D&O insurance is, while those who are familiar with it primarily consider it a form of big business insurance. However, the truth is that D&O insurance can benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes. In fact, there is an argument to be made that D&O insurance is more important for startups and SMBs. Before we get to that part of the conversation, though, let’s consider what D&O insurance is and who it covers. Defining D&O Insurance D&O insurance is a form of business liability insurance. It applies specifically to a company’s executives and board of directors. Say someone files a lawsuit against your organization’s directors or officers. D&O insurance would help cover the costs of legal defense, settlements, or damages related to the litigation. Without D&O insurance in place, it’s possible that your directors or officers would be held personally liable for the...

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Meet The Startup Addressing the Epidemic of Unauthorized Prescription Access

Every day in the United States, 3,000 youth abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time. 90% of people that get addicted to opioids get addicted in their teenage years. 70% find those opioids in their home medicine cabinet. Only 3% of families lock up their prescriptions. One Sacramento Startup, Gatekeeper Innovation, has developed a patented abuse-resistant technology, SaferLock, that stops unauthorized medication access, simply and affordably. In this episode of the StartupSac podcast, I met with Kim Box, President and CEO at Gatekeeper Innovation, at her office to learn more about this local Sacramento startup that’s helping to...

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Meet the Sacramento Startup Tackling the Hidden Hunger of Vitamin A Deficiency

Sacramento Startup Profile: Founder of The Redmelon Company, Le Thuy Vuong, M.B.A., Ph.D. As a PhD student at UC Davis, Le Thuy Vuong focused her thesis on Vitamin A deficiency, an all too common problem in children of developing countries which is also linked to iron deficiency. Le refers to this malnutrition as a “hidden hunger,” preventing children from growing normally and to their full potential. She was looking for a sustainable food-based solution and while in northern Vietnam found that a fruit indigenous to her native country really stood out with the potential to make a large impact on...

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Everything You Need to Launch & Grow a Rewards-based Crowdfunding Campaign

Part 4 in a series of videos from CleanStart’s crowdfunding workshop. In June, Sacramento’s clean tech incubator CleanStart, held a workshop on crowdfunding, exploring both equity and rewards-based crowdfunding. The event lineup included an overview of crowdfunding by the Chairman of CleanStart, Gary Simon, a talk on How to Raise $1,000,000 with Equity Crowdfunding by Manny Fernandez, cofounder and CEO of DreamFunded, a talk on the legal requirements of crowdfunding by Chris Russell of Stoel Rives LLP, and concluded with a talk by Michaels Zeligs where he shared everything that you need to launch and grow a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign. Slide decks...

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A Smorgasbord of Startup & Tech Events This Week

I hope everyone has a craving for a variety of startup and tech events. This week there’s a full smorgasbord lined up for you to pick and choose. Whether you’re interested in networking and a fireside chat with the COO of Fantag and founder of PowerSchool, or learning sales strategies for early stage startups, or learning about designing user experiences & user interfaces with artificial intelligence in mind, or startup ideation, or Python, React, or Arduino, there should be something for every taste. By the end of the week your brain should be stuffed with new ideas and knowledge....

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Discussing Diversity in Sacramento’s Startup Community

The issue of diversity in technology and startups has risen to the national spotlight in recent months. Here in Sacramento, Sacramento Business Journal reporter Victor Patton addressed the issue in his August 3 article, “Diversity: The Sacramento tech sector’s advantage.” This article was the inspiration and motivation for StartupSac to host a series of roundtable discussions among Sacramento’s ethnic groups about diversity in our startup and technology community. I reached out to several African-American entrepreneurs and innovators to invite them into the podcast studio to record a roundtable discussion about diversity in the Sacramento startup and tech community. The central...

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Sacramento Startup Profile: Beekwee Cofounders Beata Adamczyk & Patrick Guderski

Being a parent is expensive. Kids grow fast. Constantly having to buy new clothes that are outgrown in the blink of an eye is a big burden for most parents. As a mother, Beata Adamczyk had firsthand experience with this and had an idea about how to address the problem. Having previously been bitten by the startup bug, she was motivated to create a startup around the idea. She met her cofounder Patrick Guderski through the Polish-American community in Northern California. As a developer, Patrick, who had also developed an interest in startups, was looking to work on an idea...

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Profile: Kyle Kaneshiro, Program Manager at Sacramento SBDC

Kyle Kaneshiro’s route into Sacramento’s startup ecosystem is a bit different than most people we’ve profiled here. Kyle spent nearly 30 years working for Intel in Folsom, working with engineering teams, most recently as Director of Strategic Planning for the Client Group and helped drive $40 Billion in revenue for Intel. That wealth of experience that Kyle possesses makes him a valuable mentoring and advising asset to the Sacramento startup community. About a year ago, Kyle retired and he now spends much of his time as an advisor for Sacramento’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) advising and mentoring entrepreneurs....

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