New Hacker Lab Initiative Aims to Help Launch 35 Micro-Businesses

Hacker Lab announced today the selection of Jake Elia as Entrepreneur In Residence [EIR] and Trisha Rhomberg as Maker in Residence [MIR] for the newly formed Capital Region Makerspace Network. The Network, designed to bolster entrepreneurship, business startups and innovation in the nine-county Capital Region, is funded by a $125,000 Capital Region SlingShot grant which was awarded to Hacker Lab in March by the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA).

Elia and Rhomberg will work with regional makerspaces to strengthen the network, engage nontraditional and underserved populations as makers and entrepreneurs, develop resources to serve the region, and document the model for replication. Interested makers and entrepreneurs may book office hours with Elia and Rhomberg on the program website:

“We’re excited to learn more about the needs, challenges, and visions of entrepreneurs and makers throughout the region,” said Eric Ullrich, cofounder and COO of Hacker Lab. “This program gives us the resources to do more outreach in the community; build relationships; provide support, mentorship, connections; and collect important data that will help us as a region know ourselves better.”

The project expects to provide services to a minimum of 169 makers and entrepreneurs, and launch 35 micro-businesses. The contract MIR and EIR positions will focus on serving residents throughout the nine-county region who live at or below the poverty level and who are highly educated, as well as residents who have educational, language, cultural, physical or other barriers to jobs that pay living wage. The goal is to help them develop micro-businesses that are customized to their abilities and circumstances, and contribute to the regional economy.

Entrepreneur in Residence Jake Elia is an experienced entrepreneur and product developer. His experience ranges from launching brick and mortar restaurants and cafes like Bloom Coffee & Tea to investor-backed startups like Snippet App and Booklaunch.

“As an entrepreneur myself, I know how many challenges, speed bumps, and road blocks there are to launching a business. I also know how rewarding it can be,” said Elia. “I’m excited to help entrepreneurs face those challenges and bring their visions to life. There has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur.”

Maker in Residence Trisha Rhomberg is no stranger to Sacramento’s creative community. She actively supports the work of local artists through her brick and mortar shop, Old Gold and Makers Mart, a handmade shopping event and bazaar where artists can share and sell their talents and handmade goods. She also curates the WAL Public Market Gallery located below the Warehouse Artist Lofts.

“I love getting to work with artists in a wide range of mediums,” said Rhomberg. “Sacramento has many talented makers creating new businesses and learning to deal with the challenges of growth. Having someone to walk with you and guide you along the way is something that will help make these new businesses more successful and sustainable.”

Hacker Lab is hosting a free talk about launching a Maker Business at its Midtown location at 1715 I Street in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 23 from6:00-8:00 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet MIR Trisha Rhomberg and hear from makers who have successfully launched a business.


About Hacker Lab

Hacker Lab is an innovative coworking and maker space focused on education, community engagement, making and prototyping. Between their Midtown and Rocklin locations, they offer over 25,000 sq ft of space, access to prototyping tools, classes ranging from 3D printing to welding, and a diverse community of makers, artist, and entrepreneurs. Learn more at the Hacker Lab website