Sacramento’s innovation ecosystem is in the midst of a transformation and recent additions to the community are boosting Sacramento’s trajectory to a higher orbit of a more mature startup & innovation ecosystem and tech hub. A few of these are worth highlighting while I work on updating the Sacramento Startup Ecosystem Circuit Board. Check out an overview of these new players below.
New Players in the Sacramento Startup and Innovation Community
Accelerators and Incubators
Valley Extends is a full service sales and marketing accelerator that helps companies grow, by offering services that impact operations such as: hiring, sales, marketing, growth hacking, training, back office, payroll, human resources to start. Their 1 Million+ square foot campus within McClellan Business Park is designed to foster networking, community, and innovation specifically designed to help tech startups thrive.
Square One Clubs
RAILS grant winner Square One Clubs is a software and game developer business accelerator made up of game developers and organizers wishing to give back to the emerging game development community in Sacramento. Square One will be securing a location that will include the addition of a training & event space, and studio, enabling the organization to build an educational program and host both private and member-only events, and public events to server the larger community.
Suite 210 Incubator
RAILS grant winner Suite 210’s incubator intensive program, operated by E49 Corporation, is focused on equipping and mobilizing nonprofit and for profit businesses that solve social issues in the Sacramento Region through networking, mentoring and training. Suite 210 serves as a co-working space designed to blend incubator programs for nonprofit and for-profit businesses to solve social issues through networking, mentoring and training.
Maker Space / Prototyping Lab
Rocket Department launched as a small startup in 2014 and has become a leader in the Sacramento startup community. As a RAILS grant recipient, Rocket Department will open a prototyping lab where entrepreneurs can validate and build their business ideas. The primary goal is to provide access to high quality equipment and technical experts who know how to use them. This lab will address the gap between entrepreneurs with the ideas and the people with the technical skills to build those ideas. Rocket Department will provide the tools and people needed to prototype and manufacture their products in Sacramento.
Education and Leadership
RAILS grant winner The Get STEAMED Digital Badge project, by Operation Innovate, is an educational leadership project that offers digital badge certification for underserved youth ages 16 – 24 in top three STEM/Tech Fields IOS App, Website and Video Game Development. The project aims to train and badge 45 youth in IOS App Development, Instructional Website Design and Development, Video Game Development, Startup Entrepreneurship and Workforce Readiness.
The Elevate Project
RAILS grant winner The Elevate Project is a mentor program for female tech entrepreneurs. Following the model of its successful program in Los Angeles, founder Nancy Perlman is bringing the program to Sacramento. The program goals are to increase success of women- led businesses and counter negative biases towards female entrepreneurs. The program will include the creation of infrastructure for the project in Sacramento, a strategic roadmap for implementation in Sacramento, and events to engage this community.
Square Root Academy
RAILS grant winner Square Root Academy trains the next generation of engineers and scientists coming from underserved areas in the very communities this demographic resides in. It ensures that this program is accessible to those who need it most at no cost at all to the students. Using a hands-on STEM-based curriculum, in-class mentors connect the mathematical and scientific theories taught in the classroom to real life applications. The projects created foster a sense of academic empowerment within the students by bridging the gap between the concepts in the classroom and their practical use.
Green Tech Web Builders Bootcamp
RAILS grant winner The Green Tech Web Builders Bootcamp introduces low income youth from diverse ethnic backgrounds to high technology careers serving as a springboard to web development, design and manufacturing. Introducing underserved youth to high technology gives them an opportunity to join a workforce currently experiencing a disparity in women and minorities. The program also encourages self-employment and entrepreneurial skill building exercises and innovative project based learning.
RAILS grant winner Yellow Circle is an organization committed to making careers in information technology more accessible. Yellow Circle’s CodeIT! Academy project aims to create an advanced online learning academy where students of all ages, races, genders, locations, or socioeconomic status can gain hands-on experience and education in all aspects of information technology.
In addition to the above new players in our community, there are a few programs that, though not new, I’ve recently discovered or become aware of.
Sacramento State Center for Entrepreneurship
The Sacramento State Center for Entrepreneurship is a venture incubator for the early stages of entrepreneurial businesses. The mission of Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration (CBA) is to develop and nurture innovative business ideas and to capitalize potential entrepreneurial opportunities, both from CSUS and local entrepreneurship communities. The Center will provide entrepreneurs with the skills and resources needed to launch a venture and to identify and cultivate solutions to entrepreneurial problems, the network structure to bring the plan to fruition, and the technical training to grow the enterprises. The Center for Entrepreneurship is designed to provide a new venture incubator service, providing residences, endowments, in-kind office hours, and limited business resources.