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Startup of the Month: wimZr

With this app, it's not just who you know but when you meet them

New app wimZr’s main focus is people. The interface is straightforward. You view the profiles of people going to the same place. If you like them, click “Connect Me.” If you want to pass, click “Next Time.” If the person you like likes you back, you can start talking. For upcoming events, you can scan guest lists and either connect one-on-one or openly in a public forum.

Jan 4, 2016 Russell Nichols
Hacker Lab co-founder Gina Lujan

Tech for All

Hacker Lab co-founder Gina Lujan on the power of making

Hacker Lab co-founder and CEO Gina Lujan has been focused on entrepreneurship for over two decades. Hacker Lab’s 10,500-square-foot space in midtown Sacramento had become a hub of innovation for numerous creators and doers in the Sacramento Region, from artists to engineers. The site has been so successful it has opened a second site in Rocklin. We sat down with her recently to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the hacker innovation space.

Dec 14, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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I’m Exempt — What Does That Mean?

If you feel you're owed flexibility, you're wrong

I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee,  I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?

Dec 3, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
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Mentoring Through the Glass Ceiling

It’s an unwritten but long-standing axiom in business: You can’t get to the top alone. You need a mentor in your corner who is older and wiser. As a young, aspiring publisher almost 27 years ago, I certainly had help from all around. The business owners with whom I spoke supported me with their wisdom, as they continue to do today. I’ve received guidance, know its value and am extremely grateful.

Dec 1, 2015 Winnie Comstock-Carlson
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Investment in Higher Education is Essential to Regional Business Growth

For the first time since 2006, California’s governor and Legislature will provide the California State University the funding its Board of Trustees had sought for this academic year. Of course the level of funding does not approach what it was before the great recession, but it does provide an opportunity for the largest system of higher education in this state and country to meet the continued demand for education sought by thousands of potential students.  

Nov 20, 2015 Alex Gonzalez

The Marvelous Mentor

Chris Johnson’s massive success affords next-gen business leaders the opportunity to grow

In the coming months, Chris Johnson will ask a lot of his employees, whose average age is just 24 years old. He expects to do $30 million in retail sales this third year of manufacturing, recently signed a powerful licensing deal with Disney’s Marvel, and plans to expand from the four products currently on shelves to more than 100 next year. But Johnson’s hiring strategy emphasizes passion over experience, something he says his team has in spades.

Nov 17, 2015 Andy Galloway

The Helping Hand

Senator Holly Mitchell says a level playing field is the mission behind most of her measures

California State Senator Holly Mitchell can be an imposing figure. While most people presume that term evokes physicality, it is Mitchell’s intellect and passion for defending those she believes have little or no voice in the political process that make her such a formidable figure around the Capitol. We talked with her about her effort to turn that passion into policy.

Nov 12, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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The Capital Region Needs More Skilled Laborers

Make no mistake: The Capital Region boasts some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities. Many a regional leader is a proud alum of UC Davis or Sacramento State. Yet in 2015, it might behoove us to ask some scary questions: Does a 4-year college degree guarantee a good job? If so, can that good job be reconciled with the staggering debt that currently accompanies a college diploma.

Nov 2, 2015 Winnie Comstock-Carlson
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Biomass Energy Produces Clean Energy and Improves Forest Health

There is growing momentum to build a strong, sustainable biomass energy infrastructure in California — great news for our environment and our forests. But in the meantime, many facilities are struggling to survive, and changes are needed to guarantee a stable future for this important green energy industry.

Oct 26, 2015 David Bischel

Brewed by Design

The brewery tasting room is a new kind of social space, where ambience matters as much as ale

Wine tasting is often an experience shared only by the taster and pourer. A brewery tasting room, however, needs to facilitate the gregariously social aspects of craft beer, making space for interaction and mingling. Room to brew, room to chat and room to sample flights of beer make for highly dynamic spaces that bring to life the distinct personalities of brewers and their art.

Oct 20, 2015 Andy Galloway
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Is it Time for a Technological Shift?

Letter from the publisher

It remains to be seen if GSAC, the Metro Chamber or the market itself will fill the void that SARTA’s shut-down has opened. While GSAC and its enigmatic new leader Barry Broome may bring more established firms (and more jobs) to the region, Sacramento isn’t big enough or rich enough to ignore the potential of smart, hungry tech innovators.

Oct 1, 2015 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Side Effects

Right-to-try laws could give patients access to experimental drugs, but the risks are extreme

Many of us are familiar with Woodroof’s plight — it was the subject of the critically acclaimed movie “The Dallas Buyers Club.” But while Hollywood took many liberties in telling his story, Woodroof’s real-life dilemma is one still being shared by many terminally ill people today. That struggle is also at the heart of a movement to allow those patients access to drugs the FDA has not authorized.

Sep 8, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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Minimum Wage Increase: Bad Medicine for a Recovering Economy

Increases in large metropolitan cities are not comparable to the regional economy that is growing in Sacramento

Trends in politics take hold as quickly as those in fashion, and minimum wage increases are definitely “in” this political season. But unlike in the past when Capitol Hill and state legislatures served as battlegrounds for minimum wage debates, cities are now the epicenter. Buoyed by increases enacted in a handful of megacities, American municipalities of all sizes have started asking whether they should follow suit, and if so, to what degree.

Sep 2, 2015 Peter Tateishi