Before he left office, former Mayor Kevin Johnson put a multimillion-dollar plan in place to jumpstart Sacramento’s innovation economy. That includes starting an annual grant program and investing $1 million in local companies. The City Council just signed off on $970,000 in public funds to 15 winners of that first RAILS grant program, which stands for Rapid Acceleration, Innovation and Leadership.
Come meet some of those winners, hear them explain their plans for that funding and learn more about how Sacramento plans to become an innovation leader.
- Brian Collins, chief advisor to the accelerator program at I/O Labs — it’s expected to roll out later this year, inside the multi-level building I/O Labs is renovating near the Golden 1 Center
- Alona Jennings, co-founder of Operation Innovate — she runs this program (which just received a $50,000 RAILS grant) that gives digital badge certification in top STEM careers to Sacramento’s underserved youth
- Vaibhav Nadgauda, managing partner at Moneta Ventures — one of Sacramento’s few venture capital firms, Moneta recently announced it would give $60,000 each to 20 startups in I/O Labs’ new accelerator program, planned for 2017
- Clay Nutting, food- and arts-focused entrepreneur — he helped put Lowbrau, TBD Fest and Art Street on the map; his latest efforts are the restaurant Canon, which boasts a Michelin-starred chef, and Art Street, which just got $25,000 from the Mayor’s Innovation & Growth Fund
- Crystal Strait, senior advisor to Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg — she helped set up the Mayor’s Innovation & Growth Fund, as well as the City of Sacramento’s Creative Economy Initiative, which includes funding for local arts, food and tech initiatives
- Eric Ullrich, co-founder and chief operating officer of Hacker Lab — it offers office space, tools and training for makers and entrepreneurs in Midtown Sacramento and Rocklin, and looks like soon in Rancho Cordova
This event is free to the public.
To register, and for more information click here:
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.
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