Squad Goals

B-Squad comic creator Eben Burgoon wants to see more local artists employed

It’s a funny thing, to hear the word “employed” in tandem with comic books, says Eben Burgoon, creator of the local comic B-Squad. He and Sean Sutter, lead artist on the project, explain that many artists and writers — even at the highest levels of comic book creation — often have to work for free or in trade. And as Burgoon points out, free beer and exposure don’t pay the rent.

Mar 7, 2016 Robin Epley
(Shutterstock)

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
(Shutterstock)

Streamlining the Network

MySwirl aims to create the best features of social networking on one platform

While creating MySwirl, Tracy Saville envisioned a network and personal app that could help women unlock their potential, become more mindful, and better collaborate and connect professionally.“ I wanted people to have the freedom to unleash their potential, to collaborate without boundaries, to pursue their ideas and passion to make an impact in the world with as few boundaries as possible — and without having to use twenty different tools to do it,” Saville says.

Dec 23, 2015 Lisa Mooney

So, You Want To Be the Next Big Thing?

5 tips for launching a successful product

Sometimes, a real no-brainer, problem-solver of a product can crash and burn spectacularly upon entering the market. This isn’t limited to the Pepsi Clears of the world, where sheer ridiculousness doomed the idea from the start: According to Nielsen data, 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods will fail within two years. Marketing snafus, bad luck and timing aside, pitfalls in the process of product design are often to blame. Catching oneself before blundering into them takes a conscious effort, as several local designers and makers illustrate.

Dec 8, 2015 Andy Galloway

Startup of the Month: New Wallet

Folsom startup creates 3-in-1 gadget for those on the go

Karen Crawford hasn’t carried a purse in three years. Instead, she uses a prototype wallet, which holds her driver’s license, credit cards, cash and a gym membership card, but also serves as an iPhone case and has a Bluetooth-enabled key tracker. As CEO of New Wallet a Folsom-based startup, Crawford led the development of this design after she couldn’t find a product on the market to meet her needs.

Nov 9, 2015 Russell Nichols
(Shutterstock)

Start Smart by Starting Small

ShopSmart nurtures small retailers, one square foot at a time

When Faiz Saif got his electrical engineering degree from Sacramento State in 2010, he never dreamt his business card would say “Owner, Clothes For Bros” just a few short years later. But thanks to a downturned economy and the presence of a unique store in south Sacramento, Saif isn’t looking for an electrical engineering job anymore. Instead, he’s looking to expand his growing business into a retail empire.

Oct 7, 2015 Robin Epley