Economics for 2015 and Beyond

Acuity with Sanjay Varshney

After a decade at the helm of Sacramento State’s College of Business Administration, Sanjay Varshney in late August accepted a position as a vice president and wealth advisor at Wells Fargo Bank—Wealth Management  Group. Varshney is a professor of finance at Sac State. He is also the  chief economist for the Sacramento Business Review, making him one of the region’s preeminent voices on economics, business and higher education.

Mar 23, 2015 Christine Calvin
(Design by Zuza Hicks; Elements from Shutterstock)

The New World of Ag

Investment in agtech is growing, but will the Central Valley cash in?

Through certain entrepreneurial eyes, agricultural technology looks a lot more relevant than the latest iPhone app or social networking tool. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, by 2050 the world will need 70 percent more food to feed an additional 2.3 billion people.. And the Central Valley is poised to cash in — if we play our cards right.

Feb 10, 2015 Allison Joy

Tech Support

Acuity with Kirk Uhler

Longtime Placer County supervisor Kirk Uhler was recently selected as the new CEO of the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance. Uhler is also the owner of Roseville-based Rensa Group, a marketing, communications and government relations firm, and the co-founder of VidGage, a social media platform.

Jan 23, 2015 Christine Calvin

Chemical Attraction

Acuity with Micromidas’ John Bissell

In 2008, John Bissell co-founded Micromidas Inc., a West Sacramento biotech company that has developed a process to convert carbohydrate feedstocks like cardboard into higher-value chemicals, including renewable plastics. The company incorporated in 2009. Bissell, a UC Davis grad who also serves as CEO, was recently included in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields, and has helped raise more than $20 million in financing for his company.

Aug 13, 2014 Douglas Curley
As part of Comstock's 25th anniversary, and in lieu of a monthly publisher's letter, publisher Winnie Comstock-Carlson is inviting business leaders to present their views on what's shaping and defining the Capital Region.

New Angle Needed

Sacramento should try a new approach to economic development

Like many transplants to Sacramento, before moving to the area I had little awareness of the plethora of quality-of-life amenities the region has to offer. As I complete my first decade as a resident, it has dawned on me that this has been the longest stop thus far in my professional career.

May 31, 2014 Sanjay Varshney

Vested Interest

Venturing into the Next Economy

The Next Economy initiative aims to accelerate job creation and new investment in the Capital Region by developing key economic areas, or “clusters,” of growth. The critical motivator to these clusters, experts say, is venture capital, a cash investment.

“We need to have a funding mechanism for launching these types of firms within a region in order for the region to be successful,” says Curt Rocca, managing partner with DCA Partners, business advisory and private equity firm.

Feb 1, 2014 Andrea Kennedy

Social Network

How crowdfunding connects strangers — and your business – to money

“Small Market, Big Heart” tells the story of the Sacramento Kings and their fans’ fight to hold onto the team. But the 80-minute documentary — packed with NBA archive footage and interviews with Kings’ executives, local politicians and sports entertainment personalities — isn’t from the NBA offices or an established production company.

Feb 12, 2013 Andrea Kennedy

Eye On the Prize

Acuity with Bill Mueller

Bill Mueller, 47, is CEO and managing partner at Valley Vision. One of four partners in the regional Next Economy initiative, Valley Vision serves as the project manager of the Capital Region’s latest economic development effort.

Apr 30, 2012 Douglas Curley
Vikram Janardhan, CEO, Insera Therapeutics; and Cary Adams, founder of, Proximal Ventures.

Stayin’ a Life

Will the health care overhaul affect investment in medical technology?

After four quarters of increasing venture investment, 2010 is off to a slow start. Venture capitalists invested $4.7 billion in the year’s first quarter, down from $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The life sciences sector, including biotechnology and medical device industries, took the biggest hit with a 26 percent decline in venture investment over the previous quarter.

May 31, 2010 Christine Calvin