Calling Sacramento Start-Ups

The “Start-up Hustle Incubator” is coming to the Sacramento region from Oct. 1 to Nov. 12, 2015.

Apply now if you have a concept for a business and want to hustle for six weeks to turn your dream into a going concern.

Hacker Lab in partnership with Sierra College in Rocklin will help teams join a community of entrepreneurs and get incredible support to accelerate their success.

Winners will receive prizes to support the business launch.

Go to and apply by the Sept. 24, 2015 deadline.

Participants will ‘hack’ their start-up by hustling to test ideas and build a business model in six weeks. Teams can have one to five members, all of whom should plan on committing 15 hours per week to the new venture during the competition. It can be any kind of business but applicants should be ready to demonstrate how their ideas benefit society.

Teams will benefit from start-up resources to guide them, including mentorship, community connections, education and a proven start-up process. The winner will pitch the start-up to investors and win legal, financial, accounting and marketing services.

The group is seeking mentors to provide advice during the six week hustle. The City of Rocklin and Golden Sierra Job Training Agency are also sponsors of the event.

To learn how you can apply, or be a sponsor and mentor, go to or email: Find out more:

Hacker Lab – It’s good for business

Sierra College has collaborated with Sacramento’s Hacker Lab to open a maker and co-working space in Rocklin, CA. The new Placer County site offers an array of tools, technology courses, start-up resources and a community of people excited about collaborating, sharing their expertise and inspiring innovation.

I had the opportunity to join the community and would recommend that you check it out. Whether working on one of the many tables or having a meeting, it makes a convenient off-site office. While I was working on a project, I could see others on their laptops, using the laser cutter and working in the electronics lab.

Hacker Lab is committed to education and introducing the joys of technology to the next generation. Hundreds of kids have participated in youth hack-a-thons. The children are so excited to be learning to program, solder and create with other tools. I watched a small boy stand in front of the 3D printer mesmerized for nearly half an hour. Hopefully these young people will be the future Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) workforce.

In the evening, you might see a group of people learning to use the industrial sewing machines or cutting out fabric on a huge table. Evidently one of the machines can sew through leather easily. Although I haven’t had a chance to try it myself, I am looking forward to taking a class and learning to use this equipment. The way Hacker Lab works, members take classes that include the safe operation of the equipment and then get a notation on their membership badge that allows them 24/7 access to a specific lab.

The Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) secured equipment for Hacker Lab that includes 3D printers for rapid prototyping, the laser cutter and CNC router. The entrepreneurial maker community is attractive to local companies, according to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CACT Director, Sierra College. “Businesses are making prototypes, entrepreneurs are building their businesses and community members are gaining new skills,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Businesses can suggest meet-ups and offer to teach classes. Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College is also a great place to connect and arrange internships.” Interested employers can contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at (916) 660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge(at)

Learn more about Hacker by going to the Sierra College page on the website:, watch for open houses and other Meet-ups, and check out upcoming events on the calendar –

STEM: Welding Adds Applied Math Lessons at Sierra College

Sierra College Math and Welding departments worked together on a National Science Foundation (NSF) IGNITE grant with the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg (UWVP) to infuse math into welding curriculum.

Sierra College Welding Department chair, Bill Wenzel worked with Katie Lucero, chair of the Sierra College Math Department, to develop the new applied academic curriculum. The math lessons tied directly to a student project and significantly improved students’ math skills. Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director, Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) facilitated the collaboration of faculty with the University of West Virginia on this NSF grant project.

See the movie showing these technical education students integrating math into welding at Placer Herald Sierra College addresses skills gap by fusing math with welding (11-29-2012).

Learn more about Sierra College STEM projects.

Brain & brute strength fly planes

Always on the lookout for hands-on projects that inspire innovation in design and engineering, I was intrigued by “Paper Plane Champ Watches His Record Fly, Fly Away” in the Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2012, pg. 1

According to the article, paper airplane designer John Collins collaborated with former Cal football player to win the Guinness World Record at an event in Sacramento CA. The folded paper airplane flew 226 feet 10 inches. Watch it on You Tube (Thanks to ThePaperAirplaneGuy).

This is a great example of how collaboration in California is sparking innovation. Marketing Action works with schools and colleges to promote Science, Technology, Engineering & Math careers by inspiring students with applied academics.

Increase Capacity without Adding Costs April 5/6

Is your company struggling to meet increased demand with limited staff? If your organization is missing deadlines or has a backlog of unfilled orders, this workshop on how to Increase Capacity without Adding Costs will help you improve capabilities to meet customers’ needs. Learn how to apply Value Stream Mapping tools to use existing assets more effectively.

Discover ways to boost your profits at this Increase Capacity without Adding Costs workshop on applying Lean Value Stream Mapping tools. Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), offers this training at the Gateway Campus, 333 Sunrise Rm. 123 in Roseville from 8:30 to 4:30 on April 5 & 6. Jes Vargas, DPMG Corp. and CACT Trainer is the presenter. The fee is $50. Learn more at

Using this mapping tool, one company discovered that it took 23 days to do three minutes of work. Another saved $800,000 revamping cell phone contracts and policies. The most common time wasters are redundancy, unnecessary steps, waiting for material and information, and redoing work because information is missing. Value Stream Mapping enables employees to look in depth at current business activities, depict what’s happening visually and make changes that increase capacity to meet demand using existing resources.

At this workshop, learn how to draw a picture of what is happening and identify improvements:

  • Look in detail at each step of a specific business process
  • Diagram what happens and who works on it
  • Show bottlenecks and wait times
  • Gather data on how much time each action takes
  • Distinguish the steps that add value for the customer and those that don’t

A Sacramento firm used Value Stream Mapping to review an accounting process. Employees discovered that they spent time on scanning, printing, creating duplicates and filing documents that contained information that was stored on computers. They used Value Stream Mapping to reduce six steps to three, cut the process time in half and save over 250 hours annually.

Gain a competitive advantage by attending this interactive workshop with industry examples:

  • Learn how Value Stream Mapping works and how to apply it
  • Identify methods for gathering data, timing activities and showing steps on a process map
  • Experience making Value Stream Maps that reflect the current situation and desired state
  • Use maps to engage employees, support initiatives and link waste to cost savings

For information and to sign up, go to the Sierra College Training & Development web site,, call (916) 660-7801 or email

Jan. 26 — Lean tools to boost success in 2011

Learn how to cut waste and improve your business process at “Lean Principles to Sustainability” hosted by Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) in conjuction with DPMG Corp. on January 26, 2011 at the Roseville Gateway Campus, 333 Sunrise Ave, Roseville, CA from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. $50 registration.

This one-day lecture and interactive educational forum introduces Lean Thinking as a methodology to identify and eliminate waste from processes in any organization and achieve sustainability. Gain tools to boost your competitve edge in 2011:

  • Get an overview of lean principles to begin to recognize how to identify and eliminate waste in your own organization
  • Learn to leverage Lean Thinking to achieve sustainability
  • Define and understand the different types of waste as viewed by your customers
  • Get the “Big Picture” – transform your business
  • Remove the Myths about “Lean Thinking”
  • Apply Lean Principles to “do it right the first time”
  • Learn how Lean Principles can create a collaborative partnership between people and valued partners
  • Experience a real world practical application through simulation of the how the lean principles can generate measurable outcomes
  • Learn from professionals; begin to practice the process in this educational forum to save time and money

Upcoming Lean Workshops: Feb 22-23 Business Process Mapping — Identify the steps and practices for breaking down a process and create a System and Relationship Process Map and April 5-6 Value Stream Mapping (VSM) — See the step-by-step development of current and future state value stream maps and how they can be used with improvement initiatives.

Learn more at Sierra College CACT and Training & Development under 2011 Lean workshops.