Startups Encouraged after engaging with panel of active investors.

Startups Encouraged after engaging with panel of active investors.

The other night was an amazing workshop for the packed crowd at 801 K Street with incredible insights into building constructive relationships with investors.  So much was covered it is hard to do a summary that does the session justice. The discussion was particularly lively, with lots of questions from the audience.  

Matt van Leeuwen set the stage with a soup-to-nuts review of what investor are interested in during a fund raise and what terms they may seek in a Term Sheet and the final documents.  He gave a good perspective on what is negotiable–and what is not. He also warned about terms that can turn out very unfavorably for startups.

Matt discussed different types of financing options for companies, terms startups might hear,  standard terminology and special types of agreements that you might here. The Q&A led to an attendee to announce he had just been saved a great deal of time and stress in the near future.

Next from the panel lead by Chris Chediak we got to hear perspectives form a star-studded panel.  The panelists were Elizabeth Dodson, Co-founder of HomeZada, John Peters, the Board chair of the Sacramento Angels, and Roger Akers, Co-founder & Partner of Akers Capital. All of them emphasized communication with investors and industry stakeholders.  Entrepreneurs should realize good investors are there because they believe in the Company and the team. Good communication with investors helps with everything from fundraising, to growing your company, and even building a successful team — be forthright, respond quickly, answer directly, build a reputation that investors and advisors can trust.  

They discussed how much equity of options you should give up to advisers, what you can ask of investors, and the best ways to leverage those relationships. Based on the enthusiasm of the crowd, we are likely to do a second round of this workshop with new panelists and presenters.  It is a big and very important topic.

“The stronger the relationship with you and your investors is, the more you can leverage it for more opportunities.” –   Roger Akers


LACI Companies Visit the Capitol

LACI Companies Visit the Capitol

What kind of companies? Don’t worry I’ll bring you up to speed. Rated as one of the top 10 global incubators, the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is the City of Los Angeles’ official business incubator for clean technology and provides key support to high profile teams on the rocky road to commercialization. Though based in LA, the impact doesn’t stop at the county lines. Many LACI portfolio companies are shaking things up across California and around the world. A local example, CarbonBLU, is mixing things up right here in Roseville. The Incubator can  connect with our own growing cleantech hub as they collaborate with other regional incubators like BlueTech Valley (a CleanStart Partner) and internationally with Clean Tech Open. CleanStart works in parrallel with LACI by bringing more companies to its attention and expanding the opportunities we can provide to companies here in Sacramento.

Last Wednesday, nine of these companies visited our capitol for a day of meetings with legislators and agency staff. CleanStart was able to catch up on all the hype at the company showcase to cap off the day. From aviation to roadways to kid’s play toys, LACI companies are taking on massive industries and long standing practices to help pave a green future.

See a full list of the Sacramento visitors below:

Ampaire  – Revolutionary Commercial Electric Aircraft

Advanced Paving Technologies – World’s First 3-D Asphalt Paving Machine

Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing – Reinventing Transportation

Bears for Humanity – Worlds First 100% Certified Organic Stuffed Toy Collection

CarbonBLU – Empowering Proactive Decision Makers (Check out their profile)

Rain Systems – Save 50% off your current landscape water consumption

Repurpose – Sustainable Tableware

Tiny Farms – Hardcore Nutrition, Easy on the Environment

Xtelligent – Traffic Signal Control for Today and Tomorrow


Kate is a recent graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has a strong background in entrepreneurship and global politics. After helping launch an AgTech startup on the central coast, Kate is back in her hometown looking to take her experience into the world of Cleantech and help grow the Sacramento region.