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CleanStarts 2020 in Review

Dec 8, 2020

We had a good year despite Covid-19.  We see that making our region a cleantech hub requires creating a beehive of activity with networking, education, and updates on everything happening. We started this year strong by holding Cleantech meetups and Calseed information sessions.  The First Cleantech meetup was standing room only at Frontier Energy. We had an all-star set of presenters for the night—West Sac Mayor Chris Cabaldon, SMUD CEO Arlen Orchard, Sacramento’s Chief Innovation Officer Louis Stewart, and Sac State Transportation Engineering Professor Ghazan Khan. We held two CalSEED informational sessions and worked with several companies to apply.  When the winners were announced, four companies that had participated in CleanStart programs won.

Then after the first quarter, Covid changed how all of us interact. We were determined to continue our work building Sacramento as a cleantech hub.  So we started holding meetings with stakeholders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and more to keep the momentum going.

These virtual meetings turned into weekly web meetings called CleanStart Todos. These were short web meetings where we checked in with guests from around cleantech about their to-do list.  Through this, we created videos and updates to show all the activity that was still happening.  As social distancing continued, we turned the Todos into CleanStart Perspectives, where industry experts from startups, policy, investors, and researchers shared their thoughts and engaged with the audience. 

We had a total of 39 CleanStart todos and perspectives with over 850 attendees.  Check out all of them here with their videosHere is a playlist of our top ones.

Learning from the CleanStart Todos, we moved the meetups to the virtual world, where we saw attendance continue to grow.  Because of going virtual, we were able to live-stream them and make videos.  For the first virtual meetup, we partnered with AgStart for the GreenTech Meetup with over 110 registered. 

We then had cleantech meetups highlighting underserved communities, electrification, storage, and the Future of the Utility.

 Check them out:

Meetup Topic

CleanStart Mobility Panel

Recap

Video

Cleantech Meetup: Energy Storage

Recap

GreenTech Meetup — Waste-to-Energy

Recap 

Video

Cleantech Meetup: Electrification

Recap

Video

CleanTech Meetup — Electric Nights

Recap

Video

CleanTech Meetup –Supporting Underserved Communities

Recap

Video

CleanTech Meetup – Future of the Grid

Recap

Video

CleanTech Meetup – Rate Payers and the Grid

Recap

Video

 

We also continued connecting companies with investors with our Spotlight pitch events where investment-ready companies pitch to a feedback panel and investors. We held CleanStart Spotlight events in June and November.  Learn about the June Spotlight Companies here and the November ones here.  We also have a playlist of all companies who have pitched at our events here.

When you add all of these up, we had over 50 Events with over 1500 attendees, creating over 50 videos and 80 updates.  We reached even more by sharing the updates and videos on social media and virtual platforms. 

Now that is a beehive of activity, but it is not all we did. We worked to educate startups and mentor students looking at Entrepreneurship as a career.  We held the second CEO Crash Course and put on Global Entrepreneurship Week events with the College of Engineering and computer science. 

Our Second Annual CEO Crash Course had over 30 startups apply for our four-week, eight-class Crash Course.  We accepted the ones we felt best to fit our Clean Tech Criteria. They learned skills and Strategy from skilled industry experts across the board. Read about them here.

For Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020 we mentored early startups from the College of Engineering and computer science. It culminated in a Panel Discussion and a pitch event with $750 in prize money. 

 2020 had significant challenges we all are still facing, but it also provided opportunities to connect and show the world how active the clean tech hub is in Sacramento. Make sure you keep up with us.  Read our blogs and follow us  on social media.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thomas is the Executive Director of CleanStart. Thomas has a strong background in supporting small businesses, leadership, financial management and is proficient in working with nonprofits. He has a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics from California State University, Chico. Thomas has a passion for sustainability and a commitment to supporting non-profits in the region.

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | Tobin, Moss Adams GreenbergTraurig

BlueTech Valley, PowerSoft.biz, Revrnt, Synbyo, Momentum

College of Engineering & Computer Science at Sacramento State


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