PowerUp Recap: Wine and Clean Energy Innovation

PowerUp Recap: Wine and Clean Energy Innovation

The PowerUp Networking Event, held at Lucide Winery, brought together a dynamic mix of clean energy enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and policy makers in an atmosphere pulsating with innovation and ideas. Attendees talked about Microgrids, Wind Power, AI energy management and Wine.

Kevin Luther, founder of Lucide Winery, shared his story of innovation in business served as the perfect backdrop for this unique gathering. He highlighted the matching innovation with what customers are willing to pay for. This led to discussions, connecting over wine and clean energy. The event sparked dialogues on reducing carbon footprints, implementing renewable energy sources, and leveraging cutting-edge technologies.

If you missed it, that is ok. We will be back at Lucid Winery on June 22nd. Make Sure to Join us!

The PowerUp Networking Event proved to be a catalyst for change, igniting a spark of creativity and fostering collaborations that would shape a more sustainable future. As attendees departed, they carried with them a shared vision: one where the power of clean energy merges with the timeless beauty of winemaking to create a world that thrives on innovation, sustainability, and a passion for a greener tomorrow.

Kvein Luther talking about innovation
Discussion Energy and WIne
CleanStart Exc. Director Thomas Hall talks clean tech
CleanTech Meetup Returns to in Person

CleanTech Meetup Returns to in Person

After 757 days with 100 virtual events CleanStart returned to in person networking with the CleanTech Meetup at the Hacker Lab on March 24th. It was exciting to see new faces and old ones.  We were joined by Kriztina Palone, Workforce Development Manager at City of Sacramento’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development, who helped in bringing together an exciting new tool in our efforts to connect the community to the Clean Tech Transition, the Cleantech Connect trailer.  

CleanTech Connect Trailer

CleanStarts out reach trailer, Cleantech Connect




We started this trailer back in 2020 before, well, everything. Now, with help from the CMC, BlueTech Valley, and the City of Sacramento, we have a trailer to help connect the larger community to the energy transition and inspire new entrepreneurs building the region as a clean tech hub. The trailer is a mobile event station, with Solar, Batteries, PAs, and TVs to help educate people on clean tech and entrepreneurship. Attendees loved the trailer we describe as our own little Nano Grid.

After networking, Kriztina Palone joined CleanStart’s Executive Director Thomas Hall for a bar stool discussion about how the city is leveraging funds and community groups to prepare Sacramentens for future careers. Palone is leading a second round of “Clean + Green Workforce Pathways Discussions” with industry leaders, local companies, and stakeholders to get input on what priorities the city should support. Palone shared how they are bringing together businesses and communities in a shared goal in taking advantage of the energy transition to create jobs and support equitable economic development. It is not just a policy goal for Palone but a personal one, wanting to see the region she grew up in thrive and grow.

A big opportunity discussed was bringing groups together to create a community energy project. Palone highlighted being from Del Paso she would love to see local communities benefit and grow. A community Energy Project could coordinate resources to get larger community and economic returns.  We encourage companies to engage with Palone and the City so we can build these projects. 

If you want to hear more check out the video below, and make sure you subscribe to attend future meetups.


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, River City Bank, GreenbergTraurig

BlueTech Valley, PowerSoft.biz, Revrnt, Synbyo, Califronia Mobility Center

CleanTech Meetup: Grid Tech taking us to Carbon Neutral

CleanTech Meetup: Grid Tech taking us to Carbon Neutral

At this month’s meetup, we will explore Grid Tech and how is it helping us move to Carbon Neutrality. Renewables are intermittent and electrification is changing ratepayer energy demand. To move to Zero Carbon the Grid must adapt. SMUDs 2030 goal is counting on Virtual Power Plants, Distributed Energy Resources, and Demand Response. Across the country there is a push for transmission backbones to connect Wind and Solar in the Mid-West with coastal regions.


  • James Frasher, Sr. Strategic Business Planner, Energy Storage and DER Operation at SMUD
  • Timothy Barat , Co-Founder & CEO at Gridware
Our New Associate share’s how Sac State Students are Connecting

Our New Associate share’s how Sac State Students are Connecting

It’s a crazy time right now! The entire world has been turned upside down! Millions of Americans all over have transitioned to an online format for almost every task in their daily life. In fact, millions of students across the United States have moved completely online for all things learning. I am one of those students.

Hi, my name is Srinjay Verma, I am a Computer Engineering student at Sacramento State University and CleanStarts new associate. I love technology and have a strong passion for learning new things. Some of my interests include programming, online media growth, and dancing. I am excited to be working at CleanStart and can’t wait to be sharing more of the best content with all of you. 

Many of my classes were immediately suspended following this outbreak and this was not unlike millions of other students. Educators from elementary to College level had to reevaluate and transform their coursework to an online format. This change was not smooth for both students and educators alike, as I experienced first hand. However, it was made easier by new online tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and the Google Drive Suite. Even though many of these online tools seemed foregn at first, the global pandemic has required every aspect of society to adapt. In fact, for online testing, a new tool called ProctorU provides teachers with a way to prevent students from cheating. The service gives each student a human proctor and requires the student to allow the proctor access to their computer via remote control to prevent any unauthorized access to websites. It also uses the webcam to make sure the room where the student is taking the exam is secure. Tools such as this were scarcely used prior to this outbreak, however now are essential to online learning. In addition, I have had professors of mine have students use project management tools such as Monday.com to keep them organized and on track with their assignments. 

Not only have students had to adapt on the schoolwork front, but we have also had to change the way we interact and meet one another. Yes, the majority of it is through video conferencing tools such as FaceTime, Zoom, Google Duo, and WhatsApp. Although many students have been spending time on staple social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, while other students have been gravitating to newer social media apps such as Tik Tok, Byte, Google Shorts, and Caffeine. Tik Tok, Byte and Google Shorts allow users to share short little clips of video with specific sounds attached. Many students have moved over to these platforms as it allows them to share information in a new way that connects them with others of similar interests. Caffeine is especially interesting as it is a live streaming service that allows users to share TV and multiple users at the same time. Users watching can also react with different “reactions”. This has allowed students to present live to the class with immediate feedback and engagement from the class. Thus mimicking a real live environment.

These new technology tools such as these have helped ease the transition to a fully online world. In fact, many of these tools can and have been used by various companies to help bolster productivity in the workplace. Hopefully I shared a new tool that you can benefit from in these weird times!

Glad I got to share this update with all of you! Look forward to sharing more soon!


Srinjay Verma is a Computer Engineering student at Sacramento State University. Who loves technology and has a strong passion for learning new things. He is excited to be working at CleanStart and making a difference in the technology field.

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | Tobin, EY, Stoel Rives

BlueTech Valley,  Moss Adams, PowerSoft.biz

College of Engineering & Computer Science at Sacramento State