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During a Startup Expo event last fall at a packed house in midtown’s Hacker Lab, Brian Collins, VP of Marketing at Angel Hack, jumped up on top of a table and presented an inspiring call to action in which he boldly stated, “We are standing in the next great startup ecosystem. In Sacramento, we’ve created a true Incubation Island, a place where ideas flow freely and openly with little fear of reprisal or backstabbing. We have a place where anyone with an idea can come and build it out. ” Strong words for sure – similar sentiments are bandied about by other cities all over the world. So just what does it take for a city to build a strong startup scene?

Tyler Crowley is a startup entrepreneur with legitimate street cred for building startup scenes. In a Fast Company article last year, he shared four things that need to be in place in order to build a startup scene:

  1. A venue that is cheap and central, where meetups can take place
  2. A monthly event where all of the startups gather
  3. An established hashtag everyone in the community can use to share photos and event info
  4. A coworking space that is open 24/7

So how does Sacramento rate against these criteria?

1. A venue that is cheap and central, where meetups can take place.

Startup-Scene-1

Midtown has become a hub for dozens of events and meetups every month at coworking spaces such as Hacker Lab and The Urban Hive. It’s a rare evening when you won’t find multiple tech meetups at these two midtown venues. In addition to midtown, other hubs are popping up in other cities in the region such as Davis, Rocklin, and Elk Grove.

2. A monthly event where all of the startups gather.

Startup-Scene-2

There’s no shortage of monthly startup events in Sacramento. In fact the biggest challenge you may find is trying to attend them all. Monthly events include: Startup Grind, Beer and Geeks, monthly meetups for various developers such as Sacramento Javascript, Code for Sacramento Civic Hack nights, and more. Factor in additional startup-focused events such as Startup Weekends, hackathons, and Sacramento Startup Expo and it looks like Sacramento has this one covered. The only way to keep track of all that’s going on in the Sacramento startup event scene is to subscribe (free) to the Sacramento Startup Digest newsletter curated by Laura Good.

3. An established hashtag everyone in the community can use to share photos and event info.

Startup-Scene-3

The #sactech hashtag became the official hashtag of the Sacramento startup community at a January 2015 Sac Startup Expo and announced via Twitter “It’s official! Every #startup event in the #sacramento region should include #sactech hashtag proclaims @Bryan_Barton organizer of #sacexpo”

4. A coworking space that is open 24/7 so that when an outsider lands in the city, they have a place to go and meet tons of people in the scene.

Startup-Scene-4

In the 2015 Symmetry50.com top coworking spaces list, Sacramento once again had 3 coworking spaces listed in the top 100: Hacker Lab, Capsity, and The Urban Hive, all available 24/7 to members. Additional downtown coworking spaces include Outlet Coworking and The Trade.

And it’s not just limited to downtown Sacramento. Davis has Pollinate Davis. Hacker Lab recently opened another coworking space in Rocklin. Auburn Tech Incubator recently opened in Auburn and now with the opening of Innogrove, Elk Grove’s new coworking space, Elk Grove joins the Sacramento region.

That’s four out of four startup criteria met already, and momentum is still going strong with abundant opportunities for growth. So, have you got a great idea or just want to be a part of the growing Sacramento startup scene? Learn more about the event and register to come to Startup Weekend/Global Startup Battle Nov 13-15 in Elk Grove! See you there.

 

Jeff Bennett