Sacramento State will become hub for innovators during Global Entrepreneurship Week

Sacramento State will be the hub for creators, innovators and job creators in the region during this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), and the Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will ensure the university is a national leader.

“This year the Sacramento area is No. 2 in the nation with 52 events, and the Carlsen Center is No. 1 for collegiate campaigns,” said Cameron Love, executive director of the Carlsen Center.

The center, located on campus in the University Library, organizes more than 30 scheduled events, including Quick Meet the Coach, a pitch competition with $20,000 in cash prizes, and a diverse lineup of speakers.

“People are looking at this region as a place to innovate and support entrepreneurship by placing themselves in international and national rankings.”

The event will be held November 14-18 and will be held in person for the first time since 2019.

Global Entrepreneurship Week began in 2008 and involves 10 million people in more than 40,000 activities, organizations in 200 countries.

Laura Good, co-founder of StartupSac, said: “If anyone has ever had a business idea, there are plenty of events going on this week that can help them learn how to take that idea forward. move.”

“If they’ve ever thought they might want to go into business for themselves, or if they have that killer idea that will change the world, there are plenty of resources throughout GEW to help them get started on their journey. “

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Sacramento has hosted several events in the past. When the Carlsen Center opened in 2017, Sac State became the regional hub for GEW activities, said Emma Goode, whose organization supports entrepreneurship in the greater Sacramento area.

“With its increased community focus, the Carlsen Center at Sac State has been a truly wonderful addition to our region’s entrepreneurial support fabric,” Goode said. “Having that kind of vision creates a win-win and helps connect grassroots efforts and people who have the money to support things like this.”

Shortly after Lau took over as executive director of the Carlsen Center in 2019, she was named community organizer for GEW Sacramento. That same year, he launched two new events: The State of Sacramento Entrepreneurship and the Spark Investment Competition.

“State of the Union is really about bringing leaders together to talk about the future of Sacramento and how we can connect more deeply to advance the role of entrepreneurship in building the region,” Love said.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jason Gill, an entrepreneur and head of government affairs at Right to Start, a nonprofit organization that fights to expand entrepreneurial opportunities. He will discuss “open opportunity for all” and ways to overcome barriers to starting a business.

“The Carlsen Center at Sac State, with its increased community focus, has been a truly wonderful addition to our region’s entrepreneurial support fabric. “Having that kind of vision creates a win-win and helps to join grassroots efforts and people who have the money to support such things.” — Laura Goode, co-founder of StartupSac

During the Spark Investment Competition on November 16, founders will pitch their business ideas for a chance to win cash prizes. It is one of the few pitches in the region for early-stage startups. It also offers two separate competitions for social change ventures and for-profit businesses.

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This year, the applicant pool grew by more than 35 percent, and more than 50 founders from the Sacramento area competed in the first round of judging. Ten finalists will compete during GEW.

We went from 40 or so to 50 and saw a number of these organizations continue to grow and win other pitch competitions in the area like Kings Capitalize and Pitch Elk Grove.

First prize winners will receive $7,500 per track and second place winners will receive $2,500, making Spark Venture one of the region’s largest cash prize racing events.

Also speaking this year is Kwame Anko, executive director of the Black Star Fund, who also serves on the Carlsen Center’s advisory board. Anku examines opportunities and possibilities as a mindset to create success.

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“Entrepreneurship is a very effective method of economic development and growth,” Goode said. Every entrepreneur is potentially creating jobs for himself as well as for other people. … If you support entrepreneurship in your community, you will have internal successes that will create jobs for the community and also bring money to the region.”

Sac State’s GEW got a boost in 2019 when Western Health Advantage gave the Carlsen Center $1 million to develop the program. Since then, Sacramento has ranked among the top five cities in the nation for the number of GEW events.

“Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems and creating value,” Love said. “It’s a dangerous and vulnerable endeavor, but it’s vital to our region’s social and economic progress.

I look forward to this week empowering new change makers and creators as well as entrepreneurs who needed that jolt of community and inspiration.

Five students in green shirts reading "#SacState innovates," Standing next to a digital screen and reading "Global Entrepreneurship Week"
Students celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019. Saramento State is #1 in the nation for the number of on-campus GEW events. (Sacramento State file/Jessica Vernone)

About Jennifer K. Morita

Jennifer K. Murrieta committed to Sacramento State in 2022. A former reporter for the Sacramento Bee, she spent several years writing freelance with Motherhood. When she’s not riding her two daughters, she enjoys reading mysteries, experimenting with recipes, and Zumba.


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