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The Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship California State University, Sacramento

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Ecosystem Partnerships & Resources

The Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship aims to build strategic partnerships with key ecosystem stakeholders to leverage programmatic experts in targeted programs. Acting as a hub of entrepreneurial activity we will elevate effective programs and connect entrepreneurs to the resources they need.

NorCal Entrepreneur Hub

The NorCal Entrepreneur Hub enables innovators, startup founders, and small business owners to find and connect with the right resources for their business, including investors, universities, mentoring programs, networking groups, training programs, and more.

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Sacramento's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Accelerators, Incubators & Training Programs


CleanStart logo

CleanStart was founded in 2005 to accelerate the development of clean technology ventures within the Northern California region. Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs with the knowledge, capital, and connections that are critical to creating a successful new business. We do this by:

CONNECTING the Northern California region’s clean tech community through CleanTech Meetups.
PROMOTING the region’s clean tech economy in the annual CleanStart Progress Report, on social media & news outlets and at statewide and national events.
EDUCATING Clean tech business leaders through classes, professional resources, expert panels and the CEO Crash Course.

Connect with us through our Website, Linkedin or meet with us virtually.


fourthwave logo

FourthWave, an accelerator for women-led technology companies, and the Carlsen Center at Sacramento State University have partnered to amplify the rich opportunities for female tech entrepreneurs in the Sacramento region. Together, they are developing impactful programs and creating a network of advisors, investors and other women entrepreneurial leaders.

In 2020, a cohort of 13 female founders was selected to go through a 4-month program. A new cohort is planned for 2021 and will include a Fellowship for two students.

Learn More about the FourthWave Program

Growth Factory

growth factory logoThe Growth Factory is a nonprofit accelerator to support the companies that the fund* invests in with capacity building programs, and a community of partners, mentors, customers, advocates, and other founders.

Growth Factory Ventures* and the Growth Factory are designed to accelerate 100 local founders with world-class potential over the next 4 years.

Learn more about Sacramento Growth Factory

Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy

TOGETHER: Entrepreneurial Program

Logo for Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy

The ONLY team-based entrepreneurial bootcamp in the region that:

  • Teaches you to bring your project from an idea to an actual start-up
  • Offers a strong academic curriculum taught by professionals who have actually done it before
  • Goes over every section of a business plan: problems to solve / ideation, value prop & solution creation, go-to-market and business model and financial proforma
  • Encourages team creation and team work
  • Talks to potential investors
  • Helps connect you with leaders of our community and beyond (our 800+ alumni network)
  • Elevates you with personal mentorship and coaching each week of the 15-week journey
  • Relentlessly trains you to pitch and win!

Immigrants Rising

Immigrants Rising logo

Entrepreneurship opportunities are available for all immigrants, regardless of status. Immigrants Rising is an organization that "empowers undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation."

Ready to get started with your own business?

Additional Freelancing Resources


sac sbdc-logo

The Capital Region’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers no-cost business workshops for everyone interested in small business.

The Carlsen Center has partnered with Dan Casas-Murray of the SBDC on the Lean Innovator Series. Dan is the founder of Lean Innovator.

Lean Innovator Series

General Assembly

General Assembly logo

General Assembly is a pioneer in education and career transformation, specializing in today’s most in-demand skills. They offer programs in web development, data science and analysis, user experience design, digital marketing, product management, and more! They are the leading source for training, staffing, and career transitions; fostering a flourishing community of professionals pursuing careers they love.

Intro to Sacramento Startup Community

Funding Resources

DiverseCity Ventures

DiverseCity Ventures logo

Innovation thrives where diverse perspectives intersect and DiverseCity Ventures capitalizes on these intersections. A pre-seed / seed-stage firm, we accelerate scalable, technology-enabled companies that have positive social, economic, or environmental impact, inclusive teams, and demonstrate high potential for outsized returns.

*Growth Factory Ventures

Growth Factory Ventures is an early stage venture fund to invest into founders with world class potential who are leading high growth startups from the Greater Sacramento region.

Raising a $10 MM fund to invest in world-class founders of early-stage companies in Northern California that can effectively scale globally. Founders partner with us to join an innovation community, participate in our growth platform, and leverage the proximity advantage.

Startup Events & Activities


startupsac logo

Our vision for the Sacramento region is a vibrant, cohesive, connected, open and collaborative community of founders and innovators with ready access to information, resources, and mentors that accelerate their success.

To accomplish this vision, StartupSac's mission is to accelerate Sacramento’s startup and innovation ecosystem by informing, educating, empowering, and connecting its startup founders and innovators.

We do this by creating in-person and virtual events, workshops, and activities to connect, inform, and educate Sacramento’s entrepreneurs and innovators; by creating and sharing digital content, news, and resources that are relevant to startups and innovators; and by providing community support and outreach for the Sacramento startup community by guiding and connecting people to resources.


SacHacks logo

Design. Code. Launch. SacHacks is the first major intercollegiate hackathon in the Sacramento, California area. Our passion is to cultivate the untapped potential of those in Sac by providing them with the opportunity to launch their ideas in a public venue. We provide the place, you bring your ideas, and we have a friendly competition between all creative coders to launch their ideas into action during a 24-hour hackathon.

SacHacks 2021 Sacramento Tech Forum

The Sacramento Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Title for Sacramento Entrepreneurial Ecosystem video

Entrepreneurs are the heroes of the American economy and now, more than ever, they are on the front lines in the battle to revive our economic vitality.

Joining Mark Haney for this episode are several local leaders and boots on the ground community builders who have spent time in the trenches supporting our local founders. Meet Mark's teammate, Monique Brown, who is driving one of our new efforts to build a nonprofit accelerator called the Growth Factory; Laura Good and Jeff Bennett of StartupSac who have spearheaded everything from Startup Weekends to Startup Happy Hours and much more; and Cameron Law who is leading the charge at the Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Sacramento State with dynamic new programs and partnerships in support of entrepreneurs on campus and beyond.

The Importance of Entrepreneurship