Sierra College Students Shape Up Their Entrepreneurial Skills by Joining Hacker Lab’s Startup Hustle

To guide those who have dreamed of creating a new product or service, Sierra College is co-sponsoring Hacker Lab’s Startup Hustle in March 2018 to help Sacramento-area innovators shape up their entrepreneurial mindsets.

Pre-events start on March 8 and the eight session weekly program starts March 15 with the pitch night scheduled for May 10. Each week, participants will take action to discover potential buyers, locate markets and engage with customers.  Sessions will be offered at both Hacker Lab in Midtown Sacramento and at Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College in Rocklin. Students are encouraged to apply. The investment is $49 for Sierra College students, $149 for Hacker Lab members and $199 for non-members. Learn more at the Startup Hustle website.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom and meet other people who want to start businesses.

Sierra College is inspiring innovation across the region through college coursework and partnerships with community makerspaces where entrepreneurs can connect with creative makers, start companies and build prototypes using laser cutters, electronics, sewing machines, CNC mills, welders, 3D printers and many other tools, explained Dominic Felipe Gutierrez, Sierra Makerspaces Director. “Hacker Lab has a proven record of coaching people through Startup Hustle to launch new businesses,” said Gutierrez.

Startup Hustle provides real world business startup experience. “Participants appreciate developing new skills, accessing mentoring and getting support to take action,” said Gutierrez. “This is an excellent opportunity for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom and meet other people who want to start businesses.”

Working with a group of fellow entrepreneurs helps everyone move forward faster.

With support from mentors, weekly instruction and startup tools, Startup Hustle participants will examine their ideas through the eyes of customers and refine their concepts to meet market needs, explained Dan Casas-Murray, Startup Hustle Coordinator, Hacker Lab. “We help entrepreneurs connect with customers, validate their solutions, develop basic prototypes and then prepare a pitch to entice buyers and funders,” said Casas-Murray. “Working with a group of fellow entrepreneurs helps everyone move forward faster.”

According to Steve Dicus, Deputy Sector Navigator for Advanced Manufacturing, housed at Sierra College, the customized manufacturing sector in Northern California supports new product developers. “So many people have product ideas but they don’t know how to develop the concept,” said Dicus. “Startup Hustle is the ideal resource to move from idea to prototype and then commercialization. All manufacturers began as entrepreneurs with big ideas.”

Sponsors of Startup Hustle include SMUD, Sierra College, City of Rocklin, Sierra Makerspaces, The Shop VSP Global, Sierra College Workforce Development and California Community Colleges Workforce and Economic Development Division.

For more information about participating in Hacker Lab’s Startup Hustle or becoming a sponsor/mentor, please go to the Startup Hustle website  or email:  startuphustle(at)

For information about Sierra Makerspaces, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (916) 913-2708 or dominic(at) and visit Sierra Makerspaces website. Sierra College is also leading the statewide CCC Maker initiative to build 24 community college makerspaces through a California Community College Chancellor’s Office Workforce Development Initiative under the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy Framework.

About Hacker Lab 

Established in 2012 in Sacramento, Hacker Lab aims to educate folks and spark innovation with community driven resources. Offering co-working, maker space, courses, meet-ups and events, Hacker Lab believes that technology can change the world and the starting point is education. Hacker Lab has locations in Sacramento and Rocklin. Learn more at the Hacker Lab website .

Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four year Universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. 

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