Congressman Bera meets with local start up business owners

Congressman Bera meets with local start up business owners


On Tuesday Congressman Ami Bera attended a meeting of local start up business owners that was held at Elk Grove’s InnoGrove Coworking, which is a local business that helps start up businesses and offers co-working spaces.


Congressman Bera discussed some of the issues facing businesses as we move forward through the 21st century. How can government and businesses get on the same page? He expressed concern that government isn’t doing enough to help businesses, and that some of the regulations and taxes were burdensome on businesses starting out. He talked of “reinventing” government to deal with the future.


One of the other challenges he noted was that there are “two” America’s. The larger cities and the rural areas. He said he feared that rural areas were falling farther behind. He said more needs to be done to help the rural areas get caught up.


Some of the other things he touched on:

How will automation affect the future of jobs, medical industry and schools? Bera said he would like to see education use technology to reduce costs by eliminating textbooks and relying more on technology.  He joked that Apple would probably be happy to supply everyone with an iPad. He said he envisions more college level education being done online to cut costs.  He said one of the problems with enacting changes is the going against the establishment. Education is big business and they will not want to change. Also the textbook manufacturers will push back against eliminating text books.


The changing face of retail space. As more and more big box stores become vacant, what will the space be used for? Housing? A place for multiple businesses?


California losing businesses.  Bera was critical of Governor Brown for not fighting hard enough to keep businesses here by offering taxes breaks and reduced regulations.  He said not only do we need to try and create new businesses, but we need to keep the existing businesses here too.  Along those lines he said he would like to see the facilities at Aerojet be used to lure engineers and businesses from the Silicon Valley.  He said he would like to see the Sacramento area do more to bring Silicon Valley companies here. The cost of land and housing in the Bay Area, will make Sacramento a viable destination.


The cannibus industry.  Bera said he thinks that under the Trump administration that things will go backwards at the Federal level.  He said he supports state’s rights on this and other issues. He noted that he felt like Republicans and Democrats had switched roles and that democrats were becoming defenders of state’s rights and Republicans were defending big government.  When the conversation turned to the topic of Washington DC, Bera said he is optimistic that the two sides can work together on issues like health care.


Video of 20 minutes of the hour long meeting can be seen below


The list of attendees:


Anders Rehnval, CEO, eze System

Kim Box, CEO, Gatekeeper Innovation

Michele Wong, CEO, CleanWorld + Synergex

Michael Purnell, CEO, Sievent

Henrick Westergaar, CEO, Smart Grid Billing

Casey Call, CEO, Green Wheel Gardens 

Georgia Richards, Intern, Green Wheel Gardens

Nathan Mann, Intern, Green Wheel Gardens

Rich Foreman, CEO, Apptology

Criss Come, Cofounder, Two Wires Lab

Navneet.Grewal, President, Yellow Circle

Ken Beecham, CEO, Citygrene

Mariah Lichtenstern, CEO, Cineshares + Founder Institute + Diverse City Ventures

Peter Hansell, CEO, TableStar Games

Gary Simon & Thomas Hall, CleanStart

John Selep, AgStart

Chris Wood, MedStart + Dignity Health

Sabya Das, Associate Partner, Moneta Ventures

Doc Souza, Elk Grove Laguna Forums

Jeff Bennett, cofounder, StartupSac

Laura Good, cofounder, StartupSac

Steve Barnett, owner,  InnoGrove

Faith Roberts, office & community manager, InnoGrove

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