Startup Pitch Mentor Round on October 17

Startup Pitch Mentor Round will be held at Sierra College on Wednesday, October 17 from 6-9 pm. Read the flyer.

Sierra College students will present their business ideas at to founders and serial entrepreneurs assembled by Steve Ricketts, Founder, SRicketts Consulting to mentor students’ fledgling businesses. Students are invited to join the audience to hear advice from the successful Sacramento area entrepreneurs. The Mentor Round will be held at Sierra College in Rocklin at the Fireside room in the cafeteria. Get tickets.

Local business leaders are committed to supporting home grown businesses, according to Ricketts. “There is untapped potential at Sierra College and business leaders are stepping in to mentor the next generation of startups,” said Ricketts. “These serial entrepreneurs will provide honest advice and referral to resources at no charge to increase students’ success in launching companies in the region.”

The mentors can take students to the next level and increase their success in making their dreams come true.

Sierra College is preparing students with entrepreneurial skills to support regional economic growth, according to Amy Schulz, Dean, Business and Technology Division, Sierra College. “The college is grateful to local business owners who are willing to share their expertise with student startups,” said Schulz. “Students can take business and entrepreneurship classes toward certificates and degrees. They can also join Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College to develop prototypes and take community education classes to gain startup skills. With this educational foundation, the mentors can take students to the next level and increase their success in making their dreams come true.”

Ricketts formed the Affiliate Mentor Program to help students who have developed business plans and created prototypes. The goal of Startup Pitch Mentor Round is to guide students in perfecting their business pitches and connecting with startup resources. “Students apply to present at Startup Pitch Mentor Round and receive mentors’ advice at no charge,” said Ricketts. “With the mentor feedback, students can refine their pitches, follow-up on suggested resources, connect with funders, and save time and money avoiding costly mistakes as they launch successful companies.”

The mentors include: David Dwelle, Co-Founder, Flyers Energy, LLC and Pacific Power Renewables; Jason France, Founder, President and Sole Owner, ClipperCreek, Inc.; Mark Haney, Founder, CEO, HaneyBiz and Host, The Mark Haney Show; Rand Heer, Founder, CEO, Pillar Corporation and Alight, Inc.; Aaron Klein, Co-Founder, CEO, Riskalyze, Inc.; Dr. Grover Lee, Founder, CEO, Wise Villa Winery and American Health Care; Don Whitaker, Founder, CEO, CERONIX, Inc.; Craig Mitchell, Partner, DCA Partners; Debbie Lowe Muramoto, Director, Women’s Business Center; Eric Ullrich, Co-Founder, Hacker Lab and Steve Ricketts, Founder, SRicketts Consulting.

I am really excited that Sierra College students now really have the support and resources needed to take their ideas to the next level.

Dennis Wingate, Business Professor, Sierra College, indicated that the Mentor program is an exciting step for the college.  “In our Business 141 course, we teach about product innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Wingate. “Some students are just now at the idea vetting stage and others have done market research to prove that their ideas have an opportunity in the market.  No two businesses are alike so by creating a mentorship program, we will be able to pair students with the right mentors to help them with the next stage of their businesses.”

Wingate has taught this course for four years and felt the one piece that has always been missing is the next step. “Students will benefit from the mentor connections to move forward in getting their businesses launched,” said Wingate. “I am really excited that Sierra College students now really have the support and resources needed to take their ideas to the next level.”

As well as the event on October 17, there will be additional Startup Pitch Mentor Rounds on February 20 and April 17, 2019, explained Ricketts. “As the program progresses, we will also open the door to non-Sierra College prospects in the greater Sacramento Area, who are screened and approved by the Entrepreneurship Program at Sierra College.”

Click here for tickets to Startup Pitch Mentor Round on October 17. For more information, contact Steve Ricketts at sricketts(at) or (530) 878-0112.

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. More information at