Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Co-working

Hey, Sacramento: City Hall Is Calling for Our Help

Co-working, Corporate Training, Event Recap, Government, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Learning, Sacramento, Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda, Small Business, Startup Company, The WorkShop, Training, Workforce Development

Photo Credit: Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda

By Stephen Alfano, CSM
Recently, when I logged into an online presentation webinar covering the subject of “Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda,” I was expecting a rundown of the events and activities of the last few months.

What I got was just that, along with the details of several programs that begged for more discussion, plus an invitation to lean in, lend a hand, and hold on for the huge changes ahead for the City and the surrounding region. In short, I got the message: City Hall wants my help … and I’m all-in.

Here’s why:

  1. It will drive new business. Although the webinar format didn’t offer much of an opportunity to interact with hosts Maria MacGunigal, Chief Information Officer, City of Sacramento and Louis Stewart, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Sacramento, their presentation identified several initiatives where the tech sector will be crucial players and that translates into business opportunities for project management, program delivery, governance, and change management firms … like KAI Partners, Inc.
  2. It will support new infrastructure. For example, the presentation highlighted the Verizon 5G deal announced in November 2017, which will deliver state-of-the-art, high-speed Internet access throughout the Sacramento city limits, including free WiFi at 27 parks and common spaces. That boost in connectivity will help attract and accelerate the growth of start-ups and the supporting business services providers … like The WorkShop – Sacramento.
  3. It will fuel new workforce development. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, innovation is “the introduction of something new.” Frankly speaking, the ideas presented in the webinar have potential to reinvigorate or reinvent current workforce development planning; to shift from fulfilling tax-base or commercial real estate-focused goals to skills-building and economic empowerment programming. That shift will spark needs for more training and coaching and mentoring service providers … like the KAIP Academy.

I could easily list at least a half-dozen more reasons why supporting “Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda” is good for me and my colleagues at KAI Partners. Instead I’ll blog on a regular basis about the progress of City Hall’s agenda and its worthwhile set of goals; measuring and reporting on the impact of the three areas identified above and keeping track of how the “help” (like me) is doing as we lean in on the effort. Wish me and the City of Sacramento luck. Better still give me a shout if you’re looking to lend a hand.

About the Author: Stephen Alfano is an Organizational Change Management Consultant and Communications Expert. He has 30 years of experience leading and managing internal and external marketing initiatives for both private and public-sector clients. His résumé includes providing both new business and business process improvement services to Apple, American Express, AT&T, California Department of Transportation, Chevron, Entergy, Levi Strauss & Co., Louisiana Office of Tourism, Mattel, Microsoft, Novell, SONY, Sutter Health, and Wells Fargo. Stephen currently works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc., spearheading business development and leading the firm’s marketing and communications practice and line of business.

The WorkShop – Sacramento Co-working and Incubator Space Now Open in East Sacramento

Co-working, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Learning, Sacramento, Small Business, The WorkShop, Training, Workforce Development


Photo Credit: The WorkShop – Sacramento Instagram via Terry Daffin

KAI Partners is proud to announce the establishment of The WorkShop – Sacramento, our city’s newest business incubator and co-working space. Located at the Cannery Business Park in the McKinley Park neighborhood, The WorkShop serves as a community resource providing entrepreneurs, professionals, and organizations of all types the support and services they need to thrive.

In addition, The WorkShop is the new corporate office of KAI Partners, which includes the KAI Partners’ consulting services practice, the KAIP Academy, and The WorkShops Sacramento and Davis.

Here’s a little more information about our newest endeavor:

  • As a co-working space, The WorkShop provides customized, competitively priced workspaces, including dedicated office and desk space.
  • As a business support provider, The WorkShop provides a la carte services such as reception, IT, and mailing services, as well as access to meeting rooms.
  • As a business incubator, The WorkShop combines our amenities with business development services and access to expert advisors.
  • As the home of our workforce development arm, the KAIP Academy, The WorkShop offers training and certification in today’s most in-demand skills and disciplines.

KAI Partners’ CEO, David Kendall, says, “For over a decade, KAI Partners has helped drive IT modernization through civic and non-profit partnerships in the Sacramento region. We have seen the growth potential of our city firsthand and we are excited to open The WorkShop—with proper workforce development, innovation incubation and solution-driven partnerships, there is no limit to our community’s future.”

We’d love for you to keep updated on The WorkShop – Sacramento news by connecting on our social media channels:

If you’d like more information or to tour the new space, please email workshop@kaipartners.com or call 916-465-8065.

 

5 Ways to Foster Career and Personal Growth

Co-working, Corporate Training, KAIP Academy, Learning, Professional Development, Training, Workforce Development

By Terry Daffin

Change is growth. This is a simple statement that most people can probably agree on. Yet many of us resist because change is hard or we’re afraid or it’s uncomfortable.

I am entering my 35th year in the IT industry and I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of change not only in the technology industry, but in my professional career overall. Some change was planned and controlled (taking a new job or moving across the country), but many of the changes were not planned (learning a new programming language or the company I worked for going out of business) and I was forced to react and adapt to the change.

The one element that moved me through all of this change was my love of learning. With each change, there was something new to learn. There were things I wanted to learn and things I had to learn to survive. But continuous learning was the key to success each time. With each change, I experienced growth—new job, new responsibilities, new ideas, new people, new perspectives. Ultimately, each change was a stepping stone to a new challenge and success was made possible through continuous learning.

Continuous learning is not difficult, but it takes planning and discipline. Here are five things you can do today to plan for growth in your personal life and professional career.

  1. Read every day. This sounds simple, but with so many life distractions, reading is sometimes difficult to do daily. Make time to read something you are passionate about and something related to your career goals; pick a source with detailed information about a subject you are interested in learning about. I use a both Flipboard and Medium because they allow me to choose my areas of interest. Make your own schedule to read when it works best for you personally.
  2. Write and Share. After I read something, I like to jot down some notes about it. This helps me remember what I’ve read. You could write a review or a blog post about something you’ve read. Share it with someone and talk about it. Teach some one what you’ve just learned. You also might think about speaking as a presenter on the subject at your work or a conference.
  3. Practice What You Learn. If you really want to learn something new, practice it many times over to become proficient at new skill. For example, I enjoy photography and cooking. Easy to practice, right? Examine the result, get feedback, make adjustments, and do it again. Practice may be more difficult in the workplace, but if you let supervisors and co-workers know that you have something new you’d like to try, you may find that they will accommodate you and may even participate and give you feedback needed to make adjustments. Remember, don’t give up! Learn from practicing and experimenting and make adjustments necessary to produce a better product.
  4. Join a Group or an Association. This a fantastic way to grow when learning something new. I belong to several photography groups online that plan “get togethers” to practice techniques. It’s a great way to learn and get feedback without fear of failure because many of the participants are there for the same reason. There are hundreds of professional organizations that would welcome you as a participating member. If you are an entrepreneur for example, you might join The Startup Grind which is an organization that puts on events centered around new startups and innovation. There are hundreds of local chapters and certainly one near you. Groups and Associations are a terrific way to network with others who share your passion.
  5. Enroll in a Training Course. Training, whether online or in a classroom setting, is an essential part of growth. You can find any number of free courses on just about anything you want to learn, but usually the best training courses will cost you something. Training courses provide you with experts who can share details related to a topic with which they have personal experience because they have typically been practicing their craft for many years. These courses often come with a certification or an achievement credential and are valuable for your growth as a professional. Even if you have a higher-level degree from a college or university, training courses can give you valuable insights into your field of choice, making you more valuable to your organization. The growth potential is immeasurable as you will be looked upon and often called upon as the expert. This step can catapult you toward your ultimate professional goals.

Change is a part of life and you will grow while going through whatever change you experience. To maximize growth, it is essential to develop a plan and the discipline to learn continuously. You will be happy you made the investment.

About the Author: Terry Daffin is an Executive Consultant within KAI Partners. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years and has over 25 years of project management experience. As a public sector consultant in the health care industry, Mr. Daffin assisted in the development and implementation of Project Management Offices that include project management, service management, lean agile and traditional product development lifecycles, and governance processes. He has been an innovation advocate and evangelist for 15 years and has implemented innovative processes for projects that he has been engaged on since 2001. Mr. Daffin currently works as the Project Manager of the KAIP Academy, KAI Partners’ training division and is working to expand KAI Partners’ co-working organization into an innovation incubator/accelerator focused on connecting innovative start-ups and the public sector.

Fanning the Innovation Ecosystem Fire in the Sacramento Region

Co-working, Conferences, Event Recap, Extend Your Runway, Sacramento, Small Business, Startup Company, Technology, Workforce Development

Photo Credit: Greater Sacramento Economic Council

By Terry Daffin

It’s been an exciting time for the entrepreneur community in the Sacramento region.

  • It started with an announcement that the Founder Institute will officially launch its newest chapter in Sacramento based on the overwhelming response to the open house events they have hosted targeted at startups in the Greater Sacramento area.
  • As part of their Extend Your Runway campaign, Mayor Darrell Steinberg; Barry Broome, President and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council; and a host of Sacramento entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and local government innovation proponents infiltrated the heart of Silicon Valley to pitch a group of local entrepreneurs that Sacramento is the place to be for startups and innovation. Citing the benefits of direct access to talent via UC Davis and CSUS, cost of living efficiency (over 50% less than Bay Area), and access to the entire mega-region competitive marketplace (12.2 million people), Mayor Steinberg stated that Sacramento has the “attitude” to become one of the nation’s great locations for innovation and entrepreneurial startups.
  • Kevin Nagle, one of area’s most well-known entrepreneurs and partnership owner in both the Sacramento Kings and Sacramento Republic FC, spoke to a group of entrepreneurs in Davis at a Startup Grind Sacramento. Nagel relayed his own journey as an entrepreneur, sharing with the audience that he, along with other venture capitalists in the area, are interested in investing in startups here in the Sacramento region and encouraged them to stay in the region as opposed leaving for the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. He said that these venture capitalists were small in comparison but that he and other investors were planning to build a fund starting with $100 million that could reach as much as $250 million with the addition of other investment dollars from the area. This, he said will, “light a fire that has already been lit and make it go faster.”

So, what is this “fire” Nagel alluded to and how do we keep it burning?

In my view, the fire is the innovation ecosystem that has been sparked by creatives in many industries in the Sacramento region such as the arts, food and agriculture, and tech, among others. It is exciting to see and feel the energy and momentum the region has going right now. While a transplant from the Deep South, I have been a resident in Sacramento for 30+ years and have never been more encouraged by growth and opportunity than what is happening in our city and our region.

So, what will it take to fan the flames of this fire? Here are three things that I believe in combination will help the fire burn faster:

  1. Entrepreneurs: We need entrepreneurs to both stay and relocate to our region, and take up residence in business and in life. The entrepreneur is where the innovation begins. This fire is a nonstarter without the startup small business entrepreneur.
  2. Incubators and Accelerators: We need these institutions here in our community to help entrepreneurs mature not only the product they are selling, but the business that produces the product. Yes, the entrepreneur can probably figure these things out on their own, but studies have shown that the 5-year survival rate of business nurtured by incubators is 87%. By comparison, the survival rate of those entrepreneurs who do it alone without the support of incubators is only 44%.
  3. Venture Capitalists and Investors: When you ask seasoned and serial entrepreneurs, “What was the biggest challenge you faced during the startup of your business?”, you will most often hear “funding” or “under capitalization.” Sacramento has a short list of investors and venture capitalists who have publicly announced that a large percentage of their investment portfolio will be for companies in the Sacrament region. That is truly a huge benefit to local small businesses.

If we want our ecosystem for innovation to achieve success and become sustainable and scalable, these three things need to occur in combination. We need all three logs on the fire so others will see the smoke, come to investigate, and join in the excitement. Let’s keep this fire burning Sacramento!

About the Author: Terry Daffin is an Executive Consultant within KAI Partners. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years and has over 25 years of project management experience. As a public sector consultant in the health care industry, Mr. Daffin has assisted in the development and implementation of Project Management Offices that include project management, service management, lean agile and traditional product development lifecycles, and governance processes. He has been an innovation advocate and evangelist for 15 years and has implemented innovative processes for projects that he has been engaged on since 2001. He has worked with the California Medi-Cal Management and Information System (CA-MMIS) division of the Department of Health Care Services, California Franchise Tax Board, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, California Department of Consumer Affairs, California Board of Equalization, and California Department of Water Resources. Mr. Daffin is currently working on a project for KAI Partners to expand an existing co-working organization into an innovation incubator/accelerator focused on connecting innovative start-ups and the public sector.

Sacramento Business Journal TechEdge Event Recap

Co-working, Conferences, Event Recap, Government, KAI Partners, Marketing, Sacramento, Sacramento Business Journal TechEdge Event, Small Business, Startup Company, Technology

By Terry Daffin

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Sacramento Business Journal’s TechEdge event, held at the McClellan Event Center.

The event was well-attended by about 200 techies, startups, investor groups, incubator groups, and other individuals and groups interested in how to plug into the innovation explosion in the Sacramento region.

As I walked through the technology fair that was set up for vendors to display their offerings and shared what KAI Partners is embarking on in the way of a co-working/Incubator space in downtown Sacramento, I was taken aback by the openness and collaborative atmosphere of this group.

Many of the vendors and attendees I talked with were excited about more growth and even introduced me to others who they thought could help on our journey. I met and spoke to two founders of incubator/accelerator programs already here in Sacramento and they shared with me what they are doing, how they got started, and what they were planning to do in the future. The atmosphere was not one of competition, but one of growth for our region.

At the event, there was a program in which several speakers discussed what the future looks like for bringing innovators, startups, and investors to Sacramento.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui kicked off the event by speaking about how “Sacramento is on the move” and “the place to be” for innovation. She talked about how state and local government are embracing the innovation surge by changing policies to make it easier for businesses to start and thrive in the Sacramento region.

Rep. Matsui spoke about an initiative the City of Sacramento has regarding autonomous vehicles and noted that Sacramento will be a “test bed” for such innovation. She even talked about collaboration efforts with DMV to establish standards and mentioned the recent partnership with AT&T and how Sacramento will be building out infrastructure to support the new 5G technology to achieve net neutrality in our region.

Lokesh Sikaria of Moneta Ventures spoke about the exciting future growth in Sacramento. Of the eight largest trends in the tech industry, Sacramento will see explosive growth and opportunities in four:

  1. AI and machine learning
  2. Big data
  3. Autonomous vehicles
  4. Health 2.0

Mr. Sikaria asked, “Why Sac? Why Now?” and cited the following:

  • 200k + shared workforce
  • 20% of applicants of jobs are from the Bay Area
  • 300k + college students in the region
  • 50% lower cost of living than the Bay Area
  • Each tech job creates 5x the growth

In addition to the great speakers, there was a panel of startup business founders discussing how and why they came to the Sacramento region. The stories about their migration to the Sacramento region were unique, but had common themes such as the lower cost of doing business, the large number of experienced tech people, and the quality of life. They all said that before coming to Sacramento to explore doing business here, their perception of Sacramento was negative and that it was only after they came here and saw the growth and the transformation and the quality of Sacramento that they decided to make the move.

Overall, it was a very positive event with lots of excitement by everyone who attended. I think these are exciting times for our region!

About the Author: Terry Daffin is an Executive Consultant within KAI Partners. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years and has over 25 years of project management experience. As a public sector consultant in the health care industry, Mr. Daffin has assisted in the development and implementation of Project Management Offices that include project management, service management, lean agile and traditional product development lifecycles, and governance processes. He has been an innovation advocate and evangelist for 15 years and has implemented innovative processes for projects that he has been engaged on since 2001. He has worked with the California Medi-Cal Management and Information System (CA-MMIS) division of the Department of Health Care Services, California Franchise Tax Board, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, California Department of Consumer Affairs, California Board of Equalization, and California Department of Water Resources. Mr. Daffin is currently working on a project for KAI Partners to expand an existing co-working organization into an innovation incubator/accelerator focused on connecting innovative start-ups and the public sector.

« previous page