I recently had the great honor to kick off SARTA’s fourth annual Liquidity Event at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. The event welcomes entrepreneurs and business owners from around the Sacramento area to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and inspire the next round of small business owners that will continue to drive Sacramento to greatness. The event was emceed by my good buddy, Mayor Kevin Johnson, who has been an incredible advocate for the city and continually pushes for business growth and development. We heard from three local businesses, Travidia, KlickNation, and Superior Vision Holdings, who all went through liquidity events and shared their trials and tribulations with the crowd, as well as Scott Fritz, entrepreneur and author of “The 40 Hour Work Year.”

One of the most inspiring stories was from Mark Otero of KlickNation who failed 30 times before he found the right product that made his business a success – and unsurprisingly it was with something that he’s had a passion for since he was a child: video games! I am a firm believer that you have to have a personal tie-in to your business in order to drive you and your mission every day. For me, it’s always been saving families money on their monthly expenses, and this focus is a great testament to the success of my companies.

This event also honors one local entrepreneur with the annual “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” award. This year the award went to Billy Downing, president of the ESM Group, an incredible young guy that provides students the tools they need to excel in school and in their everyday lives. As someone who has struggled with dyslexia, I understand the need for these services and the immense difference they can make for our students. Stories like these are so inspiring, which is why I’m so excited to be involved with SARTA, the Sac Metro Chamber, EO, and the Liquidity Event. Sacramento has some excellent resources to help guide our area’s next entrepreneurs and small business owners to success, and I’m excited to see what these future business leaders have in store for our region.

Photo Credit: Tia Gemmell