The Nest Accelerator

Acceleration of Circular Economy Micro-Manufacturing

Accelerating Local Creatives for a Sustainable Future

We’re thrilled to have you as a participant in the Nest’s inaugural cohort, made possible through generous funding from the city of Sacramento’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship ECO System fund. At Nest, we believe in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of our local creatives and propelling their ventures to new heights!


One-On-One Mentorship Meetings

From brainstorming and PR sessions to technical assistance to ensure you have the right tools to help your business grow.

Learning Business & Start Up Concepts

You’ll learn key business terms such as beachhead markets and minimal viable product as well as methods of growth and ways to raise capital.

Connections to Investors & Capital

We’ll help you find and forge valuable partnerships and business opportunities. 


Arcane Moon
Beale Hot Sauce
Candle Wonders
Epiphany Media
Island Girl Art
Joyce Pierce Alchemies
KC Kombucha
Lorna M Designs
Miche Niche
Nida Akhtar Studio
Spacepig Press
Sunshine Studios


Unlocking potential and fostering innovation, Nest’s accelerator program thrives on a foundation of mentorship excellence. Our network of seasoned mentors represents a wealth of diverse expertise, providing invaluable guidance to participants navigating the entrepreneurial landscape. From industry veterans to tech trailblazers, these mentors offer tailored insights, strategic advice and constructive feedback, empowering each participant to refine their vision and realize their full potential. Our mentors play a pivotal role in shaping and nurturing the growth of participant’s business, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today’s dynamic market.

Key Program Team


Shira’s meetings aim to determine the optimal direction for your business’s growth, address questions related to sustainability and circular economy practices and ensure program compatibility.


Deborah will be your Lead Mentor, meeting with you monthly to ensure you are taking advantage of the various program services and technical assistance provided as well as meeting Nest program milestones. 


Thomas will help you find your market, technology, and stock. 


Luke is an Attorney at Law. and an Atrium board member. If you have a question that might be holding back your business.  that coffee with an attorney would give you peace of mind you are going in the right direction. Email him for coffee and a chat- He is a great soundboard

Katy with Katy Kaptures is filming the program’s progress. Interviews of you and company products. Raw footage will be uploaded and organized into folders for participants to use as they wish. Additional Interview Sessions will be scheduled soon.


Nancy will be the Public Relations expert working to find ways to increase public exposure of your growing, sustainable business. Scheduling a meeting with Nancy will enable her to better understand your business for PR opportunities.


California Capital Women's Business Center

The California Capital Women’s Business Center provides free business start-up and development assistance for small business owners. You don’t have to be a woman to receive services, all are welcome, to receive financing assistance, educational workshops, online business training, and one-on-one assistance.

Additional Program Contacts

Jason Jong
Sac. Office of Arts & Culture
Jason is the Creative Economy Manager for the City of Sacramento. Jason will not be providing one-on-one mentorship but his contact information is here if you need direct contact with our city arts and culture department.
Luke VanderDrift
Attorney at Law
Luke is the Atrium board attorney, an administrative law judge, and a professor in the Criminal Justice department at California State University - Sacramento. He is quite insightful. Email him and buy him coffee to chat - great soundboard.
Thomas Hall
Clean Tech Start-up
Executive Director of CleanStart, accelerating the development of clean technology ventures within the Greater Sacramento Region. He can help you understand and find your target beach head market plus he is a great sounding board for ideas. Use the calendly link to book a Zoom meeting.
Chase Stremsterfer
Sacramento County BERC
Sacramento County business and environmentalist mentor. He can help businesses navigate through county environmental regulations. Air quality regulation, hazardous materials/waste, stormwater regulation, wastewater regulation, zoning code, and coordinating BERC’s Sustainable Business Program which certifies businesses that go above and beyond normal environmental compliance. Email to setup a meeting.
Jerrod Voong
Sacramento County BERC
Economic Development Specialist - can help with any Sacramento county red tape issues that are holding your business back from scaling, or moving into a new location. Email Jerrod to set up a meeting.
Charley Ansbach
Social Entrepeneur
Executive Advisor at Evolution Accelerator preparing new and growing companies to raise capital and build sustainability into their core strategies. He is a big deal and an OG. Email him to set a time to connect.
Phil Scott
Economic Development
Business owner, coach, community servant, and resident in the City of Folsom who helps facilitate the growth of businesses. He has managed many businesses and understands the difficulty of running a small business. Reach out via email to set a time to meet.
James Lungi
James does loans that are hard to do. Real Estate and Mortgage Marketing Specialist. Also a marketing specialist with salesforce - 3X Salesforce CRM Certified Expert. Email him with questions on marketing and housing ownership, equity building, and mortgage finance.
Keith Leonard
Small Business Banker
Small Business Specialist at U.S. Bank, can conduct in-depth market research and competitive analysis to identify emerging trends, opportunities, and threats. Email him if you have bank questions or need some competitive analysis done.
Aubree Smith
Sac. Innovation-Economic Dev.
Development Project Manager in the Office of Innovation & Economic Development at City of Sacramento, overseeing this city-funded accelerator program. Will be reporting to the city manager on our program's success.
Laura Fickle
Economic Development
Laura is an economic development consultant with Choose Folsom and with Communities Strong Strategies. If you are interested in expanding into Folsom she can help. She is a wealth of knowledge and ideas.
Megan Van Voorhis
Sac. Convention-Cultural Svcs.
Megan is the Director of Convention and Cultural Services (Jason's Boss) she will not be providing direct mentorship but oversees many of the city's cultural programs and is looking forward to reporting on the success of this cohort.

Online Growth Stages:

Selling on Atrium / Etsy
Selling on your own website
Selling on Online Wholesale space (like Faire)
Selling on Amazon 
Selling on Big Box Stores Online marketplace.

Retail Growth Stages:

Starting at craft markets
Selling at Atrium
Selling at multiple local stores (manually managing inventory)
Selling at boutique retail chains ( Marshall Retail Group, Sally’s)
Selling in Big Box Stores


Understanding 70% of Retail - Big Box Stores Lingo & Process

Online Wholesale Markets - Pros and Cons

Top 5 Online Wholesale Marketplaces For Makers and Brands
10 Tips to Improve Your Faire Account Now.

Retail Buyers and Local Stores

How To Find Retail Buyers (what not to say!)
Buyer Stationary Story -Getting Into Retail Stores
Shelf Presentation, UPC; Case pack sales (tips & tricks)

Y Combinator

Building Confidence in Yourself & Your Ideas
Stop Innovating On the Wrong Ideas
Why Founders Shouldn't Think Like Investors
How to Convert More Visitors Into Customers
Biggest Mistakes First Time Founders Make
Pitching Investors vs. Pitching Customers
How Much Equity to Give Your Co-Founder
Business Models & Pricing Structures

Growing Handmade

Growing a handmade business in 2024
2024 handmade business tips
Successful Online Shop: Ultimate Checklist
use ChatGPT for your handmade business


Retail & Wholesale Markets

Business Templates & Articles to Hone Your Skills

Program Documents to Drive Program Success

Is there a resource you would like to see that isn't in our library? Let us know and we will add it here -