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Innovation in California: Startups, Funding & Policy

  • Jun 3, 2014 · 6:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

We are so excited to have Mavenlink host us for this special event at their brand new offices in Irvine. Joined by special guests Kish Rajan and Mike Montgomery, we will have a lively conversation on the state of startups and innovation in California, public policy and how it impacts startups specifically, and trends in private/public financing options for new business formation

• Welcome to Mavenlink - Sean Crafts, Chief Customer Officer, Mavenlink

• CA Economy and the importance of Innovation - Kish Rajan, Director at California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO Biz)

• Panel Q&A - Ray Grainger, CEO and Founder, Mavenlink; Kish Rajan, Mike Montgomery, Executive Director of CALinnovates


Speaker Bio's:

Kish Rajan serves as Director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. 

He brings to the job a 20-year track record of success in both government and the private sector.

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Kish Rajan began his public sector career on Capitol Hill as an aide first to United States Senator Barbara Boxer and then later to Phil Angelides who went on to become California State Treasurer. 

In 2012, Governor Brown appointed Kish Rajan as the GO-Biz director to lead the executive team. His directive from Governor Brown is to enhance California’s job creation effort by streamlining business regulations, promoting statewide economic development and fostering greater international trade opportunities.Kish Rajan serves as Director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. 

Ray Grainger has over 20 years of experience in high technology consulting. Before Mavenlink, Mr. Grainger was the Executive Vice President of Professional Services and Strategic Alliances at InQuira (now Oracle). Prior, he was a Global Managing Partner in Accenture’s High-tech practice for 17 years. 

He also served on two expeditions to Antarctica and was awarded a congressional medal. Mr. Grainger holds a BS in Engineering with distinction from Harvey Mudd College where he is a Trustee and the Chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee.

Mike Montgomery 

Mike Montgomery is the Executive Director of CALinnovates.

Mike is a veteran strategist with extensive experience working at the local, state and federal levels. Throughout his career, Mike has worked on political, fundraising, legal, public policy and new media issues in both the public and private sectors.

Mike’s work in California began on Governor Gray Davis’s campaign, where he served as the Northern California Finance Director. In this capacity, Mike directed all fundraising efforts throughout the Northern California territory, working as the Governor’s principal campaign advisor in the region.

Mike is a sought-after voice on technology and innovation issues, and has been published in the San Jose Mercury News, the OC Register, Huffington Post, TechZulu and TechWire.

Mike is a graduate of the University of Washington.

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  • Hassan

    Actual honest dialog about real problems faced in a start-up, plus thought provoking ideas for those of us still pondering where to invest time and money. Definitely worthwhile. Looking forward to the next one.

    August 7, 2014

  • Kamran A.

    It was good informative meeting. Panel was insightful regarding the different aspects of being involved in a startup.

    June 6, 2014

  • James


    June 5, 2014

  • John G. L.

    Excellent. Great to hear the hard questions asked - though I don't think there were any good answers to those.

    June 5, 2014

  • neil j.

    Bummed I had to miss this. Perils of managing teams overseas :(. Looking forward to attending the next one

    June 4, 2014

  • Dr S S.

    Very good event.
    Good panel & good questions.

    June 4, 2014

  • tom m.

    Fantastic location. Good simple snacks and drinks prior to the panel. Great speakers who know their stuff. Provide glimpse into what open government can mean big disruption and opportunities for innovators

    June 4, 2014

  • Anil Pattni t.

    Great event yesterday! I know there were a couple of questions regarding raising funding for your early stage startups prior meeting midsize banks requirements.
    One alternative would be to pitch to investors such as Private Capital Network and if your interested in participating, you can submit your startup now at: If you have any questions, please contact me directly.

    1 · June 4, 2014

  • Dennis G.

    The host was most gracious in sharing their story of beginning. It is obviously a very successful startup with highly competent management. But it may not be the model for most of the members of the group since they are mostly engineers/developers with an idea and little else. A more modest game plan would have been well received. Basic organization and the importance of finding that first customer would have been a good discussion. ( Forgive the picture - it is me and my daughter - it keeps surfacing without control)

    1 · June 4, 2014

  • Taylor L. K.

    I enjoyed it, I wasn't able to stay the full length as I tend to want to find the "meat" in a discussion quickly. Overall, I found it engaging and it opened up a broader conversation to the relationship between state level & local banks, startup/innovation, et.

    1 · June 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great topics and insightful panel discussions. Always worth it. Thanks for hosting.

    June 4, 2014

  • Alex S.

    What an impressive and talented group of people who belong to this community of diverse entrepreneurs. Last night was my first time attending this group, and I must say... I was impressed. I'm certainly looking forward to the next meeting. Much success to you all!

    1 · June 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome event, can't wait until the next one!

    June 3, 2014

  • Nathan Z.

    Overall, a very good panel to talk about these specific topics. My recommendation is to dig deeper and relate more to the entrepreneurs out there that might not have the family/friends to fund the initial phase of their projects. I would love to hear about examples of how individuals turned their ideas into success stories. Bottom line, great event, truly enjoyed my first meetup.

    3 · June 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    On waiting list, looking forward for an open spot

    June 3, 2014

  • Patrick W.

    I am glad to meet everyone in OC Tech Startup.

    June 3, 2014

  • neil j.

    looking forward to meeting everyone. Lot of Apple Announcements today. Wonder what it means for startups!

    June 2, 2014

  • jawen

    I am a entrepreneur

    May 29, 2014

  • Ben M.

    Congrats on the new offices. We're in the market for a new space as well. We'll have to catch up sometime. Unfortunately can't make it on Tuesday.

    May 28, 2014

  • David K.

    I will be there

    May 16, 2014

  • Malcolm F.

    I'm looking forward to it!

    May 13, 2014

  • Malcolm F.

    I'm looking forward to it!

    May 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am software development professional.

    May 12, 2014

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