growTech Fest 2019

2019 was our first ever growTECH Fest.

This was the Biggest Event for startups, investors, entrepreneurs, techies, students,
educators, business owners and community leaders. 

2019 Event details

Investor round table breakfast

This is an invite only Round Table Breakfast. Send us an email to find out how you can attend

Launch event at Sierra Nevada Big Room

Iconic Chico Startup Panel Discussion with the founders.

Startup Stories & pitches

Creating the next Startup to change the world? This is a good place to find out what it takes.  Stories and Pitches will be in front of our special guests Investor Panel.

growtech TALKS & TOURS

Meet growTECH company founders and learn their stories. Open to the public and students

Meet Our past Speakers

Jeff cresswell

Jeff Cresswell

Co-owner Klean Kanteen

Growing up at the foot of the Sierra, Jeff and his sister Michelle at an early age developed a passion for the outdoors and the connection between human behavior and the natural world.  They founded Klean Kanteen in Chico, CA. in 2004 to merge a business and their environmental passion.  Jeff remains a steward of the brands mission, and vision and is executive sponsor of Klean Kanteens Environment and Fair Labor Department, and is often found checking in with the folks at Klean or daydreaming of mountain biking, trail running, fly fishing, and free flowing rivers.


Ken Grossman

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ken Grossman founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in 1980, with the goal of providing his customers with the kind of beer he likes to drink.  He is known throughout the beer industry for his uncompromising approach to quality, financial savviness, and firm belief that a rising tide lifts all boats.  Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is a steadfastly family owned and operated business, run on Grossman’s philosophy of environmental, social and economic health, and is considered one of the premier craft breweries in the United States.

Debra Cannon


Lulus traces its beginnings to 1996, when mother and daughter team Debra Cannon and Colleen Winter opened a vintage boutique, Lulu’s Fashion Lounge, in Chico, California—Lulus, is based on Colleen Winter’s nickname.  The millennial fashion brand Lulus has closed on a later-stage capital round of $120 million in 2018.  “Our goal is to give our customers a bit of luxury without the price tag,” Winter told Forbes Lulus’ attire ranges from $16 to $300, turning it into a hit with Instagram-loving customers. Winter credits the brand’s success by focusing on customer service and building an engaged community on social media.


Dan Gonzales

Fifth Sun and Mariam Park

Dan Gonzales is the founder and owner of Fifth Sun, a 25 year old apparel design and manufacturing company based in Chico, California.  He earned his Civil Engineering degree from Chico State in 1986 and pursued a career as a licensed professional engineer for 6 years before starting the apparel company.  He is also the developer of the 220 Acre master planned development in SE Chico called Meriam Park. This year, they currently have under construction, 200 apartments, 43 single family homes and three commercial buildings simultaneously…and a restaurant.   X

Dana Grant Co-founder of Cali'flour Foods at growTECH Fest 2019 in Chico, CA

Dana Grant

Co-founder Cali'flour Foods

Cali’flour Foods was founded on the principles of healthy habits. Their products can be found in over 5000 stores.  Dana co-founded Cali’flour Foods but now works as an empowerment coach and consultant.  She is busy inspiring emerging women entrepreneurs.

_Paul headshot red

Paul Singh

Results Junkies

Paul is an entrepreneur, speaker, investor and Airstreamer. Previously: Managing Director @1776, Founder @disruptioncorp (acq by @1776), Partner @500Startups, EIR at USCIS / DHS. Find him at


growTech Fest 2019 Investors


Revenue Growth | Business

I am a dynamic, highly accomplished and results-oriented professional with over 5 years of experience in helping businesses achieve their revenue growth goals. I am recognized as a visionary and a creative thinker who is proven in sales and marketing with strong interpersonal and multi-tasking abilities that adhere and align to a company’s success. As a motivated individual, I have strong planning, organizational, and leadership skills – ensuring a seamless experience for employees and clients. I am a strategic financial analyst adept at meeting and exceeding company goals, steering marketing strategies, strong negotiation skills, and improving metrics for the company through effective leadership, and management expertise.


Entrepreneur | Investor

Paul is an entrepreneur, speaker, investor and Airstreamer. Previously, Paul was a Managing Director at 1776 and a General Partner in 1776’s Seed Fund. Prior to 1776, Paul was the founder of Disruption Corporation (acquired by 1776) and general partner of Disruption’s post-seed venture capital arm, Crystal Tech Fund. Before that, Paul was a Partner at 500 Startups, an accelerator and venture firm headquartered in Silicon Valley that has invested in over 1,500 companies across 50+ countries.  Paul has founded a few of his own startups (two successful exits and a number of failures in between) and spent some time at AOL, Carmax, PBworks and Symantec. Paul can be reached at  

Monique Brown

Haney Biz

Monique Brown has over 20 years of experience working alongside creative leaders to capture their visions and design strategic plans to bring them to life. She is currently the Vice President of Media & Operations for Haney Business Ventures where she is helping to build Sacramento’s first full service angel investment platform to help entrepreneurs be entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, expertise, and a community of entrepreneurs & investors.

She has served as Sacramento iHub coordinator, Strategic Advisor for I/O Labs, and as Operations Partner at Impact Venture Capital overseeing the growth and development of the Entrepreneurs Campus and Showcase activities and supporting the building and deepening of strategic relationships with corporate, foundation and government partners.

Outside of work, Monique enjoys “reinventing philanthropy” with her fellow board members and partners at Social Venture Partners of Sacramento. But most of all, she enjoys hanging out with her five daughters!


Sacramento Angels

The Sacramento Angels is a group of individuals who invest in early-stage Northern California companies (or close by regions of adjacent states).

The group meets once a month over dinner and listens to presentations from candidate companies. If some members show interest in a presenting company, the group facilitates their collaborative efforts to share further due diligence and negotiate of deal terms. Members act on their own behalf and make their own individual investment decisions.

Sacramento Angels membership is open to individuals who are accredited investors with the experience and desire to invest in and work directly with emerging-technology companies. The members have a wide range of backgrounds, including CEO’s, senior executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys and professional venture capitalists. They apply this considerable experience to assist their investments with board membership, business strategy and implementation, team building and fundraising.


Founders Institute

The Founder Institute is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, having helped launch over 3,500 companies across 180+ cities and six continents.

The company was founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi and his colleague, Jonathan Greechan. The idea for the program spawned from operating, where it became apparent that most entrepreneurs at the idea and launch stages lacked the structure, feedback, and support network needed to be successful.

News of the launch was announced on TechCrunch, the first Founder Institute program methodology was crowdsourced by over 10,000 CEO members of, and the inaugural program started in May 2009 in a small classroom at Stanford University. There were originally no plans to expand beyond Silicon Valley, but upon receiving immense inbound interest to launch the program in other cities, the Founder Institute began to expand. Today the program operates across 180 + cities and is localized into 9 languages.

In total, Founder Institute Alumni have raised over $800M and are worth an estimated $20B.

Mark Hagar

Entrepreneur In Residence

Angel investor, small business expert, turnaround consultant and radio personality Mark Hagar is the host of Your Business Matters, a small business themed talk show currently available on select radio stations and as a podcast on and iTunes. One of today’s most experienced and knowledgeable consultants, speaker and expert witness, he’s a prolific entrepreneur who’s founded, bought and sold multiple firms. His experience and education in the area of financially distressed small businesses has positioned Hagar as one of the foremost authorities on the issues faced by small business owners and he has been interviewed and quoted by numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, Fiscal Times Magazine, CFO Magazine and many newspapers as well as the Associated Press. Mark is currently a featured presenter on the Results Junkies North American Tech Tour traveling the US meeting with entrepreneurs and learning about American startup culture. Hagar was recently named to the Entrepreneur In Residence Network at Northumbria University in Newcastle England and is the Organizer for TEDxFortWayne.


Tech / Restaurant Investor

Edward Pizzarello is an entrepreneur hiding in a pizza maker’s body. Starting in culinary school trying to realize his dream of owning his own restaurant, he took left-hand turns into hotel management, consulting and angel and VC funding. For the past 8 years he’s written a travel blog (<>) and recorded a podcast (<>) while flying over 100,000 miles a year.


Moneta Ventures

Sabya Das is a Partner at Moneta Ventures. Sabya is a technology fanatic who focuses on the development and analysis of Moneta Ventures’ many internet and software based portfolio companies. Raised in Folsom, CA, he was always fascinated by technology, and has built and developed a multitude of web applications and products. Sabya evaluates new opportunities for investment and assists Moneta’s portfolio companies in a variety of operational roles. He joined Moneta Ventures as an Investment Analyst in 2014. Sabya graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a major in cognitive science/computational modeling


CEO Growth Factors

Growth Factors was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Prem Chand. From humble beginnings on a family farm in the small agricultural town of Biggs, California, Prem built Milestone Technologies, a large IT services firm. Under Prem’s, leadership, Milestone grew to employ approximately 2,000 people in 18 countries serving more than 200 clients. Prem stepped down as CEO in 2017 and started Growth Factors in February 2018.

Now, Prem and his team are dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs break through barriers and scale. Growth Factors applies market-proven methodologies aligning culture, marketing/brand, sales, data driven operations, IT infrastructure and financial resources with hands-on expertise to lead good companies to their highest potential.



Barbara DeHart fell in love with technology early in her life and has spent her career leading businesses in the media & entertainment technology industry. Barbara recently co-founded Sama Learning whose purpose is to use technology to teach technology, particularly in STEM. Barbara serves as an advisor to multiple media companies as well as an incubator for women-led startups.   She has extensive experience in product strategy & management, distribution & marketing and mergers & acquisitions and holds a bachelor’s degree from University of San Francisco.



Denise Ferre is a Partner at Moneta Ventures and its Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Moneta Ventures, Denise was the CFO and co-founder at Sparta Consulting, a global IT consulting firm. She spearheaded the financial operations of the $100+ million company with over 1,500 employees. Besides the financial operations, Denise was also responsible for HR, IT and legal departments at Sparta . Before Sparta, Denise was the Business Unit Controller at Rapidgm, a global IT consulting firm, and later assumed the role of U.S. Controller when the firm was acquired by Fujitsu in 2006. Denise has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Accounting



Our mission is to nurture growth, promote prosperity and foster collaboration for the betterwelfare of our region. We do so by offering emerging companies a forum to pitch their ideas,early seed capital, and mentorship in hopes that these companies contribute to positiveeconomic change in Shasta County.  

Sierra Angels

angel investment group

Sierra Angels is Nevada’s premier angel investment group founded in North Lake Tahoe in 1997. Our Membership consists of 50+ highly experienced executives and entrepreneurs who provide funding, mentoring and strategic introductions for meritorious early-stage technology companies primarily in Nevada and California. We also proactively collaborate with other angel groups throughout the Western States. To date, our Members have funded approximately 100 companies in a wide range of industries, including software, mobile, social media, IT, IoT, robotics, AI, cybersecurity,  health tech, clean tech, among others. Sierra Angels is a founding member, and on the Board of Angel Capital Association (ACA).


Day 1 Kickoff
  9:00AM10:30AMInvite Only Investor Round Table BreakfastMeriam Park’s Day Camp Coffee
  11:00AM12:00PMPaul Singh & Investors Office HoursSierra Nevada Big Room
  11:30AM12:30PMMain Event – Registration, Networking & FoodSierra Nevada Big Room
  12:30PM1:40PMIntro Remarks – Community / growTECH / EntrepreneursSierra Nevada Big Room
     Key Note with Paul Singh Results Junkies 
  1:40PM2:00PMIce Breaker, Sign Ups, BreakSierra Nevada Big Room
  2:00PM3:00PMIconic Startup Panel Discussion with – – Debra Cannon / Sierra Nevada – Ken Grossman / Klean Kanteen – Jeff Cresswell / Fifth Sun – Dan Gonzales / Cali’flour – Dana GrantSierra Nevada Big Room
  3:00PM3:10 PMBreak, Sign UpsSierra Nevada Big Room
  3:15PM5:00PMStartup Stories & Pitches in front of special guests Investor Panel – Curativly, Factor Five, Investor Keep, Eco2Mix, Barbless, Results Imagery, Rente and more!Sierra Nevada Big Room
  5:00PM5:30PMClosing RemarksSierra Nevada Big Room
  5:30 PM7:00 PMYummy Food, Appetizers, Drinks and NetworkingSierra Nevada Big Room
Day 2
  9:00AM10:00AMSpecial 1 Million Cups Chico with Paul Singh hosted at Chico StateChico State / Sylvesters Cafe
  10:15AM11:30AMChicostart Global Technology Sister Cities panel discussion with France and New ZealandChico State / Sylvesters Cafe
  12:00PM1:30PMSales & Marketing Leadership Lunch w/ Duane DufaultChico State / Sylvesters Cafe
  2:00PM4:00PMOffice Hours with Paul Singh and Chicostart Mentors
at BCAC TV Set.
BCACTV Studios
  4:30PM6:30PMgrowTECH company Lightning Talks Clockshark, Social High Rise, MC2, Worktruck Solutions, Theia, Results Imagery and moreTres Hombres / Blue Agave Room
  6:30PM8:00PMMEET YOUR LOCAL growTECH companies – Happy Hour and DinnerTres Hombres / Blue Agave Room
Day 3
  9:00AM11:00AMOffice hours with Paul SIngh at BCAC TV Set.BCACTV Studios
  10:00AM12:00PMWalking Tours Downtown Chico of Work Truck Solutions, Theia, and Social High RiseChicostart
  12:00PM1:00PMChicostart Mentors Lunch Open House at ChicostartChicostart
  2:00PM4:00PMgrowTECH Business Tour : Executive Coach to Clockshark, PocketPoints and MarketfleetChicostart
  4:00PM6:00PMEvent Wrap Up – Happy Hour Networking – Finale Raffle DrawingParkside Tap House

Tuesday Oct. 8th

  • Investor Round Table Breakfast (Invite Only @ Meriam Park Rooftop Patio)
  • Office Hours with Paul Singh Results Junkie and Chicostart Mentors


Wednesday Oct. 9th

  • Special 1 Million Cups Chico with Paul Singh hosted at Chico State
  • Chicostart Global Technology Sister Cities panel discussion with France and New Zealand
  • Sales & Marketing Leadership Lunch w/ Duane Dufault
  • Office Hours with Paul Singh and Chicostart Mentors
  • MEET YOUR LOCAL growTECH companies –  pitch dinner, lightning talks and happy hour 4:30-7pm Blue Agave room Tres

Thursday Oct. 10th

  • Paul Singh Office Hours
  • Chicostart Mentors Lunch open house
  • growTECH Business Tours for students and the public
  • Event Wrap Up appetizers and happy hour networking

TICKET OPTIONS (click “Select a Time” button, then the “Tickets” button then you will see options)
Students are free for all events, ask us for the promo code

  • 3 Day All Access Early Bird $150.00
  • 3 Day All Access Regular $200.00
  • 1 Day tickets $75

Look forward to seeing you all there,

The growTECH , Chicostart, Butte College – growTECH FEST 2019 Event Planning Committee!


Paul Singh

Paul is an entrepreneur, speaker, investor and Airstreamer. Previously, Paul was a Managing Director at 1776 and a General Partner in 1776’s Seed Fund. Prior to 1776, Paul was the founder of Disruption Corporation (acquired by 1776) and general partner of Disruption’s post-seed venture capital arm, Crystal Tech Fund. Before that, Paul was a Partner at 500 Startups, an accelerator and venture firm headquartered in Silicon Valley that has invested in over 1,500 companies across 50+ countries.  Paul has founded a few of his own startups (two successful exits and a number of failures in between) and spent some time at AOL, Carmax, PBworks and Symantec. Paul can be reached at