Ecosystem Talks: University Led Economic Development

Dive into University Led Economic Development with Sherrod, Julie, and Cameron!

During this Q&A session, Sherrod, Julie & Cameron cover:

  • Emphasis on Regional Reach: The Carlson Center endeavors to assist a wide array of startup founders, extending beyond Sac State students to encompass the larger six-county MSA region.
  • University's Role: Highlighting universities as pivotal centers driving innovation and linking diverse ecosystem stakeholders, such as government bodies, businesses, and nonprofits, to foster regional development.
  • Adapting to the Pandemic: Transitioning from a physical space-centric approach to virtual engagement, prompting a broader outreach beyond the confines of the university.
  • Success Metrics: Success is gauged by financial milestones (e.g., $50 million raised by startups), network connections, and qualitative impacts. Challenges lie in defining success beyond measurable achievements, emphasizing entrepreneurial education and problem-solving assistance.

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About our Panelists

Julie Heath serves as Executive Director of IU Innovates, a new initiative that advances entrepreneurship at Indiana University. She co-chairs the Ecosystem Building Leadership Network, a project funded by the Kauffman Foundation. Previously, Heath developed the state of Indiana's first entrepreneurship ecosystem strategy. Prior to her work at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Heath was chief executive officer at a community-based organization with a mission to remove barriers to entrepreneurship. Her career has ranged from startup launch to program innovation at the Smithsonian Institution. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, spent the first fifteen years of her career on the East Coast, and now lives in Indianapolis and Bloomington, IN.Connect with Julie on Linkedin here.

Cameron Law is a Sacramento native who brings his passion and love for Sacramento as well as his experience in social ventures, venture capital, and economic development to the Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as the Executive Director. He is an active entrepreneurial ecosystem-builder and is working through the Carlsen Center to make the Greater Sacramento region a premier hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. He personally values love and service and brings this intention to building the region and serving the community and its entrepreneurs.

Additionally, Cameron is highly active in the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem where he is a co-founder and steward of the Sacramento Entrepreneurial Growth Alliance, a network of collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem builders committed to growing equitable entrepreneurial opportunities and fueling a thriving regional economy. He is an Organizer for for 1 Million Cups, where he works to empower and elevate Sacramento entrepreneurs. Most recently he was selected to serve as the California State Co-coordinator and Sacramento organizer for Global Entrepreneurship Week by leadership at the Global Entrepreneurship Network. He serves on the leadership team and board of, which is an accelerator for women-led tech businesses.

Cameron also is civically engaged as he serves on the City of Sacramento’s Inclusive Economic and Community Development Investment Committee, the nonprofit boards of the Neighborhood Wellness Foundation, Culture LabX, the Northern California World Trade Center and Advisory Board Member for the Growth Factory. Connect with Cameron on Linkedin here.

Sherrod is the CEO and co-founder of EcoMap Technologies. A Baltimore native, Sherrod has worked for several local startups in operational leadership roles including TrackOFF (acquired by Avast Software) and Protenus. At EcoMap, he's responsible for revenue operations and developing the team. Outside of work, Sherrod serves on the board of Codein the Schools and Retrain America. He also helped to found and serves on the steering committee for Baltimore Tracks, a local coalition intent on improving diversity in tech in Baltimore. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Jasmine Everett

Marketing Associate