Guest post from Councilmember Jay Schenirer: Just What the Doctor Ordered

04/20/2016 | By Maria Navas-Moreno

This post originally appeared on

Startup Weekend Sacramento: Health Edition would not be possible without the support and funding from our sponsors. Today we are hosting a guest post from Councilmember Jay Schenirer, District 5, Founder and Advisory Board Chair of WayUp Sacramento. MedZone, a sponsor of Startup Weekend Sacramento: Health Edition  and one of Councilmember Schenirer's WayUp initiatives, has as a mission to increase economic prosperity through successful medtech innovation. Sounds like MedZone and  Startup Weekend Sacramento: Health Edition have a lot in common, lets find out!


Startup Weekend – Health Edition is just what the doctor ordered for the capital region’s growing med and health sectors. As the future home to many startups just now starting, or not even yet conceived MedZone is excited to be a part of the first-ever Startup Weekend – Health Edition!

What is this MedZone, you ask yourself? How can I, and my company, become part of it? Is it an actual place?

Well, it is, and it isn’t – yet. MedZone will create a hub or a “center of gravity” for companies in the region’s med- and health-sectors – right along Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento. By locating in the MedZone, companies of all sizes will collectively create scale, visibility, and build the region’s first tightly-clustered entrepreneurial ecosystem--an ecosystem which will include companies of all sizes, from startup to growth stage;talent and workforce at all levels; and suppliers and providers from up and down the industry’s value chain, from regulatory advisors (FDA and others), to product design, to financing, to sales and distribution.

Why Stockton Boulevard? And why this part of town? There are two reasons – one perhaps more obvious than the other. More obviously, the Stockton Boulevard corridor is central to the delivery of health care in our region. It is just down the street from Sutter Health, two miles from Mercy General Hospital, less than 10 miles from three major Kaiser Permanente facilities and (most obviously) just across the street from the UC Davis Medical Center. Such extent of clinical care delivery and hospital/health system operations creates rich possibilities for med- and health-related companies. Imagine easily partnering with doctors and other clinicians to reality-test your company’s newest product in the context of how they actually deliver care. Imagine the ability to understand hospitals’ and health systems’ needs for all of the products and services they routinely require. Imagine running clinical trials at a local health system, so you can easily check in on status and progress. Imagine accessing existing lab space on a short-term or even as-needed basis. This will all be a reality for companies located “in the MedZone.”

But the perhaps-less-obvious reason for the chosen location is that MedZone will be about more than “just” the companies and their employees. MedZone will activate the community as a whole through workforce development and community development initiatives. MedZone will help to grow the future workforce in employers’ needed skill areas, and bring economic growth and new opportunities for the neighborhood where that growth will be happening – Sacramento’s Oak Park, a community rich in culture and pride, but historically underserved.

As part of my WayUp Sacramento initiative, MedZone operates in concert with similar efforts in education and urban agriculture – WayUp’s Oak Park Smart and Center for Urban Agriculture. Oak Park Smart enhances the educational environment in the neighborhood via collaboration between all public, private, and charter schools, helping to support educational pathways to a wide range of careers, including med- and health-related occupations. The Center for Urban Agriculture is a physical urban farm designed to promote entrepreneurship, sustainability, and health and wellness making healthy, fresh foods more available than they are now.

Startup Weekend – Health Edition supports all of WayUp Sacramento’s objectives – motivating entrepreneurship and launching new startups to drive economic growth; highlighting pathways to innovative careers; and creating a focus on overall health, via both nutrition and clinical care. So although it's MedZone that’s identified, it’s all of WayUp Sacramento that’s happy to support the energy and success of Startup Weekend – Health Edition.