2017 Winner

2017 Contest winner and finalists


2017 Winner & Finalists

The official winner was announced in October in accordance with National Manufacturing Day on October 6, 2017. The winner received a start-up prize package worth more than $50,000 in goods and services. The Power Inn District is already home to more than 62% of the City of Sacramento’s manufacturing jobs and 14% of the greater six-county region’s manufacturing jobs. 

Sacramento Business Journal article on finalists - 6/30/17

Photo courtesy www.lifelineliftco.com

Photo courtesy www.lifelineliftco.com


Refuse Container Transport Lift Assist (RCTLA), or “Dump Caddy”

by James Heberling

Lifeline Lift Co., Inc., owned and managed by James Heberling, exists to manufacture and distribute the Refuse Container Transport Lift Assist (RCTLA), or “Dump Caddy.” This tool takes the load of heaving a trash can into a dumpster off your shoulders with a patented mechanism. The RCTLA reduces the potential for work-related back injuries and improves the quality of life in the workplace for janitorial and cleaning personnel. The RCTLA was invented by Heberling in 2000 during his time as a welder for the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) and was patented by them (US Patent #7018155), who then granted Heberling exclusive license to manufacture and distribute the product. Heberling established Lifeline Lift Co. in January 2016 in Sacramento to fulfill this purpose. The units, which currently cost $826.21 to produce, sell at $1500 each, earning Heberling a net profit of $673.79. This provides him the necessary capital to work toward expanding his operations. This product appeals to any company that employs regular, full-time janitorial or cleaning staff, and are interested in investing in the reduction of their workers comp related costs. While there are a small number of similar products in the market, none can match the RCTLA in terms of ease-of-use and cost effectiveness. It is unmatched in that it is single operator, non-electric and situated in the market as both affordable and high quality. Lifeline Lift Co. will begin by marketing to local public-sector organizations such as school districts, construction companies and public utilities companies. Starting small and local affords Heberling the opportunity to begin manufacturing at a reasonable rate while expanding his staff, his network and broadening the RCTLA’s potential future market sectors.



2017 Finalist

Shawn’s Soap Shop

by Shawn Ramos

Shawn’s Soap Shop specializes in custom, handmade, natural products including soaps, lip balms, salves, moisturizers, bath powder, a men’s line and a children’s line – even products for pets! Ingredients for Shawn’s creations are natural oils, goats’ milk and essential oils – all organic and sourced locally as much as possible. Soap, much like food, is a very personal thing. Being able to custom make each creation, Shawn is able to give her customers a unique, self-indulgent experience. They will have the opportunity to purchase ready-made products in store, or custom order with specific ingredients. Customers will also be able to watch their soaps be handmade, and can even sign up for monthly classes to learn the craft of soapmaking. To encourage budding chemists and craftmanship, a class will be offered for children, as well. By sharing her knowledge in the craft, Shawn hopes to inspire more makers. To support their efforts, she plans on creating bulk quantities of ingredients, as well as equipment they would need and selling them at wholesale prices online and in store. Operating a “green” business is important to Shawn. To reduce her carbon footprint, she anticipates having a “Soap Bar” where customers can refill oils, lotions, cleaning products, herbs and essential oils in bulk. They will be on tap, cleverly imitating beer on tap. The ambition is to create jobs, inspire people to create, and ultimately manufacture her artistic creations in bulk and supply to resellers locally and nationwide.



Photo courtesy www.facebook.com/ShawnsSoapShop

Photo courtesy www.facebook.com/ShawnsSoapShop

Similar Product | Photo courtesy MIT Media Files

Similar Product | Photo courtesy MIT Media Files

2017 Finalist

Open Agriculture Supply Food Computer

by Ian Coll McEachern

The Open Agriculture Supply Food Computer is a small device that allows you to grow your own food to an exact “climate recipe” regardless of geographic location. Our kit allows for a lower technical cost of entry into this exciting new open source movement, which we believe will transform our relationship with how we grow, view, consume and relate with our food at the most basic level. It has the potential to feed the future by democratizing fresh, healthy and organic produce. Open Agriculture Supply is using the MIT Open Agriculture Initiative to democratize access to fresh produce. We are leveraging this new platform to deliver exciting new products, services, resources and kits to hobbyists, parents, educators, farmers, and technical professionals in the budding Open Agriculture movement. Our initial product is an open source “Food Computer” kit created with the MIT Initiative. Food Computers are the future of food. Open Agriculture Supply is committed to the Open Agriculture Movement and determined to share with as many people as possible, the exciting opportunities this movement has to offer.


We are so proud to already house more than 62% of the City’s manufacturing jobs so it’s only natural to continue to foster a home for new micro-manufacturers and help foster manufacturing entrepreneurism here in Sacramento.
— Eric Guerra, City Councilmember for District 6