Membership Means Business – Dermveda & Heartzones

By Metro Chamber|July 30, 2018|News Coverage, Press Releases|

Earlier this month, Comstock’s Magazine featured two Metro Chamber members, Venita Sivamani founder of Dermveda and Sally Edwards founder of Heartzones, in their entrepreneur issue for their most recent successful ventures in the Capital Region.

Less than 3 years old, Dermveda is a customizable online resource that utilizes a network of dermatologists to educate people on integrative skin health. Heart Zones is a cardiovascular training program that has been in existence for twenty years, but a recent software pivot to incorporate heart-rate monitoring technology has given the company new life.

We caught up with Venita and Sally to better understand what their Metro Chamber memberships mean to them and their business.

Venita Sivamani – Dermveda

When did you join the Metro Chamber and why?

As a homegrown startup, we were excited by the opportunity to join the Metro Chamber as an Entrepreneur member in 2016. A mentor had recommended we get more involved in the local business community. It was a big step for us, as it signified a defining moment in our company’s growth – from product to business. We went from a few people with a website to part of the regional economy. And we are glad that we did!

How has the Metro Chamber provided value to your business?

Over the last year and a half, we’ve participated in various events including the Referral Roundtables and Chamber mixers, which have been extremely helpful in growing our network, learning about available resources, and establishing new partnerships. We’ll be hosting a regional Integrative Skin Care Wellness Fair on October 20th at the Sheraton Grand Downtown, featuring several local businesses, and meeting with healthcare leaders through the Metro Chamber has been extremely valuable.

What are your thoughts on the Capital Region’s entrepreneurial culture?

Since the time that we started Dermveda, we’ve seen a tremendous shift in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The burst of co-working spaces, accelerators, and incubators is a sign of the burgeoning innovation economy. We are optimistic about the future and want to thank the Metro Chamber for their network of support and opportunities to grow our business.

Sally Edwards – Heartzones

When did you join the Metro Chamber and why?

This is my first year as a “new member” but 20+ years ago my first company, Fleet Feet Sports was always a member so you might call it a “renewal”. It is good to be back because I believe that the best way to build our business community is together. I want the Sacramento business community to support our schools and our community health and fitness. The Heart Zones company is deeply committed to that and I believe the Chamber shares that goal even though it does not concern typical business objectives like bottom line profit and shareholders values. Rather, the quality of life and a healthy lifestyle is what is most important to our city. Also, my racquetball partner, Winnie Comstock of Comstock Magazine constantly compliments the work of the Metro Chamber and she’s right about encouraging me to join.

How has the Metro Chamber provided value to your business?

I’ve been doing business in Sacramento since I was 28 years-old and the Metro Chamber has always been there for me and others to create a supportive business environment. Sometimes, entrepreneurs like myself are so deeply focused on their mission that it is hard to look outside of our day-to-day operations. As I’ve gotten more involved and attended more events, my membership has provided more value to my businesses over the years. I suspect that my membership has brought me value through the relationships I have built and the business partners I have gained. It’s for these reasons that I remain a Metro Chamber member today.

What are your thoughts on the Capital Region’s entrepreneurial culture?

Good question. I was very involved with Fleet Feet and the second company that I co-founded in Sacramento (a snowshoe manufacturing company) and sold to Pride Industries — YubaShoes. Then, I was an early developer of iPhone apps with UpBeat Workouts (matches your strides to the beat of the music hands-free) and now Heart Zones. There have been changes during those 4+ decades, some more obvious than others — a few but not many more women (I am not confident that the percentage has changed much), Sacramento being a “government town” means that the spirit of entrepreneurship may not be as strong but the interest in starting businesses is strong, and surprisingly few franchisors (with my team, we franchised Fleet Feet but what other franchisor’s started here?).

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