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Business Journal: Text To Ticket, Medtech Growth, Breweries

  

A Sacramento startup called Text to Ticket has created an app to try and solve the problem of distracted driving. The Sacramento Business Journal's Digital Editor Sonya Sorich says users film someone texting and driving, along with that person's license plate number.

"The footage is then submitted to the company whose agents review it and then forward it to law enforcement if a crime is suspected. Users whose footage is approved receive $5.00," Sorich says.

The app is intended only for passengers and pedestrians — not for people behind-the-wheel. Critics say the app amounts to snitching. But the company's CEO says the footage is taken on public roads where there is no expectation of privacy.

The Sacramento region's medtech, or medical technology, industry has grown pretty significantly over the past five years. That's according to a study by MedStart, a Sacramento-based medtech advocacy group. Sorich says the data shows a 27 percent increase in the number of companies.

"Now that growth is attributed to the low cost of real estate here, relative to the Bay Area of course, as well as incentives from local governments for those companies," Sorich says.

Device manufacturers make up the largest percentage of the region's medtech companies at nearly 40 percent ... followed by biotech at about 30 percent and software at 23 percent.

A new beer business has opened in Rancho Cordova. Sorich says Fort Rock Brewing is in the historic Nimbus Winery building.

"This business has been in the works for about a year," Sorich says. "It could help give that building, which includes the Spaghetti Factory, some new life later into the evening, which is a priority over there. Fort Rock doesn't serve it's own food, but it hopes to eventually partner with Spaghetti Factory for a food menu."

The most recent state data show a 150 percent increase in beer production in the Sacramento area between November 2014 and September 2015. But the industry is not invincible. A planned brewery called Lazy Daze recently called off plans to open in Lincoln. Also last week, Dragas Brewing in Rocklin announced it's shutting its doors. Roseville Brewing Company also closed.

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