Mathew Magno

Mathew Magno combined his UC Davis education in computer science and technology management with his passion for entrepreneurship to co-found Japa Inc. with his classmate Charles Chen. “As a student it would take me 20 to 30 minutes sometimes to find a spot, circling parking lots and getting stressed out,” Magno recalls. “I decided to fix the problem of parking.” Magno is also the director and co-founder of PLASMA at UC Davis, the Aggie incubator that develops early stage startups into companies that can grow.

Anna Sadovnikova

Anna Sadovnikova, MPH, M.A., IBCLC started her career in public health and is now a M.D./Ph.D. candidate in mammary gland biology and breastfeeding medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Sadovnikova is a NIH-funded investigator, receiving a 5-year F30 fellowship from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to define the molecular mechanism by which stress negatively impacts lactation.

Christy Serrato

Throughout her career, Christy Serrato has made her mark in Northern California—and especially at UC Davis and in Sacramento. Serrato is the founder and CEO of Pair Anything, Inc. and the program director and a founding fellow of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy. She obtaining a B.A. in economics from UC Davis and later returned to campus to compete in the 2019 Big Bang! Business Competition, taking home the $10,000 Food + Agriculture Sector Award. Most recently, PairAnything has been featured on Good Day Sacramento and in the Davis Enterprise to showcase how the digital platform became even more relevant during COVID-19.

Michael Vilardo

Michael Vilardo is the co-founder, president and COO of Emile Learning. He won the $10,000 Technology Sector Award in the 2020 Big Bang! Business Competition while an MBA student at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His venture, VHomes, which Vilardo scaled up with guidance from mentors at the Anderson Venture Accelerator, turned vacant and distressed motels and other locations into weekly and monthly rentals for budget-minded travelers and tenants. “It was profitable from Day 1 and won many competitions,” Vilardo says. A year after launching, he sold VHomes to a Bay Area short-term rental company and became a minority owner of that technology platform, now called NomΛd, which pays him monthly revenue.

Japa Hits Its Post-Pandemic Stride

Mathew Magno, co-founder of Japa, shares the startup’s accomplishments during the pandemic in Sacramento Business Journal. Japa developed an app to help companies, universities and cities manage their parking assets—and help drivers quickly find an empty parking space. Big thank you to Sacramento Business Journal for continuously supporting local startups.

Look Before You Leap

Look before you leap.

This saying resonates with planners and low-risk takers and had always seemed to serve me well.

I started my UC Davis online MBA just as the pandemic hit and the world reeled. Risk was everywhere. By the end of my first academic quarter, life and planning were at a standstill, except for Zoom. I was worried about the future and even considered leaving the program. The fear of not knowing what might lie beyond the jumping off point had me doubting myself.