LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Long Beach has announced plans for its first ever startup accelerator, signaling that the city aims to become a destination of choice for tech-based innovators. The announcement was delivered by Mayor Robert Garcia, California State University Long Beach (CSULB) President Jane Conoley and Sunstone Management Founding Partner John Shen at the annual Long Beach Regional Economic Forum, emphasizing that the innovative public-private partnership is set to strengthen the area's entrepreneurial ecosystem and attract top talent.
The first of its kind in Long Beach, the university-affiliated accelerator awaits final city approval but is expected to welcome its first cohort of entrepreneurs by August 2019. The accelerator will prepare early stage tech-startups to successfully secure funding as well as provide valuable resources, including physical space for participating entrepreneurs to develop capacity, technical assistance with seed-round funding and a network of investors to identify and finance opportunities with capacity to scale.
Sunstone, an international diversified capital management and investment firm based in Long Beach, will act as the primary private funding partner and house the new accelerator. Sunstone's John Shen, recently appointed to the city's Economic Development Commission, stated, "We are thrilled to be a part of this new local project that will have wide-reaching economic benefits for the city and for entrepreneurs across the country. We want to provide a comprehensive pathway for startups to secure seed-round funding and access to potential investor networks."
John Keisler, the City of Long Beach's director of economic development, remarked: "Today’s tech entrepreneurs are transforming our economy across every industry. The Long Beach Accelerator will put our city on the map for potential entrepreneurs and drive growth for years to come."
Wade Martin, director of CSULB's Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, added, "Each partner brings a particular set of resources and competencies needed to launch and sustain this innovative new collaboration. CSULB is committed to nurturing and mentoring the entrepreneurs of the future."
About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management, with subsidiary Sunstone Venture Capital Fund, is a diversified private capital management and investment firm offering comprehensive wealth management solutions to high net worth clients worldwide, in particular U.S. new-immigrant families. Focusing on investments in U.S. based small businesses and lower middle markets, its offerings are carefully structured to meet targeted investor goals ranging from short term senior debt products to longer term, equity, growth capital, and venture capital investment strategies.
About CSULB Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The mission of the CSULB Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE) is to provide programming and guidance for innovators and entrepreneurs that leads to success. The IIE is a central hub for innovators and entrepreneurs in Long Beach, with programming and services to support long-term economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable for our diverse community.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more.