LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Long Beach Accelerator ™ (LBA), a program to support early stage startups with seed funding, key relationships and mentorship, recently began accepting applications for its first startup cohort, expected to begin virtually in February 2021. At the helm of the operation is the Accelerator’s new Executive Director, Andrea White-Kjoss, who brings longstanding experience as a senior executive, serial entrepreneur, advisor, board member and startup mentor to the organization.
The Long Beach Accelerator facilitates a unique partnership between public-private-academic entities, including the City of Long Beach, California State University Long Beach and Sunstone Management. The startup companies accepted into the LBA cohort will benefit from a four-month program. The first three months will consist of weekly workshops and mentorship in preparation for the final month, when the startups will be tasked with implementing plans and preparing for a demo day when they can secure additional funding and partnerships.
“As a 16-year resident of Long Beach and having worked closely with the City during the launch and expansion of my first angel-backed startup, I have long appreciated the spirit of innovation and industry here,” said Andrea White-Kjoss, Executive Director of the LBA. “I'm proud to make these resources available to local and global start-up companies, and to help launch the next wave of innovation.”
“What we offer startups is a unique experience—along with the right connections—to sell their products to early customer adopters,” said Thomas Phelps, Chairperson at the Long Beach Accelerator and CIO at Laserfiche. “With over 90% of startups failing in the first few years, it's important to raise capital, quickly productize your MVP, and build a network of your own personal ‘board of directors’ to provide guidance as you launch your business.”
Having led several companies through double and triple-digit growth, White-Kjoss was been brought on to ensure beneficiaries of the LBA receive the preeminent mentorship and coaching required to excel in Southern California’s competitive environment. Her experience will enable her to provide first-hand knowledge and advice to program participants, and she has a strong track record of cultivating networks of entrepreneurs, angel investors, family offices, accelerators, early stage VC, high net worth individuals and service provider partners.
“Andrea’s expertise is a boon to our operation,” said Wade Martin, Honorary Director at LBA. “Her addition to the team is integral as we continue to build on and refine our unique offering to early-stage startups.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Andrea on-board and are excited for the accelerator’s future growth under her leadership,” said John Shen, Board Member of LBA and Principal of Sunstone Management. “Further, Sunstone looks forward to continuing to leverage our financing and investor relationships to help LBA cohorts in promoting investment and innovation growth for the region.”
Startups to the first Long Beach Accelerator cohort can access the online application at www.lbaccelerator.org.
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 and 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 500,000 people, Long Beach is the perfect city to launch your startup. Centrally located between Los Angeles and Orange County, this vibrant, welcoming city boasts a diverse and resource-rich culture and all the amenities of a major metropolitan area. Long Beach has been known since inception as a place of industrial and commercial innovation, and Long Beach’s main industries are high-tech or quickly technologizing. This provides both a depth of industry expertise to learn from as well as potential commercial partners and puts the rapidly growing markets of Southern California and Asia-Pacific at your fingertips.