In less than a year, the Sunstone Community Fund has made several one-time and multi-year grants that will serve as a catalyst to grow university-based incubator programs, develop new early-stage tech accelerators in partnership with local governments, and support diverse startup founders.
The Sunstone Community Fund granted a $75,000 to the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. With the funds, the Institute will partner with Sunstone Management to coordinate university-based activities that promote entrepreneurship at California State University (CSU) campuses, help early-stage entrepreneurs access resources that advance their ventures, and increase awareness of such activities among other CSU campus partners and stakeholders.
The Sunstone Community Fund granted $162,500 to the University of Southern California’s City/County Management Fellowship to fund a five-year competition named the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price (the Challenge). The Challenge aims to empower USC Sol Price School of Public Policy students to collaborate with local government clients to create and implement inclusive strategies to support and grow early-stage technology startups and jobs in their communities. The 2nd Annual Challenge began in September 2023 and will conclude in April 2024 with the USC CMF Summit & Sunstone Challenge Final Pitch.
In 2022, the Sunstone Community Fund granted $100,000 to the Long Beach Accelerator (LBA) to partner on the development of a model for the implementation and operation of a network of nonprofit, community-based technology startup accelerators to assist diverse, early-stage technology entrepreneurs with access to capital, networks, technical assistance, and other resources.
Once the model has been created, Sunstone Management will collaborate with the Long Beach Accelerator and local and county governments to implement it in communities that lack technology accelerator programs to support entrepreneurs and advance economic development.
“The Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at CSULB is proud of our long-term relationship with the Sunstone team. One of the unique qualities at Sunstone is the depth of understanding that universities are a critical partner in supporting local economic development. They understand that just preparing a well-educated workforce is not sufficient to generate quality economic growth from the bottom up. Many cities will provide incentives to companies that locate there, but few private sector companies understand that providing support for entrepreneurs and small businesses will lead to a more sustainable economy in the long term. The programs that have evolved from our public-private-university partnership have made a real difference in people’s lives.”
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