Long Beach’s first startup accelerator – a public-private partnership between investment firm Sunstone Management, the City of Long Beach Economic Development Department and California State University Long Beach’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship – was just announced this past May. A first for the area, the program will focus on preparing early stage tech-startups to secure seed round funding and expects to accept its first cohort this fall.
The new Long Beach Accelerator, the first of its kind in the city, held its opening investor reception to welcome interested funders and bring together the venture ecosystem, including the investors, entrepreneurs, stakeholders and partners. The reception acts as both a kick-off event for the upcoming first cohort as well as a unique opportunity for funding partners and potential Accelerator participants to network and explore future collaborations.
The Long Beach Accelerator – a partnership between Sunstone Management, the City of Long Beach Economic Development Department and California State University Long Beach Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship – expects to welcome its first cohort of entrepreneurs in the fall of 2019. The program 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 and the primary private funding partner, also recently launched LBA Sunstone Fund I and Seraph Long Beach I L.P. Fund, a partnership of Sunstone and leading structural angel investment firm Seraph Group.
“Sunstone looks forward to leveraging our financing and investor relationships to fully support the Long Beach Accelerator entrepreneurs,” stated founding partner John Shen. “As a member of the city’s Economic Development Commission, I’m also personally thrilled to be furthering this type of investment and innovation growth for the region.”
Beyond helping young startups develop capacity, providing critical technical assistance with seed-round funding and a network of investors, the Long Beach Accelerator is expected to attract top entrepreneurial talent to and stimulate the city’s local and regional economic growth.
The City of Long Beach’s Economic Development Director John Keisler commented, “The Long Beach Accelerator will drive tech entrepreneurs and top innovators to our city and vastly progress the entrepreneurial ecosystem our community is building. This public-private partnership collaborating with public educators and private funders can act as a model to drive growth for years to come.”
Both new funds will facilitate the growth of startups participating in the Accelerator as well as seed round startup projects in Long Beach.
Wade Martin, director of the CSULB Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, added: “CSULB has long been dedicated to nurturing and mentoring our local entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to join the City and Sunstone in celebrating this program with the investors that will help Long Beach Accelerator™ participants access a comprehensive pathway to secure seed-round funding and vital future financing.”
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.
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