Economic Development Enriches The Communities We Live In 

Welcome back to The Sunstone Way. 

One of the basic reasons why Sunstone exists – our Sunstone Why — is to strengthen communities. 

We believe economic development is the number one way we can accomplish that. We started with an Economic and Community Development Department. We have even created a separate LLC, Sunstone Development, to handle real estate and project development for communities that need investment — perhaps in rural, under-invested, or untested markets — but need support from both the government and private sectors to make the project successful.  

I have a strong personal interest in economic development too – I was the director of the Long Beach Economic Development Department for years before coming to Sunstone. Sunstone Management founder John Shen and I met while helping to start the Long Beach Accelerator — a government and private sector partnership that attracts, supports, and expands new and innovative companies through a combination of investment, technical assistance, and community support.  

How We Do It 

Economic development can take a number of forms. Our primary model so far is to support both small business owners and real estate developers with access to private capital, which creates jobs and economic growth for communities — particularly in rural, under-invested, or untested markets. Our work with startup founders who are just beginning their entrepreneurial journey is particularly important because small businesses increase the economic base and number of jobs in the communities where they are located but still have the hardest time securing funding from traditional sources like national banks that maintain very strict underwriting standards (and provide little support beyond collecting their interest payments). That’s why we are so invested in the accelerator concept, which provides both access to funding and technical assistance, in both Long Beach and New York City (Lair East Labs). 

It’s working. PitchBook, the standard for the investment community, says Sunstone was the most active venture capital firm in Orange County in 2022. We now have a presence on both coasts, making a difference in the NYC community as well as in Southern California. 

Our presence in the higher education entrepreneurial community in California is second to none. Sunstone sponsors events and competitions with the California State University system, UC Irvine, the University of Southern California and more. In fact, the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge in partnership with the USC Price School of Public Policy was specifically designed to help cities improve their community through economic development. 

Keep an eye out for some exciting announcements in the next month about more community involvement at Sunstone. 

Communities Of Interest 

The saying goes that a rising tide lifts all boats. For us, that rising tide is the success of under-represented- and women-owned startup businesses, creating economic opportunities and shaping the communities where they live, work, and play.  

We see the difference it makes in Long Beach and elsewhere when an under-represented- or woman-owned business succeeds, and are proud to play a part with our support. After all, we’re a minority- and woman-owned business too! 

That’s the Sunstone Why of community, and the Sunstone Way

As always, be a Sunstone! 

John Keisler 

CEO & Managing Partner 

Sunstone Management Inc. 

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© Sunstone Management Inc. 


More About Sunstone Management 

Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital management firm with headquarters in Southern California that provides a range of early-stage venture capital, real estate, and fixed income funds to qualified and accredited investors.  The firm delivers new and exciting options for economic growth through innovative public-private partnerships, making use of its unique experience across government, education, and private sectors. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. Connect with Sunstone Management at: 

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Crunchbase | Pitchbook  

News and Press Release

Startup Resources

We are passionate about supporting tech entrepreneurs like you by presenting an array of resources. Each resource is capable of assisting with the various stages of you venture, please review and explore the relevant programs that best suits your situation.

Sunstone Community Fund

The Sunstone Community Fund is committed to catalyzing partnerships that create economic opportunities for startup founders and communities throughout the United States. That’s just one of the reasons why we choose to give back to the community.