Innovation Drives Benefits for Economy, Society, and Environment

Welcome back to The Sunstone Way.

To put my money where my mouth is, I leased a 100% electric car a few months ago for my 17-mile commute between my home in Long Beach and Sunstone Headquarters in Irvine. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in some time.

I’ve done the math. Even with a gasoline vehicle with decent milage, it was costing around $10 a day for my commute. Today, driving a non-polluting electric vehicle, it is running about $2 a day. Can you say win-win?

That increase in discretionary income is a boon to me, and to the economy. I get to take my wife out to eat a little more often, and provide some more athletic or music equipment for my boys. With savings from the transporation category of our family budget we are consumers driving other (more entertaining) areas of the economy.

Driving Economic Growth

Higher temperatures, more severe storms, droughts, floods – these are all things attributed to climate change. Much of the talk around that phenomenon these days focuses on “the survival of the species” or the moral imperative to be more environmentally friendly.

I’m certainly not opposed to that. But I want to make another argument in support of sustainability – it creates jobs. There are myriad innovative startups working on ways to keep our world turning in a more efficient, productive, and sustainable way. Those startups create jobs.

That’s a big reason why sustainability is a part of the Sunstone mission to enrich lives through the work that we do with our partners to modernize legacy industry through technology startups (see how we are supporting  Mayor Rex Richardson’s Grow Long Beach plan). Naysayers may argue that moving away from a fossil fuel-based economy will cost jobs – I, we, say that the new sustainable energy sources of the future will create even more jobs.

One of the early-stage transportation-related companies we have supported for some time, Evolectric, already has begun driving this job growth by hiring and training workers to convert the trucks you see on the 710 freeway to run on electricity. Essentially every step of that process is new, which means new jobs and people with new skills.

That’s an economic driver that’s hard to beat.

Driving Environmental Health

Evolectric is based in Long Beach, where trucking is a huge part of the goods movement industry central to the city’s economy. That in turn is driven primarily by the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.  These ports are major drivers of the national economy but also major drivers of air pollution and traffic that impact surrounding communities.

Nearly 20 years ago, leaders at the Port of Long Beach adopted the Green Port Policy to be better neighbors. That drive to become sustainable (which has become an international model, by the way) has created a number of opportunities for entrepreneurs to offer up ideas to modernize goods movement – and eliminate air and water pollution at the same time. That means jobs – jobs to design and engineer solutions, jobs to manufacture new equipment, jobs to operate that equipment and more.

The Launch Beach: 100 Startups campaign includes an emphasis on sustainability—which includes economic, social, and environmental sustainability—for this very reason. Beginning with a more efficient and affordable source of energy for transportation (like my new electric car), the shippers, truckers, and freight haulers coming out of the ports can become models for innovation when it comes to new, environmentally, and economically friendly solutions.

Mayor Richardson and port officials have come up with another huge job generator based on the push for sustainability. It’s called Pier W, and once developed, it would be the location for manufacturing giant ocean-going wind turbines to generate renewable electricity to power our cars and homes at a lower cost AND create hundreds of jobs.

Driving Community Benefit

I’ve been happy driving my electric car – it saves money and it’s fun to drive – particularly when it drives itself!  But I am also happy that it doesn’t add to the air pollution problems we face in Southern California.  It’s bad enough to waste time sitting in traffic made worse by the thought that I am leaving a cloud of dirty air hanging over the communities that I pass on my commute home each night. 

In addition to my personal efforts, I’m also thrilled that Sunstone can drive job-creating, earth-saving innovation forward as the capital partner of the Launch Beach: 100 Startups initiative through the Long Beach Venture Fund. It’s our way of driving community benefit in our daily work.

It’s the Sunstone Way. Come be a part of it.

And as always, be a Sunstone!

John Keisler

CEO & Managing Partner

Sunstone Management, Inc.

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Notes: This blog post is for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities. Such offers are made solely pursuant to formal offering and subscription documentation in an investment fund (“Fund”).

We refer to early-stage technology entrepreneurs as Founders. Information provided here is to inform about the types of small business start-ups that have been selected for participation in certain programs in which Sunstone participates. Information provided here is aspirational and there is no assurance of success. Early-stage investing comes with an inherently high degree of risk, including the loss of some or all of an investment. The information provided is neither an offer to sell or an inducement to offer to buy interests in any Sunstone sponsored fund that may have invested in the Founder.

Interests in private funds such as the Long Beach Venture Fund are offered pursuant to an exemption from registration with the SEC and are therefore high-risk, illiquid investments. Those considering such investments should be able to afford losing some or all their money. For more information about the Long Beach Venture Fund, including a summary of risks, please request a Private Placement Memorandum from Sunstone Management, Inc.

More About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California that invests in diverse early-stage technology entrepreneurs who seek to build great companies. We believe in the aspirational power of the American economy to attract and inspire investors and entrepreneurs from throughout the world. We deliver new and exciting opportunities for economic growth through the creation of innovative public-private partnerships, and our 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. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

© Sunstone Management Inc., 2023

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