Emphasis On Sustainability Good For Sunstone, Good For The World 

Emphasis On Sustainability Good For Sunstone, Good For The World 

PC: University Lab Partners

2-Minute Listen:


Where were you when Hurricane Hilary hit? 

It was a tropical storm by the time it arrived in Southern California on August 20, but it still broke rainfall records pretty much everywhere in the area. It was the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years—just about the same number of years that the Keisler Family first arrived in the Golden State two generations ago.  

Weather super events are a clear indication of climate change, and a great reminder why sustainability is one of Sunstone Management’s pillars of investment philosophy. I talked about our emphasis on sustainability in the August 24 Sunstone Way blog, and we highlighted two of our partner companies, Evolectric and Seatrec, who are working to make our world a little better, a little more sustainable. 

Evolectric founders Bill Beverley and Jakson Alvarez have come up with a way to retrofit old diesel cargo trucks to run on electricity. They’ve made Long Beach their home, and are already making a difference, with converted trucks on Long Beach roads. 

Seatrec founder Yi Chao, Ph.D., is one of Sunstone’s early partners. His energy harvesters generate electricity using changes in ocean temperatures in different depths, providing power in the middle of the ocean for everything from weather sensors to research submersibles. 

Sustainability. The Sunstone Way. 

A Leader In The Industry 

18th most active venture capital firm in the country. 7th most active in the country for early-stage deals. 

Those are just two of the rankings for Sunstone Management in the PitchBook Q2 2023 Global League Tables. We are, to say the least, very pleased. Pitchbook reports also show that we are the most active venture capital firm in Orange County over the last year. 

This is in the face of tightening capital credit availability nationally and worldwide according to most of the reports I’ve seen. If current 2023 trends continue, according to PitchBook the number of VC deals this year will be barely half of what was seen in 2022. 

But Sunstone anticipates another round of investment before the year is out, helping another group of startup companies. Sunstone is leading the way.


Activity On Campus 

With the beginning of another school year, our Sunstone Community Fund is busy on multiple college and university campuses, organizing another year of entrepreneurial and economic development competitions, with a specific focus on developing city plans for sustainable economic development. 

The second annual Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price has already met with potential participating cities, and they will be announced soon. Graduate students at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy are gearing up to work with those cities to create new economic development approaches aimed at helping startup businesses locate there and thrive.  This is a personal passion of mine as a former economic development director as well as a core value of Sunstone to create a more sustainable society.  

As California State University campuses across the state welcomed students back, the CSU Chancellor’s Office promoted the 2024 Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition with a feature story and details from this spring’s event which many of you attended.  Later this year, over 500,000 students and faculty from 23 campuses will be invited to compete for $200,000 in prize money with ideas and plans for startup businesses that seek to modernize traditional industries and grow the California economy. 

The Sunstone Community Fund has pledged $1 million to the program over five years, and the CSU system is doing its best to get students to participate. That’s the type of public-private partnership that can create a more sustainable economy and makes both California and Sunstone shine. 

Although August was an active month at Sunstone we are expecting a hurricane of activity ahead in September with the launch of several new exciting programs in both Southern California and New York City.  I won’t spoil the surprises now but please spread the word and encourage others to sign-up for our newsletter.  Until October, remember to Be A Sunstone! 

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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 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. Ranked 18th in the United States on the list of most active venture capital firms by PitchBook.

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