Long Beach Accelerator To Honor Mayor Richardson, John Shen At First Summit

LONG BEACH, Calif.–(December 18, 2023)–The Long Beach Accelerator will honor Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson and one of its original founders, John Shen, at its first annual Investors & Founders Summit on Jan. 11 in Long Beach.

Mayor Richardson will receive the Visionary of the Year Award, acknowledging his role in creating the Launch Long Beach: 100 Startups coalition. Richardson wants to see 100 new businesses locate in Long Beach in the next five years, with the founders going through the Long Beach Accelerator (LBA).

John Shen is the founder of Sunstone Management, Inc., the capital partner for the LBA. He was one of the accelerator’s founders in 2019, along with Dr. Wade Martin, director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cal State Long Beach, and current Sunstone CEO John Keisler, who was the director of the Long Beach Economic Development Department at the time.

Shen will receive the Investor of the Year Award.

A third honor, Trailblazer of the Year, will be given to Amy Millman of the StageNext Fund. Millman is a longtime advocate for women as business founders.

“We’re excited to have such prestigious honorees for our first summit,” said Vivian Shimoyama, chair of the LBA board. “These partnerships and others like them have been key to LBA’s success.”

LBA recently graduated its sixth cohort of startup companies, with a total of 46 startups completing the four-month course. Of those, eight already have had acquisition offers. And 68% of the founders are from underrepresented populations.

In addition to a luncheon and the awards, there will be a two-hour education session, including a panel with Julia Huang, founder of Intertrend, and angel investor Santhosh Devati.

Sunstone is the presenting sponsor of the event, which will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. aboard the Queen Mary. Sponsorships are available at several levels. For more information, email Shimoyama at vshimoyama@gmail.com.

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. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

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