Sunstone Management Announces City Government Partners for Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price

IRVINE, Calif. (April 13, 2023) – Today, Sunstone Management announced the four cities who will be participating in the inaugural Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price. Through this competition, students at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy will team up with these local city governments to develop actionable plans to attract and support early-stage startup businesses, raise private capital, and create jobs in their communities.

The governments of El Segundo, Irvine, Garden Grove, and Long Beach are participating in the challenge, working with the participating students to create strategies that are forward-looking as well as economically and practically feasible to further economic development for their communities.

The Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price was created through a grant delivered through the Sunstone Community Fund in partnership with USC Price and the USC City/County Management Fellowship.

“The leaders of these cities participating in the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price are truly focused on creating new businesses and jobs for the betterment of their citizens,” said John Keisler, CEO & Managing Partner of Sunstone Management. “We thank them for joining us in this project, and can’t wait to see the innovative plans they are developing with the USC students.”

“The City of Garden Grove is thrilled to be participating in the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge at USC Price,” said Greg Blodgett, Economic Development Manager, City of Garden Grove. “This innovative initiative will drive economic growth and create new opportunities for communities throughout the area. We’re proud to support this important effort and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our region.”

“El Segundo is a regional economic powerhouse with a vibrant and growing startup community. Today, we are thrilled to join the Sunstone Challenge with students from the USC Price School of Public Policy to develop a strategy to bring more tech startups to El Segundo. We’re excited to collaborate with the next generation,” added El Segundo City Manager Darrell George.

“I am thrilled to see the launch of the first-ever Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price. Our City is a thriving startup hub, home to high-tech jobs and a culture that fosters innovation,” said Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “Supporting early-stage technology startups is critical to driving economic growth and creating job opportunities while developing strategies that are forward-looking, feasible, and inclusive. I look forward to seeing the innovative strategies and solutions that will be generated through this program to benefit not only the City of Irvine but communities nationwide.”

The Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price kicked off in February and will conclude on April 27 with the USC CMF Summit & Sunstone Challenge Demo Day. The final projects will be presented to a panel of experts and the winning team will receive $5,000. For tickets and more information, please see the event webpage.


About Sunstone Management

Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm located 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.

About Sunstone Community Fund

The Sunstone Community Fund is a Donor Advised Fund managed by the National Philanthropic Trust. It is an important component of Sunstone Management’s vision to advance public-benefit programs that support the development of inclusive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. The SCF supports a network of universities, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies that develop and implement university-based entrepreneurship programs, early-stage tech accelerators, and advance local economic development through inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation.

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