Sunstone Management and USC Price School of Public Policy Announce Economic Development Challenge

Lewis Hall - USC School of Policy, Planning & Development

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -(BUSINESS WIRE) – Sunstone Management today announced that it has granted $162,500, to be deployed over five years, to the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. The grant, delivered through the Sunstone Community Fund and also in partnership with the USC City/County Management Fellowship, will establish the first-ever “Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price,” a charitable program designed to help local governments develop and implement inclusive strategies to support and grow early-stage technology startups and high-tech jobs in their communities.

Student competitors in the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price will form teams with local government clients. They will then work together to create strategies that are forward-looking as well as economically and practically feasible for local governments to attract and support early-stage startup businesses, raise private capital, and create jobs in their communities. Students will participate in educational and feedback sessions with mentors and present their final projects to a panel with expertise ranging from marketing, economic analysis, and capital access. The winner will be announced during an award ceremony on April 13 and will receive a monetary grand prize up to $5,000.

“USC Price is one of the preeminent public policy schools in the country, and an incubator for the future public servants who will drive diverse economic development throughout the country,” said John Keisler, CEO & Managing Partner of Sunstone Management. “They are the ideal partner for the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price, which will help cultivate within students the necessary skills to be those forces for small businesses and economic growth that communities nationwide need.”

“I want to thank Sunstone for this generous gift but also for its thoughtful deployment through the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge,” said Dana Goldman, dean of USC Price and C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair. “This is a win for our students and their local government partners as they work together to attract start-up businesses.”

Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price kicks off in February and will conclude in April. Both University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate. Interested parties may attend a virtual information session on February 10 at this link.


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.

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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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