Sunstone Management Uses September To Prepare For Take-Off In Fourth Quarter 

Sunstone Management Uses September To Prepare For Take-Off In Fourth Quarter 

Sunstone Management Uses September To Prepare For Take-Off In Fourth Quarter 

Sunstone Management, Inc.’s September can be likened to an airplane preparing to take flight – we let the world know we are ready to fly. 

To take the metaphor a bit further, we have been working toward this day for months, preparing the airplane, getting the cabin ready for travelers, and receiving approvals from the air traffic controller, with a lot of hard work for the first three quarters of 2023. Now we’re ready for take-off and ready to soar. 

Spreading Our Wings 

In early September, the team was off to JFK Airport to announce the opening of our office in New York City. We’re in the middle of Manhattan financial district, on the 29th Floor at 900 Third Ave., in the same building as our accelerator partner as Lair East Labs (LEL).  

That makes us a bi-coastal company, with the ability to connect our Founders with government support in New York, New Jersey and California. As the capital partner of LEL, this will be our new regional airport allowing us to reach technology startups and early-stage entrepreneurs all up and down the East Coast. 

Having our own office there also allows us to broaden our network of connections. That process began last month, with founder John Shen and Mike Stone, chief investment officer, leading the investment team to New York City for a series of meetings, announcements, and special events; along with director of the investment department Jasmine Jiang and vice president of venture capital Lloyd Wei. 

Returning Home 

The very next week, Sunstone Director of Economic Development Eric Romero was at Irvine City Hall — our hometown — to watch the Irvine City Council approve a Letter of Intent to work with Sunstone Management to create the Irvine Accelerator. Thanks to Mayor Farrah Khan, nearly a year of discussion culminated in this public-private partnership. It’s like building another airplane in partnership with government – this time based at John Wayne Airport so that it is accessible to the community – to carry local startups from accelerator to growth stage. 

Now the real work begins. We will help put together a working group of subject matters experts on startup activity in the Irvine community to create a formal Memorandum of Understanding, establish a nonprofit organization, and start fundraising to support operations. We need to design, build, and fuel the plane in preparation for the early-stage startups that will anchor and grow their companies here. 

Ultimately, this accelerator will help Irvine expand its efforts to become the premiere home for high-tech and future-focused business ventures. It’s worth noting that this concept came from the Irvine Innovation Council, where John Shen is a founding member. 

Sunstone Management, Inc. has been headquartered in Irvine since 2021. It is a real pleasure to help enhance and enrich this community. 

Back To Our Roots 

As we ended September, the Sunstone plane arrived at the Long Beach Airport and back to where it all began – the City of Long Beach – where John Shen founded Sunstone Management in the World Trade Center in 2015.  A few years later, working with local partners, Sunstone helped to create the Long Beach Accelerator (LBA). That accelerator, which has now graduated over 50 companies, has become the model for helping early-stage entrepreneurs connect with the resources and advisers they need to accelerate growth of their businesses and create new economic activity for the community. It also has become Sunstone’s model for partnering with governments and educational institutions to support economic development. 

Last January, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson issued a call to action – Grow Long Beach – to modernize the major five employment industries in Long Beach by attracting and growing 100 new startup businesses over the next five years. Sunstone Management answered that call, joining seven other partners (including our own Sunstone Community Fund) in what is being called the Launch Beach Coalition.  This will be the biggest airplane in our fleet to date, with several partners to help both go big and go far in our mission to support the economic transformation of an entire community.  

On Sept. 28, Mayor Richardson convened a Grow Long Beach session where he introduced the Long Beach Venture Fund – our $25 million venture capital fund which will be designed to support the 100 startups initiative. We are excited to be the venture capital partner for this unprecedented effort, and to work with the Long Beach Accelerator, Long Beach Economic Partnership, Imprint Venture Lab and all the other coalition members. 

Back to School 

But there’s one more trip and perhaps the most fun since it brings us back to campus and our work with the next generation of entrepreneurs and local government leaders!  With the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, I would be remiss if I failed to mention all the activity already underway at university campuses where we are building a new model for government to attract and support early stage entrepreneurs.  This is like a new model of airplane altogether that carries students to locations throughout the region where they help cities to develop innovative plans to support economic growth and the American Dream of small business ownership. 

Recently, we confirmed that five more cities are ready to help in — and benefit from – the second annual Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price, and student teams will be forming soon. Planning is underway for the CSU Demo Day in November, and the California State University system is promoting creation of Founder teams at all 23 of its campuses. Big thanks to the Cal State Long Beach Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for organizing and promoting this important endeavor. 

It has been a busy, productive month as we close out the third quarter of 2023. Yet it is just the beginning. We have built several new airplanes and accumulated a lot of frequent flier miles. We are ready for you to join us onboard or just watch us fly! 

And as always, remember to be a Sunstone. 

Note: 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.

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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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