Sunstone Takes Center Stage At Major Events In October
Sorry, I had one left over from last month, and didn’t want to waste it.
October, the first month of the fourth quarter of 2023, was a bit of a whirlwind – but a good one. There were several major events, and the Long Beach Venture Fund – the capital underpinning of the Launch Beach: 100 Startups campaign – passed its flight check and is ready to take off.
Here are a few of the month’s highlights.
Grow Long Beach
The start of Quarter 4 2023 actually took place at the end of September, when Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson hosted his Grow Long Beach event, detailing a plethora of economic development initiatives designed primarily to replace the city’s waning oil revenue. A big component of that plan is the Launch Beach: 100 Startups campaign, where a coalition including Sunstone Management, Inc., Sunstone Community Fund, Long Beach Accelerator, CSULB Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Long Beach Economic Partnership, Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion and Imprint Venture Lab have come together to support the growth of 100 new technology businesses in key Long Beach industries over the next five years.
After the mayor’s presentation at the Aquarium of the Pacific, I hosted a reception for VIPs at Ruths Chris Steakhouse. After the mayor spoke, I was able to introduce the Long Beach Venture Fund. The fund’s goal is to raise up to $25 million in capital to support those 100 technology startups that will help to modernize the economy in five key industries that will shape our future. Leaders of some of our partners – Leah Goold-Haws (LBEP), Vivian Shimoyama (LBA) and Julia Huang (Intertrend Communications) – talked about their organization’s roles in and contributions to the ambitious Launch Beach effort.
Mirroring Mayor Richardson’s Grow Long Beach strategy, the LBVF will focus on five key sectors of the Long Beach economy – Healthcare, Aerospace, Transportation, Emerging Technologies, and the Creative Economy—and how information technology will further strengthen these influential industries.
I also took the opportunity to note that Sunstone Management and Imprint Venture Lab, as general partners for the fund, will put in the first 3% of the capital needed. The LBVF is taking off!
On the first Thursday in October, we were back in the air for a conference called Unexpected Connections which is presented annually by our good friends and partners at Intertrend Communications, an amazing creative agency located with headquarters in Southern California and Texas. The focus of the conference was how innovation is “Catalyzing the Creative Economy,” a topic that couldn’t have been more appropriate for Sunstone founders and friends.
Mayor Richardson opened the conference by talking about the Launch Beach initiative and the key role the creative economy will play. Julia Huang, founder and CEO at Intertrend and a good friend, talked about how incorporating the architecture, design, and the arts shape communities; and economists from Cal State Long Beach offered some eye-opening statistics about how these creative industries produce billions of dollars of economic impact in the State of California.
I had the great privilege of being the final speaker of the conference, and did some Q and A with Joresa Blount, founder of GoFlyy, a fashion industry-adjacent startup and Sunstone startup. Joresa has just finished the Long Beach Accelerator program and had incredible insight into the ways that new technologies are transforming the creative industries and creating new opportunities for small businesses to reach consumers through supply chain optimization.
I was able to tie the day together and emphasize again that the creative economy is one of the pillars of both the Grow Long Beach and Launch Beach: 100 Startups initiatives. And I got to announce the opening of the Sunstone office at the Long Beach World Trade Center. We’re fully invested there.
The events just kept coming last month, both for Sunstone in specific and for our partners. For example, John Shen, Sunstone founding partner and CEO at American Lending Center, had a launch party for his book, “Crossing The Swamp.” The who’s who guest list included Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan, Royal Business Bank co-founder and member of the federal Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs Simon Pang and others.
At the SoCal Ecosystem Leadership Forum in Irvine, I helped lead a panel that revisited one of our basic principles – partnerships with governments and educational institutions. Those partnerships offer founder entrepreneurs access to capital, matching money for grants and loans, technical expertise, training and more. It was a perfect precursor to our work with the City of Irvine to create the Irvine Accelerator.
We ended the month back in Long Beach at the Mobilize Summit, where topics included the cutting-edge technologies changing the transportation and goods movement sectors so important to our economy. It’s no coincidence that those sectors are central to Grow Long Beach and the LBVF, as well.
As we enter November, the Sunstone jet is climbing to altitude and we’re ready to move, with Sunstone Advisors, LLC, open for business. Our accelerator partners, Lair East Labs in New York City and the Long Beach Accelerator in Long Beach are making the selections for their next cohort of startups – a process we are intimately engaged in.
We still have much to do before the end of 2023, and we are excited to have the people and the tools to get it done. Thanks for being part of the journey.
And as always, remember to be a Sunstone.
Notes: 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.
Long Beach Venture Fund is a registered dba for Sunstone Innovation Fund, which is advised by Sunstone Advisors, LLC.
Information pertaining to the Long Beach Venture Fund is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities. Such offers are made solely pursuant to formal offering and subscription documentation. Offers are made only to accredited investors pursuant to the offering documents, which describe among other things the risks and fees associated with the Fund that should be considered before investing. The Long Beach Venture Fund is a long-term investment that involve a substantial risk of loss, including the loss of all capital invested.
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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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