Welcome back to The Sunstone Way.
I’m in Long Beach today with Mayor Rex Richardson as he unveils details of his innovative Grow Long Beach initiative. Mayor Richardson first talked about this new approach back in January during his first State of the City speech, and he has continued to push it forward with the help of non-profit and private capital partners like Sunstone Management.
Mayor Richardson will share insights on the growth of several key industry sectors leading economic growth in Long Beach and will make several can’t miss announcements at the invite-only event. There are limitless opportunities for investment and partnership in our innovative city.
Richardson became Long Beach’s mayor in January, after eight years of experience as the City Councilmember from the Ninth District. He knew that one of the city’s biggest challenges going forward would be to reduce, then end, reliance on revenue from oil drilling due to the dwindling supply of oil along the shoreline. That’s no small task – oil has been an integral part of feeding Long Beach’s coffers for nearly a century.
In the Ninth District of North Long Beach, Mayor Richardson had launched a renaissance by relying largely on entrepreneurs starting small businesses aligned with local resources and needs. With Grow Long Beach, he has taken the concept citywide, with an emphasis on nurturing startups that will help to modernize legacy industries with new technologies, increase jobs, and contribute new sales and property tax for the city.
Although government regularly creates incentives for economic growth, there are limits to what governments can do for private businesses. That’s where investment management companies like Sunstone come in. And Sunstone Management acts as a venture capital partner of government to make it all happen.
Attracting 100 New Companies to Long Beach
“Attracting new and diverse businesses that will push the boundaries on innovation while boosting our local economy is a focal point of my administration’s Grow Long Beach Initiative and our Opportunity Beach Agenda,” Mayor Richardson said in January at the announcement of the 100 Startups Campaign and the Launch Beach Coalition. On September 28th, the mayor will explain how that campaign is moving forward and remains a key to Long Beach’s economic future.
Sunstone Management and the Sunstone Community Fund are just two of the eight members of the coalition. Other partners include:
- Long Beach Accelerator
- Long Beach Economic Partnership
- Imprint Venture Lab
- Center for Economic Inclusion
- CSULB Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- City of Long Beach Economic Development Department
It is a mix of planners, connectors, and trainers capable of marshaling tremendous resources for the endeavor – one we are honored to be a partner in.
Mayor Richardson said that he wants to strengthen the five main employment industries already doing well in Long Beach – healthcare, aerospace, transportation, sustainability, and the creative industries including leisure, hospitality, entertainment and the arts. Entrepreneurs working to modernize these industries with new technologies will be invited to join the Long Beach Accelerator to build their businesses, then locate and grow in Long Beach—funded by private capital investment and supported by government support programs.
As I said, we are the venture capital partner in this great effort. (The Sunstone Community Fund, our donor-advised fund, will be supporting the nonprofit partners through grants.) It’s our job to help connect investors to the startup businesses in this economic improvement program.
The Mayor has ambitious goals, as we all know. Together we aim to launch 100 startup businesses in the next five years to modernize the main employment industries in the city and to create a new generation of new businesses and jobs to power the future economy. Mayor Richardson wants to find investors to put in a total of $25 million — $5 million for each of the five industries. We will be the facilitators – the venture capital partners for Long Beach’s city government – to make that happen.
What that means is lots of time spent in Long Beach, lots of events taking place in Long Beach. It will be a labor of love. It will be a way to improve, enhance, enrich our community.
That’s The Sunstone Way.
And as always, be a Sunstone!
CEO & Managing Partner
Sunstone Management, Inc.
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More 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. Ranked 18th in the United States on the list of most active venture capital firms by PitchBook.
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