Sunstone Sees Creative Economy As A Key To Energize Long Beach 

Welcome back to The Sunstone Way.

Are you creative? I’ll bet you are.

You don’t have to be able to draw a picture or write a song to be creative. We found that out last week at Unexpected Connections: Catalyzing the Creative Economy, an initiative of Intertrend Communications and its nonprofit affiliate, Creative Class Collective. It was a morning full of revelations about the power of the creative economy and how technology is driving growth in market-modern creative goods, products, and services.

Most people understand on a basic level how arts and culture can define a community and make it a good place to live. But did you know how large a role architecture, urban planning and placemaking plays in creating a vibrant community?

I’ll bet that you weren’t aware that the arts and other creative businesses can be strong economic development generators. Consider this – according to the 2023 Otis College Report on the Creative Economy, the Creative Economy generated 14.9% ($507.4 billion) of California’s gross annual product, $3.4 trillion, in 2021. Los Angeles County, the Entertainment Capital of the World, counts on the creative industries to generate nearly 20% of its $828 billion economy.*

In Long Beach

So, is it any wonder that the Creative Economy is one of Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson’s five pillars in his Grow Long Beach economic development plan? It is one-fifth of the Long Beach Venture Fund and the Launch Beach Coalition: 100 Startups initiative to make Mayor Richardson’s plan reality by locating 100 new businesses in Long Beach in the next five years.

“This is where it all ties together,” Mayor Richardson said last week during a tour of Imprint Venture Lab’s space in downtown Long Beach. “It brings the arts and the creative economy into the mix. It makes what might seem foreign to some easy to understand.”

“We’re very lucky to have a mayor that gets it,” said Julia Huang, founder and CEO of Intertrend Communications.

Partners With Imprint

Imprint Venture Lab is part of Intertrend and is a member of the Launch Beach: 100 Startups coalition. Imprint is a business incubator focused on creative-driven business ventures and is in talks to offer space to entrepreneurs with startups in the creative economy.

“Creative founders often don’t have a lot of business experience,” said Tanya Raukko, managing partner at Imprint Venture Lab and chief investment officer for Intertrend. “We can help with a business model, accounting, problem solving… We like to work one on one.”

Imprint is committing to participate for the five years of the Launch Beach campaign, as has Sunstone Management. I’m excited to partner with them.

Strong Precedent

Long Beach has a history of supporting the arts, and there is a strong arts community here – just ask the Arts Council for Long Beach. This effort is reaching beyond that historic community, adding technology to the traditional arts and expanding to other components of the creative economy – architecture, fashion, entertainment and more.

We’ve been fortunate at Sunstone to work with a strong group of creative economy startups – Gritty In Pink, Design By Frank, Magic Kids and more than 20 more — thanks to our involvement with the Long Beach Accelerator and Lair East Labs. We understand the excitement of being creative, and the travails of turning creativity into a business. We are, I am looking forward to strengthening Long Beach’s creative economy even further.

This is only one of the five industry sectors that the Launch Beach initiative and the Long Beach Venture Fund will deal with over the next five years. But it most definitely is a fun one! Let’s get to it.

That is The Sunstone Way!

And as always, be a Sunstone!

John Keisler

CEO & Managing Partner

Sunstone Management, Inc.


Tell your friends and colleagues about The Sunstone Way and the insights it provides. To receive a copy each week, sign up at the link.

Have a comment about this topic, or want to suggest topics for future blogs? Click here.

*Otis College Report 2023 Otis Report on The Creative Economy – pages – web.pdf.

Note: This blog post is 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 in an investment fund (“Fund”).

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.

More About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered 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. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

© Sunstone Management Inc., 2023

News and Press Release

Startup Resources

We are passionate about supporting tech entrepreneurs like you by presenting an array of resources. Each resource is capable of assisting with the various stages of you venture, please review and explore the relevant programs that best suits your situation.

Sunstone Community Fund

The Sunstone Community Fund is committed to catalyzing partnerships that create economic opportunities for startup founders and communities throughout the United States. That’s just one of the reasons why we choose to give back to the community.