Welcome to May, and the latest edition of the Sunstone Way.
I’m very excited to tell you about an amazing – literally groundbreaking – partnership we at Sunstone are announcing this week. Friday, May 5, teams from 18 of the 23 California State University campuses will gather at San Jose to compete in the Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition, and the winners will walk away with a total of $200,000.
That money is coming from the Sunstone Community Fund – a very big deal on its own. But we are announcing today that Sunstone is committed to that same level of sponsorship for the next four years, bringing the total donated to $1 million.
I am not aware of any public education/private partnership of that size anywhere else in the country, maybe the world. There certainly are larger donations and endowments, but what other private business can point to ongoing support of university level entrepreneurial programs across a 500,000-student higher education system? We are fully committed to our founders, funders and friends, and backing that commitment with significant resources.
Realize that this commitment is being made in the shadow of the First Republic Bank seizure and sale, too. We are convinced that the future rests in the hands of the young startup founders we are partnering with thanks to our relationships with our state’s universities and will continue to invest in that future.
Community Fund Key
This wouldn’t be possible without the Sunstone Community Fund, the charitable organization created last year to support a network of universities, nonprofit organizations and public-private partnerships. It is a donor-advised fund managed by the National Philanthropic Trust, allowing us to focus on the community enrichment programs the Community Fund supports.
In less than a year, the Community Fund has made a number of grants to support startup competitions, innovative programs like the Sunstone Economic Development Challenge @ USC Price, and support for the Long Beach Accelerator (LBA) and other accelerators and incubators.
Of particular note is the $100,000 grant from the Community Fund to the LBA to help develop a network of nonprofit, community-based startup accelerators to duplicate the LBA’s success. It’s part of our commitment to grow the communities we can help and enrich the lives of the people there.
It’s the Sunstone Way.
More 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 three years in a row.