Teamwork Takes The Day At NCAA Tournament, Tech Week, Dream Run And Sunstone 

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Welcome back to The Sunstone Way. 

Congratulations to the NCAA basketball champions – the UConn Huskies and the South Carolina Gamecocks in the men’s and women’s tournaments, respectively. It was a thrilling month of basketball, with outstanding individual efforts.  

There were some incredible performances from some college superstars, like Caitlin Clark of Iowa and Zach Edey of Purdue. Ultimately, team play won out. 

Team play, particularly public-private team play, is going to take center stage next week as Irvine Tech Week takes off. We are set to be a big part of it, as we should be. 

Irvine And Sunstone 

You likely already know about our partnership with the city of Irvine to create the Irvine Tech Accelerator. ITA will be a big topic of conversation during ITW (don’t you just love acronyms?). 

Public-private partnerships are primary examples of team play and teamwork. That will be the topic next Thursday, April 18, when we present Accelerating Tech and Economic Development Through Public-Private Partnerships. The power of PPP is our secret sauce, but it is a secret we want to share, and Irvine Tech Week is a good place to do that. 

Our fellow company, American Lending Center, will explore another facet of the public-private partnership world on Saturday afternoon with two panels of its own, on the EB-5 and SSBCI government investment programs. The “public” in those programs are the federal and state governments. 

But coming out of March Madness, all this business talk might seem a bit dry. So how about a bit of fun and exercise for a good cause? 

Dream Run Comes True 

I’m talking about the first annual Dream Run, which includes the Irvine Tech Week 5K and the FirstGen Color Run, on April 20. We expect 500 or more techies, supporters and happy runners to join us Saturday morning at Mike Ward Community Park for some great comradery, some swag and a trot around the park to benefit the Sunstone Community Fund. 

Our founder, John Shen, came up with the idea to celebrate the pursuit of the American Dream, and in particular the many contributions of first-generation immigrants in Irvine. The long list of prestigious sponsors is an indication of how that concept resonates for us all. 

Jogging around a park for a few miles with 500 or so of your closest friends seems to me to be a particularly American thing to do on a Saturday morning. And it is so fitting that this event at the end of Irvine Tech Week will help the Sunstone Community Fund, which is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Who Are Those Guys? 

Our Sunstone Community Fund is a charitable donor-advised fund launched in mid-2022 by John Shen and his partner Stella Zhang. It was created to support entrepreneurship and innovation through universities, nonprofit organizations and public-private partnerships. 

In other words, it was founded on team play. 

After only a year in existence, SCF had made several one-time grants and multiple-year commitments to support the ecosystem of diverse startup founders in California and beyond. Perhaps the largest in terms of both size and impact, was a $1 million, five-year sponsorship agreement for the Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition. 

That program offers entrepreneurial teams from all 23 campuses in the California State University system the chance to compete for $200,000 in prizes in several categories of startups. Some of the winners of the 2023 competition have used that prize money to develop their business ideas, taking a step into the “real world.” 

This year’s competition takes place May 3 at Cal State Dominguez Hills. 

Jayro Sandoval is the SCF administrator and has been running his tail off (pun intended) putting everything in place for the Dream Run. He told me he couldn’t do it without the dedicated team working on the event. And there’s still time to register for both the Irvine Tech Week 5K and the FirstGen Color Run at the Dream Run website

I am confident that the Dream Run will be a success, primarily because it is being put together by the Sunstone and ALC team. It’s teamwork. And that’s The Sunstone Way. 

As always, be a Sunstone! 

John Keisler 

CEO & Managing Partner 

Sunstone Management, Inc. 

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©Sunstone Management, Inc. 2024 

More About Sunstone Management 
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the latest Pitchbook rankings, Sunstone Management was #15 in the third quarter of 2023 nationally, and #18 in the fourth quarter.1 

  1. Rankings from Pitchbook Venture Monitor, Q3 and Q4. 

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