CalOSBA Announces Grant Recipients to Establish 10 Regional Innovation Hubs in California

Apr 4, 2022 | Press Release

The California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) today announced grant awards to recipients of theInclusive Innovation Hub (iHub2) program. The Inclusive Innovation Hub (iHub2) program is a one-time, $2.5M investment that will help accelerate regionally focused strategies to spur innovation and diversification across industry sectors and geographies while attracting entrepreneurs from underserved business communities.

The Inclusive Innovation Hub program is building on the strengths of the clustered regional model with a new focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe it will accelerate technology and science-based firms in key industry areas with strong outreach to diverse founders and underserved geographies. California leads the nation in business starts and working to support small businesses in these sectors continues to be critical to our full economic recovery,said CalOSBA Director, Tara Lynn Gray.

CalOSBA has designated 10 Inclusive Innovation Hubs throughout California through a competitive RFP. Designations will go to the to the following selected awardees:Transforming Ideas into Action iHub;Clicks 2 Bricks, The Innovation Hub at Santa Cruz SBDC;Central Valley Inclusive Innovation Hub;iHub San Joaquin;Siskiyuou County iHub;Economic Development Collaborative iHub;Chicostart iHub;Heal.LA iHub at LARTA Institute;Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator iHub; andUniversity of San Diego, The Brink SBDC iHub.

Each iHub will receive $250,000 to implement a unique 3-year strategy to stimulate partnerships, economic development, and job creation. The 10 designees were selected for their ability to leverage specific local assets to stimulate regional innovation economies by bringing together startup businesses, research institutions, economic development organizations, business groups and venture capitalists. The performance of each iHub will be measured in terms of its ability to support new innovation businesses headed by diverse founders.

CalOSBA Director Gray kicked off the iHub2program today by visiting The Brink SBDC in San Diego. The Brink’s inclusive innovation strategy calls for solving for knowledge and capital barriers for entrepreneurs and supercharging their social networks for growth. San Diego’s diverse population is our greatest asset as is our location at an international border, on the coast- making us poised for blue, green, tech and scientific innovation our world so needs.

As an Inclusive Innovation Hub, our commitment deepens to remove barriers and offer support for all entrepreneurs. The work is inclusive and strategic- to make connections for financial, social and community capital to be invested in the co-creation of solutions and the building of our future,said University of San Diego, The Brink SBDC Director, Rachel Lazano Castro.

About GO-Biz
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development(GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit the GO-Biz website.

About CalOSBA
The Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) helps support economic growth and innovation by working to ensure that California’s small businesses and entrepreneurs have the information, tools and resources they need to plan, launch, manage and grow their businesses successfully and be resilient. The CalOSBA serves to elevate their voices in state government and to advocate on their behalf to help ensure all aspiring and current small business owners and entrepreneurs are provided with the opportunity to access capital, access markets, and connect to the networks and resources they need to succeed. For more information visit the website.

About University of San Diego (USD) The Brink SBDC
Located at the University of San Diego- a designated change maker university, The Brink SBDC is part of the San Diego and Imperial Valley Regional Small Business Development Center Network. We support innovative and scalable companies, particularly in the technology and science-related industries. Visit their website.

Heather Purcell
Deputy Director of Communications
Email Heather,HERE

California Office of the Small Business Advocate
1325 J Street, Suite 1800

Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: 1-877-345-4633
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