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UC Riverside Awarded Grant Funding to Launch InSoCal Accelerate Hub, Boosting Entrepreneurship in Inland Empire

Riverside, CA – April 15th, 2024 - The University of California, Riverside (UCR) is taking decisive steps to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation in the Inland Empire with the launch of the InSoCal Accelerate CA: Inclusive Innovation Hub, made possible by grant funding awarded to UCR from the Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The InSoCal Accelerate Hub (InSoCal Hub) will connect and coordinate existing entrepreneurial support organizations, accelerators/incubators in the Inland Southern California region, and provide the necessary resources to help high potential ventures in the sustainability space, emanating from these programs, accelerate their path to market. Central to the operation of the InSoCAL Hub is the launch of the OASIS Accelerator as its signature initiative, a partner-supported, highly focused, fast paced mentoring program led by UCR’s EPIC Small Business Development Center, designed to strengthen the capacity and likelihood for scalable companies to secure capital and market access.

"Establishing the InSoCal Accelerate Hub signifies our unwavering commitment to catalyzing entrepreneurship and innovation in the region," said Rosibel Ochoa, Associate Vice Chancellor of the Office of Technology Partnerships at UCR and Principal Investigator of the Initiative. "Our coalition of partners and advisors will focus on building a robust pipeline of portfolio companies position well positioned to secure capital, collaborators, and customers”.

The InSoCal Accelerate Hub leverages the existing collaborations that UCR has developed with local entrepreneurial support organizations such as the Murrieta Innovation Center, the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship, the Inland Empire NavalX Tech Bridge, Riverside Community College District, AmPac Business Capital, and the Inland Empire Latina Business Women Association. The coalition is supported by a wide network of partners that include the city of Riverside, the County of Riverside, the city of Moreno Valley, the County of San Bernardino and the Temecula Valley Entrepreneur’s Exchange, whose respective organizations will form the steering committee.

On January 31, 2024, UC Riverside’s Office of Technology Partnerships hosted their inaugural Inland SoCal Climate Action Conference, during which Chris Earl publicly announced that UC Riverside had received the grant funding from CalOSBA to launch the InSoCal Accelerate Hub, marking a significant milestone in the university's commitment to driving economic development and fostering innovation in the region.

“Working to diversify California’s innovation economy is one of the fundamental imperatives of my office,” said CalOSBA Director Tara Lynn Gray. “This announcement recognizes the completion of the Accelerate California network, with 13 Inclusive Innovation Hubs now operating across the state. Each IHub has a unique focus and we look forward to hearing more about UCR’s groundbreaking work in neurodiversity.” The Accelerate California Inclusive Innovation Hubs program catalyzes and fosters innovation ecosystems across the state. This program aims to marry Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) goals with the advancement of critical technology development.

To date, the Office of Technology Partnerships, and its affiliated programs such as UCR’s EPIC and the EPIC Small Business Development Center (EPIC SBDC) are the region’s leading entrepreneurial support organizations with the infrastructure, processes and domain expertise needed to support technology entrepreneurs across multiple sectors. The InSoCal Accelerate Hub and OASIS Accelerator will help develop and diversify the economy of the Inland Southern California by creating and attracting dynamic and innovative enterprises that bring economic activity and create quality jobs.

The InSoCal Accelerate Hub will be led by a diverse team of industry professionals, UCR faculty, and entrepreneurs-in-residence serving as program mentors from UCR's Office of Technology Partnerships. The Hub will also collaborate with regional partners to develop programs and initiatives that promote inclusive innovation and economic development.


For more information about the InSoCal Accelerate Hub and other entrepreneurship initiatives at UC Riverside, visit UCR's Office of Technology Partnerships website.


About UC Riverside’s Office of Technology Partnerships

The Office of Technology Partnerships at UC Riverside (OTP) is committed to fostering the growth of a vibrant innovation ecosystem in the Inland Southern California. By providing a comprehensive portfolio of assistance programs, it supports the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators with the necessary resources to start and grow innovation companies in the region. OTP aims to maximize the societal impact of innovation, entrepreneurship and drive economic prosperity. For more information, visit their website.


About the California Office of the Small Business Advocate

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.