Riverside Metro Area Ranks 35th for Starting a Business in 2020

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(This article was published on INC.com in December 2019)

The local university became the beating heart of this startup community.

No. 14 Net Business Creation; 16 Job Creation; 16 Wage Growth

Priced-out Angelenos have been moving in droves to Riverside and San Bernardino, where real estate costs are roughly half of those in L.A.’s pricey market. In March, there were reportedly 100,000 housing units in the works. The Inland Empire is also aiming to carve out a niche for itself in the startup world. In October, the University of California Riverside opened a 3,000-square-foot Wet Lab Incubator specially outfitted to house 15 startups in the life sciences, agriculture, biotechnology, and medical industries. Access to capital in the area is limited, but money is still available to those who know where to look. In 2017, UC Riverside helped create a $10 million seed capital fund called the Highlander Venture Fund. The following year, its Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept Center and Small Business Development Center launched to offer access to capital, as well as mentorship and training. The school also helps manage Excite, a local technology accelerator in downtown Riverside. “Our region is a test bed to actually build stuff and see if it works,” says Scott Brovsky, director of the program, “and we’re working to find entrepreneurs who can scale globally.” --Brit Morse