Office of Economic Development Provides Update on Local Business Incubators

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The Office of Economic Development gave an update to City Council on January 7th focusing on local business incubators and the ongoing efforts of the City to support the facilities in order to encourage entrepreneurial development and facilitate the creation of new businesses. Business incubators play a role in Riverside’s success in developing a vibrant and robust entrepreneurial economy. The report to City Council provides an update on the incubator projects the City has supported which have assisted 11 companies and created approximately 60 jobs to date. To read the full report to City Council, click here

These Incubators include:

  • Bourns Incubator (1200 Columbia Avenue)
    Bourns Technology Centers is home to several emerging high-tech companies and start-ups that represent approximately 25 jobs. Established in 2010, the Bourns Technology Center features approximately 24,000 square feet of multipurpose, light manufacturing and lab space.The space features a wide range of amenities including conference rooms, a cafeteria and workout room, shipping and receiving area, as well as access to the talent and resources of one of Riverside’s most successful technology companies. 
  • ieCrowd (Innovation Center – 1650 Spruce Street)
    ieCrowd’s model has created 20 professional jobs and four administrative jobs; raised private capital, leased nearly 18,000 square feet and launched several companies including Olfactor Laboratories, Inc. (OLI) and Nano Engineered Applications (NEA). Both of these companies were built around research developed at UCR.
  • Vocademy (1635 Spruce Street)
    On October 6, 2013, Vocademy, a do-it-yourself workshop, opened its doors to the public. Dubbed as “The Place to Learn and Make Anything”, this membership-based facility provides members the use of tools, equipment, classes and offices for start-ups in the manufacturing space. Vocademy will be highlighted on a recent episode of “Made in Riverside”. 
  • Riverside.io (3567 Main Street)
    Riverside.io is a coworking space founded by several UCR graduates. A coworking space is a shared working environment. Unlike typical office environments, coworking spaces are usually used by multiple companies and/or organizations. Riverside.io opened on August 6, 2013 and currently has 13 members. 
  • Riverside ExCITE (3499 Tenth Street)
    On October 28, 2013, Riverside ExCITE, a partnership between the City of Riverside, County of Riverside and UCR, established articles of incorporation as a nonprofit. The goal of ExCITE is to establish an incubator in Downtown Riverside and “facilitate the successful incubation and acceleration of start-up companies engaged in entrepreneurial research and development of advanced technologies to create high technology jobs in Riverside County”. To date, two start-up companies, Frackoptima and Zyante, have been accepted as tenants. In an offer of shared investment, the City Manager’s Office was approved for the allocation of funding to RPU to connect the building to the City’s fiber network. This will provide tenants of the facility high-speed internet, a necessary amenity to a successful incubator facility. 
  • Start-up Garage – Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business (4500 Riverwalk Parkway)
    In addition to the incubators listed above, the Office of Economic Development is looking forward to partnering with La Sierra University and their recently opened state-of-the art Zapara School of Business. Two rooms, called “start-up garages”, will function as incubators for students with promising entrepreneurial ideas and business plans. The garages will be outfitted with computers, phones and other necessities at no cost to student entrepreneurs. Students maintain their tenancy in the garage for one school year by meeting quarterly business goals set by the students and approved by administration.

Incubator activities are an instrumental piece of our Economic Development Action Plan. The Office of Economic Development’s Technology Ombudsmen Gregory Lee is an active participant in the Tech CEO Forum that meets on a monthly basis to discuss developments occurring in the local tech related businesses and the Economic Development team will continue to promote the growing inventory of incubators and resources available to entrepreneurs and start-ups considering the region. Additionally, the Office of Economic Development website is currently undergoing a re-design that will include a new section dedicated to our business incubators and entrepreneurial eco-system.

Entrepreneurs can find more information about these incubators and other business resources by visiting www.riversideca.gov/econdev/business-resources or by contacting the City’s Technology Ombudsman, Gregory Lee, at (877) 748-7433.