Inland Empire entrepreneurs seeking expert guidance on how to start and fund a technology based business will, beginning next week, have a resource center staffed by seasoned hands available to them in downtown Riverside.
UC Riverside will open its EPIC Small Business Development Center on Tuesday at the Riverside County Business Center, 3403 10th St., providing a one-stop shop for startup hopefuls. The event, slated for 11 a.m., will be open to the general public.
“There’s no better time to be a tech entrepreneur in our region,” said Scott Brovsky, who is on the business center staff. “The amount of support EPIC SBDC will bring is something that’s never been seen before in this region. The EPIC SBDC is a faster on-ramp to success.”
EPIC — Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept Innovation Center — was initiated at UCR in October 2016 and has been focused largely on supporting campus-based tech projects. However, with the grand opening of the business center, assistance will now be available to parties throughout the region.
The SBDC is receiving funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the state to pair industry experts, or “entrepreneurs in residence,” with individuals pursuing startup opportunities, according to UCR officials.
A total of 20 mentors will be available for free consultation sessions and training at the business center.
“When you’re in the middle of starting a company, it isn’t obvious where your weak spots are.” said Tom Stone, chief executive officer for Pasadena-based Sensorygen, which utilizes computational neurobiology to create better insect repellants and has tapped UCR EPIC for assistance.
“Their entrepreneurs in residence are top-notch people,” Stone said. “They review your business plan and give you really good feedback about how to start your business and get to market.”
According to campus officials, more than a dozen companies have benefited from UCR EPIC’s expertise.
As technology-based companies gain market footholds in the region, there will be more job opportunities and economic growth, according to the UCR Office of Technology.
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