Riverside, CA (PRWEB) October 18, 2013
State and local government officials, business leaders and investors came together in Riverside, California, for the announcement of the expansion of California’s Innovation Hub Program. There is a total of 16 iHubs throughout the state. Each iHub has a specific focus which is determined in part by the availability of specialized resources in the region that it serves.
The program is an initiative of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to harness innovation and resources for the purpose of bringing new business and jobs to the state. The number of iHubs statewide has expanded from 12 to 16. One of the newest iHubs—the Inland SoCal Link iHub--is a joint venture of the County of Riverside and the Port of Los Angeles that will be based in Riverside. Rob Field, assistant county executive officer and head of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency told So Cal CEO Magazine’s Dwight Cromie that iHub will help to demonstrate the County’s commitment to innovation and new business development.
“It’s going to help us diversify our local economy, which is a huge emphasis for us. We don’t want to be pigeon-holed into just one or two sectors of the economy. We want to have as diverse an economy as possible so that we can withstand any sort of challenge. In the past two recessions, we’ve been hit pretty hard because we were too reliant on a couple different industries, and we don’t think that will be the case any more,” Field said.
When asked what the inland region, specifically Riverside County, has to offer businesses around the country that they may not be getting elsewhere, Field told Cromie, “You’re not going to find the concentration of this many colleges and universities. You’re not going to find an area that has as much in the area of transportation infrastructure, especially with all the improvements going on right now. We’re sort of the gateway from Southern California to the rest of the country.”
Among the dignitaries on hand, State Senator Richard Roth, agreed that the Inland SoCal Link could play a vital role in terms of home-grown economic development.
“I think it’s huge. It’s recognition that we’re a growing region, that we can band together with academia, business and others to promote our region, to promote jobs in our region and promote manufacturing, biotech, research and development. The Inland SoCal Link will allow us to partner with the Port of Los Angeles. We have logistics. We have opportunity, and this will allow us to market (the area) in conjunction with the Port of Los Angeles.”
A number of small business owners also attended the event to learn how the new iHub locations could be useful in helping them to improve and expand their businesses. Grant Gyulnazaryan, Vice President and co-founder of SouthTech, Riverside-based developer of eGovernment and eBusiness software solutions is optimistic about the positive effect the new Inland SoCal Link may have on his company.
“We’re a small company…we’ve grown naturally, organically. We don’t have a lot of resources, and I think the iHubs are going to be very helpful to us as a company because we know how to build software (but) we don’t have the expertise to help us double, triple or quadruple our business easily, so I believe the resources iHub will provide will help us to grow in the future.”