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City Opens First Business Accelerator in Southeastern San Diego

$2.5M Investment Delivers on Mayor Faulconer’s Commitment to Create More Business Opportunities in Underserved Communities

Monday, May 20, 2019 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – As part of his commitment to bring opportunity to every San Diego neighborhood, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today opened the first business accelerator – CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center – to grow local early-stage businesses in San Diego’s most underserved communities.

Touring the new accelerator offices at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, Mayor Faulconer was joined by City Councilmember Monica Montgomery and Jacobs Center President and CEO Reginald Jones to announce the public-private partnership between the City, Jacobs Center, and CONNECT and San Diego Venture Group – leaders in supporting innovation and entrepreneurs in San Diego. The City has committed $2.5 million to the effort over the next four years.

“Creating more opportunities for San Diegans to succeed is what this business accelerator is all about,” Mayor Faulconer said. “The fact that we’re launching this in a historically underserved neighborhood will be a game-changer for the community. It will provide unprecedented access to free resources and support that will help entrepreneurs transform their ideas into thriving businesses.”

Located in the Diamond neighborhoods, the accelerator is in the heart of a historically-underserved community that has been identified as part of San Diego’s federally designated Promise Zone. The Jacobs Center is providing nearly 4,300 square feet of flexible co-working space complete with office equipment, mentorship and support services.

“CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center’s goal is to provide opportunity for low-to-moderate income and diversity-focused entrepreneurship, and to spur economic development in historically underserved communities,” Councilmember Montgomery said. “It’s an honor to host this accelerator in my district, benefitting Southeastern San Diego and the region as a whole.”

Selected through a competitive process, 13 startups were selected to participate in the first class. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and represent businesses in retail, technology, health and beauty. All are committed to hiring low-to-moderate income San Diego residents.

“No matter where you are in starting or growing your business, CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center is there to support you,” said Jones, the Jacobs Center president and CEO. “We are dedicated to this community, to this City and to all the people who are constantly innovating to make it even better.”

This new program provides entrepreneurs with the tools they need to scale their businesses, including expert mentoring, business management and investment relationship assistance, and free co-working space with office amenities. Participants will also cultivate capital and other resources to grow their business at an “accelerated” pace. All services are free, and no equity stake is required. The Jacobs Center will also provide a no-cost Business Resource Center for entrepreneurs at all levels outside the program.

Others contributing to the project were MUFG Union Bank with a three-year grant, and bkm OfficeWorks, which provided a full-suite of modern office furniture.

“MUFG Union Bank supports local community programs that expand access to opportunity in low- and moderate-income communities where we do business,” said MUFG Union Bank Foundation Chief Operating Officer Kathy Patoff. “CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center is a perfect manifestation of that vision. We are proud to support an initiative that will help uplift aspiring entrepreneurs in San Diego’s diverse communities.”

The City provided the initial capital investment of $1 million in the first year and up to $500,000 for each of the next three years to manage the program. To learn more, visit connectallsd.org.

CONTACT: Christina Chadwick at 619-865-3622 or [email protected]

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