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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Regents Of The University Of California At Riverside


Riverside, CA

Project Name

Riverside Proof of Concept Center Implementation Project



Award Amount


Riverside County has 175,971 registered firms, 26 percent Hispanic-owned, second only to White-owned businesses. Although Latino owned businesses are growing at three times the rate of the national average, and Latinos are the largest group of new entrepreneurs, only 1.9 percent of Latino-owned businesses generate more than $1 million in revenue.

Key partners with this effort include the County of Riverside Economic Development Agency, regional incubators such as ExCITE, Temecula, Coachella Valley, Murrieta and Corona Innovation Centers. Additionally, entrepreneurial support organizations such as TriTech SBDC and InSoCal CONNECT extend the mentoring components of the program to company formation.

UC Riverside proposes to revitalize the Riverside County economy by creating EPIC, a regional entrepreneurial proof of concept center and by building critical infrastructure to support the translation of university intellectual property to the private sector.

The proposed activities aim to:

  • Promote innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the region with focus on UC-affiliated innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • Accelerate translation of research discoveries to the private sector for the benefit of the region’s economy.
  • Train the next generation of innovators by providing entrepreneurial education using the Lean start-up methodology.
  • Serve as a coordinating hub to integrate and efficiently leverage existing entrepreneurial support resources in the region.
  • Bring visibility to Riverside County as an attractive location for the creation of high growth businesses.

EPIC is a UC Riverside led program created in partnership with the Riverside County and the region’s economic development organizations. EPIC is designed to provide specialized resources to help entrepreneurs build innovation based companies. Funds will be allocated to support key programmatic elements that EPIC will deliver to UC affiliated companies: entrepreneurial education, mentorship and coaching by entrepreneurs in residence, proof of concept funds and access to resources to help entrepreneurs structure their company.

The program is expected to support over 4000 innovators, who will help create over 70 new companies and more then 200 jobs.