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CalOSBA Releases Request for Proposals to Designate 10 Inclusive Innovation Hubs

Sacramento, CA – California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), announced that it is now accepting applications for the Inclusive Innovation Hub (IHub2) Program.  The application period is open from October 11, 2021 through November 15, 2021.

CalOSBA will designate and award a total of ten (10) proposals to serve as California’s iHub2 to incubate and/or accelerate technology and science-based firms in underserved regions and communities, including women and people of color. The official designation as an iHub2 will be a 5-year agreement with the State of California. CalOSBA will award each designated iHub2 $250,000 to build and expand programs during the first year of operation. These financial one-year awards for each iHub2 will total $2.5 Million.

Building on the strengths of the clustered regional model, CalOSBA launched the California Inclusive Innovation Hub program (iHub2) with a new focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.  The iHub2 program will accelerate technology and science-based firms in key industry areas with a strong outreach focus on diverse founders, including women and people of color, and on underserved geographies and regions.

iHub2 will encourage regions to build upon their existing or emerging innovation resources and local industry concentrations to create activity hubs, promote technology transfer and assist nascent companies with layered support and partnerships. Additionally, iHub2 will serve as a bridge between local innovation ecosystems and state technical assistance, resources, and networks to support the success of the program.

“As we continue to work toward inclusive economic recovery, programs like iHub2 are important catalysts for innovation, new business starts, and supporting regional development through strong partnerships”, said Tara Lynn Gray, Director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Fully accredited institutions of higher education such as community colleges, public and private universities and state colleges;
  • Private nonprofit corporations engaged in economic development activities
  • Local counties or municipalities with pre-existing community/economic development departments and/or programs; and,
  • Public economic development institutions such as workforce investment boards and economic development corporations.

For full application instructions and eligibility information, please see the Request for Proposals at https://calosba.ca.gov/grant-and-funding-opportunities/ and grants.ca.gov.

CalOSBA is available to provide application related technical assistance via e-mail at osba@gobiz.ca.gov. There will be a zoom webinar for interested applicants held on October 21 at 10am. Interested applicants can register HERE

The deadline to submit an application is November 15th, 2021 at 12 PM PST. Applications must be submitted by e-mail to osba@gobiz.ca.gov.​