Yes, that’s right, this week was Los Angeles Technology Week. The event was marked with meetings, roundtables, and symposia around the County, including a kickoff lunch on Monday featuring astronaut Sally Ride as a keynote speaker. (I’m so sorry I couldn’t go!) If you missed it, next year’s Tech Week is already set for January 26th through 30th, so put it on your calendar.
Long Beach’s Tech Week event took place Wednesday at the Cal State campus in the Walter Pyramid. It consisted of two panels focused on the future of technology and world trade. Attendees heard from software integration experts about the impact of “virtualization” as both private companies and public agencies switch more and more of their operations to an electronic or virtual basis. They also heard from the Long Beach International Trade Office about export opportunities in Asia, and from CSULB’s Dean of Engineering about how such a tiny percentage of U.S. students are majoring in engineering compared with students in Asia. They also learned from a local technology “angel” investor how European countries support start-up businesses.
Cal State Long Beach is intending to do just that through its new Regional Technology Center, a technology business incubator. It’s a virtual (there’s that word again!) affiliate of the LA County Business Technology Center established nearly ten years ago in Altadena. It will offer entrepreneurs from the university and community access to education, mentoring, investors, and other services needed by start-up firms. I wrote about its formation back in September and I’ve now attended two Advisory Board meetings as the chair of the membership and marketing committee. It’s clear that there are CSULB students with entrepreneurial dreams, and I’m certain that there are many more in all walks of life in Long Beach. We’ll be reaching out soon to sign up members.
At the Pyramid Wednesday, CSULB President King Alexander, CSULB Assistant Vice Chancellor Beth Ambos, and City of Long Beach Economic Development Manager Robert Swayze all expressed their support for this tech incubator initiative. I’m delighted to be part of this effort to develop clean technologies of all kinds and help create jobs and prosperity for Long Beach. I don’t know exactly where this is headed, but I’m very optimistic!