iHub (CA Innovation Hub) - Chicostart

Chicostart serves as one of 14 California-designated iHubs.  Our region spans 11 counties from Nevada County all the way to Shasta.

What is an iHub?

In an effort to harness and enhance California’s innovative spirit, the state of California launched its forward-thinking Innovation Hub (iHub) program. The iHub program improves the state’s national and global competitiveness by stimulating partnerships, economic development, and job creation around specific research clusters through state-designated iHubs. The iHubs leverage assets such as research parks, technology incubators, universities, and federal laboratories to provide an innovation platform for startup companies, economic development organizations, business groups, and venture capitalists.

The Chicostart iHub helps start-up and early-stage technology companies scale by connecting them with local and non-local industry experts, capital sources, strategic partners and customers.

The iHub network is a vital part of Chicostart’s efforts to enhance the North State’s connectivity to other centers of innovation and economic game changers across the state. It is a tremendous resource and gives Chicostart state-wide visibility and immediate access to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, also known as “GoBiz.”

The uniqueness of this iHub, is that it serves an economy that is 97% rural. The purpose of our iHub relates directly to an industry space in technology and entrepreneurialism that will transform the North State’s economy by:

  • Creating systematic change in the North State from a resource-based economy to a new mindset of global business opportunities in emerging fields of technology and entrepreneurialism.
  • Supporting technology-based entrepreneurship in the region by leveraging CSU, Chico’s applied research capabilities, unique Sustainable Manufacturing Program and advanced rapid tech manufacturing.
  • Providing supportive financial structures to research-based and early stage developments, including research and development grants (such as DOE and PIER grants), venture and equity funding as well as debt financing.
  • Building upon existing programs and services, linking early stage businesses with technology and capital services and linking university (faculty/student) to business and capital.
To learn more about the iHub initiative, visit the website of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development here.