ExCITE Riverside: A Startup Accelerator Program offering Mentorship, Capital, and Connections

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Sep 29, 2021


ExCITE Riverside

โ€œItโ€™s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.โ€Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist 

With that in mind, ExCITE Riverside is a startup accelerator that helps select startups with promising MVPs and founders, as a way to rapidly scale growth. Led by UC Riverside, in partnership with the County of Riverside and the city of Riverside, the accelerator is located at 10th St. in downtown Riverside, California,

ExCITE currently houses 21 startups in various stages of development including DeepBits, SmartBot360, StarNav, and Apsidal.

Program Structure

ExCITE runs 6-12 month startup accelerator program and facility for technology startups. It chooses the growth-ready companies from Inland Southern California and provides them with access to:

  • Mentorship
  • Liquidity opportunities
  • Network, and community
  • Professional & strategic resources
  • Lab space and specialized equipment

Startup Tool Box

ExCITE has developed a key resource called the ‘startup toolbox’. It bundles up services and pre-negotiated packages with local law firms and banks, HR benefits, accounting services, and CRO referrals. Some details of the toolbox might give you an idea how ExCITE adds value to its startups given that acquiring these services on your own usually requires time and money, two key resources in scarcity for early stage startups.

Legal Assistance

For instance, law firms like DLA Piper, BB&K, Stubbs Alderton, Markiles LLP and others provide ExCITE startups with a set package of services at no charge, including: incorporation / entity formation, standard legal documents (NDAs, employment agreements, etc.), and assistance with a pre-funding cap-table. 

Financial Support

the financial front, ExCITE has the Silicon Valley Bank and Square 1 Bank onboard to provide startup with no-deposit, no-fee bank accounts, an essential element of in order to apply for SBIR or STTR grants.

Accounting Services

Early Growth Financial Services offers low-cost, fixed price professional accounting services for early-stage companies through the JumpStart program. Beyond accounting services, they also provide access to a CFO, financial modeling and tax services.

For payroll set-up, tax filings and planning for SBIR and other grants compliance, ExCITE startups can utilize services of Moss Adams, a firm to guide very early stage companies with complimentary consultations regarding the above mentioned accounting issues.

Other areas of support include hosting from AWS, and marketing support services by SendGrid, Raincross, and Crowdsmart. Do check out the ‘Toolbox’ page of ExCITE to understand what the program offers.

Community Focused Events

if your startup becomes part of the ExCITE Riverside accelerator, you will have a plenty of support in the form of community focused events. Some of the key organizations it has partnered with include 1 Million Cups – a Kauffman Initiative, TechStars Startup Week, Tech Meetups including Riverside.IO, WordPress Meetup and other ongoing events that help you stay connected.

Startups Graduating from ExCITE Riverside

Some of the well known startups graduating from the ExCITE Riverside accelerator are Blue, Farm Sense, and Globe Biomedical.


Also called the digital business card for the 21st century, Blue is a mobile app and an NFC-Powered smart card to share your email, LinkedIn, Twitter, & more by swapping the card to a smartphone. The startup is an ExCITE Riverside graduate and has also raised $1M in crowdfunding on Republic, a popular crowd-funding platform.

Globe Biomedical

Globe Biomedical, founded by engineering faculty members from California Baptist University, joined ExCITE in 2018 and benefited from its events, workshops, as well as trainings and mentoring provided by EPIC SBDC and led by UC Riverside.

The startup received SBIR Phase I and Phase II funding for almost $1 million, making it the second graduate of ExCITE. 

โ€œWithout the space and incubation at ExCITE, we probably would not have been awarded the SBIR Phase II grant. The founders have deep roots here in Riverside. Itโ€™s a terrific community, and we are excited to grow Globe right here in the heart of the Inland Empire.โ€

Globe Biomedical COO Matthew Rickard.

โ€œThe biggest reason FarmSense has gotten where it is today is with the help of ExCITE and EPIC SBDC,โ€

Leslie Hickle, CEO FarmSense


FarmSense worked with ExCITE for four years, as well as UCRโ€™s EPIC Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and raised $2 million non-dilutive capital after the $7.5 million from previous academic research funding.

โ€œThe biggest reason FarmSense has gotten where it is today is with the help of ExCITE and EPIC SBDC,โ€ Hickle said. โ€œMost startups fail because they donโ€™t have this kind of support,โ€ said CEO and co-founder Leslie Hickle.

Some other startups using ExCITE Riverside as their launchpad are:

  • DeepBits
  • Sarcix
  • SmartBot360
  • Neighmo
  • Zybooks
  • VNergy
  • Kids That Code

Our goal at Startempire Wire is to act as a megaphone to connect the dots between the best startups, events, and people in the Inland Empire. Donโ€™t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and like/follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  


  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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