UCR Center for Social Innovation & Blended Impact Release the 2021 IE Innovation Ecosystem Highlights & Web Repo

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Sep 8, 2022


News β€’ Press Release β€’ Riverside County

On September 6th, 2022, UCR’s Center for Social Innovation (CSI) and Blended Impact (a Southern California-based venture development firm and innovation lab) released the ‘2021 IE Innovation Ecosystem Highlights report.

The latest report includes updated data through 2021.

Key Takeaways:

  1. UCR’s report on the innovation ecosystem of IE shows the changes that influenced the economy in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties in 2021.
  2. Biomedical, aerospace, cyber technology, and software development are some areas highlighted for growth in the last year and upcoming years in the Inland Empire.


If you want to listen to these highlights in the form of a Podcast, head over to the link below.

Providing Actionable Data for the IE Ecosystem with Gary Rettberg of UCR Center for Social Innovation

Founder’s Podcast

Highlights from 2021: IE Innovation Ecosystem 

A thorough study of the Inland Empire innovation ecosystem was released in April 2021 due to a collaboration between Blended Impact and the UCR Center for Social Innovation. The study contained a complete directory of the innovation-focused projects and incubators/accelerators through 2020, as well as historical analyses of Riverside and San Bernardino counties and significant developing sectors. The state of the Entrepreneurship report aimed to give over 10,000 local business owners in the Inland Empire a platform to speak to local and state policymakers, community organizations, lenders, and other resource providers.

The new data focuses on:

  • Discovering funding opportunities in the region.
  • Using IPEDs and Burning Glass to gauge the region’s talent availability and job openings connected to innovation.
  • Comparing the Inland Empire to the five categories of Stats America’s Innovation Indicator, a composite index supported by the Federal Economic Development Administration.
  • Combining actions and priorities from the local, national, and state levels into an actionable manner.

Crowdfunding Raises in Inland Empire 2019-2021

  • $5987030 was raised across 30 fundraising rounds
  • 10309 micro-investors were in crowdfunding rounds.
  • The business services, software, and applications category had the most significant number of micro investors.
  • The transportation, automotive, aviation, and aerospace categories raised $2848694.
  • $3789005 was raised by ten early-stage companies across 12 fun racing rounds for their pre-seed or seed stage raise in 2021.
  • 128% YOY growth and private company funding from 2020 to 2021.

Assistance for the Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial ecosystem offers an 18-Month Curriculum to five to seven entrepreneurs who want to launch a firm or strengthen the one they already have.

The Aspiring Founders Accelerator is available to anybody in Southern California who may assist in the launch of their firm and is intended for anyone interested in turning a concept into a profitable enterprise.

The Palm Desert iHUB, a cooperation between the city of Palm Desert, the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, and CSUSB, will provide university programs in entrepreneurship, healthcare administration, and cyber security to broaden the community’s educational options.

Regional opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation

Emerging industries

Agriculture tax, life sciences, IT & software, and green tech are four of the leading industries in the Inland Empire.

Major industries emerging innovation

Advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and sustainable logistics are significant industries and innovations in the Inland Empire.

Inclusive Innovation for All

A network of organizations, institutions, and stakeholders known as Inland Economic Growth and Opportunity (IEGO), a regional cross-sector, bi-county collaborative, is dedicated to expanding middle-class jobs and pursuing inclusive economic development. It aims to enhance the quality of life for all Riverside and San Bernardino County residents.

Moreover, they focus on developing industry clusters in sustainable logistics, cyber security, advanced manufacturing, and green technologies.

California’s Priority: Climate Solutions 

The project that lowers wildfire threats by managing and using forest biomass consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Sustainable vegetation management
  • Forestry practices 
  • Timber harvesting products such as advanced energy and construction materials.

Governor Newsom’s California Blueprint: $22.5B for Climate

Startempire Wire also reported that Governor Gavin Newsom presented a budget proposal of $286.4 Billion, dubbed California Blueprint. Out of this, $22.5 Billion were given for tackling climate change. 

Wrap Up!

The Inland Empire is full of innovative talent, great companies, and a culture of ingenuity. All of this helps the ecosystem continue to grow and expand. If you’re an innovator with a great idea or looking for ways to join in on the fun, now’s the time to get involved. We hope that this report inspires you to do so!


  • 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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