April 3, 2024
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Cal Poly SLO gets $500,000 grant to fund startup development


The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship received $500,000 to fund startup development in the county as part of an effort to mitigate job losses from the proposed closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, announced on Sept. 18 that the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Assistance program had funded the Central Coast Innovation Lab and Accelerator Development Project in the county.

Tod Nelson, executive director of the CIE, submitted a proposal for the program in the spring of 2017 listing an additional $574,752 in non-federal funding.

“Creating good paying jobs for Central Coast residents is a top priority of mine,” said Carbajal. “I’m grateful that this federal funding, in collaboration with Cal Poly’s CIE Innovation Lab and Accelerator program, will help the San Luis Obispo community create employment opportunities for residents by encouraging local entrepreneurship and innovation. I will continue to work to grow businesses in our area and keep our communities thriving as the Diablo Canyon decommissioning comes into effect.”

Cal Poly estimated that the program will generate 648 new jobs with an annual salary above $57,000 within five years of the end of the grant. It will provide a community lab space for product development and proof-of-concept testing, aiming to diversify jobs with a focus on the knowledge, innovation and advanced manufacturing sectors.

“This grant will allow us to increase our economic impact throughout the county and help offset the loss of jobs from the forthcoming closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant,” Nelson said. “With this funding, we will be able to expand our entrepreneurial programs so startups will have all the support they need to grow locally and develop into high-growth enterprises.”

• Contact Marissa Nall at mnall@pacbiztimes.com.