At least 80 leaders in the local business, civic and government sectors attended a news conference held Tuesday at Murrieta City Hall for the unveiling of a report that shows the region is thriving in its efforts toward local job creation by encouraging innovation.
Titled the “The Best Kept Tech Secrets in the Country,” the Innovation Assets Report is the first to be released by the nonprofit economic development organization InSoCal CONNECT, which is modeled after a similar initiative in San Diego.
The report gives insight to the innovation, entrepreneurship and export opportunities from the Twin Cities of Temecula and Murrieta in the south, to the city of Riverside to the north, and the University of California, Riverside.
The region was included in the San Diego iHub in 2011 and is now often referred to as part of the greater San Diego Mega Region by San Diego CONNECT.
Approximately 80 new innovation start-up companies emerge each year in the region and more than 350 new technology and technology-related start-ups have been created in the InSoCal Innovation Corridor during the past four years, the group said.
Local business leaders said this compares favorably with Seattle, which according SmartPlanet, is the 10th top U.S. start-up city in the U.S., with 96 start-ups in 2011.
“InSoCal CONNECT and the Assets Report findings is an excellent story of a region that is not waiting for Washington and Sacramento to create jobs, but working on its own together with private sector and city leadership, to help spur sector growth in technology and exports,” said Stephen Austin, president of the organization, and managing partner of Swenson Advisors.
“The report shows we have considerable assets and a robust and active spirit in our technology sector,” said Austin, who helps lead an accounting, tax and consulting firm that has offices in Murrieta, San Diego and Hong Kong.
Several Murrieta and Temecula companies were spotlighted during Tuesday’s news conference, as was Murrieta Valley High School’s world championship Robotics Team.
"(This report) clearly demonstrates the growth of an emerging cluster of high technology start up and established companies in this region," said Bruce Coleman, director of economic development for Murrieta. "As a city, Murrieta have been working diligently to foster a pro-business climate and to facilitate the growth of technology companies."
Aaron Schneider, president of Murrieta-based Helixstorm, spoke about how the IT company was founded just four years ago. The cost of doing business in Murrieta is less expensive compared to other locations, he said, and there is a local need for Helixstorm services and products.
Other speakers at the event included Camille Sobrian Saltman, president of San Diego CONNECT; Murrieta Mayor Doug McAllister and Mayor Pro Tem Rick Gibbs; UCR Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development Michael Pazzani; Brian Hawley, chairman of Luminex Software and a founding member of Riverside Tech CEO Forum; Dr. Terry Beardley, president and CEO of Murrieta-based T-Cyte Therapeutics; Robin Hillary of Temecula-based LIT Central; Marek Lipinski of Murrieta-based Tactical 3rd Dimension; and Roy Paulson, president of Temecula-based Paulson Manufacturing.
Paulson, whose company manufactures Military gear, noted he has contracted for work in Murrieta because he is running out of room in his Temecula facility.
"This is how the United States economy is going to make its return and it is happening right here in front of us," Paulson said.