Sunstone Management Inc., an Irvine-based venture capital firm, has hired former Long Beach staffer Eric Romero as director of economic development.
Romero had been Long Beach’s business development manager in the economic development department.
Sunstone Management is a founding partner of the Long Beach Accelerator, along with the city and the Cal State Long Beach Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Long Beach Accelerator provides technical assistance, mentorship, and financial investment in a four-month course for area start-ups. A fourth cohort of nine companies had just started training.
With the move, Romero was reunited with his former boss, John Keisler, who was director of the economic development department before becoming CEO and managing partner of Sunstone on April 1.
“Eric not only brings a wealth of knowledge to this position, but also an invaluable perspective on the importance of public-private partnerships in the venture capital industry,” Keisler said in a statement. “This appointment underscores our commitment to being a new kind of investment company, with an important goal of partnering with cities and counties to establish new avenues of economic opportunity.”
At Sunstone, Romero will use his municipal experience to help create public-private partnerships to promote investment in start-up companies.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to build creative partnerships with cities, counties and universities,” he said, “to continue serving local innovators and advancing economic equity. among early-stage startups in this new role.”