Off-the-grid mobile solar power. Energy-saving smart water meters. Solar hot water collectors.
They sound like the enterprises of cities known for sprouting renewable energy companies,
but these and a growing number of others are creating high-skill jobs in Greater Palm Springs.
Some of these entrepreneurs came to realize their ideas at the Palm Springs iHub, an incubator
and Accelerator Campus operated by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership to attract
innovators to the region.
“The idea for the iHub, or innovation hub, is to diversify the economy and create year-round, high-paying jobs for educated and highly skilled people who want to live here,” says
Joe Wallace, who manages the iHub in addition to his role as CVEP’s chief executive officer.
“Since we opened the iHub in 2012, we’ve attracted 44 companies in the fields of renewable
energy, health and medicine, high tech, advanced manufacturing, and digital arts and media.”
The companies at the iHub represent various stages of development; eight have joined since
Companies selected for the program work in a collaborative environment at the main iHub
office, where they receive coaching in finance, marketing, and other areas critical to attracting
investment and bringing their innovations to the marketplace. Once they prove their concept
and show a solid business plan, they “graduate” to the Accelerator Campus to develop prototypes and begin light manufacturing.
They all have a few things in common: They chose to launch their businesses in Greater Palm
Springs. They solve contemporary problems with technology. And their goals are to go global,
create wealth, and contribute to the economic well-being of this region.
A WAVE OF TECH-BASED ENTERPRISES
DISCOVERS OPEN MINDS AND
BY EMILY CHAVOUS • PHOTOGRAPHS BY ETHAN KAMINSKY
Eric Kuykendall assembles
a solar array for Sactec
Solar, which relocated from
Torrance to launch at the
Palm Springs iHub.