Murrieta Innovation Center: Landmark for Local Business

Local dignitaries and business leaders gathered for the ribbon cutting at Murrieta Innovation Center Tuesday afternoon. Murrieta 24/7 pho...

Local dignitaries and business leaders gathered for the ribbon cutting at Murrieta Innovation Center Tuesday afternoon.
Murrieta 24/7 photos: Kristen Spoon

The City of Murrieta's commitment to economic growth, not only within its city limits but throughout the region, was clearly evident Tuesday at the grand opening of the Murrieta Innovation Center.

Located in a remodeled city-owned building on Beckman Court that used to house Murrieta City Hall, the Innovation Center is designed to provide conference space, technological resources and mentorship for local businesses, both big and small. It is run under the direction of InSoCal Connect -- a company that assists in linking start-ups and technology companies with local government, universities, professional service providers and investors.

Innovation Center's first major participant is Loma Linda University Medical Center, which plans to use the center's resources in entrepreneurship in the medical field. Although medical technology is a major thrust of the center, its services are available to all businesses and start-ups. Conference rooms and even a video studio are available for use free of charge. Entrepreneurs may also attend roundtable discussions with other business leaders and receive mentorship through the SCORE business advice service.

"You're going to be able to take things from conception to completion," said Murrieta City Council member Jonathan Ingram, who attended Tuesday's grand opening. "If you have a concept or an idea of something you want to grow in the region, this is the support group for you. This will give the ability to the average person to work with entrepreneurs who have been there, who have made the mistakes, have had the successes, so you learn from their experiences."

Mayor Pro Tem Randon Lane (left) spoke of the significance of the center while addressing a crowd gathered outside the building for a ribbon cutting.

"It's highly unusual for a city our size to offer this opportunity for entrepreneurship, but we firmly believe this is the way to grow the region's economy," Lane said. "We are always looking for the bigger businesses to be here in the city of Murrieta, but what we also want to do is grow our own businesses, help create small businesses and help them thrive. We're willing to do what needs to be done to help make this successful."

The center's services are also available to local youth who are interested in developing business skills. Among the presentations Tuesday was a display of robotics by students from Murrieta Valley High School. At right, Dylan Ryan and Matthew Bennin explain how a robot has been programmed to move and place blocks on a stack.

The students are part of YES -- Youth Entrepreneurship Seminar Place, an outreach of the nonprofit Saturday Morning CEO Foundation.

Joining in the celebration were representatives of Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez and Congressman Ken Calvert. Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, a former Murrieta and Temecula City Council member, spoke about the partnership between the two cities in supporting the center.

"Whether the participants are from Murrieta or Temecula, jobs will be created that benefit the community," Washington said. "In this partnership between Murrieta and Temecula, we have built the most powerful economic engine in the entire county."

Jay Goth is executive director of InSoCal Connect and has been a driving force behind the center's creation.

"This is a community project," Goth said. "Everybody here is part of this. It doesn't matter what city you're in, this center has a regional focus. We chose Murrieta as our home base because we love the proactive way they look at business, but this is a regional thing. This is an innovation center by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs."

For more information about the Murrieta Innovation Center, visit its website here.

Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington addresses the crowd, standing next to Jay Goth of InSoCal Connect.

Local recording artist Joanna Pearl checks out the video equipment in the media center with Council member Jonathan Ingram.


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