About Laura James

Laura is CVEP's Vice President of Innovation, and is also a sports fanatic, music lover, and consumer technology junkie. With an undergraduate degree in education, certificates in economic development, nonprofit management, and information systems management, and an M.B.A., she helps tech founders prove that business has the power to make the world an amazing place.

What To Know Before You Apply To The iHub

By |2021-07-14T21:54:36-07:00July 14th, 2021|Categories: Innovation|Tags: , , , |

When an entrepreneur or a small business comes to us for assistance, the first step is determining what type of assistance is really needed. Because the iHub program receives a fair amount of publicity, many assume that they should apply to the iHub as the mandatory first step on a path to success. For some [...]

Announcing the Inaugural CVEP Economic Development Week Award Winners

By |2021-05-17T16:18:17-07:00May 15th, 2021|Categories: Economic Development, News|Tags: , , , , |

The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) celebrated Economic Development Week from May 9-15, 2021. Adding to the celebration this year, CVEP's inaugural Economic Development Week Awards recognize local individuals, companies, and organizations for their significant contributions to economic development in the Greater Palm Springs region. The awards are destined to become a highlight of Economic [...]

CV Entrepreneur Wins 1st Place at RivCo Fast Pitch Finale

By |2021-04-30T16:21:51-07:00April 30th, 2021|Categories: Innovation, News|Tags: , , , , , |

Technology entrepreneur Bear Simerson is the first entrepreneur from the Greater Palm Springs area to come in first at the Fourth Annual Riverside County Fast Pitch Finale held on April 28, 2021. Simerson was one of five Riverside County entrepreneurs who qualified for the Finale by taking top honors at an official Riverside County Innovation [...]

Congratulations to the Winners of Fast Pitch Greater Palm Springs!

By |2021-04-20T09:45:31-07:00April 20th, 2021|Categories: Innovation, News|Tags: , , , |

Fast Pitch Greater Palm Springs - held on April 14 at the Mary Pickford Theater in Cathedral City - was an action-packed, shark-tank-style pitch contest. All in all, six innovators pitched their ideas to our panel of judges. Two winners were named: one in the product/service category and one in the technology category. Both Fast [...]

Fast Pitch Greater Palm Springs 2021

By |2021-04-13T13:18:30-07:00April 13th, 2021|Categories: Innovation, News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Riverside County Innovation Month is a chance to celebrate all types of innovators. On the official events calendar, you might find webinars, workshops, podcast premieres, socially-distant networking events, virtual tours, and more. But the real showcase of Innovation Month is the series of Regional Fast Pitch events and the Fast Pitch Finale. One of only [...]

Small Business Comeback: Get Your Business Online

By |2021-03-02T14:31:37-08:00March 2nd, 2021|Categories: Business Development, News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

A year ago. A presentation on digital marketing from Rich Henrich and Paul Gonzales of Rook SEO (now Rook Digital) was scheduled for the first week of March 2020. Stay-at-home orders hadn't yet been put in place. That event was the first of many that we had to cancel or postpone in 2020. At the [...]

CVEP Wins Prestigious IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Award

By |2020-10-27T13:21:54-07:00October 26th, 2020|Categories: Economic Development, News|Tags: , , , |

Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) won a Silver category award for its CVEP Investor Package, a project in the General Purpose Print Promotion category of the International Economic Development Council’s 2020 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program. The honor was presented at an awards ceremony during the 2020 IEDC Annual Conference. “Creating an Investor Package [...]

Business Shutdowns Present Perils for Greater Palm Springs

By |2020-10-19T12:55:51-07:00October 19th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Economic Development, Jobs, News|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Economically, the Coachella Valley has been reeling since the cancellation of several of the region’s biggest events in the spring of 2020. At the time, the fear was that the region’s small businesses would experience greatly reduced sales during the busy spring event season, thereby rolling into the slower summer months with less cushion to [...]

CVEP Adds Brand Therapy to Virtual Business Services Offerings

By |2020-07-15T10:18:03-07:00July 14th, 2020|Categories: Business Development, News|Tags: , , , , , |

As firm believers in a tech-led economic development strategy, and as managers of a network of business incubators across the Coachella Valley (the Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and Indio iHubs), we serve innovators. Since mid-March, CVEP has made the shift to delivering virtual business services. We know that in order to serve innovators well, we [...]

Back to Basics for Controlling Coronavirus in Coachella Valley

By |2020-07-01T18:20:37-07:00July 1st, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Economic Development, Jobs, News|Tags: , , , |

As economic developers, of course we want to see Coachella Valley businesses open. But in order for our economy to really function, we've got to prioritize the protection of public health. That's because businesses need customers, and customers need to 1) feel safe and 2) be healthy enough to participate in economic activity. Just this [...]

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