Innovation and economic development are two complementary facets of the Coachella Valley that go hand-in-hand. From small businesses to tech entrepreneurs, the Coachella Valley is an emerging center for innovation within California. To celebrate our innovators and entrepreneurs Riverside County hosts Innovation Month each year. This year Innovation Month spans the month of April and the Coachella Valley will play host to a number of events showcasing many innovative and entrepreneurial activities in celebration of this special time.

The entirety of Riverside County is larger than each individual city and it’s important for small businesses and entrepreneurs to support each other. Even the largest businesses today did not start as the enormous multinational corporations that they are now. They started with an idea and an innovation that they brought to fill a void in the market. On this basis Riverside County’s Innovation Month is helping entrepreneurs to move from idea, to prototype, to concept and finally to delivery of their product or service. As many entrepreneurs do the majority of their work alone, providing an environment in which they can meet other entrepreneurs to collaborate, get help and practice their own pitches is beneficial to getting them involved with the larger community here in the Coachella Valley.

The Riverside Office of Economic Development, the University of California, Riverside, the Riverside Community College District, many cities, educational institutions, private businesses, and related organizations have come together this month to bring awareness to the many areas of innovation and entrepreneurship in the County. You may ask yourself ‘who should attend such a prestigious event?’. Startups, entrepreneurs, business folks, students, educators, government officials and pretty much anyone else who wants to join is welcome to come and take part!

If you are a City, Tribal Government, or other organization that supports innovation and entrepreneurship that would like to be involved in Innovation Month, you can find more information here! Some ways that you could showcase your own innovation and entrepreneurship are by:

– Hosting a networking event in your area. You can even choose a classy and fun location to host it!

– Hosting an Open House and tour of your business highlighting your own innovation!

– Providing a virtual tour of your classroom or instructional space that helps to prepare students to get involved with the entrepreneurial industry!

These are just a few different ideas of how to include your own business in this month’s celebrations. If you have amazing ideas on how to get involved, we would love to hear them. The sky is the limit this month!

Kicking off the month in the Coachella Valley is the Coachella Valley Fast Pitch taking place on April 7th.  Entrants will receive feedback on their innovative business ideas as well as have the chance to win cash and prizes! There will also be numerous other great events taking place this month to get the residents of the Coachella Valley area involved. Some of these include the Inland Empire Innovation Showcase (April 20th), the Coachella Valley Business Conference & Economic Forecast (April 21st), the TECHSouthwest Kick-Off Event (April 26th), and the International Business Office Academy series (April 27th, May 25th and June 22nd). You can find a full list of the events taking place during Innovation Month here. Stop by and get your entrepreneurial spirit fired up! There are many ways for everyone to get involved during this year’s annual Innovation Month!