Tech companies look to grow in new Irvine incubator EvoNexus

IRVINE, CA–(The Daily Pilot, Jan 2, 2015)–Inside an unassuming beige office building next to the UC Irvine campus, eight entrepreneurs aim to grow fledgling companies in a new tech business hub.

The Irvine work space offers the entrepreneurs free rent, opportunities to collaborate, educational events and access to mentors and investors through a venture run by Commnexus, a nonprofit that nurtures start-ups, in partnership with the Irvine Co.

“The Vine,” as the two-story, 63,500-square-foot space on California Avenue is called, is where the companies hope to flourish.

The building is part of a 185-acre office campus that is home to companies including Cisco Systems, chipmakers Semtech and Skyworks Solutions, and UCI’s Institute for Innovation.

Eight entrepreneurs moved into The Vine last week, having been chosen from a field of 40 vying for spots in a competition held in November. An additional six to 12 will be selected in a competition that begins Jan. 28.

Michele Yoshioka, director of programs and operations for San Diego-based CommNexus, said two rounds of competition are planned annually.

The backers’ ultimate aim is to boost the local economy with more homegrown businesses, explained Yoshioka.

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