State Accepting Applications for New Funded Innovation Hub Program

The California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) is accepting applications for the Inclusive Innovation Hub (iHub2) Program to incubate and accelerate technology development and science-based firms in underserved regions and communities.

The agency will award each designated iHub2 $250,000 to build and expand programs during the first year of operation. This funding will allow sponsor groups to develop plans and bolster existing programs to build local business ecosystems to support science and technology startups, particularly for women and people of color, as well as for underserved geographies and regions.

CalOSBA states that iHub2 will encourage regions to build upon their existing or emerging innovation resources and local industry concentrations to create activity hubs, promote technology transfer and assist nascent companies with layered support and partnerships

The program also emphasizes connectivity and collaboration across regional innovation assets, linking academic and research institutions to surrounding cities, trained skilled workforces to industry, and researchers and entrepreneurs to local networks and communities for support.

Application Information

The deadline to submit an application for this program is November 15, 2021 at 12 p.m. PST. Applications must be submitted by email to

Eligible applicants include:

• Fully accredited institutions of higher education, such as community colleges, public and private universities and state colleges;

• Private nonprofit corporations engaged in economic development activities;

• Local counties or municipalities with pre-existing community/economic development departments and/or programs; and

• Public economic development institutions, such as workforce investment boards and economic development corporations.

For full application instructions and eligibility information, see the iHub2 request for proposals link at