The Irvine Co. and UC Irvine are adopting a program which currently operates in San Diego. The program allows any startup company to apply, and those selected will get two years of free office space.
The San Diego program is called EvoNexus. Its purpose is to give promising new ventures a leg up without the prohibitive cost of leasing office space. The San Diego program reportedly attracted 104 applications, all of which were evaluated and 9 of which were selected.
The Irvine version of the project will be open to anyone from any nearby county, but those ventures which are selected will move in to office space near UC Irvine, meaning they would need to relocate themselves to Orange County.
Doug Holte is the president of office development for the Irvine Co. He tells the Orange County Register the plan is “enlightened benevolence,” since, after two years of free space, any business expanding in Irvine would probably wind up renting space from his company.
It’s not just creating more demand for rental property. A successful startup could eventually bring jobs, and that means more living space, retail space, etc. All of that benefits the city of Irvine and Orange County. Holte tells the Register, “This is one of the ultimate examples of sustainable development.”