Google, Microsoft, Meta, BlackBerry, Vizio and Oracle are just a handful of the many technology giants with a known presence in Irvine. But do the city’s startups have that same visibility?

That’s the question Councilmember Tammy Kim had when she proposed Irvine Tech Week to her colleagues last year.

While a startup scene does exist in Irvine, it’s nowhere near the startup hotbed that is Silicon Beach or the Bay Area, she said, because the city is largely made up of big companies. That’s pushed away some local entrepreneurs to San Jose, Silicon Valley or Austin to get the support they need, said Kim.

The idea behind Irvine Tech Week, now in its second year and kicking off on Tuesday, April 16, is to create a community for entrepreneurs and connect local early-stage tech companies and entrepreneurs with good ideas to startup investors, Kim said, so that “when good ideas start in Irvine, they can stay in Irvine.”

“When we think about Irvine, we pride ourselves for being a city of innovation, but our growth has historically been of larger and more established companies coming in,” Kim said. “Early-stage companies will not be able to reach their full potential without an ecosystem nurturing them.”

“The idea was making sure that when ideas start, they can be seeded, they can grow and turn into the next Google or Rivians of the world. That’s really the thought and the impetus here,” she added.

Tech Week — sponsored by the city and partnerships with several local companies, including Sunstone Management, Irvine Company, FivePoint, University Lab Partners and Irvine Tech Hub — is scheduled to run from Tuesday through Sunday, April 21, and include 25 events ranging from pitch competitions to various panels.

Some of those events include:

• Startup resource fair

• Cryptocurrency and Web3 webinar

• Investor pitch event

• Networking event hosted by LearningFuze

• Techstars Startup Weekend (a three-day program in which participants will be given 54 hours to develop and pitch a new startup)

And one of the last events of Tech Week is the Dream Run, which will include a 5K and 3K races. Both races will take place on Saturday, April 20 at 8 a.m. at Mike Ward Community Park.

The 3K is called the FirstGen Color Run to celebrate first-generation immigrants and “people who believe in the American dream,” said John Shen, founder of Sunstone Management, an Irvine-based private capital firm that invests in early-stage companies.

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“Irvine is a young city. A lot of people here were not born and raised here in Irvine,” Shen said. “They chose to come here because they believed this was the place for their dreams.”

All proceeds of the 5K and 3K will go toward Sunstone’s community fund, a charitable organization that provides support to nonprofits, universities, and public and private partners that develop entrepreneurship programs and early-stage tech accelerators.

The demand has grown from last year’s inaugural Tech Week, which featured 12 events, said Irvine Tech Hub’s executive director Melinda Pang.

“Irvine Tech Week is not just an initiative. It’s become a platform for our founder economy and our tech ecosystem,” said Pang. “Our goal is to empower our founders. We want them to launch, we want to build.”

Anyone interested in the races can sign up at or onsite on Saturday.

More details and registration for Irvine Tech Week is available at