ATEP LogoIf you’re not familiar with ATEP in Orange County, CA and you’re a startup in the area, then you should get up to speed.  This little campus which is under the control of Saddleback Valley College has some of the most amazing resources.

I recently took a tour of their facility with some other technology startup group leaders and I was happily surprised by what we found. The Advanced Technology Education Park (Irvine Valley College) in partnership with the Irvine Chamber of Commerce is working to create a unique, integrated urban community that supports the “learn and earn” model.

The ATEP property is located by the Tustin Blimp hangars in the area that used to house the Red Hill Helicopter Base in the 1970s and is now known as the Tustin Legacy.  The Department of Navy and City of Tustin conveyed 62 acres of parcel to the SOCCCD to create a Hub for Global Innovation. The property is surrounded by housing, educational institutions, retail, dining and soon to be outdoor parks.

With 17 institutions of higher learning and Advanced Manufacturing and Bio-Medical Sciences thriving both internationally and in Orange County, ATEP is poised to be an essential component for education and employment.  The core principle underlying ATEP is a belief that businesses will be successful and profitable because employees will love coming to work and school to attain practical and real world experience in an engaging and vital community.

They have a 3D printing lab with 12-14 printers, a photonics lab, a number of classrooms and meeting spaces, a Mac lab, a mill, and a number of other incredible working labs that can be used to foster local startups.  You should keep your eye on some of the events they run, and learn about the things you may be able to use to help your startup move forward.

“Our mission is to leverage the expertise of the private sector and the education community to a common purpose: better preparing our current and future employees so that businesses are poised to compete more effectively in the 21st century global economy”, said Linda DiMario, Senior Director, Irvine Chamber Economic Development & Tourism.

Over the next few  years they will be building out a 60 acre area with Technology labs, partner corporate headquarters, and technology innovation areas.  This is definitely a space to keep your eyes on as you’re building towards your goal in your company.

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