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LOS ANGELES—Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced the formation of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry (LAMCII) at the Variety Venture Capital and New Media Summit.
“LA is an incredibly creative and diverse city anchored by academia and cutting edge research from leading universities in our backyard,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “By engaging the leaders of the emerging growth community, we are leveraging their energy and experience to promote our region, attract investment and drive further growth, all with a goal of securing the future of LA as a dynamic innovation hub in America.”
From “Silicon Beach” in Playa Vista to the Arts District and Hollywood, LA continues to grow as a “hub of innovation.” The Mayor began LAMCII in the Spring of 2012 to bring 25 leaders from across the innovative growth sectors, universities, and professional services to focus on how to better support, grow, and attract innovation and entrepreneurship to the City.
“LA is a limitless environment of important innovation and entrepreneurship.” said Zack Zalon, CEO of Westwood-based Wilshire Media Group and a founding member of LAMCII. “The Council is about bringing resources and creativity to momentum that already exists. There is something big and special happening in LA, and everyone involved in LAMCII is contributing their time and energy to making it even bigger.”
LA has been quietly carving out its place as a startup hub. Since 2005, 851 companies based in the LA area have received venture capital and 652 companies were involved in merger and acquisition transactions. Additionally, the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 2011 Cities of Opportunity Report gives LA high marks for future growth, ranking the City 6th for intellectual capital and innovation, 2nd for work/life cost and naming it the best city for entrepreneurial environment.
However, the LA innovative industry still faces impediments to growth. LAMCII has created six sub-committees that address discreet issues: 1) The Capital Committee, 2) The Policy Committee, 3) The Education Committee, 4) The Narrative Committee, 5) The Comparative Committee, and 6) the Network Committee. Mayor has instructed the Council to report back on their findings in each of these areas this Fall.
The Capital Committee is working to attract more venture capital and private equity investment locally, vital to keeping local start-up companies in LA. The Policy Committee is focused on the relationship between business and government in LA and will develop policy initiatives that encourage and support entrepreneurship and business growth. The Education Committee is analyzing the intersection of business and LA’s educational institutions. LA is a leader in producing qualified engineers and entrepreneurs that many companies are looking for. The committee will help determine the best way to keep these individuals in LA, rather than going to New York or Silicon Valley. The Narrative Committee is focused on the communication of LA’s innovation identity. One of the biggest hurdles innovative companies and entrepreneurs in LA face is attracting global attention for the current atmosphere and future potential of our city. The Comparative Committee is focused on looking outside of LA at other innovation centers to determine best practices that can be implemented locally to support the growth of local companies. Lastly, the Network Committee will study the local innovation and landscape and its culture to create opportunities and ways for local entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and employees to interact and create synergies.
“The Council was formed to develop the emerging growth business community in LA,” said David Hernand, Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP. “LAMCII is an organized, strategic group of leaders with a direct set of goals to honor our commitment of making LA a major player in technology, entrepreneurship and cutting edge ideas.”
Members of LAMCII not only represent a variety of experiences and technology focuses, but neighborhoods and surrounding cities of Greater LA as well, spanning from Malibu to Pasadena. The council is comprised of over 25 members, representing a wide array of LA’ industries, start-ups and research universities:
• Frank Addante – Rubicon Project
• Ravi Ahuja – Fox Networks
• Mitra Best – PwC
• Paul Bricault – The Mailroom Fund, Amplify.la
• Brendon Cassidy – Wilshire Media Group
• Randy Churchill – PwC, LA Venture Association
• Martha Corbett – PwC
• Brian Garrett – Crosscut Ventures and StyleSaint
• Todd Gitlin – Safire Partners
• Zorik Gordon – ReachLocal, Worldwinner, Idealab company Jackpot.com
• David Hernand – Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Idealab, New.net
• Krisztina ‘Z’ Holly – USC Stevens Institute for Innovation
• Scott Lahman – Activision, JAMDAT Mobile, Gogii
• Brett Markinson – Hautelook, LowerMyBills
• Howard Marks – Start Engine, Activision
• Jim McDermott – US Renewables Group, Stamps.com, Spoke Software
• Leslie Michelson – Private Health Management, Prostate Cancer Foundation,
• Acurian, Protocare, Value Health Sciences
• Sean Moriarty – Ticketmaster, Citysearch
• Jimmy O’Mahony – Saatchi & Saatchi, Wilshire Media Group
• Scott Painter – TrueCar, SharesPost, PriceLock, CarsDirect, Zag.com,
• Brighthouse, US Gaming
• Kamran Pourzanjani – PriceGrabber, Bestcovery.com
• Robin Richards – Internships.com, The NTI Group, MP3.com, Tickets.com, Lexi
• Jeff Stibel – Edgecast, Autobytel, The Search Agency, United Online, D&B
• Bill Woodward – Anthem Venture Partners
• Zack Zalon – Wilshire Media Group
• The innovation centers at USC, UCLA and Caltech
LAMCII has launched its “Innovation Website,” which features resources for Council members and other interested Angelenos. To learn more about LAMCII’s ongoing initiatives – and to become involved yourself – please visit www.lamcii.org.