SOURCE: Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry

Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry

June 27, 2012 12:30 ET

Los Angeles Mayor Announces Council on Innovation and Industry to Put a Spotlight on LA's Vibrant "Innovation Economy"

Los Angeles' Top Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders and Mayor Villaraigosa Join Forces to Promote Greater Los Angeles as a National Hub for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Capital Investment

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2012) - Today, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and 25 of Los Angeles' entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business leaders announced the formation of the Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry (LAMCII). Backed by a broad range of local business leaders, LAMCII was formed to focus national and worldwide attention on the thriving Innovation Economy in Greater Los Angeles and facilitate community and government actions to drive continued innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital in the region.

"Los Angeles is an incredibly creative, diverse city, offering a phenomenal lifestyle and anchored by academia and cutting edge research from leading universities in our backyard," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "By engaging the leaders of our 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 Los Angeles as a dynamic innovation hub in America."

Los Angeles has been a source of innovation and creativity for decades -- spawning film, television and music industries, a massive aerospace industry and, over the last two decades, a thriving hub for technology startups. Today, Los Angeles boasts one of the strongest environments for growth companies, as evidenced in findings of PwC's 2011 "Cities of Opportunity Report," which ranked Los Angeles 6th for intellectual capital and innovation, 2nd for work/life cost, and the best city for entrepreneurial environment. This environment helps explain why since 2005 more than 851 Los Angeles-based growth companies have attracted venture capital investment and more than 652 venture-backed companies have been sold or gone public.

"Los Angeles 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."

Working closely with Mayor Villaraigosa's office, LAMCII has undertaken an initiative to develop specific, actionable plans that LAMCII, members of the business community and government can take to facilitate and encourage continued growth in innovation and entrepreneurial activity in Greater Los Angeles. LAMCII members are working in subcommittees focused on:

  • Developing a better narrative to promote Los Angeles' emerging growth community
  • Improving networking across geographically-dispersed clusters of growth company activity
  • Strategizing actions government can take to facilitate innovation and growth in Los Angeles
  • Comparing successes and failures in spurring innovation in other cities
  • Identifying ways to better leverage Los Angeles' world class educational resources
  • Helping Los Angeles attract more growth capital 

LAMCII will publish a report outlining the findings and views of its members later in 2012.

"LAMCII represents an organic effort of leaders in the Greater Los Angeles growth community to work together to promote the huge growth story that is Los Angeles," said David Hernand, Co-Chair of Media, Entertainment and Technology at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP. "LAMCII members have a shared vision that Internet services, new media, ecommerce, clean tech, cloud computing and other forms of innovation are key drivers of current and future economic growth in Greater Los Angeles, and Los Angeles has all the elements to be the leading entrepreneurial environment in the country."

Members of LAMCII not only represent a variety of experiences and technology focuses, but neighborhoods and surrounding cities of Greater Los Angeles as well, spanning from Malibu to Pasadena. The council is comprised of more than 25 members, representing a wide array of Los Angeles' industries, start-ups and research universities including the University of California at Los Angeles, USC Stevens Institute of Innovation, Wilshire Media Group and The Safire Group:

  • Frank Addante - Rubicon Project
  • Ravi Ahuja - Fox Networks
  • Paul Bricault - The Mailroom Fund,
  • Brendon Cassidy - Wilshire Media Group
  • Gil Elbaz - Factual
  • Brian Garrett - Crosscut Ventures and StyleSaint
  • Todd Gitlin - Safire Partners
  • Zorik Gordon - ReachLocal, Worldwinner, Idealab company
  • David Hernand - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Idealab,
  • 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,, 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,, Brighthouse, US Gaming
  • Kamran Pourzanjani - PriceGrabber,
  • Robin Richards -, The NTI Group,,, Lexi International
  • Jeff Stibel - Edgecast, Autobytel, The Search Agency, United Online, D&B
  • Bill Woodward - Anthem Venture Partners
  • Zack Zalon - Wilshire Media Group
  • UCLA and USC Stevens Institute for Innovation

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 potentially become involved yourself -- visit

About Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa commissioned the Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry (LAMCII) in 2012 to promote the growth of Greater Los Angeles as a "hub of innovation." Bringing founders, leaders and veterans from all corners of the Los Angeles technology scene -- and growing relationships and involvement with Los Angeles' world-class research universities -- LAMCII is intended to serve as a vehicle to help Los Angeles' growth community continue to innovate and thrive. To learn more, visit

Contact Information

  • Lisa Picasso or Katie Dally
    LaunchSquad for LAMCII
    elevator [at] launchsquad [dot] com
    (415) 625-8555