Accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship

“…the history of the internet belongs in part to L.A.” – Brandon R. Reynolds, LA Magazine (February 3, 2017)

Innovation, especially when combined with entrepreneurship, kick-starts a cycle of increased productivity – fueling even greater economic growth. This ultimately improves standards of living for residents and communities.

L.A. County is at the center of innovation and its impact to a global, innovation economy.

  • Organizational networks
    • 160 LA Innovation Week events
  • Venture capital
    • $2 billion, across 194 deals (2014) (Source: CB Insights/Upfront Ventures)
  • University-led R&D (See additional educational data)
    • UCLA: $1.2 billion
    • USC: $691 million
    • CalTech: $374 million

L.A. County has an excitingly diverse, rapidly growing and remarkable “innovation” story to tell.

Featured Voices

Sophia came from Uganda to Los Angeles in 2016. She earned a living as a caregiver while sleeping on the floor of an apartment living room shared with others. Being in LA, she was drawn to the technology industry and learned more about the it after being introduced to the St. Joseph Center Codetalk program. After interviewing to be a student in Codetalk, and making her way through two interviews, Sophia was selected for admission.

St. Joseph Center Codetalk ProgramSt. Joseph Center Codetalk Program
Sophia, from St. Joseph Center Codetalk Program

Support culture of entrepreneurship, invention and start-ups.

A. Conduct landscape and gap analyses, to identify innovation-related assets, and diagnose and fill gaps.

B. Increase access to affordable shared spaces for research, lab (wet and dry), design and co-working, to assist entrepreneurs, inventors and makers.

C. Champion startup resource aggregators, such as “socalTECH” and “Builtin-LosAngeles”, to activate more open-ended “matchmaking” among innovators, establish mentorship programs to help entrepreneurs advance, and collect and share more resources and data on start-ups and support services providers.

D. Leverage our strengths in gender and ethnic diversity in entrepreneurship throughout the entire county.

Promote and market the Los Angeles region as a key innovation destination for entrepreneurs, talent, start-ups, and anchor companies.

A. Grow “LA Innovation Week” into a global brand, similar to “Art Basel”, “New York Fashion Week” and “South by Southwest” to help brand the L.A. region’s specializations, globally market the region’s “innovative”culture and promote its success.

B. Market the region to global entrepreneurs and talent, and target “anchor” companies located outside of the Southern California region, especially those that are within innovative disciplines of key traded industry clusters.

Stimulate research and development (R&D).

A. Develop underutilized publicly-owned land parcels around key physical assets to spur applied research, development and commercialization activities in key innovation growth areas, such as: biosciences near teaching and research hospitals.

B. Mobilized regional political support to better protect intellectual property rights at home and abroad, and secure major federal grants and other opportunities that support L.A. County’s innovation infrastructure, such as centers of excellence in key disciplines.

C. Forge partnerships between researchers and industry, and nurture global applied research joint ventures between L.A. County-based institutions and key international partner-institutions.

Foster capital access for development and commercialization.

A. Use public procurement strategically (e.g., “reverse pitch”) to help direct and drive regional innovation needed to support early-stage/small business growth.

B. Stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship to address environmental challenges in a way that also foments the development of new locally-consumed, but export-oriented, industries, such as water conservation technology.

C. Launch innovation brokers that actively connect researchers and entrepreneurs to existing networks of seed-, early- and development-stage capital providers.

Data & Metrics

Each goal can be measured by key indicators of success. These include many factors – micro-inputs and macro-inputs. However, we view it as critically important to have accurate information to gauge current conditions, working with our partners to reach desired outcomes in improving quality of life, business conditions, and, making that data readily available.

See our full and growing list of metrics in Measuring Success, and contact us to learn more.

  • Federal Obligations to Research Universities
  • Innovation Index: City Rankings
  • University R&D Expenditures