Update from the LA Center of Innovation at LAEDC:
1. Innovation Week was a Success!
The inaugural Los Angeles Innovation Week took place from October 6th-12th , 2014. The Goal of Los Angeles Innovation Week was to highlight all of the amazing, creative and innovative and entrepreneurial things happening all over our region. Although the LA Center of Innovation at LAEDC initiated and organized the concept, it was the many partners throughout LA County who made LA Innovation Week truly incredible!
Mayor Garcetti helped to kick off the week at an event unveiling the first ever Tech Sector Economic Impact Report for the region, authored by LAEDC. 38 events took place during the week and over 140,000 social media impressions were gained. Over 6,000 people attended events for LAIW (not including CicLAvia in which over 100,000 people typically attend).
Events ranged in sectors: Bio/Cleantech, Alternative Transportation, Digital Technology, STEAM/STEM Education, Makers & Civic Innovation. During the week, the City of West Hollywood kicked off their first Innovation and Technology Task Force called WeHoX. This task force will be an ongoing advisory group for West Hollywood in matters of civic innovation.
Through LAIW, the LAEDC and innovateLA created and solidified many partnerships (over 75) with organizations and companies in the region who are dedicated to supporting and growing the innovation ecosystem in Los Angeles. President Obama made a surprise visit to Los Angeles during the week and chose Cross Campus, a technology co-working space, to make his remarks and hold a town hall. At least 15 events that were part of Innovation Week were already happening during that week—this is important because it signals that the ecosystem is robust and that there are easily double to triple that many events happening every week in our community.
The Australian Consulate teamed up with businesses and organizations from Australia, who have located their businesses here, to showcase and celebrate their contributions to our ecosystem. Movember (a global organization dedicated to Men’s Health awareness), Virgin Australia, Vittoria Coffee and others were involved. USC and UCLA both held multiple events for Innovation Week.
What’s Next: We are already building our program for LAIW 2015! For more information, contact the Director at LAEDC’s Center of Innovation, Chris Rico.
2. Blackstone LaunchPad has gone live at all three participating universities: UCLA, USC and UC-Irvine
In February 2014, the Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneur program was rolled out in Southern California with the LAEDC as the regional partner coordinating the program, and UCLA, USC and UC-Irvine as the three participating Universities, offering entrepreneurial services to the combined 100,000 students at these universities. UC-Irvine rolloed out its program in the spring, and USC and UCLA have now also done a full program rollout, providing mentoring, venture coaching, and numerous other forms of assistance to those students interested in stating a business. The Center of Innovation, operated at LAEDC has helped coordinate training and relationships with the Blackstone Foundation, which is generously funding the LaunchPad program.