Garcetti Launches ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ Program

  • 05/06/2014
  • Reporters Desk

LOS ANGELES — On May 2, Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Entrepreneur in Residence Program.

Within the program Garcetti appointed two experienced entrepreneurs to spend a year developing ideas to boost Los Angeles’ economy and create jobs. The initiative is sponsored and supported by Ernst & Young LLP.

Ernst & Young LLP is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.

Krisztina “Z” Holly and Amir Tehrani have been named the inaugural Entrepreneurs in Residence. In addition to helping create entrepreneur- and business-friendly policies, they will also convene local non-profits, educational institutions and businesses to help foster entrepreneurship in our city.

Holly is a contributor to Forbes, consultant and board member, council chairwoman for the World Economic Forum, and advisor to the Barack Obama administration in innovation and entrepreneurship. She most recently served as vice provost for Innovation at USC and as founding executive director of two university innovation centers at MIT and USC, which helped students and faculty launch 39 companies and developed ecosystems in Boston and Los Angeles. In 2009, she created the first-ever TEDx event, TEDxUSC and was named Champion of Free Enterprise by Forbes. Her first startup was computer telephony pioneer Stylus Innovation (acquired by Artisoft) and she later joined other startups including Direct Hit (acquired by Ask Jeeves). She has bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Tehrani is the founder and president of Allied Group, a product design and manufacturing company and serves on the board of several California-based ventures.  Additionally, he sits on the board of the Young Presidents Organization Bel Air Chapter and is co-founder of the Legacy Foundation. He is also on the founding board of the Hub Los Angeles and the board of Los Angeles Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.  He also worked closely with the White House to co-found National Entrepreneurs Day, to celebrate and recognize entrepreneurs around the country and was selected to the “Future Leaders” program of the Pacific Council on International Policy.  He received his bachelor of arts from UC Irvine and his master of business administration from UCLA Anderson.
The one-year residency will provide the opportunity to focus on the development and delivery of projects focused around:

  • Measuring best practices and developing initiatives and policies aimed at growing, assisting and sustaining entrepreneurs in Los Angeles
  • Partnering with foundations, investors, and corporations to model programs and events targeted at the entrepreneurial community
  • Convening local educational institutions to foster entrepreneurship in students
  • Fostering connections between start-ups, entrepreneurs and prospective venture capital and mentors
  • Partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development in developing business solutions and helping to streamline government

The funding for the program covers compensation and program budget over a four year period.

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