By Rick Orlov
Daily News, Los Angeles.
Seeking to tap into private industry, Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced the creation of an “Entrepreneur in Residence” program to develop ideas on ways to create new businesses in the city, all funded by a private accounting firm.
“We want L.A. to be the leading destination for people starting new businesses, and there are no better guides for our efforts than successful entrepreneurs themselves,” Garcetti said of the program, sponsored by Ernst & Young.
Krisztina “Z” Holly and Amir Tehrani are the first two entrepreneurs asked to give their unique perspective as they look at city policies and work with local nonprofits, educational institutions and business with an eye toward goosing the Los Angeles economy by creating new jobs.
The firm will underwrite two entrepreneurs for each of four years.
Holly was founding director of innovation centers at MIT and USC and, most recently, the vice provost for innovation at USC.
“Having grown up in L.A., I’m eager to work with Mayor Garcetti to tap big opportunities that are fast emerging in our city, especially those at the intersection of entrepreneurship and manufacturing,” she said.
“Most people don’t realize that we are the largest manufacturing center in the country — by a factor of two — so our work is critical for both L.A. and the nation as a whole.”
Tehrani, the founder and president of Allied Group, a product design and manufacturing company, noted his focus is on long-term economic growth.
“We want to foster the best high-impact entrepreneurs who will create thriving companies that employ hundreds, even thousands, of people and generate millions in wages, revenue and taxes,” he said.
Among their assignments are comparing L.A.’s business climate with best practices around the country, partnering with foundations and institutions, working with schools to encourage entrepreneurship and helping connect startups with investors.