What's the best way to encourage development of the technology industry in Los Angeles? A new group, headed by Major Villaraigosa and including a notable list of local entrepreneurs, investors, and others in the technology industry, announced today that it has presented the idea for a "(t)expo Line" Technology Corridor, centered around the new Expo Line light rail, which currently runs from Downtown to Culver City, and eventually will extend all the way to Santa Monica. The group includes such notable LA technology luminaries as Frank Addante (Rubicon Project), Paul Bricault (Amplify LA), Gil Elbaz (Factual), Zorik Gordon (ReachLocal), Scott Lahman (textPlus), Howard Marks (StartEngine), Sean Moriarty (formerly of Ticketmaster), Scott Painter (TrueCar), Kamran Pourzanjani (formerly of Pricegrabber), Robin Richards (Internship.com, NTI), Jeff Stibel (D&B Credibility), Zack Zalon (Hello Music), not to mention a who's who list of local service providers and venture investors.
The Los Angeles Mayor's Council on Innovation and Industry (LAMCII) has been meeting since March, to help identify the top issues facing growth companies in the region, and to propose activity to spur additional entrepreneurial activity and innovation, according to the group. The group said that it is hoping to promote the path of the current Expo line as a new technology corridor, to create new "innovation hubs" along the corridor. The idea, according to the LACMII, is to use city-owned parcels to create community spaces and working environments to enable startups and businesses in those areas, using "tech-friendly amenties" to attract starutps to those locations.
The group also said it plans to launch a new program called the Edge.LA Fellowship Program to connect the city's many new graduates with local businesses and entrepreneurs, and new efforts to help entrepreneurs find resources like accelerators, commercial real estate, and more. The group said it found that since 2008, 54% of UCLA's engineering graduates have chosen to relocate from the area, which the group called a "brain drain" to the region.