Alliance for Southern California Innovation Appoints Andy Wilson as First Executive Director
Wilson Tapped to Drive Alliance’s Efforts to Unify and Grow SoCal’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
January 22, 2017 – Serial tech entrepreneur and prominent civic leader, Andy Wilson, has been selected as the first Executive Director of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation (the “Alliance”), a nonprofit established to nurture and accelerate the growth of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southern California. In the immediate future, the Alliance will develop initiatives to attract seasoned tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and top talent to Southern California.
As Executive Director, Andy will grow the Alliance’s professional staff, execute high impact programming and expand its collaboration with key players in the SoCal ecosystem including successful entrepreneurs and top venture capital investors.
Andy has been an influencer in the Southern California tech ecosystem for more than 20 years, holding leadership roles at stalwart companies including Overture Services (an Idealab company) and Yahoo!, launching and running his own early stage accelerator Momentum Ventures and building his own local start-ups. He also played a pivotal role in the founding of the highly successful Innovate Pasadena, a non-profit focused on the local hard-tech ecosystem, and is currently an elected Councilperson for the City of Pasadena.
He joins the Alliance at a time when the group is preparing to launch its ambitious 2018 program including highly curated technology showcases and start-up competitions. In 2017, the Alliance assembled a powerful consortium of the most significant research universities (including all UC’s, Caltech and USC) and institutes in Southern California.
“Hiring a person with Andy’s experience, reputation, and capability is critical to the launch of the Alliance,” said Steve Poizner, founder and Chairman of the Alliance. “We have assembled an incredible coalition of senior leaders from top universities, prominent research centers, and highly respected Southern and Northern California businesses. We are well on our way to securing the necessary resources to support our ambitious 2018 program goals. Adding dedicated leaders like Andy will bring all of these resources to life.”
Wilson shares Poizner’s positive outlook for the Southern California technology community. “I am a strong believer that the Southern California region, with its extensive wealth of engineering talent, world-class universities and ample space, is well positioned to become the worlds’ next hub for technology and life science startups. Leading the Alliance is perfectly matched with my passion for innovation and my deep experience and commitment to the regional start-up ecosystem,” said Andy Wilson. “I am impressed by Steve’s vision for the Alliance and his ability to assemble and align influential leaders and am eager to partner with him and our amazing board to turn that vision into reality.”
Alliance Advisory Committee members include technology leaders such as Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc., Jeff Henley, Vice Chairman, Oracle and Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank.
About Alliance for Southern California Innovation (Alliance)
The goal of the Alliance is to nurture and accelerate the growth of a technology epicenter in Southern California, which in turn should draw significant new venture capital investment to the region. The Alliance is expected to improve job prospects locally for University graduates and to help attract additional sources of funding for individuals and entities, in part by facilitating licenses to University and research institute technology. The Alliance will focus on four primary initiative areas, including attracting new capital for Southern California; finding, nurturing, filtering and funneling VC-ready startups from universities, research institutes, and incubators/accelerators to VCs affiliated with the Alliance; designing and implementing a regional branding program via a social media-based campaign focused on retaining Southern California talent, as well as broadening recruiting efforts from key talent pools; and building a strategic plan to identify highest priority sector targets for developing and extending Southern California’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.