Looking Ahead: The SoCal First Look Showcase Will Build on Success of Alliance Debut Event

On May 24th, the Alliance for Southern California held its debut event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, in the heart of Silicon Valley. The day featured a lineup of exceptional Southern California-based thought leaders and exciting companies who collectively delivered a compelling message about the vibrant innovation ecosystems in the region.

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Working Together to Unleash the Next Great Global Innovation Hub

It’s an exciting time in California. Things are changing, and fast. According to Federal data released earlier this month, California is now the fifth largest economy in the world surpassing the United Kingdom. And growth opportunities around technology are reaching far beyond the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. SoCal mints more PHDs in tech fields than anywhere else in the US; Caltech produces the most patents and UCLA the most spin-outs. From entertainment and media, to science, the opportunity for innovation is significant, and it’s happening here in Southern California.

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Study: Southern California Prime To Emerge As Next Major Global Tech Ecosystem By Addressing Regional Fragmentation

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 22, 2018 – The Alliance for Southern California Innovation [Alliance] today announced study results from over 100 interviews with technology leaders and an analysis of venture capital funding data to examine Southern California’s potential to become the next major global technology hub.

The Alliance, a nonprofit founded by Steve Poizner in 2017 to nurture and accelerate the growth of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southern California, commissioned Boston Consulting Group [BCG] to produce the study titled “How Southern California Could Be the Next Great Tech Ecosystem” to evaluate leading tech ecosystems in an effort to advance Southern California as a global technology and innovation epicenter. The findings show that despite optimism that Southern California is primed to emerge as a tech hub as robust as Silicon Valley, there are key factors that need to be addressed, including regional fragmentation and the lack of a compelling geographic center.

According to Eric Schmidt, former Chairman of Google, who serves on the Alliance’s Advisory Council, “Southern California has a compelling opportunity for leading technology firms that are looking beyond Silicon Valley to access top talent and a greater diversity of ideas and perspectives.”

By analyzing the correlation between venture funding, wages, and both direct and indirect job creation the study finds that Southern California can reach one third of Silicon Valley’s level of venture capital investment by 2025 by pulling six strategic levers to solidify the regional ecosystem.  The potential economic impact of this achievement would lead to an additional 200,000 new, high-paying jobs, along with nearly one million indirect service jobs. This growth would represent $100 billion dollars in increased economic value to the Southern California region.

“Over the past several years we have observed a significant decrease in startups leaving SoCal,” said Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. “We’ve also seen a substantial inflow of venture capital from all over the world.”

As a next step, the Alliance will hold two technology innovation showcase events, sponsored by Goldman Sachs, Google, and Silicon Valley Bank. The first event will take place on Thursday, May 24 in Silicon Valley at the Computer History Museum, and the second on Wednesday, June 20 at the Luskin Center at UCLA in Los Angeles. Both events will feature Southern California’s most prominent thought-leaders and best technology and life sciences innovators working to commercialize their latest discoveries in an effort to connect them with over 200 top investors and serial entrepreneurs from around the state and country.

Additionally, the report identified the following growth signals for Southern California, including:

  • SoCal’s talent advantage:
    • The region produces more tech PhDs per year than any other region in the country.
    • Caltech generates more patents than any university in the U.S. and UCLA more startups.
    • UCSD has a renowned life sciences research program along with the nearby Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine which includes the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), the Scripps Research Institute, and the Salk Institute, all of them in San Diego.
    • 54% of CalTech’s 2017 alumni chose to stay in SoCal vs 31% of grads from 2012.
  • SoCal’s demonstrated potential:
    • Recent high-profile relocations to SoCal by Meg Whitman (eBay, HP) and Peter Thiel (PayPal, Founders Fund, Thiel Capital).
    • SpaceX, Snap (Snapchat) and Cornerstone OnDemand are among the heavy hitters calling Southern California home.
    • Tech giants such as Google, Yahoo! and Facebook have expanded their footprint in Silicon Beach, increasing the density of tech employees and engineers in the area.
  • SoCal’s entrepreneurial density: Santa Monica and West Hollywood already have an “entrepreneurial density” on par with many Silicon Valley cities, including Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

The BCG study provides six recommendations for strengthening the region which are the centerpiece of the Alliance’s strategic plan. These include growing the amount of local venture capital; diagnosing and strengthening SoCal’s emerging innovation nodes; increasing inter-node connectivity; raising the collective ambitions of SoCal founders; marketing the region’s commitment to diversity and inclusion; and highlighting SoCal’s strengths locally and beyond.

“Southern California is a region of extreme innovation; however, it is so spread-out, making it hard to navigate,” said Steve Poizner founder and board chair of the Alliance. “We believe by finding, filtering and aggregating exciting startups from top universities, research institutes, and incubators/accelerators, we can demonstrate the combined strength of SoCal in a compelling way to top investors and thought leaders.”

“Our comprehensive analysis of a half dozen global contenders shows with the right influence applied strategically, SoCal can become the next major global tech ecosystem resulting in significant economic and societal impact,” said Jody Foldesy, Boston Consulting Group [BCG] Partner charged with leading the study.

For more information, a complete list of the Alliance board and strategic partners, and Alliance invitation-only events, please visit https://www.alliancesocal.org/.

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About the Alliance for Southern California Innovation (Alliance)

The Alliance for Southern California Innovation (the “Alliance”), formed in 2017 by serial entrepreneur and public servant Steve Poizner, has successfully brought together the heft of Southern California’s top research institutions, local business leaders, and world-class advisors to focus on bridging critical gaps in the SoCal ecosystem. The goal of the Alliance is to nurture and accelerate the growth of Southern California’s technology and life sciences innovation ecosystem. As a first step, the Alliance will host two technology innovation showcase events: the first on May 24th in the heart of Silicon Valley and the second one on June 20th on the campus of UCLA in SoCal. A complete list of the Alliance board and strategic partners can be found at www.alliancesocal.org.

About the Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with offices in more than 90 cities in 50 countries.

Media Contact:
Michelle Horn
Edelman
(323) 761-6541
michelle.horn@edelman.com

 

Andy Wilson selected as the first Executive Director of the Alliance

Wilson Tapped to Drive Alliance’s Efforts to Unify and Grow SoCal’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

January 22, 2018 – 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.

Media Contact:

Michelle Horn

Edelman

(323) 761-6541

michelle.horn@edelman.com

Alliance for Southern California Innovation Launches to Further Develop Southern California Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Unprecedented collaboration of leading universities, research institutes, and business leaders to unlock the region’s full potential as a start-up hub

Southern California., June 22, 2017 –  Serial tech entrepreneur and former California Insurance Commissioner, Steve Poizner, working with a group of prominent tech, university, and research institute leaders, today announced the formation of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation (Alliance), a nonprofit established to nurture and accelerate the growth of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southern California.

As the challenges to starting and growing new companies in Silicon Valley continue to mount, the Southern California region, with its extensive wealth of engineering talent, world-class universities and ample space, is well positioned to become America’s next hub for technology and life science startups. The Alliance will develop initiatives that encourage tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and top talent to locate to and stay in Southern California, complementing and extending the success of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

“Southern California has the right building blocks to become the next leading technology and innovation hub in the United States,” said Steve Poizner, founder of the Alliance. “Through a collaborative effort, the region has the potential to bring a trillion-dollar economic impact to the state and country.”

The Board of Directors of the Alliance includes senior leaders from universities, a research consortium, and distinguished community leaders from Southern California.

Seven Southern California universities and a consortium of world-renowned research institutes have joined the Alliance to date, including:

  • Amir Naiberg, Associate Vice Chancellor, CEO & President, UCLA Technology Development Corp., University of California, Los Angeles
  • Edward W. Holmes, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.
  • Joseph Incandela, Vice Chancellor of Research, Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Kaushik Bhattacharya, Vice Provost, Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Materials ScienceCaltech
  • Michael Pazzani, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, University of California, Riverside
  • Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor, Innovation & Technology Commercialization, University of California San Diego
  • Randolph Hall, Vice President of Research, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California
  • Richard Sudek, Chief Innovation Officer, Executive Director, UCI Applied Innovation, University of California, Irvine

Community leaders from Southern California on the Board include:

  • Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc
  • Irwin Jacobs, Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm
  • Scott Wolfe, Partner, Latham and Watkins LLP
  • Michael Yanover, Head of Business Development, Creative Artists Agency
  • Sherry Lansing, former CEO, Paramount Pictures
  • Marc Stern, Chairman, The TCW Group, Inc.
  • Steve Poizner, Technology Entrepreneur

The advisory committee for the Alliance includes technology trailblazers, investment experts, and startup veterans, including:

  • Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc.
  • Jeff Henley, Vice Chairman, Oracle
  • Larry Sonsini, Chairman, Wilson Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
  • Ted Eliopoulos, Chief Investment Officer, CalPERS
  • Gene Sykes, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs and Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles 2024 Exploratory Committee

The committee will provide strategic counsel to the Alliance such as on best practices and lessons learned from Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

“Across machine learning, life sciences, cloud services, urban development and more, we’re in the midst of an exciting era of technological advancement that will create new businesses, jobs and opportunities. Southern California has a thriving startup culture and group of entrepreneurs, as well as terrific researchers and institutions. It’s perfectly placed to become a global hub,” said Eric Schmidt. “I’m excited that the Alliance, working with Universities and experts across the region, will work to boost research and to connect local entrepreneurs with the capital and expertise they need to thrive.”

The Alliance has entered into a collaboration agreement with Bill Maris, founder and former CEO of Google Ventures, who just launched Section 32, a new venture fund located in Southern California. The Alliance will provide referrals of exciting startup opportunities, and expects to form similar collaborations with other top venture capitalists committed to strengthening their presence in Southern California.

“Southern California is not only my home, but a region with a long history of creating and advancing new industries. Innovation isn’t confined to any one part of our state, and Southern California is ripe with top tier investment opportunities in various sectors. Section 32 is proud to be the first venture fund to partner with the Alliance,” said Bill Maris.

The Alliance has also entered into a collaboration agreement with EvoNexus, the largest pro bono tech incubator in Southern California, and plans to work with other accelerators and incubators to help startups prepare for the challenges of starting their companies and raising venture capital.

The Alliance has engaged on a pro bono basis the Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, to conduct a comprehensive study of Southern California’s innovation economy and to develop an action plan for making Southern California the next global tech center. BCG’s findings are expected to be announced by Fall 2017.

For more information, please visit www.AllianceSoCal.org.
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 in 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 region branding program via a social-media based campaign focused on retaining Southern California talent, as well as broadening recruiting efforts from key international talent pools; and building a strategic plan to identify highest priority sector targets for developing and extending Southern California’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Media Contact:

Michelle Horn

Edelman

(323) 761-6541

michelle.horn@edelman.com