Mayor Garcetti Launches Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched the Entrepreneur In Residence Program, appointing two experienced entrepreneurs to spend a year developing ideas to boost L.A.'s economy and create jobs. The initiative is sponsored and supported by Ernst & Young LLP.

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.

"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," Mayor Garcetti said. "I look forward to working with Z and Amir, our first Entrepreneurs In Residence, to foster ideas to get businesses off the ground and create jobs."

”EY is the global leader in advising, guiding, and celebrating entrepreneurs,” said Patrick Niemann, Managing Partner for the Greater Los Angeles practice of Ernst & Young LLP. “We are proud to join Mayor Garcetti in supporting LA’s entrepreneurs, and are making this investment because we share the Mayor’s passionate belief that entrepreneurs play a crucial role in building a better working world.”

“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,” said Krisztina “Z” Holly. "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.”

"Creating long-term economic growth by identifying, accelerating, and fostering the best high-impact entrepreneurs will create thriving companies that employ hundreds, even thousands of people, and generate millions in wages, revenue, and taxes," said Amir Tehrani. "Entrepreneurs hold the key to sustained economic growth that makes an ecosystem vibrant and exciting."

The one-year residency, sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP, 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, donated by Ernst & Young LLP, covers compensation and program budget over a four year period.

About the Entrepreneurs

Krisztina “Z” Holly – Ms. Holly is a contributor to Forbes, consultant and board member, council chair for the World Economic Forum, and advisor to the 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.

Amir Tehrani – Mr. 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 (“YPO”) 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 NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship). He also worked closely with the White House to co-found National Entrepreneurs Day (NED), 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 BA from UC Irvine and his MBA from UCLA Anderson.

About EY’s Greater Los Angeles practice

EY has more than 1,300 people in its Greater Los Angeles offices who serve a diverse client base of innovative and entrepreneurial companies spanning the consumer products, engineering and construction, financial services, health care, life sciences, manufacturing, media & entertainment, private equity, real estate, retail and technology industries. The firm celebrates the successes of Greater Los Angeles’ entrepreneurs through its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ program, founded in 1986.

About EY

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