Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on May 2 he is bringing aboard two “entrepreneurs in residence” to develop policies aimed at helping business startups and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles grow.
Garcetti said he looks forward to working with Krisztina “Z” Holly and Amir Tehrani – the residency program’s first entrepreneurs – “to foster ideas to get businesses off the ground and create jobs.”
“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.
Holly, who has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT, is a contributor to Forbes magazine and an adviser to the Obama administration.
She serves as council chair for the World Economic Forum and was vice provost for innovation at USC.
Holly also founded a computer telephony startup and joined startups such as Direct Hit, which was bought by search engine company Ask Jeeves.
As a Los Angeles native, she is “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,” Holly 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,” she said.
Tehrani founded design and manufacturing firm Allied Group and co-founded the National Entrepreneurs Day with the White House. He earned an MBA from UCLA.
“Entrepreneurs hold the key to sustained economic growth that makes an ecosystem vibrant and exciting,” Tehrani said.
The one-year residency program is sponsored by accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP, which donated enough money to cover four years.
“We are proud to join Mayor Garcetti in supporting L.A.’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,” said Patrick Niemann, managing partner for the greater Los Angeles office of Ernst & Young LLP.