Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today formally launched the Los Angeles Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry (LAMCII). The new initiative is designed to spotlight the city’s growing and thriving community of innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capital activity, with a particular focus on digital enterprises.

LAMCII’s members are among those who exemplify what he’s talking about, as can be seen from the complete list below. Villaraigosa said that Los Angeles was too often – and unjustifiably – overshadowed by Silicon Valley and New York despite his city’s demonstrable successes, achievements and activity.

He also reminded listeners of the Greater Los Angeles area’s heritage as a center of innovation and creativity, earning its status as the center of the film, television and music industries in addition to its key role in the aerospace industry.

Villaraigosa (pictured, grabbing a private moment with his iPad) made his announcement this morning at the Variety Venture Capital and New Media Summit to an audience with an obvious interest in the project.

He backed up his assertions with some data, like the fact that since 2005 more than 851 Los Angeles-based growth companies have attracted venture capital investment and more than 652 venture-backed companies have been sold or gone public.

PwC’s 2011 “Cities of Opportunity Report” further supports Villaraigosa’s comments. It ranked Los Angeles 6th for intellectual capital and innovation, 2nd for work/life cost, and the best city for entrepreneurial environment.

“Los Angeles is an incredibly creative, diverse city, offering a phenomenal lifestyle and anchored by academia and cutting edge research from leading universities in our backyard,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “By engaging the leaders of our emerging growth community, we are leveraging their energy and experience to promote our region, attract investment and drive further growth, all with a goal of securing the future of Los Angeles as a dynamic innovation hub in America.”

Related link:

Los Angeles Mayor’s Council on Innovation and Industry –

Members of LAMCII:

  • Frank Addante – Rubicon Project
  • Ravi Ahuja – Fox Networks
  • Paul Bricault – The Mailroom Fund,
  • Brendon Cassidy – Wilshire Media Group
  • Gil Elbaz – Factual
  • Brian Garrett – Crosscut Ventures and StyleSaint
  • Todd Gitlin – Safire Partners
  • Zorik Gordon – ReachLocal, Worldwinner, Idealab company
  • David Hernand – Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Idealab,
  • Krisztina ‘Z’ Holly –USC Stevens Institute for Innovation
  • Scott Lahman – Activision, JAMDATMobile, Gogii
  • Brett Markinson – Hautelook, LowerMyBills
  • Howard Marks – Start Engine, Activision
  • Jim McDermott – US Renewables Group,, Spoke Software
  • Leslie Michelson – Private Health Management, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Acurian, Protocare
  • Sean Moriarty – Ticketmaster, Citysearch
  • Jimmy O’Mahony – Saatchi & Saatchi, Wilshire Media Group
  • Scott Painter – TrueCar, SharesPost, PriceLock, CarsDirect,, Brighthouse, US Gaming
  • Kamran Pourzanjani – PriceGrabber,
  • Robin Richards –, TheNTI Group,,, Lexi International
  • Jeff Stibel – Edgecast, Autobytel, The Search Agency, United Online, D&B
  • Bill Woodward – Anthem Venture Partners
  • Zack Zalon – Wilshire Media Group
  • The innovation centers at USCUCLA and Caltech