At last night's City Council meeting, the Council received its first official report from the Long Beach Innovation Team.
The Innovation Team, headed by John Keisler and funded by a $3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, has come up with five major initiatives to work on first. These will be collaborative efforts that include multiple city departments, including the Harbor Department, the Technology and Innovation Department, and the Economic and Property Development Department, as well as residents, local businesses, and academics.
The five initiatives the Team is working on are:
1. Economic Development Blue Print: Support the Economic Development Commission’s work to produce a City action plan aimed at stimulating and growing the local economy.
2. StartupLB Tools for Business: Partner with the Economic and Property Development Department to create online tools that guide entrepreneurs through the business startup process, increasing access to resources and reducing the time taken to launch.
3. High Tech Infrastructure Plan: Collaborate with the Technology and Innovation Department to maximize existing City assets, resulting in increased investment and quality internet access for businesses and residents.
4. Branding for Business: Facilitate the outreach process to execute a marketing strategy to attract and retain business investment.
5. Long Beach Center for Innovation: Coordinate City efforts to establish a new collaboration among academic, industry, investor and government agencies to bring innovative ideas, products and services to market.
The City's economic development initiatives were proposed after conducting extensive research on both opportunities and challenges to economic growth. The Innovation Team will provide administrative support as community partners and City Departments lead implementation efforts. Community partners also include Long Beach City College; California State University, Long Beach; Long Beach Unified School District; Council of Business Associations; industry partners; local entrepreneurs; the Departments of Library Services and Development Services; Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Living Cities; and Citymart.