Zack Zalon is the CEO and Managing Partner of digital design firm Wilshire Axon and co-found of digital incubator Elevator Labs.
Zalon specializes in building interactive business in Los Angeles, focused on working with highly technical and innovative companies and improving Los Angeles as an investment prospect and the perception around the investment community.
“LA always has been and continues to be a place of amazing innovation and world-changing ideas based on boundless creativity.”
Boasting the largest port in the Western Hemisphere and the largest manufacturing centre in the US, Zalon said “we’re not only bringing in the worlds goods, we’re making the rest of them here.”
Still however, investment was a large struggle for Los Angeles based companies. The primary issue affecting investment is the negative perception of the city, polling near the bottom for public perception in terms of safety, intelligence and a place to do business.
“We have an unbelievable resource in the higher education system and when tapped into, these natural pathways will become a goldmine of global innovation over the next century.”
To combat this, Zalon was a founding member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s
Council on Innovation and Industry. Backed by a broad range of local business leaders, the council was formed to focus national and international attention on the nnovation economy in Greater Los Angeles.
“We want to ensure this city is in the top 3 list of must consider locations for talent, investors, businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Five sub-committees came out of this looking to change perception and evolve in terms of these broad identities.
Narrative –To create a compelling and real
story for LA that defines it as the go-to place for business innovation and fundamentally change its’ perception.
Policy – To help local government play a more active and impactful role
in supporting and growing LA’s innovation ecosystem.
Network – To develop infrastructure and improve the ability to move people and ideas around quickly.
Education – To leverage relationships with our universities that will grow the entrepreneurial and innovation communities.
Capital – to help Los Angeles attract more growth capital for innovation.