Long Beach
Innovation Team

411 West Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 101315
Long Beach Innovation Team Works With City Departments to Prioritize Five New Initiatives
John Keisler
Innovation Team Director
Alma Castro
Project Manager
Mayor Robert Garcia and the City Council will receive a progress update at tonight’s City Council meeting on five new innovation and economic development initiatives that will be implemented by the City and community partners over the next year.

“The Innovation Team is laying a strong foundation for the tech and creative economy in Long Beach,” said Mayor Garcia. “Our new initiatives focus on entrepreneurs and strengthen existing efforts to create more jobs and support local businesses.”

The five new initiatives 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.

“Creative, productive ideas are exactly what we’ll need as we develop the Port of the Future,” said Jon Slangerup, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Long Beach. “We applaud Mayor Garcia for focusing on a strong ecosystem for innovative entrepreneurs to support local industries such as the Port.”

The City's economic development initiatives were proposed after conducting extensive research on both opportunities and challenges to economic growth. The Innovation Team (i-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.

“Innovators are always rapidly evolving technology, so we need to keep pace and ensure that our infrastructure is ready for the future,” said Bryan Sastokas, Director of Technology and Innovation. “The new startup portal will add needed online tools and extend the City’s capacity to serve entrepreneurs before they even visit City Hall.”

The i-team is made possible with a three year, $3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Long Beach was one of fourteen cities selected in December 2014 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program. The program aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve residents’ lives. Grant funds allow cities to hire and fund i-teams for up to three years. These teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one priority to the next. Using Bloomberg Philanthropies’ tested Innovation Delivery approach, i-teams help agency leaders and staff go through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit bloomberg.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.