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The 5th Annual SoCal Ecosystem Leadership Forum

October 18, 2023 @ 9:00 am 3:00 pm

Our annual regional planning workshop is focused on uniting and catalyzing the leadership of Southern California’s diverse and compelling innovation nodes which define the SoCal innovation network. To accomplish this, we will convene a diverse cross section of leaders from across the region for a professionally facilitated one-day intensive workshop to learn, share best practices, connect with key partners and generate a coordinated strategy to tackle shared challenges and opportunities. This event is invite-only and free of charge, thanks to our sponsors Hines, Verizon, Sunstone Management, and Annenberg Tech | The Annenberg Foundation.

​This year’s forum is focused on making SoCal more competitive — nationally and within California — in attracting investment through public and private funding sources. The primary audience for the discussions will be representatives from SoCal ecosystem-focused organizations such as economic development agencies, accelerators, regional and industry-specific startup support organizations, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies who fund economic development.

​Forum Goals:

  • ​Connect the key people and organizations working to drive economic development and prosperity within SoCal’s innovation ecosystem
  • ​Identify trends and available opportunities to fund economic development initiatives so that ecosystem stakeholders can best prepare and align resources to capitalize on the appropriate funding sources for their communities
  • ​Instigate and support deeper relationships between SoCal’s innovation ecosystem leaders to ensure improved coordination of effort and collaboration within the region


​9:00 AM: Informal networking

​Come early for coffee and refreshments while you (re)connect with colleagues.

​​10:00 AM: Welcome

​Kicking off the day with comments from Alliance staff and welcome from Doug Holte, CEO at EXP by Hines, our host and venue sponsor.

​10:15: Introductions: Who’s in the room?

​​Each attendee will share a quick (10 second) summary of your organization and the role you play in the ecosystem. Roles could include: Investor, Government, Ecosystem Support Org, Corporate, Academic Institution, Service Provider (e.g. Banking, Legal, Accounting).

​Led by our emcee and program facilitator, Juan Ceva

​10:30a: Conversation Round 1. Funding Economic DevelopmentSponsored by Verizon

​What economic development priorities are getting funding, and how can the SoCal ecosystem best prepare? Panel discussion with regional funders featuring representatives from government agencies and philanthropic foundations where we will learn about upcoming funding opportunities, debrief about past experiences, and gain insights into the evolving trends for funding economic development programs. 

​Speakers: Wilfred Marshall (US Economic Development Administration), Deepak Bahl (USC Center for Economic Development), Chris Earl (CA GO BIZ), Shaun Randolph (LA N Sync / California Community Foundation), Stephanie Holloway (LA County). Moderator: Stacy Cumberbatch (Blended Impact Labs)

​​11:25a: Break + Networking

​​11:45a: Conversation Round 2. Launching Public / Private Partnerships (PPPs) That Work. Sponsored by Sunstone Management

​A group discussion led by experts who have launched numerous successful PPPs and are eager to share insights from their past collaborations and best practices to enable you to achieve impact that is aligned with your mission. 

​Speakers: John Keisler, CEO of Sunstone Management and Jesus Roman, VP State and Local Government Affairs at Verizon Communications.

​​12:15p: Lunch Break at Hangar 24. Sponsored by Hines

​​1:00p: Workshop: How can the SoCal innovation ecosystem be more effective at bringing investment to the region that funds high impact economic development programs? Sponsored by Annenberg Tech | Annenberg Foundation

​​​An interactive group discussion on how the region’s key stakeholder groups can effectively coordinate efforts and resources to go after potentially transformative funding opportunities collaboratively. We’ll identify the key initiatives (e.g. grants, PPPs), essential organizations to include in those initiatives, and how we can proactively utilize (or forge) alliances and effective partnerships to best accomplish our regional funding goals.

​​2:30p: Wrap Up Discussion: summarizing the day and forging a plan for next steps and action.

​3:00p: Program concludes

Alliance for SoCal Innovation

View Organizer Website