Inaugural “Mayor’s Cup” Will Reward L.A. Entrepreneur for Innovative Solutions to Toughest Civic Challenges

Published On: June 2, 2016Categories: City Hall News, Program News

LOS ANGELES—Mayor Eric Garcetti is challenging residents to help him find creative solutions to L.A.’s most pressing challenges.

Today, the Mayor announced his first annual Mayor’s Cup competition, which will solicit proposals from student entrepreneurs and local academics to support local economic growth and encourage civic engagement — on issues ranging from beautifying vacant and blighted spaces, to building affordable housing.

“Los Angeles is full of dynamic thinkers who work to improve our quality of life through everything from entertainment and transportation, to clean tech and manufacturing,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Mayor’s Cup will incentivize the creativity of young entrepreneurs across our city. Whether you have a great plan that will help us build more affordable housing, or a brilliant strategy to increase employment opportunities for low-income Angelenos, we want to put your ideas to work.”

Mayor Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles invite college students, faculty members, and staff from Los Angeles colleges and universities to enter the competition. Finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of business and government leaders, including Mayor Garcetti. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000 and the opportunity to work with City Hall for eight weeks to bring their idea to life. Technical development, mentorship, and collaboration with City leadership will be guided by the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team (O-Team).

Eligible teams can choose from one of the following challenges:

  • How can we better support the enhancement and beautification of City real estate assets and public property?
  • What can we do with vacant, blighted, and City-owned properties in your neighborhood?
  • How can we build and preserve more affordable housing, including through incentives for public and private investors?
  • How can the City better connect everyday small business owners to the professional services and growth opportunities they need to thrive?
  • How can we grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in L.A. to increase employment and skill-building opportunities for local workers?

Other partners in the competition include the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, University Venture Network, Cal State L.A. Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Loyola Marymount University’s Fred Kriesner Center for Entrepreneurship, Startup UCLA, and L.A. City Partners.

“Mayor’s Cup is an exciting program that brings together government and entrepreneurs in a way to explore how technology can make the city more efficient and productive,” said David Belasco, Co-Director and Adjunct Professor at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “We believe that this competition will bring unique ideas to improve the lives of Angelenos.”

Additional information and entry forms can be found at The competition will culminate at a live presentation for Mayor Garcetti and select city and business leaders at USC in March.

Important competition dates are as follows:

May 15, 2016: Competition guidelines posted
October 15, 2016: Applications due
November 1, 2016: Finalists announced
November 16, 2016: Finalists will pitch the Mayor, Deputy Mayors, and local business leaders in a live competition



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