City of Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan Launches Innovation Council

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan, along with representatives from local business, education, and government, launched an Innovation Council to secure the City of Irvine’s position as a technology and innovation hub. Among the representatives joining Mayor Khan at the press conference were Abhi Mukherjee, Operating Partner, CerraCap Ventures; Errol Arkilic, Executive Director and Chief Innovative Officer, UCI Beall Applied Innovation; Bryan Starr, President and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce; and Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Masimo.

The Innovation Council will develop a multifaceted Strategic & Action plan for attracting, retaining, and supporting high-growth technology businesses and will work to define specific actions needed to help position Irvine as a regional hub of innovation and technology. In particular, there will be a focus on pipeline programming to encourage innovation at local schools.

“As the City of Irvine celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and we look ahead to the future, there is no doubt that our next chapter will be defined by our growing prominence in technology and innovation,” Mayor Khan said. “I am excited to launch my Innovation Council, which is our path to reinvest in our community and stitch together different pieces that are critical to the innovation ecosystem’s growth and success. Now, let’s start innovating.”

The Innovation Council is made up of industry leaders from a cross-section of government, education, and business sectors, including seasoned entrepreneurs:

  • CerraCap Ventures: Saurabh Ranjan, Founder and CEO; Abhi Mukherjee, Operating Partner; and Sylvia Kim, Venture Partner
  • Chapman University: Dr. Janeen Hill, Dean, Crean College of Health & Behavioral Sciences
  • Edwards Lifesciences: Michael A. Mussallem, Chairman and CEO; Heather Rouhana, Government Affairs
  • FivePoint: Emile Haddad, Founder and Chairman Emeritus eff. 10/1/21; Lynn Jochim, President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Google: Michael Jeter, Director
  • Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce: Bryan Starr, President and CEO
  • Irvine Company: Jeffrey Davis, Vice President – Entitlement
  • Irvine Valley College: Dr. John Hernandez, President
  • KW Capital Partners: Irving Kau, Managing Partner
  • Masimo: Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman, and CEO
  • Microsoft: Ali Mazaheri, MTC Director – Irvine
  • OCTANe: Bill Carpou, CEO
  • Orange County Business Council: Lucy Dunn, President and CEO
  • Partake Collective: Adam Carrillo, CEO
  • Sunstone Management, Inc.: John Shen, Principal
  • Sustain SoCal: C. Scott Kitcher, President and CEO
  • UCI Beall Applied Innovation: Errol Arkilic, Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer
  • University of California, Irvine: Howard Gillman, Chancellor

“Irvine embodies innovation and this Innovation Council has all the necessary partners and ingredients – with CerraCap Ventures bringing the start-ups,” said Abhi Mukherjee, Operating Partner with CerraCap Ventures. “Now we just need the right recipe to bring forward the best technologies and innovation to the City we love, Irvine.”

“In Irvine, where Edwards Lifesciences has our corporate headquarters, we enjoy being part of a unique innovation ecosystem that’s growing every day,” said Edwards Lifesciences Chairman and CEO Mike Mussallem. “As we think about the future, it is encouraging that Irvine has passionate and talented leaders who are committed to building a bright future.”

“We have been waiting a long time for this Innovation Council, and I can’t be more excited to participate in this public-private partnership, said FivePoint Founder and Chairman Emile Haddad. “This council will be a model example for Irvine and the nation moving forward.”  

“This year, we are celebrating our 50th anniversary as a City, and planning for the next 50, and that is really what this council is,” said Bryan Starr, President and CEO of Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “We are the best kept secret in America, and where you want to be if you are going to start a business, innovate, and access the best and brightest talent.”

“The Mayor's new Innovation Council will keep Irvine at the forefront of vibrant, successful cities in California,” said Irvine Company Vice President – Entitlement Jeffrey Davis. “Irvine Company looks forward to collaborating with the City to continue to attract the best companies and talent.”

“It’s wonderful on our 50th anniversary that Mayor Khan created this council to guarantee Irvine remains a hub for innovation, said Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Massimo. “It’s our diversity that make us thrive as a City and a bright spot of California. With the sixth largest economy in the world, it’s an environment that strives to foster its future innovation.”

“Knowledge creation is at the core of our experience. Increasingly that core research and commercialization activity becomes one,” said Errol Arkilic, Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer of UCI Beall Applied Innovation. “Dissemination of knowledge into products and services is critical to innovation, and what this council will help ensure.”

Known as the “City of Innovation,” Irvine embodies the traits of a successful tech hub city with outstanding universities that provide a readily available workforce and a strong base of talent; an exceptional quality of life afforded by excellent school systems; and recognition as one of America’s safest cities.

For more photos of today’s press conference and the Innovation Council, visit our Flickr album.