LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2016 Grants Challenge

#Re-Make It LA

Reinvent older, LA manufacturing companies by using crowdfunding and other innovations to retain jobs in LA


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

We are teaming up with Crowdfund Better ( on this proposal. Founded in 2012 by Kathleen Minogue, Crowdfund Better provides crowdfunding strategy and education to entrepreneurs, creatives, nonprofits, and small businesses.

Please describe your project proposal.

Our proposal will identify 10 manufacturing companies in Los Angeles County that are ‘at risk’ for relocation. We seek to ‘re-tool’ these companies through new digital communications, enterprise crowdfunding, and/or management capacity so they can better understand their marketplace, increase sales and re-position the company to avert relocation and loss of manufacturing jobs in LA County.

Which of the CREATE metrics will your proposal impact?​

Manufacturing activity

Employment in the creative industries

Jobs per capita

Minority- and women-owned firms

Venture capital investment

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA

Gateway Cities

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to CREATE?

Manufacturing Activity: LA County has hemorrhaged manufacturing jobs in the last decade, losing 20% of these jobs.

Our proposal seeks to help stem the outflow of manufacturing jobs through the use of crowdfunding, digital technology, management consulting and other tools to re-invent older companies. Our goal is to conduct the research and development needed to reposition them in the marketplace AND retain their jobs.

Employment in Creative Industries: The use of digital marketing techniques will require the talents of many creative industries ranging from graphic design to filmmaking to copywriting.

Video pitching is an integral part of any crowdfunding effort. It demonstrates a company’s transparency, showing specific products/services; it can support early branding, storytelling, and customer identification; the video format can entice a potential consumer in a crowdfunding campaign.

LA County is rich in documentary filmmakers. Older manufacturing companies can tell their story through the use of documentary film.

Jobs per Capita: In a Forbes Magazine story ‘LA: CITY OF LOSERS?’ Urbanologist Joel Kotkin noted that per-capita manufacturing employment in Los Angeles has fallen significantly. “.. industrial job count stands at 363,900, down sharply from 900,000 just a decade ago.” The Apparel industry alone lost 45,000 jobs in LA County during the last decade.

The significance of this is that manufacturing jobs directly effects per capita income.

According to LAEDC, median household income in LA County is estimated to be $54,529, approximately 9% lower than the state median. At $27,488, per capita income in the county is 7% below the state average. This differential is directly attributable to the loss of manufacturing jobs in recent years.

Maintaining this base is key to high per capita income for LA in the future.

Measures of cultural & global economic influence (“soft power”): Utilizing crowdfunding tools including digital storytelling and marketing, the project will help create a body of content on the internet that highlights LA as a leader in manufacturing.

Minority- and women-owned firms:

Our collaboration with the Alliance of Women Directors (AWD) in the creation of crowdfunding campaign videos will provide creative opportunities for women filmmakers in LA.

Many small companies selected in this pilot program will be minority owned.

Venture Capital: Businesses with market validation via rewards crowdfunding are highly attractive to VCs. VCs are discovering that the industrial sector offer high return potential when re-invented & married to new tech. An SBA study entitled “Research on the Current State of Crowdfunding: The Effect of Crowdfunding Performance & Outside Capital” found a relationship between crowdfunding success and an ability for a business to obtain outside financing. Crowdfunding success also “increases the probability of business partnerships and stronger customer base.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

It is our expectation that only 2-3 businesses will be viable candidates for successful crowdfunding campaigns, but all 10 businesses will reimagine their businesses through participation in our program.

They will receive guidance on how to better identify their target customer, how to locate their target customer online, and how to engage with existing and potential customers via digital communications including email, social media and advertising.

We will use crowdfunding frameworks to help businesses use these new communications channels with the crowd to build brand awareness, develop new products, conduct market research, generate customer feedback, and increase sales. Large established companies use a similar model called “enterprise crowdfunding” (i.e. Indiegogo Enterprise Crowdfunding division), but until now this framework has not been available to smaller established companies.

Baseline data on existing marketing assets will be collected during the initial business assessment. Data will be tracked and measured over the life of the project.

We will explore the impact the marketing data and direct communications with their target customers has on a business’s ability to reinvent via an ability to customize their products through user feedback, as well as what impact the growth of their marketing footprint may have on sales.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Advisors/board members



Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)

Network/relationship support