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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti went looking for entrepreneurs a couple of years ago to evangelize about the region’s surging innovation ecosystem. He met Jason Nazar.
A serial founder with a long history of nurturing young tech companies, Nazar in 2016 was named a City of L.A. Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
The purpose of the mayor’s program is to help build a regional network of entrepreneurs and investors and promote job opportunities in tech.
"I spent the last decade of my life helping small businesses start and grow," Nazar says, in return for help he received from mentors along the way. "I’ve had a lot of experience of seeing what works and what doesn’t work," he adds.
Nazar also has a day job as co-founder and CEO of Comparably. The company publishes corporate hiring and compensation data to enable employees and job seekers to compare pay, demographics and a host of other career and corporate culture criteria. He launched it after selling his previous startup to Intuit.
Nazar understands what he says few people do: Running a startup can be a very lonely experience. The upside, however, more than makes up for the hard times. "It’s an opportunity to be the master of your own destiny, and the opportunity to do something really big that you might not be able to do otherwise," he tells young entrepreneurs.
It’s lonely… but you have the opportunity to do something really big that you might not be able to do otherwise.
For decades, innovation companies have called Southern California home. But with several industry leading tech companies in the news lately, the region is receiving a burst of attention as a hotbed for tech. It is good news for job seekers.
In the winter, Nazar helped organize a city-sponsored job fair, the largest of its kind ever held in L.A. More than 12,500 people showed up and reportedly several hundred jobs were eventually filled. The number of local VCs and corporate investors eager to help the ecosystem grow also is growing.
Silicon Valley Bank has had a team in Los Angeles for two decades, and in that time has expanded its footprint with offices in Santa Monica, Orange County (Irvine) and San Diego.
Nazar, who has banked with SVB for a decade, says "SVB cares about the entrepreneurs, they care about the companies and they care about the ecosystem."
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Jason Nazar, CEO and co-founder of Comparably, describes how to survive in the startup spotlight.
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