The Innovation Forum, a summit composed of entertainment and business leaders from the U.S. and U.K. co-sponsored by the Founder's Forum and UK Trade & Investment will come together Feb. 4-5 in Los Angeles, kicking off 2013 Grammy week. Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor, and musician will.i.am will co-host the event.
Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will deliver the Forum's opening address, with featured presentations from Jeffrey Katzenberg (Dreamworks), Daniel Ek (Spotify), Robert Kyncl (Google, YouTube), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) and "dozens of others."
In addition to the high-powered hosts, a number of high-powered music buisness execs are slated to attend, including: Randy Phillips, President & CEO of AEG; Simon Fuller, Founder of XIX; Jean Rene Fourtou, Chairman & CEO of Vivendi; Ian Hogarth, Founder & CEO, Songkick; and Alexander Ljung, Founder & CEO, Soundcloud.
"Whether you are a digital start-up, venture capitalist or a content company engaged in proper business development, it is imperative that you think and act globally," said Universal Music Group chairman and chief executive Lucian Grainge in a statement, "Nowhere is that achieved more than through collaboration. The Innovation Forum is an effort to foster stronger ties between new and established entrepreneurs from the US and UK. I'm certain that international ties will not only be strengthened, but significant innovative collaboration will emerge from this unprecedented gathering."
Grainge would seem to be following up on the sentiment he expressed in mid-2012 to the Financial Times, ahead of his company's acquisition of EMI, about working towards "a new way of working with all these startup platforms . . . in a fair, open-minded way." The Innovation Forum would appear an ideal situation to accomplish exactly that.
The Innovation Forum's mission statement reads: "This event will produce new and tangible commercial relationships and partnerships between the US and UK entertainment industries. It will be an opportunity for leading USA businesses in the creative, entertainment and technology sectors to connect and develop special relationships with entrepreneurial companies from Great Britain. We will continue to encourage these relationships to achieve real growth through a practical support network and ongoing mentoring."
"There is no better time to bring together American and British entrepreneurs and innovators. I hope this gathering in California will produce a wide array of successful online and mobile ventures that enrich consumers around the globe," said Senator Diane Feinstein.
Other confirmed ttendees include: Lord Jonathan Marland, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Ambassadors and Trade Envoys; Ed Vaizey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries; Ynon Kreiz, Ex-CEO/Chairman Endemol/Chairman Maker Studios; Casey Wasserman, Wasserman Media Group; Michael Birch, co-founder of Bebo; Michael Acton Smith, CEO, Creative Director and Founder, Moshi Monsters; and Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman of the Arts Council England.