Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Announces New Members to Entrepreneurship Task Force

Sep 23, 2019 | Press Release

Sacramento, CA – In July, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced five new members to its Entrepreneurship Task Force (Task Force) alongside the fourth episode of GO-Biz’s podcast, Made in California.

New members:

  • Kusum Kavia, Co-Founder and President, Combustion Associates, Inc. 
  • Jay Goth, Managing Partner, Murrieta Genomics
  • Ellen Chen and Mario Del Pero, Co-Founders, Mendocino Farms
  • Ryan Gales, CEO, Jenkins/Gales & Martinez, Inc.

Current members:

  • Nely Galán, Founder, Galán Entertainment
  • Charles Hudson, Managing Partner and Founder, Precursor Ventures
  • Bismarck Lepe, Founder and CEO, Wizeline 
  • Teddy Liaw, CEO, NexRep
  • Irma Olguin Jr., Co-Founder and CEO, Bitwise Industries
  • Carmen Palafox, Partner, MiLA Capital (Make in LA)
  • Dilawar Syed, President and CEO, Lumiata and Chair of the Entrepreneurship Task Force

The Task Force, a historic initiative serving as a bridge between the State of California and the entrepreneurial community, will launch a series of listening sessions throughout the state to better connect government and entrepreneurs.

“We must make sure that the California economy continues to grow and prosper in a way that takes everyone into account,” said the Governor’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor and Director of GO-Biz Lenny Mendonca. “By going out and actually listening to entrepreneurs across the state, this Task Force will provide strategic guidance and advice to the State helping improve and modernize interactions with entrepreneurs and small businesses. By doing so, we maintain California’s innovative edge.”

In a May opinion editorial, GO-Biz’s Director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate Isabel Guzman, described the Task Force’s importance.

“Supporting more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems and markets will help deliver stronger outcomes for all entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses,” said Guzman. “With a diverse set of voices connecting government to the private sector, we will amplify successes to inspire the next generation and carve out pathways to success. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are too big to ignore, too big to fail, and too important to California’s future inclusive economy.”

The Task Force is comprised of a broad and diverse group of individuals who represent high-growth businesses as well as small and medium-sized firms from across the state. It is chaired by Dilawar Syed, President and CEO of Lumiata.

“California has led the way as a powerhouse in innovation and entrepreneurship globally. In a changing global dynamic, we must continue to lead with products and services that change the world,” said Syed. “The Entrepreneurship Task Force is a historic bridge between the entrepreneurial community and Sacramento, ensuring next generation businesses have the support they need to succeed.”

Issues tackled by the Task Force will include: retaining and advancing California’s global competitive edge and leadership, addressing barriers to accessing capital, helping open markets, providing resources and enabling strong networks, and tackling marketplace challenges such as promoting a skilled, globally competitive workforce.

About GO-Biz
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit,

Kaitlin Lewis
Assistant Deputy Director of Communications
Phone: (916) 204-2107

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