Krisztina Holly


Krisztina Holly (@krisztinaholly), known by colleagues as ‘Z’, is an MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur, and pioneer. As curator and host of the first ever TEDx in 2009, TEDxUSC, and the founding executive director of two university innovation centers at MIT and USC, she has a proven track record of identifying undiscovered talent and ideas and leading new initiatives that make impact at scale. LA Mayor Garcetti recently named Z inaugural EIR for the city to focus on the ecosystem around “making” things. She is adjunct Professor of Innovation Practice at USC, a Forbes contributor, and has served as consultant, advisor, board member to many organizations globally, including the Obama administration and World Economic Forum. She spent a decade in the tech industry, playing key roles at tech startups including Stylus innovation (acquired by Artisoft) and Direct Hit Technologies (acquired by Ask Jeeves). Earlier in her career she was a researcher at the MIT Media Lab, a manufacturing engineer for the Space Shuttle Main Engine, and associate producer on documentaries for Harvard Business School and the National Science Foundation. She is a licensed skydiver and SCUBA instructor and an avid adventure traveler, backcountry/telemark skier, mountain biker, and authentic food aficionado. She is married and resides in Los Angeles. (Full profile:

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