What could be better than beautiful weather, beaches, and your favorite scrappy start-up?
Two cities in Los Angeles are slowly becoming hubs of technology, Santa Monica and Venice.
In the spread out landscape of Los Angeles these two cities are adjacent close-knit urban areas, with ample office space, coffee shops, restaurants, and apartments. But, not the typical high-rise or pre-fab buildings, these are old school one-story remodeled spaces.
Think fun, diverse, and in some places gritty (i.e. hipster).
Recently, both held town hall meetings with local companies and government officials to strategize growth:
Santa Monica devoted much of its annual State of the City address to promoting the tech community, with Mayor Richard Bloom declaring: “Today we are not just Santa Monica, but Silicon Beach and the Tech Coast.” (In an unofficial vote later, hundreds in attendance overwhelmingly threw their support to the Silicon Beach name.)
“Our technology-qualified workforce, creative workplaces and leading broadband infrastructure will keep our economy well-positioned for future growth,” Bloom said.
After the mayor’s address and a short video touting the rise of tech companies in Santa Monica, Jason Nazar, who is chief executive and co-founder of local start-up Docstoc.com, moderated a panel of people connected to the tech scene.
Silicon Beach is spreading to Venice.
The quirky beach-side community drew hundreds of attendees to a packed town hall meeting dubbed The Emergence of Silicon Beach.
Executives from Google, local start-ups Viddy and Mogreet, and accelerator Amplify were on hand for a panel moderated by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who repeatedly told audience members that they were witnessing a “Venicessance.” Nearly two dozen tech companies set up booths to tout their products and ideas to about 400 attendees.
“Ten years ago, it was very hard,” James Citron said. “You had to fly up to San Francisco and do the Sand Hill Road dance, for those of you who know the venture capital world. Now they’re coming down here looking for great companies, so that’s a big fundamental change.”
It also helps that Google Los Angeles has set-up shop in the, Frank Gehry-designed, Binoculars Building in Venice.
For more on the start-ups in the area, including who’s hiring, Los Angeles Times reporter, Andrea Chang, has been doing a great job covering all of the start-ups in Silicon Beach.
Here are a few of them:
- LuxeYard brings social aspect to flash sales
- Capsule aims to be group events’ one-stop app
- Sole Society – flash fashion sale site
- Scopely – a secret project from a former Googler
- BeachMint – e-commerce websites with products designed by celebrities
- Science Inc., provides guidance and funding for start-ups
- KarmaGoat lets consumers sell their goods for charity
- Social gaming company Mention Mobile
- Elevator Labs: an L.A. start-up building L.A. start-ups