L.A. area has been under the radar, but not now
“PLAYA DEL REY, CALIF. — You can excuse Brett O’Brien for feeling giddy.
His startup Viddy, launched in early 2011, created a smartphone app that allows people to capture, enhance and share video and already has 40 million registered users. He’s raised more than $38 million in funding. And more would-be investors are circling, wondering if Viddy could be the next Instagram, the photo app that earlier this year sold to Facebook for $1 billion.
But Viddy isn’t based in the technology hotbeds of Silicon Valley and San Francisco. “It would have been a lot more challenging to create a business like this up there,” O’Brien says. Instead, Silicon Beach, a roughly 3-mile stretch of sand from Venice to Santa Monica, is home to Viddy and a host of other young tech companies with an entertainment, celebrity or mobile edge.
After years of the San Francisco Bay Area dominating the tech startup scene, with huge smashes such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, entrepreneurs are finding they can go elsewhere to grow and prosper. One of those places is the city of dreams itself, where thousands still flock every year to seek fame and fortune, and where young pioneers such as Charles Chaplin, Walt Disney and the Warner brothers (Jack and Sam) used the technology of visuals and, later, sound to create the motion-picture industry…”