Silicon Beach: Southern California’s New Ad Agency Hot Spot

There’s an influx of capital, lots of recruiting potential, the rise of startup accelerators, and it all seemed to happen without orchestration.


“Chris Raih wanted to settle somewhere funky and hip with ready access to creative talent when he was scouting a Southern California location in 2006 for his about-to-launch ad agency Zambezi. A view of the Pacific Ocean and the possibility of surfing at lunchtime wouldn’t suck either.

He found his way to the nascent Silicon Beach, a multimile stretch of Los Angeles that grew from iconic Venice Beach to Santa Monica, Marina del Rey and surrounding seaside burgs. The quickly gentrifying area, near the buzzy heart of Hollywood, earned its name for attracting tech startups, budding e-commerce, digital ad shops, and cutting-edge media and entertainment companies.

“This area is an inspiration to us everyday,” notes Raih, founder of Zambezi with his ecd Brian Ford. “It’s progressive, bohemian, smart. It’s completely plugged into trends. And the natural beauty of the beach is another hemisphere of influence…”



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