The Sprawling, Booming LA Tech Scene Is Having a Moment

LA is and always has been a city that creates mass-market products. We’re closer to culture than Silicon Valley, so we’re crushing it in social mobile. Web 2.0 might have been there. Web 3.0 is here. -Mike Jones, Science

“From Santa Monica’s manicured pool houses to the new downtown e-commerce warehouses, from a bland glass office park in Irvine to a grand old frat house in West Adams, Los Angeles tech is having a moment.

So why are there still so many surfboards?

There they were, six of them propped behind the coding crew at Internet personalization company Gravity in Santa Monica. At the front desk of Cooley, the favorite law firm of LA startups like Snapchat, a surfboard adorned the corporate logo. One leaned against the pool house at secret-sharing site Whisper. At Oculus VR, a virtual-reality headset company in Irvine, there was a small sandbox in the conference room, complete with chaise and parasols.

“You saw our beach?” said Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, winking before settling into the conference room to talk about how he sold his company to Facebook for $2 billion a few weeks before. “It’s fun, right?”

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The Battle over “Silicon Beach” [web]

Cross Campus opens shop in Old Pasadena

We’ve been hearing from a lot of folks that there is a real need for collaborative workspace here in Pasadena. Many of our westside members will be excited that we’re adding an eastside component to our network.

From Pasadena Star-News:

“A new center for business innovation and collaboration is about to land in Pasadena and the venture already has an impressive pedigree.

Cross Campus, a collaborative, on-demand work space and business event venue in Santa Monica, announced this week that it will be opening a second campus at 87 N. Raymond Ave. in Old Pasadena.

The new location is expected to open in the fall and will include nearly 16,000 square feet housed in three different floors…”

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Cross Campus [web]

10 Most Well-Funded Startup Neighborhoods in LA

Why are there so many funded startups on the Westside?

From builtinla:

“The Internet’s ability to flatten national borders, shorten distances and hyperlink individuals would seem to make the physical location of a business completely irrelevant. Yet tech, the industry that appears least tethered to the ground, tends to cluster around specific locations.

Within the LA tech community this is no exception. By mapping Built In LA’s 2013 digital funding startup data across LA zip codes, it’s clear that a huge majority of funded businesses in LA reside on the Westside.

Intuitively, this is not surprising because Santa Monica and Venice-based companies are frequently in the headlines. However, the degree to which companies based in these areas receive funding shows a tech ecosystem thriving mostly on the Westside. In total, companies headquartered within Westside zip codes received $741 million of funding out of approximately $1.1 billion invested in greater LA in 2013…”

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Mayor Garcetti Launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

Entrepreneurs hold the key to sustained economic growth that makes an ecosystem vibrant and exciting.

From LA Daily News:

“Seeking to tap into private industry, Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced the creation of an “Entrepreneur in Residence” program to develop ideas on ways to create new businesses in the city, all funded by a private accounting firm.

“We want L.A. to be the leading destination for people starting new businesses, and there are no better guides for our efforts than successful entrepreneurs themselves,” Garcetti said of the program, sponsored by Ernst & Young…”

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LA Mayor’s Press Release [web]

LA Is A Sleeping Software Titan That’s About To Wake Up

This is the kind of town where you can have green tech, digital tech, bio tech, new media, all intersect together–with analog industries like fashion or music.

From FastCompany:

“Los Angeles will never be Silicon Valley. Too often when they’re compared, L.A. gets the short end of the stick.

As a native Angeleno I get upset when people bash my city’s tech scene from thousands of miles away. I’ve watched it my whole life up close. The city of angels is very much a startup town. Biotech, aerospace, renewable energy, transportation, manufacturing, the defense industry, video games, e-commerce. They’re all just as much L.A. as Hollywood is. But in a strange twist, these are all facts the outside world largely doesn’t know about–and that’s because the city has an image and marketing problem…”

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L.A. Story: Santa Monica Takes the Startup World by Storm

According to Fast Company, 35.9 percent of all Los Angeles startups are headquartered in Santa Monica

From HuffPo:

“The current epicenter of L.A.’s startup scene is Santa Monica (population 98,000), an 8.3 square mile stretch of beachside now known as Silicon Beach. According to Fast Company, 35.9 percent of all Los Angeles startups are headquartered in Santa Monica, including the popular app, Snapchat.

With its’ great weather, beautiful people, and pedestrian-friendly streets lined with a generous selection of bars and restaurants (450 of them, to be exact), Santa Monica offers young entrepreneurs high livability and a supportive tech environment.

Santa Monica also has a burgeoning incubator and accelerator scene. Within a 12 block area, there are 15 different co-working spaces, accelerators, and incubators, including ROC, CrossCampus, General Assembly, and CoLoft. Demand is growing so fast that CrossCampus is moving from its 11,000-square-foot space at 820 Broadway to a 13,000 square-foot-property at 10th Street and Colorado Avenue after the first of the year…”

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Fast Company – Analysis: LA’s Tech Scene [web]

Can Hyperloop Actually Be Built?

UCLA joins LA-based group to design prototypes…

From LA Weekly:

“The next big deal — or debate — in the transportation field isn’t a Jetsons-style flying car, high-speed train or monorail. It’s the Hyperloop, a 19th-century mailroom technology with a 21st-century twist. Instead of sucking documents through a pneumatic tube from the basement mailroom up to the executive suite, SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Tesla Motors’ Hyperloop would propel people, seated inside pods, from L.A. to San Francisco in 30 minutes. That’s about 760 mph, the speed of a cruising F-15.

That is, if it ever is built. If it ever can be built.

“We wouldn’t be wasting our time if we didn’t think so,” says Patricia Galloway, the first female president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who is part of a Los Angeles–based group charged with figuring out how to make Hyperloop a reality.

Also on the “Hyperloopers” team — which is working out of the transformed former Howard Hughes Spruce Goose hangar at Playa Vista — is Paul Coleman, one of the original 100 engineers NASA hired for Apollo moon missions…”

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About Hyperloop [web]