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]

Seeking $115 Million, Santa Monica-based Biotech, Kite Pharma, Files for IPO

Kite Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products

From Kite Pharma:

“Kite Pharma, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock. All shares of common stock to be sold in the offering will be offered by Kite. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Jefferies LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Cowen and Company, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Stifel is acting as co-manager…”

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Kite Pharma, Inc. [web]

UCLA Startup, ImaginAb, Closes $21 Million Series B Financing

UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology

From FierceBiotech:

“UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology, a biotech approach to imaging that the company believes will help personalize treatments for cancer and immune disease.

Mérieux Développement, the investment arm of French life sciences outfit bioMérieux, led the latest round, joined by repeat investors Novartis ($NVS), Cycad Group and Nextech Invest. Each is betting ImaginAb’s novel take on imaging agents will help investigators better understand disease and match patients to their ideal therapies…”

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Read Press Release [web]
About ImaginAb [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]

Santa Monica-Based Biotech, Kite Pharma, Raises $50M in New Financing

Proceeds to Support Advancement of Clinical Programs in Cancer Immunotherapy

From Kite Pharma:

Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced the completion of a $50 million mezzanine private financing of convertible notes. Participants in the transaction included a syndicate of healthcare-dedicated investors, many of which are based in the United States and are first-time investors in Kite. Additional terms of the financing were not disclosed.

Kite expects to use proceeds of the financing to advance its programs developing novel cancer immunotherapy products. Kite’s lead investigational therapy is an autologous eACT™ product that targets CD19 expression on B cell malignancies, including diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Additional programs will target a number of both hematological malignancies and solid tumors…

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE [web]
FierceBiotech – Immuno-oncology specialist Kite adds $50M in new financing [web]
Kite Pharma [web]