Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Los Angeles Isn't Silicon Valley, And That's Why Entrepreneurs Love It


Silicon beach is the third largest startup hub in the world behind the SF bay area's Silicon Valley and New York! LA has the most engineering graduates too.

Los Angeles Isn't Silicon Valley, And That's Why Entrepreneurs Love It

Entrepreneur Dan Smarg doesn’t mince words: People might like drawing comparisons between San Francisco and Los Angeles—Silicon Valley versus Silicon Beach—but if you’re starting a business today, Los Angeles wins hands down.

“Silicon Beach is bustling precisely because we are not established, because we have no track record,” says the WeWork Promenade member.

The entrepreneurs interviewed here agreed that Los Angeles was the perfect place for them to start a business. That includes Rob Emrich, whose Santa Monica-based mobile advertising platform, The Mobile Majority, was named the region’s fastest growing tech startup for the second year in a row.

“When I moved here five years ago, I had been considering San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New Orleans,” says Emrich. “I feel very lucky to have landed here.”

Emrich says L.A.’s tech sector has exploded over the past few years. It now holds its own in a city known for film and television, music, and media.

Here’s a little of what L.A. has going for it:

A huge startup scene that’s still growing. L.A. is already the third largest startup hub in the world, behind Silicon Valley and New York. And it’s growing by leaps and bounds. The $6 billion in funding startups received in 2016 has tripled over the past four years.

More engineers than any other city. That’s right, colleges here produce more graduates with engineering degrees than New York or Boston. “There are many top-tier colleges in Southern California,” says WeWork Santa Monica-based entrepreneur David Baird, “and graduates often want to stay in the area.” And because the startup scene isn’t so intense, your new engineer isn’t as likely to be poached after being on the job for a couple of months.

There are some things that L.A. still lacks: for starters, there aren’t as many deep-pocketed investors who can single-handedly fund the next big startup. But venture capitalists here are more likely to join together to fund promising companies.

And one other thing: L.A. may be an expensive city, but San Francisco prices have skyrocketed in the past few years.

“One of the main reasons we’re in L.A. versus San Francisco or New York is that it’s still affordable to live here,” says WeWork Gas Tower member Gina Pak. “So for a company that’s bootstrapping, that’s a great thing.”