LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Silicon Valley has nothing on Silicon Beach.
Investors say the L.A. area is booming with tech companies and expert more start-ups to come.
For starters, Katelyn O’Shaughnessy is among this wave of entrepreneurs. She created Tripscope, a travel app connecting travel agents to consumers: “I’m currently in an accelerator called Amplify. So I was the first female founder to be brought into the program.”
Kai Sato and Brent Sullivan won an award for best business plan at USC in 2007. It connects thousands of colleges with athletes.
“Field Level is a private social network for sports recruiting and the easiest way to think about it is that we get high school athletes recruited to college all through the internet,” the founders said.
Have you ever sneaked down to a better seat at a live show or game? L.A.-based company Pogoseat created a mobile app that helps people arrange seat upgrades during live shows and games.
Then there’s Blake Caldwell’s product The Moguard, which reinvents the old: “The inspiration behind the Moguard was from an old stein my dad had from the 18th century when they used to build the mustache guards into the cups themselves.
Then are startups that improve the new, like Fanbread.com. It’s a way to turn massive social media followings into personal brands and companies.
“When I first came here, I would walk down the street and I would hardly ever meet a tech founder or a tech investor or a tech anything — and now tech is everywhere in LA. It’s in Downtown, it’s in the Valley, it’s in West Hollywood, it’s in Culver [City], I mean it’s everywhere in the city,” according to Paige Craig. He helped pioneer the tech scene in L.A. for the past eight years as an angel investor and, currently, as a managing partner at Arena Ventures. It’s a venture firm that makes seed and growth investments. He believes the tech startup scene is just a couple of years away from L.A.’s big break.
Craig said, “That’s when the massive companies — the Tinders, the Snapchats and the Zip Recruiters — all these future companies are going to create new entrepreneurs. And what you see now is going to be ten times bigger in just the next couple years.”
In fact, AngelList ranked Los Angeles last year as the fastest growing tech startup region in the country.
The sand, surf and ocean views of Silicon Beach may have brought the tech boom to L.A., but there’s a steady stream of startups starting to expand across the Southland.
“L.A. is such a phenomenal market right now. A lot of the conversations you hear are a lot of different technology conversations going on,” said a spokesperson at HONK technologies, a Santa Monica-based company that launched a mobile app providing towing and roadside assistance. For them, the conversations involve hiring and growth. “People are wanting to move here so as you can see behind us we’re crowded in this space. We’re in the process of moving into a new office space in the next month, 10,000 square feet of office space.”
For entrepreneurs without offices, Dan Dato created Cross Campus, a shared space in Santa Monica for entrepreneurs, with wide open spaces, cubby holes and a bar where people can meet.
“Startups need to be the engine of our economic growth and L.A., my home, needs to be great at it,” Dato said.
It’s a home that now not only fills its sidewalks with stars, but fills its city with startups.