If ever there was a land of opportunity in the nation, Los Angeles is it. Indeed, tech start-ups are prolific in the City of Angels, with Silicon Beach on the West side rivaling Silicon Valley in Northern California, with approximately 500 up-and-coming businesses operating there. But this isn’t the only place in the urban sprawl Angelenos call home where fresh commerce has made a mark. In fact, in every corner of this metropolis’ 464-square-mile spread, tantalizing tech companies are here to stay and grow in a place that’s fertile for those kinds of transactions.
Culver City-based Skurt, a venture-backed tech company whose motto is “cars by the day, delivered to you on demand,” tackles the way folks navigate the City of Angels and beyond. The efforts of this keen firm are aimed at an app that allows clients to gain personal delivery of a rental car with just a couple of well-placed taps. With Skurt, there is no more waiting in lines and negotiating for upgrades in small rental car offices that are well off the beaten path. Instead, this nifty enterprise, founded in 2014, takes care of all that drudgery for you.
By way of background, this three-year-old operation now employs 45 people in all kinds of jobs, with new openings coming up fast and furious in the areas of marketing, design, product, operations, data and analytics, and accounting and finance. The generous startup looks after its employees with competitive salaries and fully paid medical insurance. In addition, the work place, which is dog friendly, is conveniently equipped with a fully stocked kitchen. How about that for contemporary perks not typical at most office jobs?
Former ShoeDazzle CTO and a brainyCalTech grad Thanh Khuu came up with Hollar, an e-commerce site hawking inexpensive products that are handy to have. Like other online enterprises (Wish comes to mind), Khuu’s concept is so cheap it’s addictive. But unlike, say, Wish, Hollar is a Commerce, California-based enterprise (Wish operates out of China).
The products on hand—which number in the 10s of hundreds—offer great range, from colored one sets (cost: $1) to name brand baby wipes ($1.50). The products ironically emanate from a converted 99 Cent Store that has become both a warehouse and world headquarters for Hollar. Oh, and Hollar is not only online, but is also iOS and Android friendly, so get addicted like so many others have already done.
Video games and philanthropy aren’t necessarily thought of in the same space, unless you are thinking about a Los Angeles startup called Kaydabi. Owning the catch phrase “making real life superheroes out of everyday people,” co-founders Kwabena Osei-Larbi and Kameni Ngahdeu joined particular wildlife defense organizations to come up with a mobile game dubbed Wild Warriors. While this game pushes players to join to save endangered animals in the virtual world, it does the same in the actual world as well, raising social awareness no matter how subliminal that process may actually be for certain enthusiastic gamers.
By Jane Lasky