Why Silicon Beach is the Tech Scene to Watch in 2017

October 25, 2016

With San Francisco dominating the tech scene for years, Silicon Valley’s up-and-coming competitor, Silicon Beach, has not received its due recognition. Between 2014 and 2015, venture capital investment in Northern California decreased, while it grew by 50 percent in Southern California. By tapping into the city’s popular culture and lifestyle, the Los Angeles tech scene has begun to make a name for itself through big-name companies including Hulu, Maker Studios, Snapchat and Tinder. Silicon Beach has learned to thrive by doing what LA does best: building success upon media, entertainment and content creation, making it the tech scene to watch this upcoming year.

 

As a Los Angeles technology PR firm, we are seeing first hand this booming tech scene that is now home to almost 900 startups, many of which have adopted a laid-back, “work hard, play hard” attitude that is unique to Southern California. Unlike in Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs in Silicon Beach are not afraid to create something that is simply fun. However, the one factor that was hindering Silicon Beach’s development was a lack of venture capitalism in the region which all changed after a series of initiatives by the local government.

 

In 2013, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti made his mark on the tech scene by pushing for investment in LA companies. He then went on to launch the recently established Great Business program under the Great Streets initiative, which gives small business owners in Los Angeles the economic assistance they need to grow. Now even celebrities are beginning to invest in the local tech scene, including basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

 

Through the development of startups in Los Angeles, close to 70,000 engineers in Southern California now have a larger selection of companies to choose from in the region than ever before. Los Angeles is home to the highest number of engineers in the country, giving the LA tech scene an incentive to not only harness homegrown talent but also ensure that it remains in Southern California.

 

Only a decade ago, Los Angeles was considered a “Wild West” for startups as engineers and VCs were afraid of the risks of the then-unknown Silicon Beach. As the city’s tech resources continue to surmount, Silicon Beach is becoming an increasingly influential tech scene having embraced its unique local culture.

 

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