The term "Silicon Beach" has been around since 2008, but lately it seems like it’s growing in popularity and awareness. Silicon Beach is essentially the westernmost area of Los Angeles, the communities of Santa Monica, Venice and El Segundo more specifically, but the term is starting to expand to mean Los Angeles in general. The name came about as an attempt to draw a community together, and there’s a lot going on in that community these days.
As the term seems to be reaching a cultural tipping point, there are some things about the L.A. tech startup scene that you may not know that go beyond the glitzy and somewhat questionable name. There are some amazing startups coming out of the Los Angeles area, which heretofore might just been thought of as where MySpace started.
As the community grows, so do the opportunities for new startups to join a robust and thriving tech and entrepreneurial scene that has much to offer. Here are three surprising stats about Silicon Beach every startup entrepreneur will want to know.
1. L.A. is bursting with tech
According to the L.A. Economic Development Council, the city has more people employed in high-tech jobs (368,500) than any other metro region in the U.S. The same report also shows that the applications for high tech in L.A. span industries as diverse as film production and editing, to app development and software. Tech is becoming a true community with much to offer in the L.A. area.
One consideration if you’re thinking of starting a tech company in the Silicon Beach area is to consider the significant impact that geography can have in Los Angeles with the amount of traffic. You can’t live in Santa Monica and hire someone in Pasadena, so before you consider moving out to the beach, get some accurate stats on the cost of living and talent recruiting in your intended neighborhood to see if it makes sense for you and your startup.
2. Over $333 million was raised in Q2
City National Bank’s Q2 2014 Report shows that in the second quarter of this year alone Los Angeles startups raised over $333 million in capital. The report shows that at 44 percent almost half of that capital was raised by startups in Santa Monica. Since Santa Monica is the epicenter of the Silicon Beach community, it seems there are millions of reasons to consider it as a startup location if you’re looking to relocate.
Los Angeles also reported 292 sunny or mostly sunny days in 2013. With all that vitamin D, perhaps L.A. could be the perfect place to get your startup off the ground.
3. L.A. has entrepreneurs
L.A. is just behind San Francisco in entrepreneurs per capita in major metropolitan areas, according to the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. The city claimed 490 entrepreneurs per 100,000 people, just behind San Francisco’s 570 per 100,000, but leading New York’s 320 per 100,000.
Clearly Silicon Beach isn’t just a term, it’s a growing community of burgeoning tech startup talent. Just look to rapidly growing new startups such as BuddyTruk, FameBit and Washio. You could easily bump into any one of these startup company’s CEOs on a walk to the local Urth Cafe or a paddle out to a wave.