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This Tech Startup Isn't Based in Silicon Valley. Here's Why That's an Advantage. Vntana co-founder and CEO Ashley Crowder says it's great to be a new technology company in Greater L.A.

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nearly four decades since its rise to prominence, Silicon Valley arguably still reigns supreme as the epicenter of the tech startup world. But it's far from the only place to successfully launch a technology-based small business from.

Just ask Ashley Crowder, CEO of Vntana. She co-founded the hologram software and projection upstart in 2012. It's headquartered out of Van Nuys, Calif., about a 40-minute drive northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Crowder says being situated in the heart of the Hollywood entertainment machine is a huge benefit for Vntana, a distinct advantage in the nascent hologram industry that she couldn't take full advantage of up north in Silicon Valley.

The industrial systems engineer says that's because, as a tech startup, there's considerably less competition in general to vie with in Greater L.A., along with unparalleled access to celebrities and animators.

Related: Smoke and Mirrors: Why We Aren't Seeing More Digital Zombies Like Michael Jackson

"With holograms, content is so important, whether it's the celebrities or the characters we're manipulating, and L.A. is a great place for that because of all of the studios being based here," Crowder told Entrepreneur at a recent Virgin Atlantic event in downtown Los Angeles.

No matter where you springboard your startup from, she says, you can easily maximize your location in a number of resourceful ways. All it takes, Crowder says, is a little strategic planning and a lot of hustle. Like she and her co-founder Ben Conway did, a wise first step is to tap your local network for area talent.

To hear more from Crowder on working your location to your startup's advantage, watch the short video above.

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Senior Writer. Frequently covers cryptocurrency, future tech, social media, startups, gadgets and apps.

Kim Lachance Shandrow is a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com. 

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