The LA Startup Scene

Opinion post by Chris Lynch

Gone are the days of Hollywood trucks impeding traffic due to movie filming, instead we now only see moving trucks setting up tech companies. This is a stark contrast to the 80’s and 90’s, however it is still an exciting time to be in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

Four years ago, it seemed like everyone I talked to said they moved west to be a dancer, actor, or a singer. Now, more than ever, people say they came out here to be a graphic designer, or get a job as a programmer at one of the many startups in “Silicon Beach”. But why is the scene growing so quickly?

According to Adelaide Miller’s Montgomery Summit blog, it’s a combination of many things, including some well-known players establishing offices in LA. “Snapchat, Tinder and Whisper are household names that sprung out of the LA tech scene with such muscle, they not only attracted the attention of big names in the Bay Area but infiltrated our smartphones worldwide as well. Nasty Gal, Beats, Gravity and The Honest Co are other gems in the LA tech crown, their high profile raises and acquisitions gaining them notoriety amongst the masses.”

There are probably many different reasons that the tech scene is growing. Here’s my take: L.A. has historically drawn the creative entrepreneur. Previously, these people were limited in their endeavors to more physical ventures like singing and dancing, both of which are extremely entrepreneurial. We are still beckoning the same crowd, but that “Creative Millennial” has greater access to intellectual outlets, like building a website or starting a company. The same type of person who came out here ten years ago is still coming, only now they are pursuing positions at a startup, often on the ground floor.

Do they still make movies here? Yes. Are there still many great dancers flocking from across the country? Yes. I don’t think that will change anytime soon.   Only now, when you are bumping shoulders with the Hollywood crowd, on those “Hollywood Nights” in those “Hollywood Hills” you may find yourself deep in conversation about a sorting algorithm and not just how Citizen Kane changed cinema forever.

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