DEEP DIVE INTO THE WEST COAST: LOS ANGELES « SILICON BEACH » COULD HELP US HAVE A DIVERSE TECH MARKET.
This is the part two of my post about rising startups ecosystems I had the pleasure to discover with 10 entrepreneurs and business angels (50 Partners). Part one was about Emerald city, Seattle.
For a Parisian, living now in San Francisco, and having worked for years for global brands ( at L’Oreal) in the luxury industry, but also for a Tech one (Orange), perhaps most noteworthy is LA’s high degree of diversity.
When you take an Uber pool from Misssion Dolores to Soma or the Financial District, most of the time, you meet tech guys, and great engineers or data scientists.
When you share an Uber pool coming from West Hollywood to Santa Monica for the evening, people are a designer in fashion, a model wanting to be an actor, a developer for e commerce site, and a blogger in music…
It could be the number one market for talent pool diversity.
Los Angeles’s millennial population (the eighth largest nationwide) is driving the growth of Downtown.
Sure it doesn’t have an Amazon yet. There’s no Google or Facebook, no homegrown company that has made the headlines with a record breaking IPO execpt Snapchat, but…
All the ingredients are here, and if I would start a business as a first-time entrepreneur in B2C, I would start in LA.
Silicon Beach is not established, has no track record. There are iconoclasts and lean innovators. It gives a lot of inventivness to the place.
LA is far too big for any industry to dominate it, even entertainment, media , fashion. For Consumer-facing market places, LA is a great place !
You have great engineers, but also developers, artists, designers, lawyers, financial experts, operation specialists, and influencers.
When you want to build a team with « multicultural leaders » and an inclusive culture, it seems easier than in other places.
Los Angeles means also a connection to the outdoors. A city close to the ocean, all day under the sun, where people are really in touch with the environment, sustainability and wellness. No surprise, it’s inspiring entrepreneurs who are mission driven, with a balance and purpose.
On Abbot Kinney Boulevard, you can enter a coffee shop, work with your laptop and also purchase trendy glasses and accessories.
When I have friends living in Venice Beach, working for agencies or entertainment companies, they don’t kite surf once a week when it’s the good season for the wind and not too cold, they surf every day. They go out every evening (when they don’t have children) and it happens to them to meet celebrities in parties. It gives another mindset.
In San Francisco, everything is possible. Even if learning for life, people are experts at what they do. They’re exactly like a PhD, at the edge of the knowledge in one field. But they don’t mix that much with other verticals or type of businessess, once they have their own organization. In LA, being collaborative is essential to be successful.
We met in LA great people.
In the Startup scene, I was impressed by Heal, founded by Nick Desai, a serial tech entrepreneur.Compared to many on-demand healthcare services, instead of relying on video technology, it brings back the house call. The company has arranged 16000 patient house call visits, and reduced unnecessary prescription antibiotic usage.
We missed Greycoft Partners, as Dana Settle Co-founder and partner had a flight to take earlier. They manage $1 billion and have made 150 investments (including The Real Real and App Annie in the Bay Area) and they are stage agnostic. They are headquartered in Los Angeles and New York with a particular focus on global opportunities. Already successful, I believe their positioning is more and more relevant, creating bridges between different ecosystems.
We visited LACleanTechIncubator LACI, a non profit to accelerate the commercialization of clean technnology. It has been ranked number 6 in 8000+ incubator in 67 countries as « university-affiliated » business incubator (UBI global).
We also met Warner Bross entertainment group, with Julie Demarigny VP Digital Group. CRM, third party data help to better target profile of customers in a specific context and improve performance and provide them with a better experience.
From Look Alike population to Data management platforms, the conversation reminded me my job at Orange, working at leveraging the « life time value » of our customers, while taking care of their insights and privacy.
We met Lük’s team a platform to find models, and Stuart Lafferty, an influencer strategy manager working especially on music festivals and events. And also leaders working at Celebrities agencies.
It makes me believe that a lot will come in the years to come using the huge communities of influencers, with a better knowledge of their interests and behaviors.
Rising companies will understand Tech trends (artificial intelligence, data analytics) but also the content, and how to engage communities.
It’s the perfect mix of San Francisco, Tech oriented and mission driven, and Los Angeles, open to new trends and inspiring entrepreneurs who want to have an impact in people’s daily life.
All of it for the best, creating new brands and products, and helping luxury brands to choose the relevant spokesperson.
Bridging the two ecosystems is exciting. Like great VCs and entrepreneurs sharing their time between the two cities. I’m more than happy to open the @BeautyTechSF community (based in San Francisco): already 220 entrepreneurs with a passion for beauty, investors, and C-suite level executives in the US, welcome to all the Fashion & Beauty and lifestyle entrepreneurs living in Los Angeles.
Let’s continue to learn together. We’ll share the wisdom and tips from next meeting January 25th (in San Francisco) with amazing retailers and founders as speakers.
Exciting things to come ! Happy thanks giving to all of you.