A Beginner’s Guide to the Los Angeles Startup Ecosystem


Los Angeles is one of the largest tech startup ecosystems in the world, ranked 3rd in 2012. It has a multitude of schools, accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, and venture capital firms to support its more than 6,000 startups.

Los Angeles is mostly known for entertainment, gaming, production, and video. Some examples of startups include Maker Studios, Oculus, Fullscreen, Riot Games, and Machinima. There are also several startups well suited for LA, where everyone owns a car, such as TrueCar, Cargomatic, and Honk. LA has a large population and is desirable city for millennials to live, making it an ideal ecosystem for social startups like Snapchat and Tinder. Here are some notable LA startups:

Startups

Cargomatic
DogVacay
Dollar Shave Club
eHarmony
Fullscreen
Honk
JustFab
LegalZoom
Machinima
Maker Studios
Oculus
Riot Games
ShoeDazzle
Snapchat
Tinder
TrueCar
ZipRecruiter

Highly educated human capital is vital to a startups and Los Angeles is home to some of the highest ranked business and computer science universities in the country. Additionally, there programming boot-camps like General Assembly and Sabio that teach coding.

Education

California Institute of Technology
General Assembly
Pepperdine University
Sabio
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Southern California

Accelerators and incubators were formed to assist founders with funding, mentorship, and co-working space in exchange for equity. These cohort-based programs usually culminate in a demo day, where each startup pitches to a group of potential investors. LA has some of the top accelerators and incubators in the country:

Accelerators & Incubators

Amplify
Disney Accelerator
Idealab
Media Camp
MuckerLab
Science
TYLTLab

Co-working spaces are often the hub of a tech startup ecosystem. They provide a shared working environment, hosted tech events, and networking with like-minded entrepreneurs. Here is a list of some notable co-working spaces around LA:

Co-Working Spaces

Coloft
Cross Campus
NextSpace
Real Office Centers
The Hub LA
Wework
Working Village

Access to funding is essential to the growth of a startup and Los Angeles has numerous venture capital firms. In 2014, over $3B was invested in Los Angeles tech, the highest funding total ever and an increase of 188% from the previous year. Los Angeles was late to tech startup scene, compared to Silicon Valley and Boston, however it is growing rapidly. Here are some notable VC firms in LA:

Venture Capital Firms

A-Grade Investments
Anthem Venture Partners
Baroda Ventures
CAA Ventures
Canyon Creek Capital
Clearstone Venture Partners
Crosscut Ventures
Karlin Ventures
Pritzker Group Venture Capital
Palomar Ventures
Rustic Canyon
Redpoint Ventures
Siemer Ventures
Steamboat Ventures
TenOneTen Ventures
Upfront Ventures

Please let me know if there is anything you feel should be included, and I will keep this post up to date.