Silicon Beach is the Westside region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area that is home to over 500 tech startup companies, with emphasis on the coastal strip north of LAX to Santa Monica Mountains, but the term may be applied loosely or colloquially to refer to most anywhere in the LA Basin. Major technology companies have opened offices in the region including Google, Yahoo!, YouTube, BuzzFeed, Facebook, Salesforce, AOL, Electronic Arts, EdgeCast Networks, and MySpace. Additionally, several mobile ventures seeded here like Snapchat and Tinder. In 2012, the region was considered the second- or third-hottest tech hub in the world, according to some metrics. Nevertheless, the headquarters of these established corporate tech titans tends to be elsewhere, though the region has had startups proliferation. Unlike the traditional definition of Silicon Valley (Menlo Park to Santa Clara) where the economy is overwhelmingly technology geared, Silicon Beach, much like San Francisco, tends to have a more diversified economy whereby tourism, finance, and/or other industries also play a major role.
The tech influx has had major impacts on the type and availability of office space and on home prices in Playa Vista, Playa Del Rey, Westchester, Santa Monica, and Venice, already high previously due to beachfront location, has exacerbated the situation and the region suffers from many of the same high cost issues that led companies to flee Silicon Valley/SF Bay. The effects are also spilling over into Marina del Rey, and Hermosa Beach and continues to attract tech firms, venture capital, and startups. One of the amenities of the area is relatively easy access to LAX, the biggest and most connected airport of Western North America, nevertheless the massive airport represents a physical barrier to land for expansion. An exception is SpaceX in Hawthorne, located on the south side of the airport.
Start-up pockets have also emerged in nearby Culver City, West L.A., and El Segundo. Other pockets include Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, also pricey areas even before the tech influx. The tendency of companies to congregate in these centrally-located, high income areas has raised concerns about the feasibility of racial minorities joining the workforce, as they tend to live in further outlying areas.
Silicon Beach is also home to a number of start-up incubators and accelerators, such as Amplify.LA, Science, Disney Accelerator, and TechStars Cedars Sinai. Higher education institutions headquartered in Silicon Beach include Loyola Marymount University and Otis College of Art and Design. Other higher education institutions in the nearby Southern California region or with satellite campuses in/nearby Silicon Beach include: Art Center College of Design, California Institute of Technology, University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California. The RAND Corporation is headquartered in Santa Monica. In the first six months of 2013, start-ups in Silicon Beach raised over $500 million in funding, and there were 94 new start-ups and nine acquisitions.
In 1983, PC Magazine reported that "some people are starting to call" Boca Raton, Florida—where IBM had developed its Personal Computer, and other technology companies had facilities—"Silicon Beach, in deference to the great valley of the West". In 1984 Silicon Beach Software was formed in San Diego, California. Silicon Beach Australia was used to describe that country's internet technology community in 2008. There are four significant areas in Australia that are nurturing start-ups: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.
List of startups based in Silicon Beach
|Snap Inc.||2011||Social media (went public on NYSE in Mar '17: SNAP)||$23 billion|
|TigerText||2010||Messaging, Text Analytics, Communications Infrastructure||$625M|
|Hulu||2007||Television Streaming Services||$100M |
|Distillery||2008||Mobile Application Development, UX/UI|
|TrueCar||2005||Automotive websites||$1.65 billion|
|Swagbucks / Prodege, LLC||2007||Digital Rewards & Cash Back|
|Dollar Shave Club||2011||Consumer packaged goods||$1 billion|
|.xyz||2014||Internet Domain Registry|
|Nasty Gal||2006||retail||Unknown - Chapter 11 |
|Bitium||2012||Cloud Computing||$8.9M |
|Frequency||2010||Internet, Mobile Apps|
|The Bouqs Company||2012||Flowers||$60M|
|Clorder||2013||ECommerce, marketing, Online Ordering||$10M|
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