By David Lai
Santa Monica, dubbed the Silicon beach, was ranked third best place to start a startup in 2013 (behind San Francisco and Tel Aviv) and is poised to snatch the top spot this year.
The Startup Genome project, which conducted the above study, ranks the top cities around world based on objective criteria like funding, entrepreneurial mindset, trendsetting, support, talent and more. Since 2013, Santa Monica and greater LA have made great strides and is now leading in many categories.
Recent high profile successes such as Honest, SnapChat, Dollar Shave Club, and Maker Studios have made Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina Del Rey, respectively, their permanent home and chipped away at the common misconception that in order to be successful, tech companies need to be in Silicon Valley.
Even some of the big players, like Google and Microsoft, have also recognize the change in the tech landscape and are setting up new offices in Playa Vista, in the Santa Monica vicinity.
With recent tech successes, also bring about an abundance of capital with promises of exponential returns.
New accelerators, incubators, and venture capital firms have been setting up shop in Santa Monica.
Within a 12 square block area around 2nd Street, there are more than half a dozen accelerator and venture capital firms setup in the last few years looking for new LA startups in which to invest.
Accelerators like LaunchPad LA and Amplify LA pick Santa Monica as their home because, compared to the Bay Area, LA has similar abundance of technical talent, lower business startup costs, lower living costs, easy access to cheap broadband via dark fibre, and…let’s be honest here, the year-round sunshine and palm trees does not hurt either.
Many engineers love the appeal of working in Silicon Beach.
One can be working by the beach the first minute, sipping drinks with movie stars at a trendy bar the next, and returning to a nice suburban home without costing an arm and a leg.
The lower housing prices and fewer toll roads means that talented Engineers are able to afford a higher standard of living in contract to San Francisco and New York.
With LA Metro’s Expo Line set to link Santa Monica to the rest of LA, getting to and from Santa Monica will be easier than ever, giving talented engineers more affordable options of places near by to live.
One of the key factors to Santa Monica’s success is its vibrant and collaborative tech and entrepreneurial community. On any given day, there is always some event to help aspiring entrepreneurs get started.
Events like JumpStart LA, that help entrepreneurs get a kickstart in building their projects with the help of mentors and collaborators, make evident the strong volunteer spirit from the LA startup community.
As JumpStartLA mentor and Philosophy.is cofounder Skot Carruth, puts it: “The community is growing, but it’s still small. So it’s very important to support one another to keep it growing.”
From the hundreds of meetup groups to invigorating talks featuring prominent CEOs and CTOs to business-minded groups like Product Spotlight, there’s no dearth of options for the entrepreneurs and tech lovers to attend a different event any day of the month and learn something new.
Silicon Beach, is becoming quite a phenomenon, and the world is taking notice. It’s almost easier to launch a startup in the Silicon Beach than to come up with reasons not to.