Join us to talk about Santa Monica’s exciting future on January 28 at 4:30 pm at the 2016 State of the City event, a partnership between the Chamber and the City. This year’s event – held for the first time in the evening – will highlight the many ways that Santa Monicans “Innovate & Create” to push the boundaries of business, technology and government.
State of the City will take place at SGI Auditorium in downtown Santa Monica and is a who’s who of Santa Monica, bringing together business and resident communities with City leaders to hear first-hand about the city’s economic outlook, as well as the new initiatives aimed at helping all Santa Monicans thrive. Networking reception with sustainable small bites from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm.
We will be celebrating the following business and community leaders this year: Water Garden for the Economic Excellence Award; Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences for the Community Excellence Award; and Science for the Impact Award. The winner of the inaugural Hack the Beach Award will be announced from the stage. Top sponsors include Metro, Santa Monica Place, Water Garden, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism and Cornerstone.
Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $40 for members and $50 for non-members. Alternative transportation encouraged so there will be a Breeze Bike hub and free bike valet as well as Uber Promo codes and FreeRide shuttles. For more information can be found at smchamber.com/SOTC or by calling 310.393.9825. #SOTC2016
Adam Weiss, Vice President, Business Affairs & General Counsel, Cornerstone OnDemand
We hear a lot about disruptors. What does that mean to you?
Disruptors fundamentally change how business is done, and what we’ve done at Cornerstone is transform the way companies engage and enable their workforce. We have pioneered learning and talent management solutions that enable organizations of all sizes and across all industries to realize the potential of a modern workforce.
Sixteen years ago, we were a small Santa Monica startup. Today, we are one of the fastest growing cloud software companies in the world, publicly traded on the NASDAQ and with 19 offices around the globe. Over time, we have found that there are three main elements that keep us ahead of – and, at times, igniting – technology and workforce trends:
Listening to our clients. We initially built our company roadmap on client feedback, and today we continue to refine our product offering based on today’s workforce needs.
Fueling the ecosystem. Having achieved growth and success, we appreciate the importance of having a viable ecosystem. Whether it is fostering innovation across our workforce through employee hackathons, or providing mentorship and funding to startups innovating in our space, we believe these things are essential to not only paying it forward in a sense but to also keeping that entrepreneurial spirit alive at our company.
Giving back. We launched the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation in 2010 with the mission of providing our technology and capacity-building programs to nonprofits around the world and helping them to better develop, engage and empower their employees and the communities they serve. Our close collaboration with these organizations has sparked innovative initiatives such as DisasterReady.org, an online training platform we developed that provides disaster responders with free access to state-of-the-art e-learning courses and training tools covering all aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
The tech industry is exploding in Santa Monica. How should the city adapt to the particular needs of these businesses in order to help them succeed?
Santa Monica has done many things right in recent years to foster the growth of a strong tech presence, and should continue to do more of the same. This includes offering affordable office space to encourage tech companies (particularly cash-strapped startups), venture capital firms, incubators, accelerators, developer schools, and other members of the tech community to set up shop in the city.
While accessibility to Santa Monica for non-locals will be significantly improved by the impending opening of the LA Metro Expo Line, the city should continue to improve its offering of low-cost housing so young tech talent from the Los Angeles region and elsewhere have sufficient living options. Lastly, Santa Monica officials must continue to encourage tech conferences, meet-ups, and other events to take place in the city to further strengthen the local community.
As host of the “Hack the Beach” awards at the 2016 State of the City, what do you think are the next steps in continuing collaboration?
What we love about being a tech company in Santa Monica is that there really seems to be a sense of community and unity. People are excited and inspired by what’s happening here, and we want to continue to see it thrive. For companies like Cornerstone who have achieved success, we believe it’s important to play an active role in fostering the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
One way we’ve done this is by investing back into Santa Monica’s startup community through the Cornerstone Innovation Fund, which invests in early- to growth-stage companies that have transformative ideas in and around talent management. We also have the Cornerstone Accelerator in our Santa Monica headquarters, where we provide a unique workspace and mentorship program to startups.
Another way we support the community here is by shining a big spotlight on it via the LA Tech Summit. Now in its fourth year, the event promotes the Santa Monica and broader Los Angeles area technology ecosystem and celebrates the elements that make it unique. We’ve been able to bring together hundreds of entrepreneurs, VCs, influencers and more to form connections and hopefully attract added investment in and excitement around LA tech.
As one of our fastest growing, cutting edge companies in Santa Monica, what do you think the Santa Monica Chamber does to stay ahead of the pack to meet the needs of your company and help other companies like yours to stay relevant?
The Santa Monica Chamber is well-attuned to the nature and needs of the regional tech ecosystem. Fostering and supporting groups such as the Santa Monica Technology Council raises city and other officials’ awareness of sector needs, and it increases collaboration opportunities between and among tech companies based in the Santa Monica area.