Los Angeles: aspiring alternative to San Francisco as Silicon Beach is becoming more of a reality than just an aspiration
Excerpt from the Financial Times, by Vincent Bevins, November 17, 2015:
Within a few years, the LA technology scene has developed from far-fetched vision to reality. Part of that transformation took place because of an overflow from rich and crowded Silicon Valley, as big companies from San Francisco extended media-related operations to the US’s entertainment capital.
But there are a number of local success stories and upstarts, with access to money from an expanded supply of venture capital locally, tackling challenges beyond entertainment.
The case for: You are a cheap, one-hour flight from Silicon Valley if you need to meet contacts there. But in Los Angeles, tech locals say, away from the fast pace of the San Francisco scene, you have more time to concentrate on your product.
For companies with a media focus, Los Angeles provides better access to top film, television, and music producers. But the region has other problems to solve and opportunities for upstarts, from water distribution to urban transportation: there is a prolonged drought and the city is choked with traffic.
The cost of living is relatively low, especially if you do not have to be in the areas where housing prices have been pushed up recently by the tech expansion. That area is the so-called Silicon Beach, for those that do aim to rub shoulders with — and perhaps surf alongside — the established players.