Silicon Valley might want to watch its back when it comes to the title of top innovation hub in the world. Recently the Mecca of Tech has faced more and more robust competition from other cities looking to follow in the giant footsteps of Apple, Google, and others. One metropolis giving the Valley a run for is money might surprise a lot of people, but not me. Being that it's in my backyard, I have witnessed and been a part of meteoric rise of Los Angeles as a magnet for entrepreneurs and a breeding ground for innovation, especially in media. Just last year, L.A. was ranked number 3 on the list of top hot spots behind Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv in the Startup Genome's Startup Ecosystem Report. Since then, in the first half of '13 alone, 94 new companies launched with 92 raising more than $500 million, showing that L.A. means serious business about making its mark in the tech industry.
As the cost of starting a business continues to drop, entrepreneurs migrate to urban centers where there is an abundance of fellow travelers and venture capital to raise funding and make a go of their disruptive idea. Los Angeles' Silicon Beach (named after its proximity to the Pacific Ocean) is proving to be an attractive option for startups, forming a tech triumvirate in U.S. along with San Francisco's Silicon Valley and New York City's Silicon Alley. Greater Los Angeles now has 18 accelerators such as Launchpad, Amplify, and Start Engine, not to mention 30 incubators, tech studios, and hacker spaces - all committed to building out a web of disruption across the town.
As more and more people pursue a mobile, on-demand lifestyle, there has been an explosion of digital video content. In the U.S. alone, approximately 89 million people will watch 1.2 billion online videos today, and online videos account for almost 50 percent of all web traffic. This puts L.A. at the right place at the right time due to its proximity to the largest pool of media talent in the world: Hollywood. Companies are capitalizing on the city's unique position, for example, Big Frame is working with YouTube stars and producers to grow their audiences and monetize their work. Another trailblazer, Maker Studios, has become the home of many of Internet's top digital stars and the only network to offer its partners development, production, promotion, distribution, and sales under the same roof. The company has over 340 million subscribers globally across over 60,000 channels with over 4.5 billion views per month. One of Maker's investors, serial entrepreneur and Launchpad founder Mark Suster explains why he is betting on the city, "I wanted Los Angeles-based companies to have better access to investors, better access to the important companies that exist, and I wanted them to stay in Los Angeles. I believe we can build this great ecosystem here."
Over the past two years, ATD have documented this remarkable ecosystem with multiple habitats including Silicon Beach (Venice/Santa Monica), Pasadena, and Culver City. This week, we offer a spotlight on LA from our Co.lab.erate series to meet some of the mavericks behind Los Angeles' transformation from entertainment capital to entrepreneurial media hub:
If you want to celebrate the disruption that is sweeping Los Angeles with some of the top innovators in the city come to the A TOTAL DISRUPTION SOIRÉE on December 15 at the Echoplex in Los Angeles. It will be a magical night of audio and visual feasting, brain food, and the opportunity to experience new ways of life featuring D.J. Diabetic (a.k.a. renowned graphic artist, Shepard Fairey, skipping the jelly... bringing the jams) who will spin a selection of anarchic tracks on either side of punk-cabaret & crowdfunding queen, Amanda Palmer. Reddit co-founder, author & Internet activist Alexis Ohanian will bring stories from the front lines of the tech revolution that will have you join up and show you how to do it. YouTube star Jhameel will join the bill to perform a few songs, Prince-style. ATD will premiere exclusive shorts our archive, which goes deep with the key innovators, entrepreneurs and artists who are transforming the way we live at lightning speed. What started as a huge (but extremely private) thank-you for the top patrons of our kickass 150 percent-funded ATD Kickstarter campaign has morphed into a rollicking benefit to raise the funds to build out our premium online search and discovery platform in order to make the hundreds of hours of interview footage with innovators we've captured over the past 3 years an open online resource. The event will also feature a live auction with radical offerings from Andrew Bird, Amanda Palmer, Mark Suster, WLIP star Josh Harris, Tim Chang, Shepard Fairey and more!!!