Silicon Beach, as the white-hot start up market in Santa Monica is referred to, is exploding with activity. Albeit the second fiddle to its well known uncle up north, Silicon Valley with a number of high-tech success stories to lay claim such as Google, Paypal, and Logitech, the Silicon Beach market is a fervor of action from all sides of the start up equation. Several components that make up and set the stage for a vibrant start up market to develop have to be present and strong, sort of like a perfect storm! Talent, Capital, Education and acceptance of the alternative are all conditions that have to exist and surge together in order to foster a dynamic start up environment.
Is this happening in Silicon Beach? Well let's see! Talent and Education - USC, UCLA, Pepperdine, in our immediate market, have undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on start up or entrepreneurial education. They are becoming the most popular programs for students disillusioned by the bleak stories of their predecessors for the lack of worthy employment opportunities post graduation. Students are flocking to these programs as the answer to a jobless market. “Gain the knowledge and know how to do it your self" is the conclusion to which they are becoming accustomed.
Capital and Alternative – These are evidenced by the array of Big Venture Capital companies and varied as well as numerous incubator and accelerator companies that are ever present and dedicating more and more effort and resources to the Silicon Beach market. Names like Tech Coast Angels, Karlin Ventures, Canyon Creek on the VC side; and Amplify, Clearstone, Launchpad and Muckerlabs on the incubator accelerator side. The appetite of these VC and start up seed money facilitators is voracious, almost as if there were no other alternative to direct investor funds to. The fervor is at such a pitch we are now seeing foreign players entering the fray with funds from the Middle East, Europe, and even Latin America.
Taking into consideration that we are at the ground floor of an improving economy and in my opinion are entering a decade long run up in market wealth coupled with the fact that investors, at all levels, are fed up with placing funds in traditional investment vehicles like Wall Street and largess Corporate America, the word "flourish" even doesn't begin to describe the emerging market of Silicon Beach. This proof is in the pudding, watch and see!
Ron McElroy is the CEO and Founder of Real Office Centers, the office-style-workspace revolutionizing the office environment. His experience in commercial real estate, Class A buildings, and premiere office environments have built his vision for the six ROC locations. Author of Wrong Side of the Tracks, Ron illustrates his journey from a rough adolescence to creating this harmonious, collaborative work environment where he brings the nation’s top entertainment and tech startups, investors, university talent, and event companies together in the heart of Santa Monica’s Silicon Beach.