Municipalities around the country have realized that growing a tech community within their borders is a surefire way to attract investment, smart people, and interesting companies.
Silicon Valley once dominated the tech industry; now we have rivals such as Silicon Alley (New York City), Silicon Prairie (a somewhat amorphous space that stretches, depending on who you ask, from Texas to Illinois), and lots of tech hubs springing up from Oregon to North Carolina.
One city that often gets left out of discussions about the next up-and-coming tech hub is Los Angeles, which is more famous for entertainment and trans-Pacific shipping than apps and hardware. But that’s changing, according to the new UCLA Anderson Forecast, which suggests that “Silicon Beach” could become a growing force on the California tech scene.
“The high-tech sector is growing in counties across the U.S., though Los Angeles is not among the top leaders in terms of patents, capital or salary,” economist William Yu wrote in that forecast. “However, there is a large information sector in Los Angeles, currently concentrated in vibrant small-sized firms. Silicon Beach is on the rise.”
Those vibrant firms include Snapchat, currently headquartered in Venice Beach, and a handful of others that have attracted venture-capital interest over the past few years. Signs of momentum include Silicon Beach LA, a social network designed to foster connections between startups in the area, and some buzz over the scene from publications such as Re/Code.
That’s not to say that Silicon Beach will eclipse Silicon Valley anytime soon as California’s reigning tech hub—but if you’re a tech pro based in the L.A. area, there’s more opportunity than ever to make your mark.