Where: Blog post on Built In L.A.; http://www.builtinla.com/blog/mark-suster-theres-something-going-la
Summary: Mark Suster is a high-profile Los Angeles-based venture capitalist and a very good blogger. In this post, he explores the question of where Los Angeles ranks as a bastion of technology start-ups.
The answer: quite high.
In fact, the region is the third largest technology startup ecosystem in the US and also the fastest growing, which is not surprising to him as he sees Bay Area VCs involved with deals in L.A. all of the time.
The drivers of this start-up growth are: companies that have pioneered the monetization of the Internet; bold start-up pioneers (such as Bill Gross at Idealab and Gil Elbaz at AdSense/Applied Semantics); and premier engineering schools located throughout southern California.
Other factors include entrepreneurs that gained solid experience in successful firms and then moved on to strike out on their own (he references Overture and MySpace), and the wave of “recycled” capital – that is, money that start-up founders received from exit events at their initial ventures and are now investing in new businesses.
Quote: If you throw Oculus into the mix along with TrueCar, Rubicon, Burstly, Beats and others, L.A. tech has seen more than $8 billion in exits in 2014 alone. As Adam Sandler would say, “not too shabby.”
Suster also points to the diversity of the L.A. market. While most think of Los Angeles for its SoLoMo (social, local, mobile) start-ups, the region has also produced prominent companies such as TrueCar, SpaceX and others. And Disney buying Maker Studios will set in motion a new wave of online video start-ups.
Bottom Line: Suster makes a compelling case that the L.A. technology industry is different, sustainable, high growth and innovative. All of which is great news for those of us who are dedicated to this market.