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Silicon Beach vs. Silicon Valley

Written by Tim Edmundson

Jun 19, 2015

Many believe Silicon Valley is the leader in the tech and startup world, but the appeal of Silicon Beach seems to be growing. Companies and startups continue to move to the sunny side of California and stay there.

Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley have always been compared – here are just a few reasons to head south:

STAR FACTOR | Running your company in a city dominated by the entertainment industry has its perks. Many Silicon Beach companies have been able to lure celebrity users and investors. For example Jared Leto invested in Surf Air after the team decided to drive to his house and pitch him.

LA CULTURE | Entertainment, e-commerce, fashion, and lead-gen start-ups are more likely to succeed in Silicon Beach, rather than Silicon Valley, because of LA’s familiarity with the industry.

GET A SWEET PAD | Tiny apartments in Silicon Valley can cost $2,500 to $3,500 per month. “Prices like those are one more reason that less expensive, but still enticing places like Los Angeles make sense to tech entrepreneurs,” says Chris DeWolfe, who runs a rapidly growing company called the Social Gaming Network in Beverly Hills.

THE EXPO IS COMING | The long-anticipated rail connection between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Santa Monica is almost here! Currently, the Expo line ends in Culver City. When the new 6.6-mile extension opens next year, it will be possible to take the train from the beach to Downtown Los Angeles for the first time in half-a-century.

NEW IN TOWN | It’s not just Google – Microsoft, Facebook, and YouTube have opened offices on the west side of Los Angeles. They have been joined by hundreds of successful startsups including Hulu, Demand Media, and Snapchat.

GOOGLE IT | In 2011 Google arrived in Venice Beach. Now located in a $120 million office space, the beach community is home to over 6,000 Googlers. In 2014, Google purchased 12 acres in Play Vista, vastly expanding its presence in L.A.

KEEP IT REAL | Silicon Valley is often criticized these days for making very cool apps that appeal to the young and wealthy people who make the apps, but that have little utility in the real world. L.A.’s size and diversity provide a much better laboratory for start-ups to test new products.

LA now has over 18 accelerators, 30 incubators, along with various tech studios and hacker spaces, all spread across the beach. This, along with a combination of readily available resources, talent, and culture – Silicon Beach is growing by the day.