It has been now one and a half year since I started researching and living the LA startup scene. As a startup investor, I have been involved in exploring what was happening in such a rich environment and meeting a number of the local entrepreneurs, angels and venture firms.
I must say that the journey has been exciting and full of very interesting surprises: what is now called Silicon Beach — a stretch of land starting in Santa Monica and extending until almost Manhattan Beach- encapsulates some of the most exciting companies and talent tool that I have ever seen.
What I want to share here is a list of some of the best resources that I have been using to study such environment and that allowed me to find some of the most interesting professionals in the Venture Capital and Angel Investing space.
From the makers of the well known Startup Digest newsletter — signup is a must if you want to be in touch with the latest in tech- the section about LA allows a great overview of what is happening in LA and neighboring areas.
The calendar section is one of the most well organized resource you will find online for events related to the startup world. This lists events ranging in a lot of topics from job fairs to hackatons to investor events.
Based in downtown LA, this association organizes a lot of professional events from small and informative seminars for startup funders to bigger conferences on Growth Capital, the latest trends in the industry and Investment Strategies. The also host a lot of more informal dinners and networking events. Great quality overall.
If you want to focus on Angel investing, ACA is a great source of information. It is one of the biggest group of accredited investors in the US and they often hold their meetings in the OC area.
This is one of the most prominent association connecting entrepreneurs to sources of capital. They are present at most of the major startup events in the area and they are one of the oldest investor groups. Their events are mostly private but a public calendars can be found here. They are also offering online live seminars on a variety of topics.
A wide variety of very active Meetup groups powers the Silicon Beach environment. Among the one I personally like are Santa Monica New Tech, Santa Monica Local Young Professionals and LA Tech Happy Hour. These are great for a more relaxed introduction to the scene and their weekly events are attended by a solid crowd of entrepreneur and professionals in the tech space.
The organize a lot of VC and Angel events across the US, especially NY and Texas. They often also organize conferences in California with great pitch nights and investor panels.
ThinkLA is a media collective that hosts a number of extremely interesting events across LA. Their events are mostly concentrated in the media and marketing space but they are attended by a number of VCs and Angels making it a very good spot to network.
Based in Santa Monica, ExpertDOJO is an excellent organization that helps startup funders find talents and capital in a very collaborative environment. Their periodic Pitch Nights features high profile investor panels from local VC firms.
This list in not exhaustive as there is always something new happening that I will probably overlook. I hope however this can help you navigate the LA ecosystem and if you have any suggestion that you think should be added, get in touch!