Tech, Meet Surf: The Rise of Silicon Beach

For years, “tech start-up” was almost synonymous with Silicon Valley. However, over the last decade or so, hundreds of tech giants and start-ups alike have expanded to Silicon Beach, where the sand and surf surround the entertainment capital of the world. It encompasses the greater Los Angeles area, and spans the western coastline of southern California, with concentrations in Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Ray, Playa del Ray, Playa Vista, Culver City and El Segundo.

Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency headquartered in Santa Monica, analyzed 177 of Silicon Beach’s 500+ tech companies, and estimated the industry to be worth more than $155 billion. Some of the biggest names in technology, such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and SpaceX, have sprawling office spaces in the area.

The Synergy of Entertainment and Tech

As the rise of the smartphone has placed the Internet at the fingertips of millions, there has been an explosion in demand for content at the intersection where tech and entertainment meet. More than 20 percent of the Silicon Beach companies capitalize on tech and entertainment, given Silicon Beach’s strategic location next to Hollywood.

People are increasingly accessing entertainment through their phones, rather than their cable boxes, and giant entertainment companies are noticing. Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube are growing at exponential rates, as they are spending billions to create their own original content.

An Abundance of Diverse Industries

Thanks in large part to Silicon Beach’s large and diverse population and geographical space, there seem to be endless opportunities for new ventures in a wide array of industries outside of tech and entertainment.

According to WalletHub, three of the top 10 healthiest cities in America are in California, and this priority on health and wellness has led to the birth of brands such as the Honest Company, goop.com, and Thrive Market.

Venice-based Dollar Shave Club made headlines in the e-commerce world when Unilever bought them for $1 billion in 2016.

Snapchat is a relatively new player to the social media industry largely dominated by Facebook (also with offices in LA), but is perhaps one of Silicon Beach’s biggest success stories. While its recent history has been tumultuous, Snap’s market value in 2019 is nearly $15 billion.

Networking in Silicon Beach

Especially among millennials, many are trading in golf clubs for surfboards. They’re disconnecting from their phones to catch the waves, while simultaneously networking with others who are like-minded. According to their website, Silicon Beach Surfers is a private membership company of 500 LA surfers working in entertainment, media, tech and investing.

Whether you’re a cyclist looking for others to ride with along the coast, a woman in tech wanting to connect with other women, or a parent looking for play date opportunities, there are a plethora of mixers and events to connect with other like-minded individuals in Silicon Beach. A quick search on Eventbrite will highlight several events in any given week.

TogetherLA will continue to showcase the area’s heart, opportunities, and the ways God is moving.

What’s next

The growth in Silicon Beach is showing no signs of slowing down. The area’s unique characteristics—its synergy in entertainment and tech, diverse industries represented, and abundance of networking opportunities—continue to attract innovative talent and eager investors. Also, if given a choice between a valley and a beach, wouldn’t you go for the beach? Surf’s up.

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