Growth

Six reasons why your startup should expand to Los Angeles

Daniel Wirjoprawiro /

Los Angeles is the fastest growing tech market in the United States, so it’s no surprise Trimantium Capital is continuing to grow its presence there.

Having moved to Los Angeles from Melbourne a month ago in my role with the VC firm, I can already give you six compelling reasons to move to the City of Angels.

1. Tinseltown ecosystem

Hollywood is embracing technology. It’s a haven for startups in media, entertainment, fashion, e-commerce and content.

There’s a track record of success blazed by Snapchat, Tinder, and SpaceX. Increasingly, international companies in media and entertainment verticals like Australian company Shoes of Prey are looking at LA as an expansion destination.

The city also offers world-class venture investors such as Lowercase Capital and Upfront Ventures, celebrity investors such as Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba and Leonardo DiCaprio, and unique venture investors such as Atom Factory and Science Inc.

Similarly the burgeoning ecosystem receives great support from the likes of Pivotal Labs, X Prize Foundation, and WeWork.

2. China

Progressively Chinese companies are establishing themselves in Hollywood with interesting capital investments in companies like Snapchat, and billion dollar exits such as Riot Games, which was acquired by Tencent, and Legendary Entertainment, which was acquired by Wanda Group.

The growing interest from Chinese giants who are getting their feet wet in LA suggests there will be further and greater investment, as well as cross-pollination between the two big markets.

3. Affordability

Having spent the last month Airbnb hopping, I’ve settled in a great apartment in Santa Monica. It’s not cheap but a long way from the eye watering prices of San Francisco.

For entrepreneurs looking to start operations in LA, it’s important to consider the impact of living costs on the cost of labour. This is an especially important consideration now, especially with the weak exchange rate.

4. Talent

California has some of the world’s finest universities churning out a big pool of talented engineers. LA has more engineering graduates than any other metro city. This, plus the growing tech ecosystem, mean that talented individuals are increasingly looking at LA companies as attractive options for work.

5. Diversity

Other startup hubs are overwhelmingly homogeneous in gender and ethnicity. While Los Angeles is far from perfect, it is more diverse than most due to the ever-growing intersection of the entertainment industry and tech.

The greater diversity provides tremendous opportunities for the ecosystem to create a new generation of companies that are distinctly different in culture, creativity and aspirations from companies that stem from less diverse cities.

6. Lifestyle

In my experience Melbourne is the world’s most liveable city but LA offers some attractive lifestyle perks too.

From endless sunny days to a thriving bar scene spread over different pockets of the city to the beach culture, it’s a great place to live. On moving to California it quickly becomes obvious why so many have written about the Golden State.

The morning commute can be awful and if LA traffic becomes too much then LAX is a convenient airport hub providing easy access to the rest of the United States and much of Asia.

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