From The Valley to The Beach | Interview with Nate Redmond of Rustic Canyon

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Last week  we told you about Viddy’s new public API for developers. Viddy also announced another program, The Rule The  Beach. Today we bring amazing news for Silicon Beach entrepreneurs apart from the $10,000 prize.

TechZulu caught  up with Nate Redmond managing partner of Rustic Canyon and he tells us what is happening in the LA Tech Scene.

Are companies moving down to Los Angeles away from the Silicon Valley?

Entrepreneurs are moving down to start new companies in the region — more at the founding stage than at the early growth stage. Established tech companies are adding offices and expanding in LA (e.g. Google, Zynga). New accelerators are being formed, including Mucker Labs led by Erik Rannala. Service providers also expanding and showing commitment to the area (e.g. Cooley Godward).  This is usually a trailing indicator.

Is Silicon Valley crowding?

No.  But there were many people who flocked to Silicon Valley in the last up cycle and a growing number of entrepreneurs are seeking a change of scenery.

What is attracting the Companies to Silicon Beach?

I prefer to call this the LA Tech scene. So much is attracting companies. Its proximity to Silicon Valley and shared entrepreneurial culture, a more diverse and free-thinking mindset.  Less echo chamber effect. Engineering and other technical talent that is more accessible than in SV where the talent wars are more severe. Creative talent (writers, video producers, designers, celebrities). Collaborative culture among entrepreneurs and amazing outdoors.

Will the companies achieve more in LA than at Silicon Valley?

Entrepreneurs can achieve their goals without being tied to SV. Opportunity to leverage native skill sets including online monetization, commerce, digital media, data analytics is not tied to location.

Are there companies in LA influencing others to join them?

Companies like Docstoc have developed a number of talented individuals who subsequently left to start new companies. Science is systematically building new businesses and enabling founders to quickly go from concept to revenue. Accelerators are attracting entrepreneurs from SV as well as other regions. Success begets success.  Talented people are increasingly willing to pick up and leave SV for LA due to multiple interesting opportunities being available—if the first one doesn’t work out, people don’t feel stranded.

Is LA’s location good for business?

Helps in recruiting talent (particularly engineers) from other parts of the country and world. Good weather is good for collaboration. Happy workers are productive workers.

Is LA building its own entrepreneurship ecosystem different from Silicon Valley’s?

The ecosystem is different and distinct (and therefore unfair and inaccurate to conflate Silicon Valley and LA).  As internet companies shift from being tech providers to IT-enabled service providers, main street business acumen/experience will become more important. LA is the capital of middle market companies. Entrepreneurs build great businesses in the region.  Bring beautiful design online with proven marketing tactics and industries will be transformed. Expect a greater diversity of ideas, reflecting the greater diversity of the talent pool and collection of local industries.

Are there VC’s headed South too?

Yes.  More capital being invested in LA by the strongest firms in Silicon Valley.


Will ‘Silicon Beach’ out compete the Silicon Valley in the near future?

Boston and New York should look out! It’s not a zero-sum game.  Success in one region is more highly correlated with success in the other, particularly given the geographic proximity.  The interesting corollary here is when will we start to see LA companies acquiring others in SV, as opposed to the other way around!

Sam Wakoba

Sam Wakoba travels around the world's technology hubs and events writing about startups, VC’ s and ventures. Spends nights reviewing trending gadgets, ICT initiatives, and disrupting technology.

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