It is no secret. San Francisco may be the American tech center, but high real estate prices and other factors are starting to dim the city’s shine. More professionals in the industry are scouting for other places where they can continue to grow. One place that keeps popping up in the conversation is Los Angeles.
The time is ripe for Los Angeles
Last year, Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate company with global reach, named Greater Los Angeles as one of the top tech cities in the country in their Tech Cities 2.0 report. According to this study, tech jobs account for around 6 percent or less of the total jobs in the region.
While Greater LA is nowhere near San Francisco’s level, where tech jobs make up over 8 percent of all jobs, experts say the conditions are ripe for the City of Angels to also become a tech powerhouse in Southern California. It has all the ingredients a tech hub needs, which include the following:
- A large talent poolAccording to the report, Greater Los Angeles (which includes Orange County) can support up to 270,000 skilled workers in various tech fields, such as programming, software engineering, and medical research. This puts Greater Los Angeles’s talent pool second to Washington, D.C. and New York City.
There is also a steady stream of fresh young talent joining the workforce, with Greater Los Angeles home to revered institutions such as USC, Caltech, and UCLA. An already talented workforce that constantly refreshes itself is highly attractive to start-ups and established tech companies.
- A healthy supply of venture capitalThere is also a significant amount of resources available in Greater LA, primarily in the form of venture capital. This enables budding entrepreneurs to start their business and start-up companies to expand and grow.
Last year, a total of $6.3 billion for venture capital poured into Greater LA, specifically from the third quarter of 2017 to the second quarter of 2018. This is more than what Silicon Valley received in the same period of time.
- Growing tech clustersOne of the most attractive things about Greater LA is that the tech industry is not concentrated in one neighborhood. It is spread out across the map, from the so-called Silicon Beach (Santa Monica to El Segundo) to Culver City and Downtown Los Angeles as well. Amazon Studios and Apple are set to spread roots in Culver City, while Spotify has made Downtown LA their regional headquarters.
In just five years, Greater LA has managed to expand the physical footprint of its tech industry by approximately 675 percent. With more tech clusters cropping up, the map will be completely redrawn.
These three major factors have helped attract tech start-ups and companies from different industries. Digital media and retail have already established themselves well in Los Angeles County, while Orange County is welcoming health-tech and cyber-security companies with open arms. Irvine has also become a center for biotech research and medical engineering.
Are you thinking of joining Los Angeles’ growing tech scene?
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