Not everyone is on board with the term “Silicon Beach,” the name that’s been given to Los Angeles’ buzzing tech scene. “As a brand guy, I have an originality problem with it,” Michael Dubin, cofounder and CEO of Venice-based Dollar Shave Club, told Business Insider. “It implies that what’s happening ‘down here’ is just our version of what’s happening ‘up there.'”
On the other hand, ZipRecruiter cofounder and CEO Ian Siegel says: “I say sell the sizzle. Would you rather work at the beach or in a valley? Easy choice.” Whether you buy into the moniker, Los Angeles has been a center for tech innovation for years. A host of successful ecommerce, fashion, and social-media startups have gotten their starts in sunny Southern California, reaping the benefits of plentiful venture capital and proximity to the entertainment capital of the world.
And though the boom has now spread to communities east of the 405 freeway — like Nasty Gal downtown and Maker Studios in Culver City — the beachfront communities of Venice and Santa Monica still hold a special draw for entrepreneurs.
“Every time we recruit someone, we put them up at the Shore Hotel [in Santa Monica],” Siegel says. “They stare out at the ocean, and then walk a block to our offices where again they can stare out at the ocean from just about every window. You take someone from the Midwest or East Coast and give them that experience … let’s just say we have a high close rate.”
And with a mayor as supportive of innovation as Eric Garcetti, it’s likely that trend will continue. During his inaugural speech, in 2013, Garcetti pledged to give Silicon Valley a “run for their bitcoin.”