Last Friday I went to Silicon Beach Fest a brand new event organized by Digital LA. It’s been a while since I’ve been to an event that left me feeling so excited and enthused. From what I read they put the whole event together in a couple of months and that speed is, I think, testament to the entrepreneurial spirit here in LA.
So why did I get so enthused? Well as a relative newcomer – it’s four years since I shipped in from London – I’ve had trouble tracking down the LA tech scene but it turns out I am not alone. At the media panel Amanda Cooling from TechZulu explained that there are lots of little tech scenes around LA – Santa Monica, Pasadena, Downtown and even Hollywood – and they don’t really connect with each other. Judging from the number of people who asked me where specifically I am based (in order to get a read on me I assume) Amanda is spot on. I can’t help thinking that it’s a shame – we are all missing the party by letting the geography of our city dictate how we think. I spent a few years living in Sydney, Australia. It’s a pretty small city by US standards – about 4.5m people – but my network of PRs was bigger than the one I have here. We all hung out together, drinking in the same bars, meeting at the same events. It was the same when I worked in London. And I have the sense it’s the same in Silicon Valley. So why not here? We’d all be better off for it.
I hope that with the creation of Silicon Beach Fest – and a cool idea from Techzulu for an LA tech census – we can change that. LA Geeks Unite!