Startup Culture in Los Angeles and Santa Monica

I’m writing a book called ‘Culture-Building for Startups.’ As I hum away on it in the next few months, selected chapters will be previewed in this blog, so stay tuned! To start things off in the land of startup culture-building, I want to offer you my Startup Sourcelist. I gathered all my firsthand info on coworking spaces in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, along with listings for LA-area incubators, accelerators and education resources. From General Assembly to MuckerLab, it’s all in the sourcelist. If you’re here in Santa Monica and want to know more about what’s going on or you’re thinking of moving to Southern California to get your startup going, download the LA startup sourcelist.

LA is now a startup town.

Billions are being raised here for startups, LaunchpadLA has been called the top accelerator in LA, and Forbes ranks it in the top five. General Assembly is booming with great classes. Coworking spaces are thriving.  Silicon Beach is more than just a silly name; it’s now attached to an unsilly, thriving culture. The next wave is already upon us.

When I moved here from New York in 1988, I saw the culture of mid-level budget feature films bloom and die, then cable television grow from squalling infant, to edgy teenager, to mature adult, to (now) cranky old man.  Gaming boomed, busted, and boomed again. Now it’s startups turn. Incubators are incubating themselves, accelerators are accelerating, baristas are busy, and the LA scene is taken seriously. Optimism is daily baked in by the California sun.

 An unfamiliar feeling: optimism.

That sense of optimism is new to me. When I moved here, I was working as a screenwriter, and there was little optimism among writers. Back then we used to look at the smog gathering on the horizon and say it was made of the incinerated souls of sitcom writers.  As a working writer in this town, you put on your wounded sense of entitlement in the morning like a shirt. You stirred caustic bitterness in with your coffee.  That script is changing rapidly. The embittered writer lacking control over  creative output fades into the background. The coder, creator and app developer with a deserved sense of control and mastery is stepping up. The spotlight is upon us. The skies are clearer, thanks to catalytic converters and booming sales of cars like the Prius and Tesla.

Note to self: The embittered writers aren’t gone. They’re writing for free at The Huffington Post.