Last week Esri attended #LATechSummit. The summit brings together over 900 LA technology companies, investors, incubators and startups. Los Angeles is the third-largest technology startup ecosystem in the US and is home to “Silicon Beach” on the west side of Los Angeles. The innovation here coupled with the ready access to capital, is cultivating L.A. 2.0., as coined by entrepreneur, Mark Suster in his TechCrunch article, “There’s something going on in L.A.”. As Suster pointed out, we’re now reaping the rewards by those who came in the late 90’s and have 15 years later created successful new seed capital, thriving entrepreneurs and an ecosystem of experienced operators that nourished L.A. 1.0. This is now supporting more than 500 technology startups, such as Snapchat, Hulu, Fullscreen and Frequency. And, it’s not just startups — well-known names like Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and YouTube are also part of this greater innovation network.
The summit supported discussions around this movement and most importantly, network building. We found the event to be really informative, discussing drones, AR/VR, scaling enterprise SaaS companies, raising capital, and lot more. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke on LA and social entrepreneurship – mentioning the partnership between the City of Los Angeles and Esri on a project that is spurring even more innovation in government, business, and other organizations: GeoHub.
GeoHub gives city staff, businesses, app developers, nonprofit organizations, and the public access to the city’s location-based data through an online portal. People can download datasets as shapefiles, KML files, or into spreadsheets. They can also visualize the data as online maps using ArcGIS. GeoHub combines the city’s geographic data into a location-as-a-service (LaaS) platform, allowing users to access live, continuously updated data directly from the city as a service—rather than as a static download—and create dynamic applications on the fly. You can learn more about it here, or visit the GeoHub, geohub.lacity.org.
Esri is excited to be partnering with the City of Los Angeles, startups, developers, local companies and other technologies. Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities.
One exciting component of the company is the Esri Startup Program, headquartered in the heart of Silicon Beach. The program was created in 2013 to offer tools and support to help startups succeed. The free, three year program provides online services, software, support, and training to kick-start product development. Companies founded less than three years ago that build software or platform-as-a-service products and currently generate less than $1 million annually may be eligible to participate in the Esri Startup Program. The idea around it is to enable the most promising emerging businesses to incorporate location analytics into their services and solutions. By providing access to Esri’s flagship ArcGIS platform at no cost, selected startups can leverage new dimensions of data and visualization capabilities. This allows businesses to create breakthrough advancements and deliver truly innovative products to both existing and emerging markets. We’re seeing apps address a myriad of problems, including public safety, policy and legislation, weather impact solutions and more. Hundreds of startups from around the globe are enrolled.
The future looks bright for LA and we’re excited to be a part of this growth!