“Startup success stories abound in Los Angeles. The City’s commitment to the innovation economy is unwavering, and our incubators and accelerators are here to help them grow and thrive.”
Los Angeles is one of the largest startup markets in the U.S., supported by a diverse network of founders, more than 100 VC firms, and a wide range of accelerators, incubators, and coworking spaces. In addition to its world-famous entertainment industry, Los Angeles is home to NASA’s R&D center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Northrup Grumman's 110-acre campus, and SpaceX headquarters.
The ecosystem is a major player in tech sectors ranging from the metaverse to crypto to gaming. The city also boasts some of the world’s top universities, including UCLA, CalTech, and USC, which provide companies with a steady stream of talent. According to CommercialEdge, LA ranks #2 after only New York in the number of residents who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, or related fields. Nearly 1.5 million residents have such a degree. Additionally, Los Angeles County has the largest foreign-born population of any county in the U.S., at one of every three residents, according to 2021 census estimates.
The annual dot.LA Summit, which brings together founders, investors, and operators is held in October. Venture Capital Summit 2023 took place in April, as did TECHSPO Technology Expo. A month earlier, entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders gathered for the Montgomery Summit.
Mobility commerce platform Metropolis raised a $167 million Series B in June 2022. Clinical biopharma company Acelyrin raised a $300 million Series C in September 2022. Microscale robot company Bionaut Labs raised a $43.2 million Series B in November 2022.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Built around a globally respected university network that produces thousands of STEM graduates each year, the LA Life Sciences ecosystem is growing fast. The UCLA Innovation Fund facilitates the commercialization of UCLA-owned Life Sciences technologies by providing up to $150,000 in funding. The LAEDC Bioscience Council is a network of leaders dedicated to cultivating the industry’s workforce. The Los Angeles Bioscience Ecosystem Summit showcases innovation each year.
Los Angeles is home to more than 200 Gaming startups. Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the largest Gaming trade event, was held in Los Angeles in June 2023. The inaugural Gaming X LA was held in November 2022. GamesBeat Summit 2023 took place in May. Theorycraft Games raised a $50 million Series B in September 2022.
The LA100 Study charted pathways for L.A. to reach 100% carbon-free energy by 2035. As of 2022, 62% of the city’s energy was carbon-free. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), established by the City of Los Angeles, supports up to 50 startups each year. LACI’s $6 million Cleantech Debt Fund provides green loans of $25,000 to $250,000 to early-stage
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Los Angeles
Home to nearly 4 million people, LA offers companies a huge potential market. If Los Angeles County were a country, its economy would be the 19th largest on the planet. More than 40% of American imports travel through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before connecting to a system of railways and interstate highways that distribute them across the country.
Funding & Incentives
Los Angeles offers a huge array of funding options for businesses from venture capital to small business grants. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation provides support for entrepreneurs, including assistance with tax credits. Its Small Business Loan Guarantee Program boosts access to capital, while its California Capital Access Program encourages lenders to make loans to small businesses..
A remarkably diverse populace and the presence of several top universities help develop the talent necessary to propel LA’s innovation ecosystem forward. Los Angeles is much more diverse than Silicon Valley, boasting residents from at least 130 countries who speak over 200 languages. One out of every three residents is foreign born.
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