Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles

A global powerhouse, Los Angeles is the fourth best city in the world for Research and Development. This comes as no surprise as it is ranked third in the nation for startup activity.

Los Angeles, CA is the second-most populous city in the country, behind only New York City. One of the most powerful cities in the world, L.A. ranked 11th overall in the 2017 Global Power City Index, with a ranking of number four in the “Research and Development” category. In the same year, WalletHub ranked the city as the nation’s 33rd-best in which to start a business, with rankings of ninth and 30th in the “Business Environment” and “Access to Resources” categories, respectively. Finally, the Kauffman Index ranked the Los Angeles metropolitan area third in the nation in startup activity.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Los Angeles’ entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

L.E.A.N. is a startup community that holds regular, inexpensive workshops and networking events to support active and aspiring entrepreneurs.

A community located in Santa Monica dedicated to helping entrepreneurs enter and find success in the startup community.

LA Startups is a community with the goal of bringing area entrepreneurs and small business owners together to create a network.

LACE is a group that holds monthly educational workshops and networking events to support creative entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles community.

Los Angeles Entrepreneur is a networking group in Santa Monica that helps entrepreneurs connect with one another and find success.

The Los Angeles branch of the Startup Founder 101 community aims to bring together active and aspiring tech entrepreneurs and educating them with a series of workshops.

A startup group in Pasadena that provides support to entrepreneurs through networking opportunities and educational workshops.

A group in Santa Monica that supports entrepreneurs through workshops, lectures, roundtables, and networking events.

Startup Grind has branches across the country and the world, all of which aim to educate and inspire entrepreneurs while encouraging them to make meaningful connections.


Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

An annual conference for global media and technology executives to explore and learn about the current landscape of digital media.

Digital Summit Los Angeles is an annual conference with a number of sessions designed to educate attendees about digital marketing.

An annual invitation-only conference that attempts to change the world by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

The flagship conference of the Summit conference series, Summit LA is an annual gathering of leaders from a number of communities, including entrepreneurship.

L.A. is home to one of Techweek’s annual conferences, weeklong celebrations of entrepreneurship and technology in cities around the country.

An annual conference held in Los Angeles that supports creative, entrepreneurial-minded women making an impact in their communities.


Startup Competitions:

Students at California State University, Northridge can compete for cash prizes in the university’s annual elevator pitch-style competition.

The Digital Entertainment World Expo competition features startups in the digital media industry compete for prizes and access to valuable resources.

An annual startup competition open to students of the University of California, Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management.

The New Mobility Challenge is a competition featuring startups and entrepreneurs from around the world in the mobility industry.

Loyola Marymount University holds a pitch competition open to graduate and undergraduate students of all majors.

Los Angeles is home to one of Social Venture Partners’ several Fast Pitch competitions, in which entrepreneurs striving to make a positive change in their communities compete for financing.

The University of Southern California hosts a number of competitions for students, faculty, and other members of the USC community.


Co-working Spaces:

With several locations in the Los Angeles area, BizHaus offers traditional co-working spaces as well as private office space for teams of 1 to 20 people.

With four locations in and around Los Angeles, Cross Campus aims to boost productivity through carefully-designed spaces, craft beer on tap, and meditation spaces available.

CTRL Collective, which has locations around L.A. as well as one in Denver, CO, is a co-working space that places an emphasis on collaboration and creativity.

Located in Beverly Hills, dots SPACE is a luxury co-working and office space that offers members access to a yoga studio, meditation rooms, workout equipment, and office games.

Industrious Office has three locations across Los Angeles, offering traditional co-working space and private offices.

Kleverdog is a professional co-working space that offers a number of membership options to foster entrepreneurship and creativity.

LAX Coworking provides a number of amenities, resources, and perks to clients, including free coffee, tea, and energy drinks as well as office games and happy hours.

With a location in Burbank and one in North Hollywood, The Muse Rooms aims to provide space for creative people to work, either in traditional co-working space or in a private office.

Located in Downtown L.A.’s Little Tokyo & Arts District, Opodz aims to combine arts, culture, and technology to help entrepreneurs, engineers, and other creative people succeed.

ROC is a modern, green co-working space that provides clients with a number of amenities to support innovation and collaboration.

WeWork has 15 co-working spaces in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.


Maker spaces:

Founded in 2011, The Build Shop focuses on 3D printing and laser cutting but provides access to and classes about other digital fabrication tools.

With a focus on 3D printing and laser cutting, Burbank Makerspace offers a number of services in the form of classes and workshops as well as a fabrication for clients.

HexLab provides members with access to a wide variety of tools and equipment as well as regular classes and workshops and youth outreach programs.

L.A. Makerspace aims to help educate children in science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts by providing a space for them to create.



Founded and supported in part by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Global Sports Venture Studio provides support to promising startups at the intersection of technology and sports.

Formerly focused on fashion tech startups, Grid110 now provides incubation services in technology companies regardless of focus.

A technology incubator program that finds solutions to major problems and forms separate businesses to work with those ideas.

One of the largest incubators in the world, LACI provides promising, inclusive cleantech startups with support and access to resources.

Loyola Marymount University offers an incubator program to students with business plans or startup ideas.



Powered by Techstars, the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is a three-month program that provides financial backing and support to tech startups finding solutions in the field of healthcare.

Located in Los Angeles, the Disney Accelerator is a three-month program supporting technology and new media innovators and entrepreneurs.

An accelerator program that helps startups and businesses from France move to and create a presence in America, specifically Los Angeles.

Launchpad LA is a technology accelerator program that offers members funding, free office space, and access to a network of mentors and resources.

Make in LA is a four-month accelerator program focused on supporting hardware startups around Southern California.

An accelerator program that works with up to 10 pre-seed startups per year in the Internet software and services industry.

Techstars runs accelerator programs for the most promising tech companies in several cities around the nation, including Los Angeles.

UCLA offers a 10-week summer accelerator program for startups founded by students and recent alumni.

17 Questions to Ask Before Attending an Accelerator



Caltech offers a number of resources, programs, and clubs for students interested in technology entrepreneurship.

LMU’s Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship offers an entrepreneurship curriculum for undergraduate students as well programs and resources to support them.

The Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UCLA offers a number of resources, both in and outside of the classroom, to entrepreneurial-minded students.

USC’s Marshall School of Business includes the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, which offers both undergraduate and graduate education programs as well as other resources.


Angel Groups/VCs:

Amplify offers capital and support to promising technology startups in the early stages and helps them grow into successful companies.

Based in Beverly Hills, Ireland Ventures invests in early-stage startups around the United States, especially those at the intersection of sports, healthcare, and technology.

An early-stage venture capital fund that invests in U.S.-based startups, especially in the enterprise software, commerce platforms and on the West Coast.

Mucker Capital is a venture firm that invests in pre-seed stage companies in the greater Los Angeles area that work in the software industry.

Pasadena Angels look to fund early-stage startups in large markets that are based in Southern California.

With five regional chapters across Southern California, TCA aims to invest in and support early-stage technology companies in the area.

In addition to providing capital to promising startups regardless of sector, TYLT provides mentorship and advising to their selected companies.

Upfront Ventures generally invests in seed- and Series A-stage companies located nationwide in the digital media, consumer goods, and services, SaaS, and commerce technology sectors.


Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

Organized by Techstars, Startup Digest keeps track of the biggest events going on in startup scenes around the country.

Tech.Co covers technology and entrepreneurship in several cities around the country, including Los Angeles.

TechZulu, which covers technology and innovation news in Southern California and beyond, offers a newsletter to keep subscribers up-to-date.


Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Los Angeles not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below and we will add it to the article.

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Chicago, IL, Washington, D.C. ,Greensboro, North Carolina

Article by Quinn Pilkey

Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at FundingSage where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.