Tech Goes to La La Land and Girls Are Leading the Charge

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The Santa Monica-Venice area has now been dubbed “Silicon Beach” because hundreds of startups are capitalizing on L.A’s fashion and entertainment industries.

By Rachel Lehmann-Haupt (Editor, Women 2.0)

A story in the LA Times today reports a surge of startups in LA headed by tech savvy women. They are forming a community to support one another and encouraging other women who want to launch a startup through regular meet-ups.

It appears a piece of Silicon Valley is moving to Hollywood. According to reporter Andrea Chang, LA is “exploding” with new companies headed by women. The Santa Monica-Venice area has now been dubbed “Silicon Beach” because hundred of startups are capitalizing on L.A’s fashion and entertainment industries.

“Unimpeded by the Bay Area’s cliquish male programmer culture, they’re using their expertise in retail, entertainment, advertising and media to build digital companies whose products and services are often aimed at other women,” she writes.

Here’s the list of LA-based tech startups from the LA Times story:

Big Frame: Digital media company that helps grow YouTube audiences and connect them with advertisers. Co-founder: Sarah Penna. Culver City; 30 employees.

DogVacay: Online community where members post openings in their homes for pet-sitting and book pet-sitters. Co-founder: Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. Santa Monica; 33 employees.

Maker Studios: Digital media company and multi-channel network of online content. Co-founder: Lisa Donovan. Culver City; more than 300 employees.

Moonfrye: Online community for families; developing a do-it-yourself parenting app. Co-founders: Soleil Moon Frye and Kara Nortman. Looking for L.A. office space; eight employees.
Nasty Gal: Online retailer of edgy clothing for young women. Founder: Sophia Amoruso. Downtown Los Angeles; 300 employees.

NuOrder: Online wholesale platform for the fashion industry that streamlines the buying process. Co-founder: Olivia Skuza. West Hollywood; 40 employees.

Pose: Mobile app that enables users to browse and shop for the latest fashion and beauty trends. Co-founder: Alisa Gould-Simon. Santa Monica; 13 employees.

PromoJam: Social marketing platform that helps users create customized online promotions. Co-founder: Amanda MacNaughton. Venice; 10 employees.

Shop Hers: Online marketplace where users can sell and buy pre-owned luxury items. Co-founders: Jaclyn Shanfeld and Jenna Stahl. Santa Monica; five employees.

Tradesy: Fashion resale website and app to sell and buy pre-owned women’s clothing. Founder: Tracy DiNunzio. Santa Monica; 22 employees.

Women 2.0 readers: Are you an LA-based founder? We want to hear your story!

Rachel Lehmann-Haupt ([email protected]) is an editor at Women 2.0. She also works with companies on the art of storytelling. This includes content strategy – blogs, web articles, contextual commerce, e-books and e-magazines – with the goal of better influencing and engaging audiences. She was a founding editor of TED Books and has published and edited numerous articles and books. Her interests include gender politics, working motherhood, urban innovation, health, and fashion. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Daily Beast, New York, Vogue, Self, Outside, and Wired.  Follow her on Twitter at @rlehmannhaupt.

Photo credit: Fire Monkey Fish