The Venice Neighborhood Council and Venice Chamber of Commerce will hold a town hall meeting Thursday, April 12 to discuss the emergence of “Silicon Beach” in Venice and Westside communities.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Westminster Elementary School auditorium, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.
Venice, long known as a bastion for artists and musicians, is undergoing an economic transformation as it becomes home to a new group of creative pioneers from the technology industry.
“The creative spirit in Venice is attractive to companies which are locating here in greater numbers,” says Venice Chamber of Commerce President Alex Rosales.
Attendees will meet representatives from local technology, media, and entertainment businesses at a company showcase during the first hour of the event. Twenty-five organizations are slated to participate in the showcase including Google, Mogreet, Jibjab, Amplify.LA, Zambezi, Sparkwave Media, Movie Clips, Wemo Media, Nexon, Demand Media, Betterworks, MuckerLab, and the Venice Media District.
A number of high-tech and digital companies have arrived in Venice recently, giving Venice a similar feel to Westside beach cities like Santa Monica, home to many movie industry post-production firms. Google moved in last fall as did JibJab Media, an e-card business known for its political satire and animated greeting cards.
Mogreet is a mobile messaging company delivering millions of videos to mobile devices, and AmplifyL.A., a startup incubator, is slated to open a campus on Windward Circle in the spring.
“Our culture in Venice has always lent itself to creativity and we are seeing a renaissance of industry as a result,” said Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks. “With this town hall we offer a golden opportunity to bring together members of the Venice tech and residential communities to mingle in a social setting.”
A panel discussion entitled “The Emergence of Silicon Beach,” will follow the showcase. Panelists will include senior Google engineer Tom Williams, Mogreet Chief Executive Officer James Citron, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Amplify.L.A. Jeff Solomon and Chris Pearson, senior policy director of the mayor’s office of economic and business policy.
Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents Venice, will moderate the panel discussion.
The town hall will focus on an array of topics including why these companies are moving to Silicon Beach, what they mean to the area’s economy in terms of jobs, the city of Los Angeles’ role in bringing businesses to the Westside and the limitations that hold back growth, said an event organizer.