What is Silicon Beach?

Venice Beach is famous for its funkiness, beach culture … and start-ups?

Los Angeles — especially Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice and the South Bay– is seeing a boom in New Media companies. It didn’t happen overnight but there’s been enough of a concentration in the last year or so that the term “Silicon Beach” has taken hold (prompting quips from people who associate “Silicon” and “Beach” with fake boobs). With over 600 start-ups estimated to be in LA, in Venice alone there are now 300 media companies – ranging from one-person owned web designers to New Media behemoths like Google.

And in the wake of media companies, related businesses follow, such as venture capital and law firms. The result is an emerging economic ecosystem that has knock-off effects on the surrounding communities, from surging property prices to new restaurants.

In our series on Silicon Beach, we’ll ask: Why are tech companies choosing to move to the beach? Is it the beach in itself, or are the cities providing benefits to the companies? Or are they following each other? What do the companies actually do? And how is this influx of tech changing the cultural and physical landscape of the Westside?


  1. Wiredcoach
    Dec 30, 2013, 6:56 pm

    The term Silicon Beach was coined in 1984 by a San Diego company.

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    Oct 18, 2012, 11:25 pm

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  • scott

    Actually, Santa Barbara's high tech industry was dubbed Silicon Beach about 20 years ago, and an internet service provider even adopted that as their name. Silicon Beach Communications, now part of Impulse.

  • Stephen

    And I recall a lot of startups in the Culver City, Marina del Rey and Santa Monica areas during the tech boom in the late '90s, so this is really just a continuing phenomenon.
    As an aside, I guess the "people who associate “Silicon” and “Beach” with fake boobs" are the people who don't know the difference between silicon and silicone!

  • We are one of the Silicon Beach companies – we're called CHNL and have just recently launched a web app that pulls all the content from across your social networks and streamlines it into one place – your channel.

    The choice of Santa Monica starts with the choice of being in Los Angeles.

    We believe the next phase of the web is the convergence of social media and content, and LA is the home of not only traditional media – but in general, the creative work that comes from the community here is just incredible.

    The choice of the West Side vs. Hollywood or anywhere else comes down to lifestyle — several of our staff love surfing and also for most of our staff, the commute is easier to Santa Monica.

    Our actual office location does benefit from the other startups who have also chosen the West Side – the space is called the Coloft and there is definitely an energy and a community we get from being located there.

    jason@chnl.it if you'd like to speak with us further for this story!


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