What is Silicon Beach?

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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?