The startup scene began its ascent in the Los Angeles area in the late 2000s. During that time, MySpace was still a major social media player, and the emphasis in the Los Angeles tech scene was heavily weighted toward social. However, the present Silicon Beach scene is far more serious. The party scene has been drastically toned down. Welcome to the rise of Silicon Beach.
What hasn’t changed is the almost small-town atmosphere of Silicon Beach. There is far less competition for tech talent than in Silicon Valley and of course, there is the sunny Southern California climate, which also adds a laid back vibe to the Silicon Beach scene.
The startups in Los Angeles also show the influence of Hollywood and the entertainment world. While tech savvy is still essential, Silicon Beach startups lean heavily toward community building. This sense of community around a common interest is evident in two hot startups: BakeSpace and NeighborGoods.
BakeSpace is a mash up of Pinterest, YouTube and every foodie lover’s dream. BakeSpace allows its members to share recipes in real time, customize your own virtual kitchen and rummage in the forum that serves as an online pantry. Members also upload videos, blog and gain inspiration from other members.
Membership in BakeSpace is free, and the platform is very user friendly. Members range in age from teenagers to great-grandparents. Members can even make money on their recipes by creating an online cookbook through the BakeSpace Cookbook Café feature.
If you’ve ever used FreeCycle, then the concept of NeighborGoods is easy to grasp. Like FreeCycle, users are able to obtain items that they need through an online exchange. However, unlike FreeCycle, the items exchanged are not given away – they are borrowed. In this respect, NeighborGoods seeks to recreate the environment of small town America where it is still common to knock on a neighbor’s door for a cup of sugar.
However, NeighborGoods aspires to be more than an online borrowing service. Members have the option of interacting with one another through private groups or making their items available to lend to the entire NeighborGoods community, all without publishing their home addresses. There is also an option for members to upgrade their accounts for a fee, which also gives them access to a wider variety of items.