ConSol Partners launches California office
On Monday 6th January 2014, ConSol Partners LLC was born in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. We have been getting our base-tans ready and hitting the gym hard in preparation for rubbing shoulders with celebs, serial entrepreneursand socialites with perfect teeth. It goes without saying that the LA lifestyle seems like a living vacation – beautiful beaches, fantastic nightlife and one of the best climates in the world. But beneath the glamorous surface of Los Angeles living there is something going on which is even more appealing to the team here at ConSol. Something really exciting that we are really looking forward to being a part of.
In the first half of this year, a few things happened in LA:
1. 94 new companies were launched
2. Over $500m in capital was invested across 92 different firms
3. 8 companies exited for a collective sum of $153m
The above map from represent.la paints a picture of this boom in entrepreneurship– the epicentre of which is focused around Santa Monica. The vast majority of companies in the area are technology firms, and many of these are start-ups. It is this which has lead the area to be hailed as the up and coming technology hub of the world – christened “Silicon Beach”.
Notable residents include
· Snapchat – the immensely popular photo-messaging app recently scoffed at an offer from Facebook to acquire them for $3billion
· OpenX – start-up Ad Technology leaders currently listed by Deloitte as the 3rd fastest growing US software company.
· Daqui – Super-cool augmented reality platform whose products are poised to hit Google Glass and really blur the lines between digital and reality.
· Google – Their presence in LA is substantial and growing all the time. A quick search of their careers website pulls up 33 current openings in the LA branch.
All the ingredients are present for Silicon Beach to become a global hub of technology innovation – there is an abundance of talent with LA universities producing more engineering and technology graduates than anywhere else in the region, whilst the geography offers a handy proximity to Asia – another global technology hub – with LA’s container port being the busiest in the country and a major gateway between the two continents. Venture Capitalists can’t invest quickly enough in Santa Monica - the area has seen double the technology investment than New York and Boston combined. More venture capital has gone into software than anything else as investors flock to the area in search of the next big thing.
However, there are some sceptics. Some local tech moguls resent the term “Silicon Beach” as it implies an association with Silicon Valley. LA differentiates itself from its San Francisco counterpart in that the business-demographic is a melting pot of media, technology and services companies punctuated with venture capitalists and accelerators. This creates a nurturing environment for tech start-ups both in a practical sense and in terms of inspiration. The proximity to Hollywood naturally gives way to a media culture, an indeed there is a significant proportion of media, advertising and digital technology companies.
The growing buzz and migration of start-ups to Silicon Beach – defined as the 3 mile stretch between Santa Monica and Venice - is so strong at the moment that it’s even difficult to secure office space. We have been lucky enough to secure premises right in the heart of Santa Monica, just two blocks from the beach. Landlords aren’t accustomed to having leases reviewed at length as young, hungry start up owners are eager snap up property. Setting up a branch 5000 miles from home was always going to be a challenge – all the usual stresses and pains of employer engagements like insurance, compliance, hiring, and HR are amplified and policies are alien on the other side of the world.
ConSol already have US client base, and with increasing West Coast presence we are immersing ourselves in Santa Monica’s entrepreneurial energy. New York might seem to beckon but is a stifling environment for tech start-ups as they compete with financial giants for talent and investment. By sharing a Zip Code with the most up and coming tech innovators in the US right now, we can contribute to the future of technology by helping the fastest growing innovators on their doorsteps.