It’s an exciting time to be a technologist in LA. Our tech startup community is rapidly growing, we’re seeing an ever-strengthening bond between the tech scene and Hollywood’s massive entertainment space, and the social entrepreneurs and politicians in LA are looking for technologies to help solve their problems.
So, how and where do you get involved? This doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a pretty solid start.
LA Startup Community
If you’re new to the LA startup community, start off by subscribing to the LA Startup Digest; there are plenty of calendars out there, but this mailing list has been the most consistent and does a good job of curating the best local startup events. If you want to know why the LA startup scene is exciting and what makes it unique, check out this recent article, it covers a lot.
If you’re looking for a job, a good event happening January 23rd is LA Uncubed. If you want to learn from experts about what’s ahead for LA, here’s two panel events happening this month: 2014 Startup Forecast by TechZulu (1/28) and 2013 Year in Review, and 2014: What’s Next? by GA & SBYP (1/16).
Although networking parties can be hit or miss for someone new to the community, you never know what’ll happen so check these out if you don’t have anything else going on. Santa Monica New Tech Meetup has two events coming up on the 9th and 15th. Startup Social has something going on on Jan 9th up by Universal Studios for those closer to that area.
For more specific startup networking events, check out Women 2.0′s Founder Friday on January 10th, SoCal UX Holiday Happy Hour on the 11th, or just go to Meetup.com and search for events near you (because there’re a lot).
LA’s universities produce some of the top technology talent, but apparently we’re having difficulty attracting and retaining them in the LA startup community. Which is probably why we’re seeing increased efforts to connect with them.
hackTECH seems like a large and well put together student hackathon focused on college students happening Jan 24~26. On a slightly smaller scale is Code Day LA, a hackathon happening on Jan 18~19 for local high school and college students.
Another interesting/relevant event you might want to check out is LA’s Education-focused Startup Weekend happening on Jan 24th at UCLA Anderson.
2013 was a great year for civic hacking in Los Angeles: the launch of Hack for LA – hosting two large civic hackathons, the launch of Code for LA – the local Code for America meetup group, an open data portal launched by the LA Controller’s Office, the election of Eric Garcetti as LA’s mayor who is all about tech and open data, and many other cities in LA following suit – discussing how to open up their data.
We’re announcing our first Code for LA meetup at City Hall for Jan 29th, so make sure to join the meetup so you find out about it. I’m pretty sure Hack for LA will be hosting another hackathon on the National Day of Civic Hacking in June, so make sure to subscribe to the newsletter.
Although these aren’t strictly civic hacking, these events are also related to making the world a better place using technology: Digital LA – Health Tech Startup Showcase Panel (1/14), the LA Bitcoin meetup has two events coming up, and for you GIS lovers out there, the USC Spacial Science Institute is hosting the LA Geospatial Summit on February 21st.
LA Tech (Non-Startup)
I originally wrote that CES was happening in LA right now. As you know, it’s in Vegas. This guy needs some sleep. Anyways, it’s fixed.
There’s a new big tech event coming to LA: The Code Conference (May). If you haven’t heard, the founders of All Things D have cut ties with the Wall Street Journal (who retains the trademark), and launched Re/code. Their new conference is called The Code Conference, and I think it’s very excited that they decided on LA as the location. Registration price? A staggering $6500. Probably not for the average startup founder.