This Nonprofit Just Launched a Hub to Introduce SoCal's Regional Tech Communities to One Another

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

This Nonprofit Just Launched a Hub to Introduce SoCal's Regional Tech Communities to One Another

The Alliance for Southern California Innovation is LongLA, as regional investors and boosters like to frame their investment outlook.

Launched three years ago in a bid to help build a hub for technology that can rival Silicon Valley, the nonprofit has been slowly building up a network of tech companies, backers and entrepreneurs beyond Silicon Beach.


"We felt like we are under-appreciated because Hollywood and Silicon Beach are such a strong part of the story and there is so much more than that," said executive director Andy Wilson.

This week, the nonprofit announced a partnership with Verizon Media that will build out a digital hub for regional communities to connect. Already their site hosts boards and events.

The platform centers around so-called microsites such as Pasadena, home to Caltech; downtown Los Angeles where Honey and Soylent are based; Long Beach, a burgeoning center for space development; Ventura County/Thousand Oaks, home to several pharmaceutical outfits and it also has what it calls a Space Ventures Coalition.

The communities can independently manage content and relationships on the site, but the idea is to create a network for the region's diverse companies.

Backed by local universities, research institutions and tech companies, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner co-founded the nonprofit to ignite startup growth and draw the kind of big venture money that helped make the region's northern neighbor the nation's technology epicenter.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Motional Links With Uber to Make Robotaxis a Reality

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Motional
Image courtesy of Motional

Motional, a self-driving taxi startup backed by Hyundai, will partner with Uber to bring its robotic taxis to cities throughout the United States within the next decade as part of its push to get people more comfortable with the concept of taking a ride in a driverless electric vehicle.

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