Column: Introducing Our 2022 Map of Startups in LA

Column: Introducing Our 2022 Map of Startups in LA

Too often Los Angeles can operate as a collection of silos disconnected geographically, industrially, culturally and beyond. Santa Monica with its breezy bungalows and Glendale with its blocks of office high rises can feel worlds apart, and the community arising in aerospace hubs in Long Beach and the South Bay don’t get much opportunity to interact with those working on web3.

dot.LA exists in large part to connect those - pardon the pun - dots.

We do it everyday with our stories online, but we at dot.LA wanted to create a succinct visualization of what we meant.

We took on the task of identifying, taxonomizing and distilling into one image a representative collection of the thousands of startups that call greater Los Angeles home. Angeleno illustrator Semira Chadorchi translated that into the fun and vibrant map you see here. With that I’m pleased to publicly unveil the 2022 dot.LA Guide to Los Angeles, our best attempt to represent the L.A. tech and startup ecosystem.

Image by Semira Chadorchi

The first edition of the map was designed and printed to coincide with our launch in January 2020, with the intention of giving our paper copies to the guests at our many in-person events. Well, the pandemic delayed those hopes of in-person events and as a result we have a thick stack of first edition maps in our office. But as we ramped up for our first in-person dot.LA Summit at the Fairmont Miramar in October, we wanted to create a fresh start for the post-pandemic world and redesign the map.

So much has changed since last year’s edition. A couple of companies dropped off (Quibi, we hardly knew you) and many more came on -- from Canoo to Beyond Meat -- new transformative companies are coming up seemingly on a daily basis. We even created a flipside that listed other companies we literally couldn’t visually fit onto the map. Sadly there is no way to be comprehensive. If we were to include every institution that was changing the world in some way, the density of our graphical representation would outweigh the grains of sand on the beach. But we tried our best!

You’ll find here a high-resolution version of the map, and we encourage you to use it for any non-commercial use you see fit. It makes a great screensaver or virtual Zoom background, and it looks lovely printed, framed, and hung in an office. And please, let us know who we missed and need to get on next year’s edition

When co-founder Spencer Rascoff and I were developing the idea that became dot.LA three years ago, one of the key goals was to help crystallize exactly what it was we meant by the LA tech and startup ecosystem.

Many people have the general understanding that there is a ton of activity happening here, but don’t know too much about the tech landscape in Southern California beyond behemoths like Snap or SpaceX. What did we mean, we get asked, when we talked about the L.A. tech and startup ecosystem? Was there really enough activity going on here to necessitate a media organization of its own?

That answer, it turned out, is an enthusiastic yes; and we have only begun to sketch it out.

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Image by Candice Navi

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Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.
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