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.
Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.
- Verizon data suggest pandemic behaviors are starting to reverse
- California among three states reporting the highest level of unemployment claims
Verizon data suggest pandemic behaviors are starting to reverse
Data released yesterday by Verizon suggest that pandemic-induced behaviors are starting to reverse. The telecommunications giant's latest report shows that, in the week to May 6:
- Video streaming fell 11%
- Collaboration tools fell 5%
- Gaming fell 4%
People also seem to be moving around more as stay-at-home mandates relax and the spring weather beckons. Movement from one cell site to another climbed 6.2% on the week -- "the biggest weekly gain since the COVID crisis began," Verizon reported. Such "handoffs" are still 18% lower than normal, however.
"The network performance numbers definitely indicate a break in routines people have formed over the last several weeks during the pandemic," said Verizon's Chief Technology Officer.
California among three states reporting the highest level of unemployment claims
California, which borrowed cash from the federal government to help pay for unemployment claims, was one of three states reporting the highest levels of initial claims in the nation. About 318,000 California workers filed initial claims for unemployment during the week that ended May 2, which was down slightly from the 325,000 who filed jobless claims for the week that ended April 25, the U.S. Labor Department reported.
Overall, the U.S. said the number of Americans who filed for benefits topped three million for a seventh-straight week. That brought the seven-week total to about 33.5 million. California joined Texas and Georgia reporting the highest levels of unadjusted initial claims last week. Most states posted declines from the prior week. The economic downturn brought by the new coronavirus is expected to drive California into a $53.4 billion deficit over the next year with an unemployment rate projected well above its peak during the financial crisis in 2008., according to a memo released by Gov. Gavin Newsom's office Thursday.
"California began 2020 with a strong bill of financial health—a strong economy, historic reserves, and a structurally balanced budget," according to the report. "The rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate and severe impact on the global, national, and state economies... The May Revision economic forecast reflects that COVID-19 impacts will continue to cause economic losses in 2020."
The coronavirus pandemic's emergence has changed the world around us. Conferences have been cancelled, travel has been severely restricted, and working from home has become the norm. But less clear is the scale of the economic impact and how companies should be reacting. Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.
Manufacturers Asked to Convert Factories to Make Critical Supplies: "We Need All Hands on Deck"; 20,000 Test Kits Purchased, More to Come
Los Angeles city and county officials are ramping up novel coronavirus testing significantly, announcing on Monday they secured 20,000 test kits that can be processed at a rate of 5,000 a day. Priority will be given to first health care workers and first responders.
Los Angeles city officials also have an additional 100,000 tests kits have been procured from South Korea-based Seegene Technologies that will be made free to the public. County officials also announced a partnership with Curative Inc, a Bay Area company that set up shop earlier this month to produce test kits in San Dimas and is now making 1,000 a day.
As of March 20, roughly 2,400 people had been tested in Los Angeles County. Experts say that without widespread testing, it's difficult to understand where there are outbreaks and contain them.
The announcement came as the number of cases in the county shot up to 536, with 128 new cases announced on Monday. About 80% of the cases are from people ages 18-65. And of those positive cases, 90 have been hospitalized at some point, said Barbara Ferrer, the head of the county's public health department.
With hospital bracing for a surge and anticipating a shortage in supplies like swabs, testing trays, gloves, masks and other materials, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez called on manufacturers to convert their factories to help.
"We're calling on all factories and manufacturers in Southern California who have the ability to convert their production lines to do it as soon as possible," Martinez said. "We need all hands on deck to properly address this crisis with the speed and scale it requires."
Los Angeles county is the nation's hub of manufacturing.
"We should not wait for the president to use the Defense Production Act," she said.
Reporting by Rachel Uranga. Follow her at @racheluranga
LAUSD closed until May 1, Verizon to provide internet at home for needy students
Los Angeles Unified School District schools will remain closed through May 1, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday as officials scramble to stem the spread of the fast-moving novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, the nation's second largest district has brokered a deal with Verizon to provide internet connectivity at their home as instruction has moved online. The district has one of the highest concentration of low-income students in the state with 80 percent qualifying for free and reduced lunches. It's estimated about one out of five LAUSD K-12 students don't have access to the internet.
"The digital divide is very real, as many as 100,000 of our students lack access to the internet at home," Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a statement. "We must find a way for all students to continue to learn while schools are closed and this partnership with Verizon will help to do that." Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Reporting by Rachel Uranga. Follow her at @racheluranga
Tesla Ships Masks, Supplies to UCLA Medical Center
Stronger together. Some much-needed supplies have arrived! Thank you @elonmusk and @Tesla for your generosity and b… https://t.co/8tGdR3ZUNC— UCLA Health (@UCLA Health)1584906286.0
UCLA said Elon Musk's Tesla has begun shipping vital supplies to regional hospitals as part of the company's effort to help with disruptions. The electric car giant tweeted: "Glad we can help! We're sending masks and supplies to as many hospitals as we can."
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