Upfront Summit Postponed to March Over Omicron Fears
Sustainability on Agenda at Celebrity-studded Upfront Summit

Upfront Summit Postponed to March Over Omicron Fears

Upfront Summit—the extravagant tech and venture capital conference known for its prominent attendees from the worlds of business and entertainment—is now the latest in-person event disrupted by the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.


Conference organizer Upfront Ventures informed ticket holders on Tuesday that the annual summit has been postponed by five weeks, to March 1-2, due to concerns over the highly contagious omicron variant. Santa Monica-based Upfront, among the largest VC firms in Los Angeles, canceled last year’s conference due to the pandemic; in 2020, it held the Upfront Summit at the Rose Bowl in an event that featured fireworks, dance performances, steaks from Wolfgang Puck, and even a zip line.

“Based on global trends and other projections from medical experts, we feel good about coming together in two months,” Upfront said in an email sent to attendees. “But … we don’t have a crystal ball! Like all of you, we will be keeping a close eye on COVID trends and if we feel like we cannot safely gather, we will of course let you know any updated plans.”

Upfront said in December that it expected 1,200 investors, entrepreneurs, and influencers to attend the invitation-only event, which was originally slated for January 26-27 and will be held this year at Los Angeles FC’s Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park. Scheduled speakers include entertainment figures like Natalie Portman and Scooter Braun, as well as tech investors like Alexis Ohanian and Chamath Palihapitiya.

The Upfront Summit isn’t the only major L.A. tech event to be delayed this year due to the coronavirus. Several months ago, March Capital announced that it was pushing back its annual Montgomery Summit in Santa Monica from March to May 2022, in order to “give more time for the vaccination of children and other at-risk groups,” organizers said.

The omicon variant is now responsible for more than 95% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence
Image by Candice Navi

Though Silicon Valley is still very much the capital of venture capital, Los Angeles is home to plenty of VCs who have made their mark – investing in successful startups early and reaping colossal returns for their limited partners.

Who stands out? We thought there may be no better judge than their peers, so we asked 28 of L.A.'s top VCs who impresses them the most.

Read more Show less
Ben Bergman

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.

https://twitter.com/thebenbergman
ben@dot.la
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The age of the creator is upon us.

After years of gaining momentum, the creator economy has gone mainstream. Payment processing platform Stripe estimates the number of individuals who now see themselves as full-time “creators”—those who use online tools to sell digital content—grew 48% in 2021, while earnings across the industry are expected to soon eclipse $10 billion.

Read more Show less
Jolene Latimer
Jolene Latimer has her Master of Arts in specialized journalism and writes about sports, entertainment and personal finance.
RELATEDTRENDING
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA