‘Silicon Beach’ investing in engineers with bright ideas

Global Business

Tech entrepreneurs have been converging on an area better known for surfing waves than surfing the web. Southern California boasts some of the finest engineering schools in the world, which makes the L.A. area a talent-rich environment for tech startups. Southern California is now considered the second or third largest tech hub in the world.

Southern California is best known for its superb beaches, sunny weather, home to Hollywood and some of the world’s biggest stars, but the region has become a major outpost for some of Silicon Valley’s best-known startups, like Google, Yahoo and YouTube.

The west side of Los Angeles, nicknamed “Silicon Beach,” has become a high-tech hub of engineering and technology, attracting around 500 startups and, in the first six months of 2013, over $500 million in funding.

Like Stanford up north, the University of South California has become a spawning ground for startups.

In two years, the “Viterbi Startup Garage,” the brainchild of USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, has invested nearly $1 million in 18 startup companies. USC hoped to create many different initiatives and opportunities to propel student startups to success.

USC’s Dean of Engineering Yannis Yortsos said the talent pool created by southern California’s prestigious engineering schools, including USC, Cal Tech and UCLA, was why “Silicon Beach” has become such a hot bed of technology

“Our goal is not only to enhance innovation within USC, but help build an entire technology ecosystem in Southern California,” Yortsos said. “With ‘Silicon Beach,’ we’d like to make it become a lot bigger player.”

CCTV America’s YaKenda McGahee reported from Silicon Beach, California.