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VNC “Silicon Beach” Town Hall
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Topic Rating: 3.3Topic Rating: 3.3Topic Rating: 3.3Topic Rating: 3.3Topic Rating: 3.3 Topic Rating: 3.3 (24 votes) 
April 12, 2012
8:36 pm
Bret
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Were you at the Venice Neighborhood Council “Silicon Beach” Town Hall this evening? To paraphrase Councilman Rosendahl: "You can have a room of ten Venetians with twenty different opinions". Thoughts on the meeting?

VNC “Silicon Beach” Town Hall

VNC “Silicon Beach” Town Hall

April 13, 2012
9:49 am
boris8
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Yeah, it was pretty interesting.  Shows one possible way of the future for Venice.  But our transformation into Silicon Beach is also the deep back-story to the raids on the homeless camps, the OFW curfew, and the recent prohibition of RVs on our streets.

April 13, 2012
11:57 am
Shane
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Bret said
Were you at the Venice Neighborhood Council “Silicon Beach” Town Hall this evening? To paraphrase Councilman Rosendahl: "You can have a room of ten Venetians with twenty different opinions". Thoughts on the meeting?

VNC “Silicon Beach” Town Hall

VNC “Silicon Beach” Town Hall

Or, you could have one Rosendahl with twenty different faces.

April 13, 2012
5:28 pm
Bret
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Thanks to Arty Maharajh for sending in his recap of the Town Hall:

 

 

 

Evidently, the techy and media firms on the Westside and the younger folks that they employ are the ones making the waves on the beachside these days.
 
Yes, I have bought into the tech mania in LA after this town hall meeting last night.
 
20 tech companies had booths giving the audience before the main show a taste of the dynamic firms in the neighborhoods of Venice, Santa Monica, and Culver City.
 
Most of the firms there last night started right in Venice and not in Norcal.
 
Most of the firms are larger than you might think like MovieClips employing 80 people, or Mogreet with 40 employees, and of course Google with 490 employees was also there.
 
A 5 person panel discussion of why tech firms want to be in Venice and the Westside was the main focus of the event.
 
Some interesting highlights:
 
Thomas Williams Senior Engineering Director – Google:
·         Average age of Venice Google office 26 years old
·         Departments at Venice Google office: Chrome, Google+, YouTube, Video Ads, AdWords, Brand Advertising, and more
·         490 employees total, 150 opt out of car parking (bike or walk)
·         Hired 100 employees in 2011
·         Reasons why Google chose Venice: creative/artistic, diversity, talent/labor, amenities, 13-16M tourists, not homogenous as compared to Silicon Valley, Cities with bike paths within a city to and from work places are VERY important to tech firms. (noticed Glendale is in the mode of developing bike paths and so is downtown LA as does Washington Dc already)
·         Working with DOT to get bike route information on Google maps
 
James Citron co-founder CEO Mogreet:
·         Mobile video pioneers
·         Founded and started 5 years ago in Venice
·         Got VC funding to start
·         Chose Venice because it is a cultural Icon in film and art
·         40 employees 2/3 of office bikes to office (reoccurring them in Venice)
·         Joked that his office is the largest eaters of bagels and restaurant FLAKE – point was that tech tenants end up driving local business revenue with its young, employed, highly skilled, gitchy work force
·         If you text #21534 Venice in the body of text you will get Mogreet new motto for Venice
·         Venice use to have shirts that said “Venice is where art meets crime” Mogreet says they are changing this to “Where art meets crime meets technology” which was discussed later about the gentrification of Venice and if it is a good thing or bad?
·         Why Venice: you can’t duplicate it,  you can bike, why SoCal? Media & entertainment is located here
 
Jeff Solomon Executive Director – Amplify:
·         Start-up accelerator
·         Invests in start ups
·         20 companies per year, 40 companies in two years is the plan
·         Off Windward Circle is their office in Venice
·         Plans to convert office into creative office campus to incubate start-ups. A physical environment look for their next event. In the process of creating a community environment that is 24/7 co-working space
·         They have applications on the web to get start up help, amplify evaluates and provides $45-$50K of startup while retaining equity stake. 40 months the startup will stay under its umbrella
·         They already have Canada, Pennsylvania, and Silicon Valley startups coming to LA
 
JJ Aguhob of Viddy Media:
·         1 year old
·         Making mobile video (video for social networks)
·         Started in old Matrix building former Patek Philippe gondola space???
·         Currently in Venice off Hampton Drive
·         $8.2 Million in VC raised over 1 year
·         Why Venice? Culture, areas focus on video, history in film
·         Digital convergence with mobile videos, hiring locals, brought folks from Denver to work at Viddy
·         Located at intersection where Digital Media and Google are at
·         Would like to Turn spotlight away from Silicon Valley and New York to Venice
·         Most fertile ground is Venice for this
 
LA vs. SF:
·         Future of internet original broadcasting is in LA
·         Content
·         World is flat – so why not SoCal
·         SoCal has 50% of the top YouTube talent
·         Great content all over the world but here in LA it is concentrated …how many folks don’t make it on the big screen but are capable of great art acting performing media etc.? natural fit for putting yourself on video for people worldwide to enjoy
·         Media capital
·         More professional business to be built around YouTube media and entrepreneur video makers
·         Channels on YouTube alone will become businesses (after that ancillary business and on and on)
·         With self-posting and mobile video no intermediary no need to have go between you and your audience every artist in LA not making it on big screen is producing what talent they do have in this high concentrated environment.
·         Lots of people in LA that never “made it” but are very enthusiastic…have a chance with mobile video
·         West LA is attracting NY venture and SV venture institutional capital.
 
 
Companies attended:
 
Sparkwave –Mark Rojas
 
Venice Media District
Viddy
JibJab
Betterworks (santa Monica)
Google
Demand Media (3 offices Promenade, 3rd street, and Ocean)
Warner Energy
Giant Media
Neuron Syndicate (santa Monica)
Movie Clips
G-technology (Culver City)
Amplify
White Label (Venice)
Highly Relevant (Westwood)
Fishbowl
Zambizi (Venice) started in 2006 45 employees 11Ksf (china based) use to be in Koreatown
Nexon America (El Segundo)
 
  (Silicon Beach shirt as pictured by Viddy)

April 13, 2012
7:34 pm
will
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Wow!  I wish I had gone to the meeting.  Let's face it.  We are in competition with places like San Francisco, New York, etc to attract businesses and create high paying jobs.  I have lived here for 35 years and think it has the potential to be a real engine for growth and prosperity.  SF is beautiful, NYC is exciting, but LA and its beaches is the best.  

April 13, 2012
7:37 pm
Long_time_resident
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Good summary, thanks Bret.

It sounds like a lot of potential growth for the economy of Los Angeles and Venice will be one of the areas that will benefit greatly from it.

April 14, 2012
10:41 am
Bret
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Channel 35 will broadcast the Venice Town Hall on Silicon Beach starting at 4pm and rebroadcast the event on the following dates and times.

Saturday, 4/14 at 4:02 pm
Monday, 4/16 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, 4/19 at 7:30 am AND 9:00 pm

 

And it will be on the "restart in 32 bit mode" website at http://lacityview.org/ at some point in the future.

April 14, 2012
11:33 am
paviasdad
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Great Event Venice! Now this is the kind of high profile and productive events our city needs to bring together our true STAKEHOLDERS i.e. Businesses, Politiians, and the Community at large. Bill Rosendahl once again demonstrated his commitment to our City and I was especially impressed by his question to each panelist about their take on our homeless problem. This is the kind of events that our City needs to continue to evolve into the Great City we will to be. I always enjoy watching, enganing and listening to the interaction between our talented STAKEHOLDERS. The best part was the fact that there was no negative energy in the room, let's try and use this event as a catlyst for improving our City.  

April 15, 2012
12:09 pm
Bret
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From Councilman Rosendahl:

 

The #SiliconBeach Venice Town Hall can be viewed at lacityview.org

On right side of page, click public meeting/town hall

April 16, 2012
11:52 pm
stevo
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I was there for the whole meeting; I found it slightly disturbing.  After experiencing how the "dotcom" bubble of the 90's and subsequent invasion of SF by the tech hordes from Silicon Valley f'd that city up, I can't say I share the enthusiasm of the evening's staged circle jerk. 

It seems to me that for the most part, the panelists weren't too concerned about how their "silicone beach"(sic) campaign to drive additional tech companies/employees to move to Venice may destroy the very diversity they seem to seek here.  During the SF tech bubble, the competition for housing drove rents through the roof, with landlords kicking out artists from studios to convert to inflated "live/work" lofts for the new "creatives".  People were showing up for apartment showings in business suits, willing to pay a year in advance…many long-term residents couldn't keep up.  SF, a bastion of alternative culture, became annoyingly riddled with young rich white male clones marauding through the narrow streets in new SUVs.  Many residents fled in horror.  Some fled to places like Venice…

Obviously, Venice property owners, landlords, realtors, business owners (Venice Chamber of Commerce) and City of Los Angeles all stand to gain from the influx.  Inflated property values and rents, the increased upscaling of businesses and services, and the resulting tax increases have all these parties salivating…thus the revival-tent exuberance of most participants at the Town Hall/ Media Convention of April 12.  

Having grown up here in Venice, I have observed all the changes since the 70's.  I try my best to not be one of those "back in the day, blah blah blah" guys.  I appreciate the positive changes that have accompanied the higher property values.  I like not having my car broken into repeatedly like "back in the day".  I like that I can ride my bike east of AK without fearing I may get jumped. Venice is now more liveable, if not affordable. 

What I would like is a little respect.  I find the attempted branding of Venice as Silicon Beach to be offensive and disrespectful.  Venice is nothing like Silicon Valley(Palo Alto)…at least for now.*  Venice has a long history of diversity and tolerance. Not all are driven by the possible financial gain from converting this town into a tech campus and seaside playground for its employees. Some have moved here for the ocean, the bikepath, the diverse cultural fabric of the place. We have found places to rent that are still relatively affordable.  We work enough to pay bills, leaving time for enjoying the recreational offerings.  This way of life, a way of life in Venice with a rich history, from the first inhabitants to the Beat poets and artists of Venice West, to the current musicians, artists, surfers, skaters, cafe and retail wage-earners, now feel a little threatened by this colonization. Have some respect for the Venice culture. Don't destroy what you claim to love. 

So now what?  I think that the proponents of "Silicon Beach"(ug) should be asked to provide an EIR for this effort.  That's right, an Environmental Impact Report.  That way, the piecemeal and cumulative effects of this influx/conversion can be properly reviewed and analyzed.  How will this proposed influx affect Traffic, Air Quality, Parking, Housing Market, etc?  Let's have a closer look at what happened in San Francisco, and not repeat a mistake of recent history. 

I would also like to see a Neighborhood Committee meeting with a more diverse panel discussion…not just a bunch of tech guys back slapping and high-fiving each other onstage about their celebrated conquest of The Town We Formerly Knew as Venice.  How about a panel with a couple tech heads, community representatives, housing advocates etc?  I'm just sayin!  Thanks for listening.

 

Steve Williams

Committee to Keep Venice Venice

 

 

* "In 2010, Palo Alto ranked as the 2nd most expensive city in the United States, at $1.48 million" (median home sale price) – Wiikipedia 

April 17, 2012
12:42 am
paviasdad
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Very well stated Stevo. You have brought up some very important points and you may have misinterpreted some. I like the historical reference to San Francisco, I especially like the idea of a more diverse panel. However to make a sweeping indictment of the panelist as "a bunch of tech guys back slapping" is bit unfair. The way saw the conference was a bit different. I saw the conference as an opportunity for Venice STAKEHOLDERS to have the first in a series of Business/Community/Political platforms dedicated to the betterment of our "tolerant" and fast moving Community.

April 17, 2012
12:21 pm
Long_time_resident
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stevo said
I was there for the whole meeting; I found it slightly disturbing.  After experiencing how the "dotcom" bubble of the 90's and subsequent invasion of SF by the tech hordes from Silicon Valley f'd that city up, I can't say I share the enthusiasm of the evening's staged circle jerk. 

It seems to me that for the most part, the panelists weren't too concerned about how their "silicone beach"(sic) campaign to drive additional tech companies/employees to move to Venice may destroy the very diversity they seem to seek here.  During the SF tech bubble, the competition for housing drove rents through the roof, with landlords kicking out artists from studios to convert to inflated "live/work" lofts for the new "creatives".  People were showing up for apartment showings in business suits, willing to pay a year in advance…many long-term residents couldn't keep up.  SF, a bastion of alternative culture, became annoyingly riddled with young rich white male clones marauding through the narrow streets in new SUVs.  Many residents fled in horror.  Some fled to places like Venice…

Obviously, Venice property owners, landlords, realtors, business owners (Venice Chamber of Commerce) and City of Los Angeles all stand to gain from the influx.  Inflated property values and rents, the increased upscaling of businesses and services, and the resulting tax increases have all these parties salivating…thus the revival-tent exuberance of most participants at the Town Hall/ Media Convention of April 12.  

Having grown up here in Venice, I have observed all the changes since the 70's.  I try my best to not be one of those "back in the day, blah blah blah" guys.  I appreciate the positive changes that have accompanied the higher property values.  I like not having my car broken into repeatedly like "back in the day".  I like that I can ride my bike east of AK without fearing I may get jumped. Venice is now more liveable, if not affordable. 

What I would like is a little respect.  I find the attempted branding of Venice as Silicon Beach to be offensive and disrespectful.  Venice is nothing like Silicon Valley(Palo Alto)…at least for now.*  Venice has a long history of diversity and tolerance. Not all are driven by the possible financial gain from converting this town into a tech campus and seaside playground for its employees. Some have moved here for the ocean, the bikepath, the diverse cultural fabric of the place. We have found places to rent that are still relatively affordable.  We work enough to pay bills, leaving time for enjoying the recreational offerings.  This way of life, a way of life in Venice with a rich history, from the first inhabitants to the Beat poets and artists of Venice West, to the current musicians, artists, surfers, skaters, cafe and retail wage-earners, now feel a little threatened by this colonization. Have some respect for the Venice culture. Don't destroy what you claim to love. 

So now what?  I think that the proponents of "Silicon Beach"(ug) should be asked to provide an EIR for this effort.  That's right, an Environmental Impact Report.  That way, the piecemeal and cumulative effects of this influx/conversion can be properly reviewed and analyzed.  How will this proposed influx affect Traffic, Air Quality, Parking, Housing Market, etc?  Let's have a closer look at what happened in San Francisco, and not repeat a mistake of recent history. 

I would also like to see a Neighborhood Committee meeting with a more diverse panel discussion…not just a bunch of tech guys back slapping and high-fiving each other onstage about their celebrated conquest of The Town We Formerly Knew as Venice.  How about a panel with a couple tech heads, community representatives, housing advocates etc?  I'm just sayin!  Thanks for listening.

 

Steve Williams

Committee to Keep Venice Venice

 

* "In 2010, Palo Alto ranked as the 2nd most expensive city in the United States, at $1.48 million" (median home sale price) – Wiikipedia 

 

When Venice became a popular week end visiting spot in the late 1970's and early 1980's I really expected more and more affluent people to find homes in Venice, for rents to climb, and slowly that is what has happened. The frequencies of burglaries and of open prostitution and of a lot of other crimes noticeably diminished. One thing that I did not expect was the efforts of artists, performers, promoters, and others who began to feel the pressure from rising rents and taxes to try to oppose the trend that was making Venice unaffordable to them to promote creating a bohemian theme park out of the area and to oppose developing that theme park with respect for the people living in the nearby neighborhood -- to establish a kind of cultural rent control. Their efforts have been very effective. The City will not enforce any of the laws on the books that are enforced across the City concerning noise and other intrusions, and I cannot say exactly why this is but it seems to conform to the effort to make Venice an bohemian theme park offering an honored place for artists and performers for tourism.  It's not working. You cannot expect people not to live in their own homes as everyone else does in order to help some other group of people escape having to moderate their behavior. Venice is going to change. The old homes and buildings are aging and will either go down and be replaced by more modern buildings or will be upgraded. Poor artists and performers are going to find the costs of rents too high and they will move to neighborhoods with lower rents. The reason is that Venice was designed and built one hundred years ago and it needs to adapt to the needs of people, now.

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