Alliance Blog

Accelerating Downtown LA’s Innovation Potential

On June 29th, on a rooftop in downtown LA (DTLA), the Alliance helped global accelerator and VC firm Plug and Play launch a new Work Live Play accelerator that will help SoCal founders access additional support and capital as they build their businesses in a vibrant and maturing SoCal innovation node. The launch event highlighted the opportunity that the 1010 Wilshire space will provide founders, corporates, and innovators working in downtown and included remarks by prominent LA leaders, such as Lew Horne at CBRE, Martha Saucedo at AEG, Maria Salinas at the LA Area Chamber, Brent Bushnell at Two Bit Circus, Ryan Kelly at Virgin Hyperloop, Jack Brody at Snap, and Michael Omstead and Stephen Fay from Plug and Play, among others, to an audience of approximately 300 people (See event press release).

A number of activities led up to this launch event; and more work lies ahead to fully realize the vision. The Boston Consulting Group ranked DTLA as one of the top SoCal innovation communities based on startups, talent, investor and corporate density. Despite the community’s potential many still do not recognize DTLA as an innovation center. To change that perception, increase vibrancy, and connect others across SoCal to the region, the Alliance assembled a group of committed DTLA ecosystem leaders to work on projects that could give the community a boost. A result of that collaboration was to distill DTLA’s compelling innovation potential into an urban innovation district concept that reflected urban solutions across architecture, design, engineering, transportation, real estate, Smart Cities, and cleantech.

Plug and Play embraced this concept and sought to build upon it under a related Work Live Play framework. Michael Olmstead, Chief Revenue Officer at Plug and Play states, “our vision for this new Plug and Play location is to create a place where startups and corporations will have everything they need to live, work, and play.”

Andy Wilson, Executive Director at The Alliance for SoCal Innovation, notes that Downtown LA has all the critical ingredients to be a vibrant innovation district. Until now, what we have lacked is a unifying narrative that captures the compelling diversity of opportunity here and a flagship innovation platform that can galvanize innovators working in those sectors. By working together with a group of committed DTLA leaders and focusing on a Live, Work, Play narrative, DTLA entrepreneurs are certain to thrive.”

However, startups are only one element needed to help turn Downtown LA into an innovation hub. Corporations also play a key role in the early success of a startup’s life and this initiative will bring together corporations and startups to collaborate and drive innovation forward. If you or your organization want to learn more about the innovation opportunities with Plug and Play in downtown LA, there are a couple of events this month where you will have the opportunity to dive in.

This Thursday evening from 6-9pm, August 12th, there is a “Network after Work Expo” at 1010 Wilshire where you can meet and network with businesses all around Los Angeles. To RSVP click on the link below:

On Thursday, August 26th Plug and Play will host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with founding partners at its 1027 Wilshire property, which is located right next door to 1010 Wilshire.

If you would like to learn more about these events or Plug & Play’s Tech Center more generally, please get in touch with Eric Eide ([email protected]).