Alliance Blog

NorCal Transplants Welcomed at Pasadena-area VC Happy Hour

Lots of shade, cocktails and appetizers awaited a group of Pasadena-area Venture Capital investors at The Athenaeum, the members only club on Caltech’s campus. The local VC’s were convened by the Alliance for our annual summer VC Happy Hour. This year the event was co-hosted with Minnie Ingersoll (TenOneTen), Brent Muri (M13), Marcos Gonzalez (Vamos Ventures), Alex Andrianopoulos (Kairos Ventures) and Fred Farina (Caltech). The location, food and drinks were generously sponsored by Caltech’s Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partners. 

Like last year’s VC Happy Hour, the invite only affair created space for local investors to connect, socialize and most importantly welcome new investors into the community of VC’s who operate or live east of Los Angeles. This year, the startup community welcomed the General Partners of Tekton Ventures and FTW Ventures to join the party. Both investment groups represent a common trend of VC’s from Silicon Valley moving to Southern California for better investment opportunities and lifestyle. 

The arrival of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) last year and their role in launching L.A. Tech Week exemplifies the movement of long-time Silicon Valley VC’s moving south to take advantage of the overall diversity of people, companies and geographies in SoCal. Recently, well-known investors have opened offices in SoCal including Sony Ventures, Lightspeed, Bling Capital and Anthemis to name a few. 

Tekton Ventures and FTW Ventures are each specifically focused on companies that excel in SoCal. For example, Tekton invests in early stage founders leading companies in tech hubs. With the healthtech hub in San Diego, life sciences in Orange County, media and entertainment in Culver City, fintech in Santa Monica, consumer in Los Angeles, and agtech in Riverside the SoCal region is replete in tech hubs. And don’t forget all the top ranked research institutions involved in innovation too!

However, accessing the diverse hubs in SoCal can be challenging and often takes an introduction. This is why the annual VC Happy Hour is so important to the growth of the innovation ecosystem. Each time we gather in the shade on Caltech’s campus or on the sands of Silicon Beach, we meet new friends and introduce them to the diverse startup communities of SoCal creating a more robust and ardent ecosystem.