These eight LA startups are heating up the scene
alifornia is known for its startup scene in the north, San Francisco having propelled startups through the notorious “Silicon Valley” for years. However, Los Angeles is now well on its way in positioning itself as a force to be reckoned with, with high hopes to establish its own startup hub fitting for its landform: “Silicon Beach.”
The City of Angels has a lot more to offer than great weather and Hollywood. Though the city is world-renowned as the epicenter of arts and entertainment, a burgeoning talent pool of young creatives and ambitious innovators is emerging, with a number of exciting startups aiming to leave behind a social impact following close behind.
To get you in the know about what LA has to offer outside the traditional glitz and glam, we’ve put together a list of companies that are currently heating up the startup scene. All of the startups are featured in our Startup Guide Los Angeles book which can be pre-purchased online here.
AppliedVR set out to treat chronic- and acute-pain patients through a digital health platform that utilizes therapeutic virtual reality. The company’s founders came up with the idea while working at a global market research firm that collected data and insights through VR. It was then that they discovered VR’s power “to impact attitudes, behaviors and health outcomes.” Their message is to transform healthcare through “pixel power” by offering a digital library of clinically interactive experiences, among other products.
Duuple’s aim is to become the first social media platform that encourages and initiates change through charitable giving in the form of inspiring photo and video content. The app also motivates users to create challenges that act as fundraising sources for partnered charities. CEO Abby Frimpong says she was inspired by the viral Ice Bucket challenge for the app’s philanthropic model of using tech to spread fundraising efforts.
Earny hopes to help customers get their money back by leveraging price protection. The service, which connects to customers' shopping and inbox accounts, intervenes as an intermediary, automatically monitoring shopping activity by enabling users to buy goods and services at listed prices. The service then alerts them of opportunities for price-protection refunds.
Fair was founded as a means to use digital innovation to alleviate debt as a prerequisite of mobility. Their mission is to provide fairness to customers by providing an alternative that fits into a millennial economic mindset and lifestyle. Customers go through a seamless process of providing identification details and can use and return the car that fits their monthly payment amount with ease.
This female-owned business is committed to advancing equality in workplaces around the world. The company accomplishes this goal through three pillars: the FQ Lounge, a space dedicated to conferences that allow women to collaborate, the FQ practice, a consulting service that helps other businesses foster equality through data and other research, and the FQ purpose, the philanthropic arm that sells clothing and jewelry and donates the proceeds to nonprofits that support women. Ultimately, their goal is to close the wage and diversity gap and empower women to rise and thrive in leadership roles.
NEXT Trucking is a smart-trucking marketplace that connects shippers and carriers. The company serves sixteen thousand drivers and has moved more than $50 billion worth of cargo. The idea came to fruition when founder Lidia Yan saw a gap in the industry and intended to fill it by providing drivers and truckers with what they were looking for in shipping services.
This company uses 3D printing to change the rocket-manufacturing process. Relativity Space’s main focus is on hardware development, where they have created a printer that aims to transform the creation of Earth-circulating satellites and eventually, the capacity to self-operate on Mars.
Wondery was founded in 2016 by Hernan Lopez after he noticed a market inefficiency in the booming podcast industry: that they all sounded alike. Instead, Lopez decided to create an immersive type of storytelling platform that made listeners feel like they were in and a part of the story, and thus, Wondery was born.
Curious to know how these startups were selected for the guidebook? After sorting through nominations from the community, a local advisory board helped us curate the final list. Read more about how our books are made here.
[ See also: 6 shining coworking spaces in LA ]
Main photo of The Female Quotient by Startup Guide. All photos: Startup Guide