LA Tech Summit Organized By Cornerstone OnDemand
Santa Monica, November, 14, 2013, Cornerstone OnDemand organized and hosted one of the best technology conference in Los Angeles in many years called the LA Tech Summit (www.latechsummit.com) at the Fairmont in Santa Monica. The conference highlighted the LA tech scene and attracted 900 very diverse people along with an impressive selection of speakers from a number of LA leaders including the CEOs of Demand Media, The Honest Company, TrueCar, Rubicon Project, Riot Games, Factual, as well as national VCs and analysts. In addition, Mayor Eric Garcetti gave a morning keynote, providing his vision for the future of LA tech.
Panel topics range from e-Commerce, enterprise tech, mobile and big data, to media/advertising, entertainment and VC funding. In addition, leading incubators, accelerators and venture capitalists participated and shared their diverse perspectives on the current state of Los Angeles as a hub for technology innovation, and mapped out what it takes to build a successful tech company in L.A. Additionally several fast-growing LA B2B companies had the opportunity to pitch and get feedback from leading early stage and angel investors.
From starting drafting the idea in his apartment in New York, moving to LA and fighting to build a company that couldn’t get funding for seven years, to a global, publicly traded company worth nearly $3 billion dollars and now the largest public exit in LA history, Cornerstone OnDemand CEO Adam Miller told a story of hard work through adverse economy and lessons learned. "I wanted to move to LA because all the educational companies were in LA," Miller commented, "When everyone said we needed to fire half of our staff, we started to hire and then found lots a very good talent in LA." Adam announced that Cornerstone OnDemand is launching a B2B accelerator and a venture fund as a way to give back and continue supporting the talent in this town.
In introducing new Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Adam Miller commented "Los Angeles is swiftly developing as a thriving center for entrepreneurship and technology startups. Mayor Garcetti, better than most politicians, understands the importance of a strong tech industry to the region’s future." "L.A.’s creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and prized resources, such as local universities and the entertainment industry, are what make this city one of the top start-up friendly ecosystems in the world. We have a great opportunity to further support technology investment in the region by branding Los Angeles as the place for high-growth tech," said Mayor Garcetti.
"As a council member I posted about a bomb threat on Facebook and even in Australia they reported on what I did. Technology is changing the world," Garcetti continued, "The City of LA has a large market share but very crappie products and you tech people have very good products. If you can make it work here, it will work everywhere." In a city that speaks more than 220 languages, Mayor Garcetti realizes that he needs to create a strong infrastructure and the city needs to get better at the things they’re not good at. "We graduate more engineers here than any other city in the world but we lose 70% of them. When I got in office, I called all the universities, they all knew each other but never collaborated. There is no reason why investors should take their money away from LA when we have so many great companies here." The LA Mayor said that he wants to eliminate certain taxes in LA, which are also in Santa Monica, that are very anti business because they are taking too much out of the company.
So how do you build a billion dollar company? Joe Payne, founder CEO of Eloqua, which sold to Oracle for $1 billion a few months ago gave this advice to entrepreneurs: "The difference being a CEO today is that you have a lot of data and you can look at it and make changes and admit your mistakes from the top. With that kind of discipline you will attract very good people to work with you. Going public wasn’t important for us because it wasn’t important for our customers." Netsuite COO Jim McGeever spoke on how ego stalls success: thinking that you know everything, you are not learning or surrounding yourself with people that know what you don’t. Other important things for an entrepreneur to keep in mind are to always listen to your customers and give them good support, and handle cultural issues early because they can cost you in the long run.
Widely recognized as the world’s leading technology banker, Frank Quattrone, founder and CEO of Qatalyst Partners, offered his insights on what it takes to prepare for a successful exit by sharing stories from his decades of experience leading many of the industry’s largest merges, acquisitions and financings. TechCrunch Senior editor Leena Rao moderated a panel with top Silicon Valley venture capitalists exploring the lessons learned in funding and building start-ups. "All the hype about Los Angeles tech and ‘Silicon Beach’ is not to be dismissed," said Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. "Couple the rich mix of video and gaming, social and mobile, e-commerce and even enterprise tech companies with the growing opportunities available for investment and funding, and the Los Angeles tech ecosystem will only continue to grow. With support from events like the LA Tech Summit, the community will ensure it is here to stay for the long term."
The mobile explosion has been evident in the adoption of the table, which is by far the fastest adopted technology in history reaching hundreds of millions of users in a few short years. What people consume the most on mobile is video and being the Mecca of entertainment, LA provides the perfect environment for mobile companies on games, content distribution, monetization, mobile advertisement, etc. Founder and CEO of Tinder even said "Younger generations don’t even understand what a computer is, they are using their mobile. I believe in a couple of years the computer will be extinct. People would pay for value if we show it to them."
Co-Founder of Whisper Michael Heyward said that building the technology has become cheaper but in order to build a multi billion dollar company around it, you need a lot of human capital. "Hiring is the most important thing. I spend 50% of my time on it and we don’t hire that many people. We have a lot of talent in LA but I would take the company to Alaska to minimize the distraction," Heyward commented.
Other speakers include: Mark Suster, general partner of Upfront Ventures; Dana Settle, Founding Partner with Greycroft LLC; Jim Andelman, general partner at Rincon Venture Partners; David Travers, Partner at Rustic Canyon; Aileen Lee, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; and Sam Teller, managing director and co-founder of Launchpad LA; Jason Nazar, co-founder and CEO of Docstoc; Adam Bernhard, founder and CEO of HauteLook; Michael Dubin, CEO and co-founder of Dollar Shave Club; Gil Elbaz, founder and CEO of Factual; Sean Kane, co-founder and COO of The Honest Company; Scott Painter, founder and CEO of TrueCar; Kelly Perdew, CEO of TargetClose; Lynn Langit, GigaOm Analyst; Allison Beal, StyleSaint Co-Founder & CEO; Jamie Kantrowitz, Partner at Launchpad LA; David Carter, Co-Founder of Amplify.la; Stacey Bishop, Partner at Scale Ventures and Richard Rosenblatt, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Demand Media, among others.
Known historically for its reign as the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is quickly gaining ground as one of the most rapidly growing and most diverse technology ecosystems in the country and the world. LA Tech Summit is an annual event organized by Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD) to showcase the technology ecosystem in Los Angeles in an effort to further unite and celebrate the diverse Los Angeles technology community – often referred to as "Silicon Beach". The LA Tech Summit brings together industry-leading executives, entrepreneurs and professionals to celebrate and support the unique innovations being built in Los Angeles. For more information about the LA Tech Summit, visit www.LATechSummit.com.