Silicon Rally: L.A.'s Thriving Tech Scene

June 25, 2013

4:30pm - 6:00pm

Santa Monica


Walter Driver, Susan Feldman and Michael Jones
Moderated by Dana Settle



The City of Angels is suddenly the city of startups. After spending years in the shadow of Silicon Valley - and Boston and New York - Los Angeles finally has real tech cred. Say goodbye to startup envy and hello to the new entrepreneurs.

The local tech community saw a flurry of activity in 2012: More than 220 startups launched in greater Los Angeles, 43 L.A.-based companies were acquired, and more than $870 million was raised from venture capital and angel investors. Overall, entrepreneurs in Southern California attracted more investment than any other region outside of Silicon Valley.

At this Milken Institute Forum, several of these pioneering innovators talked tech and gave their take on why Los Angeles has come into its own as a popular place for startups.

Download slides from the forum

About the speakers:

Walter Driver Walter Driver, co-founder and CEO of Scopely, is a longtime social gaming entrepreneur with a proven track record of scaling startups quickly. Scopely's rapid growth earned it recognition from Goldman Sachs as one of the Top 100 Private Companies in 2012. Prior to Scopely, Driver founded and served as CEO of O Negative Media, a leading developer of social applications for Facebook and MySpace. Before that, he co-founded Ignition Interactive, one of the first developers of third-party Facebook applications. In 2012 he was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Shapers, and in 2013 he was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Driver holds a B.A. from Brown University.
Susan Feldman Susan Feldman is the co-founder and chief merchandising officer of One Kings Lane. In addition to overseeing all buying and merchandising, she travels the world in search of exciting and unique products. Feldman was named to Vanity Fair's 2012 "New Establishment" list and has appeared on "The Martha Stewart Show" and in many magazines, including House Beautiful, HGTV Magazine and InStyle as a home decor and lifestyle trends expert. Prior to One Kings Lane, she held executive positions at Ralph Lauren Swimwear, Polo Jeans, Warnaco/Authentic Fitness Corp. and Liz Claiborne. A native New Yorker, Feldman has an M.B.A. from UCLA and a B.A. from Stanford University.
Michael Jones Michael Jones is CEO of Science, Inc., a Los Angeles-based technology studio that nurtures successful digital businesses by bringing together the best ideas, talent, resources and financing through a centralized platform. A serial Internet entrepreneur and former CEO of MySpace, Jones has founded, advised, invested in and sold numerous businesses, including application platform Userplane, which he led from startup to its acquisition by AOL; Tsavo Media; Movoxx; PeopleMedia; Brizzly; and MySpace. He is actively involved with early-stage startups as an advisor, board member and investor. Jones has personally invested in more than 30 startup businesses including Klout, Betterworks, Formspring, ShoeDazzle and LunchMoney.
Dana Settle Dana Settle (moderator) is a founding partner with Greycroft LLC and leads the West Coast office in Los Angeles. Prior to Greycroft, she spent several years as a venture capitalist and advisor to Bay Area startups, including six years at Mayfield, where she focused on early stage companies in the mobile communications and consumer Internet markets. Settle serves or observes on the boards of Fanhattan, Gamersfirst, GameSalad, Joyent, Maker Studios, Precision Demand, Steelhouse, TrunkClub, uSamp, WhoWhatWear and WideOrbit. Previously she worked in business development at Truveo (AOL), investment banking at Lehman Brothers and international business development at McCaw Cellular Communications (AT&T).