Chicago-based Techweek kicked off their very first Techweek LA event recently in a large industrial conference space called L3 inside the Santa Monica Place. The two-day conference featured a number of speaker panels, a LAUNCH competition with 50 startups, an expo and hiring fair, and culminated with a much-anticipated fashion tech runway show, followed by an after-party at 41 Ocean right by Santa Monica beach.
Techweek's chairman, Iain Shovlin, led the startup summit panel, that featured Jeff Solomon of local startup accelerator, Amplify.LA, Cameron Rasouli founder of member-based coworking space Coloft, and Rick Smith co-founder of CrossCut Ventures.
I met a few of the 50 competing startups in the Techweek LA LAUNCH competition, including US Airforce Academy and LMU grad, Casey Wallace, who co-founded education crowdfunding platform Piglt with Vidya Chokkalingam, and Kofi Frimpong, the founder of BrandSlip, a marketplace that connects mid-level influencers with brands to create content on Vine, Instagram, YouTube, and participate in public speaking opportunities.
I also met the team behind Sharerity. Founded by Da Phakousonh, a Laotian-American born in a Thai refugee camp also behind OC-based House of Devs and CoderDojo, Sharerity is a social platform that allows its users to donate to their favorite cause through simple tasks, as easy as downloading content.
Jens Windau, co-founder of AIO Robotics had their Kickstarter-funded 3D printer, Zeus, on display above, and gin and vodka brand, New Amsterdam re-created an old New York feel with their pop-up shoe shine and shave lounge and cocktail bar below.
Built in LA reporter Garrett Reim moderated the Could Twitter Take Down YouTube panel, with James Borow, co-founder of SHIFT, a real-time marketing platform for brands and agencies, Teal Newland, Vice President of Global Revenue & Marketing at discovery engine, StumbleUpon, and Matt MacNaughton, co-founder of social marketing platform for marketers, PromoJam.
Here's Cat from business credit building provider D&B above, and "liquid nitrogen ice cream" makers Ice Cream Lab in action below.
Here's Will Young of Zappos Labs and Madison Maxey, founder of fashion-tech lab, CRATED above, speaking about trends in fashion-tech and providing insight into ideation labs, and Priscilla, founder of tech and fashion PR agency, 30 Miles North, in the audience.
At 6pm, the fashion tech runway show kicked off, with casual to formal attire from JustFab, StyleSaint, Modnique, Zappos, Rent the Runway, The Tie Bar, ShoeDazzle, Twenty Jeans, Enrou, and Sole Society.
Follow post-conference updates from Techweek LA on their Twitter and Facebook page. Find and tag photos on my Facebook page, Google+, and Flickr. What was your experience of Techweek LA? Share or leave your comments below.