Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

L.A. Gets Another Start-Up Accelerator, This One With Strong Entertainment Ties

Until very recently, Los Angeles had what some people said was a stunning lack of early stage start-up accelerator programs, especially compared to other places in the world, like Silicon Valley and New York. It doesn’t have that problem anymore.

Today, Amplify, which is to be based in a large, historic Venice Beach building, is announcing its plans to incubate and accelerate L.A. tech talent.

Amplify’s investors include Mark Burnett (“The Apprentice” and “Survivor”), Brian Grazer (“J. Edgar” and “24”) and Jarl Mohn (E! Entertainment and MTV); plus, lots of more traditional tech investor types like Accel Partners, BV Capital, Greycroft Partners, Rustic Canyon and Tomorrow Ventures have added to a total of $4.5 million to invest in new companies.

Amplify founder and leader Paul Bricault said he actually tried to start something similar way back in 1999, when he was at William Morris. More than a decade later, he’s finally making it happen, having spent part of the last year visiting other start-up accelerators and learning from what they’re doing.

“L.A. is so dramatically underserved,” Bricault said.

Well, it used to be quite underserved. Today, other newish L.A. accelerators include MuckerLab, Start Engine, UpStart.LA, Science and Launchpad LA.

Bricault said he plans to collaborate with others in the local start-up scene. Plus, he counted 18 start-up accelerators in New York City alone.

Amplify is taking less of a strict class-and-curriculum approach than some other accelerators, instead accepting new companies on a rolling basis. Perks for participants include as much as $50,000 in funding and a three-year hiatus on city taxes.

Photo courtesy of Yo Venice

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work