Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

i/o Ventures Sets Up Shop in Hollywood

Once upon a time (like, maybe just a year ago?) the Los Angeles area lacked Internet start-up incubators. These days, it definitely does not, given the recent additions of Science, Amplify, MuckerLab, Start Engine and others.

The latest is io/LA, created by former Myspace CTO Aber Whitcomb, who is extending his role as a founder and partner at San Francisco’s i/o Ventures.

Kicking off with an opening party on Thursday night and set to open this weekend, io/LA will be an incubator, coworking space and cafe — much like its sister version up north.

Also like i/o Ventures — which has a nontraditional tech start-up location in San Francisco’s Mission District — io/LA has set itself up in Hollywood, while much of L.A.’s start-up and incubator world is on the west side of town.

That location is important because the venture is all about bridging technology and entertainment, Whitcomb told me.

Mentors for io/LA will include Josh Berman of Beachmint, artist Shepard Fairey, actor Terrence Howard and Electus CEO Ben Silverman.

Whitcomb said he and his partners Donovan Leitch and Chris Gartin are looking to find six companies that do things like digital distribution and efficient content creation. Once they have a sizable pool of applicants, they’ll kick off io/LA’s first three-month incubator program with funding and mentorship for the chosen start-ups.

Versus other L.A. incubators, Whitcomb said, i/o is “lower-volume, higher-touch,” and it’s the only one in Hollywood.

It’s also huge. The io/LA coworking space will have desks for 200 members, Whitcomb said.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik