Last month, California passed a $215 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The City of Glendale received $1 million from the state’s General Fund to launch a tech startup accelerator to support local tech companies, bolstering the City’s efforts to become a regional tech hub.
The funds will be allocated by the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
“Why should the conversation be about Silicon Valley when we have just as many intelligent people here in Glendale?” said Senator Anthony Portantino, who helped secure funding for the accelerator. “Let’s keep that talent and excitement local,” he added.
An accelerator would offer mentoring, marketing, networking, investment opportunities and other services to early-stage local tech companies seeking to progress to the “next level.”
“Glendale continues to be poised to serve as the next hub for technology and innovation, especially in the areas of entertainment, engineering, and finance,” Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said. “Talent, access to transit, quality of life, and modern yet competitively-priced office space are just a few reasons why people are drawn to Glendale. This accelerator will help provide services to local companies that currently obtain them outside of Glendale.”
The accelerator is a component of the Glendale Tech Strategy, which was unanimously adopted by the Glendale City Council in 2016. In that strategy, it was learned that there are more than 1,000 firms in tech employing more than 40,000 people in the City. These businesses yield $5.3 billion in sales. The Glendale Tech Strategy developed recommendations on ways to strengthen this ecosystem through the development of networking events, enhanced marketing and improved amenities such as co-working space, fiber optics networks, and access to public transit. Specific initiatives implemented include the development and implementation of:
The Glendale Relationship Initiation Team (GRIT), which engages Glendale’s top tech employers to further promote Glendale as a tech hub and business-friendly City;
Glendale Tech on Tap, a monthly City-sponsored meet-up event that features tech entrepreneurs in a casual environment. Tech on Tap has held more than 44 events and has approximately 2,000 members total;
Glendale Tech Week, a local conference comprising pop-up events, an awards ceremony, a tech career fair, a “pitch” competition, and more, with the goal of providing the regional tech community with networking and learning opportunities. Glendale Tech Week 2018 attracted approximately 3,500 attendees; the fourth annual Glendale Tech Week will take place September 14-21, 2019;
Glendale tech social media platforms that highlight local innovation, relay updates on local tech companies including job openings and milestones, and amplify regional tech events and tech news.
The announcement of the funding for the accelerator arrives on the heels of the addition and expansion of other large tenants to Glendale’s diverse tech and innovation ecosystem, including high end co-working spaces Industrious, which opened earlier this year at 500 N. Brand, and WeWork, slated to open in December at 611 N. Brand Avenue. Also announced this year was the expansion of ServiceTitan, who will be opening a second location in Glendale at 800 N. Brand. Other top technology and entertainment tenants include Age of Learning, Beyond Limits, the Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks Animation, Avery Dennison, LegalZoom, Phonexa, and Disqo, among others.
To learn more about the tech efforts in Glendale and how to be a part of it, visit www.glendaletechweek.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.