Los Angeles, California
Enjoy a Thriving Start-up-Scene in the City of Angels
Los Angeles is often considered the entertainment capital of the world. From Hollywood to legendary movie studios and a massive range of museums and cultural attractions, LA is bursting with opportunities. This is not just reflected in the entertainment industry – LA is home to one of America’s best start-up scenes and is a hub for industry and tourism.
It might be famous for its bright lights and world-famous shopping, but there’s plenty more than the Walk of Fame or Rodeo Drive to draw in entrepreneurs from around the globe. Let’s take a closer look…
Los Angeles, California
An Ancient Past and Vibrant Present
Los Angeles has a long and distinguished history, with first settlements thought to date back to as long ago as 25,000 years. It was occupied by Native American tribes and early immigrants such as the Tongva and Chumash during early historic periods and was then claimed for the Spanish Crown by the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542.
Other incomers came to the Los Angeles region in subsequent years, and by 1781 a settler group calling themselves ‘Los Pobladores’ began a settlement which they named “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula” which means “The Town of Our Lady of Angels of the Porciúncula River”, later to become shortened to Los Angeles.
At this time the settlement of Los Angeles was still small at around 650 people by 1820. It remained under Spanish and Mexican rule until 1847 when it was ceded to the U.S. During the latter part of the 19th century Los Angeles saw great expansion and development with the addition of railroads, and growing oil, security, and shipping industries.
In 1910 the world-famous area of Hollywood was annexed by the city and by 1921 Los Angeles was producing about 80% of the world’s movies. It remains the most famous and prolific area for filmmaking in the world.
An Emerging Start-Up Scene
Los Angeles today boasts a thriving economy with a gross GDP of over $700 Billion. It’s the third largest metropolitan economy in the world, and its diverse industries range from entertainment, aerospace, biomedical sciences, tourism, consumer products and fashion. LA County is the largest manufacturing center in the whole of the U.S. and has a proud tradition of world-class inventions and innovations, including the Space Shuttle, MySpace, GPS and the Mars Rover.
Los Angeles is considered to be one of the best start-up scenes in the U.S. with the third-largest startup hub in the world (after Silicon Valley and New York). It’s considered an incredibly attractive alternative to other start-up scenes, with funding having tripled in the past four years. So, if you’re looking to make your mark in the U.S. as an international entrepreneur, LA could be the perfect place to settle.
Easygoing Weather for Those Who Don’t like Extremes
LA has a Mediterranean climate, with little rain in the summer and mild winters – which usually only go as low as 48°F, well above freezing. In summertime temperatures reach a comfortable average high of 84°F, making it ideal for those who don’t like extremes of temperature.
Because of LA’s geographical position as a large (almost 500 square miles), flat city, encircled by mountains, weather conditions can vary depending on where in the city you are, with daytime temperatures near beaches lowering by 2-7°F, and can feel chilly in the evenings.
Earthquakes and LA Smog
While LA is famous for movie-making and innovative industry, it also has a reputation for two less desirable things – earthquakes and the famous ‘LA Smog’.
When it comes to earthquakes while it is true that LA sits on the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is reached by the San Andreas Fault line, the last big earthquake to hit the city was in 1906. The state now has early warning systems in place, and earthquake readiness is part of California State’s culture.
LA does also have a reputation for smog, because of the poor quality of its air during the 1970’s. Since then, the air quality has been much improved, especially with initiatives in place such as support for zero-emission vehicles, with large amounts of money being made available for rebates for heavy-duty electric vehicles and infrastructure to keep them charged at over 870 sites city-wide.
A Competitive Market, but a Variety of Neighborhood Options
In Los Angeles, apartment rentals are an extremely common source of housing – over half of resident rent and the metro area have the fourth highest share of renters in the U.S. Competition for apartments can be stiff which means that you’ll need to allocate plenty of time to find the perfect rental.
Because LA has such a high level of renters, home-owning rates in LA are amongst some of the lowest in the U.S., with a market that can be challenging to navigate. It’s important to do your research on the different regions within Los Angeles as they are varied and prices reflect this. Because LA is so metropolitan you might need to consider transport links before making your choice of where to live. Areas such as Long Beach, San Pedro and San Fernando Valley are more suburban but getting into the central city area from these locations can be time-consuming.
For a fun way to review how Los Angeles has a varied and eclectic vibe, depending on which area you choose to settle, you can try taking this quiz, from Curbed.com, which will help to give you an idea of how to start to narrow down your location choices.
What you can get for your money
As might be expected in a competitive housing market, the median price of homes to buy in LA is currently around $609,600. For this kind of price, you can expect 3+ bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms, with over 1,200 sqft of space.
Rentals come in at around $3,100 per month, but this can vary depending on your requirements. For around $2,500 you can expect to get 1-2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, with around 700 sqft + of space.
Overall, it’s fair to say that Los Angeles gives you less ‘bang for your buck’ real estate wise than other U.S. cities do, however, this could be a tradeoff you’re willing to make for the city’s impeccable business and entertainment industries and opportunities.
Top-Notch Graduates and Excellent Schooling Options
When it comes to education for younger students in Los Angeles, many people choose to send their kids to private school. The public school system does have a reputation for high drop-out rates and overcrowding, however this situation has been steadily improving in recent years and there are advantages to public schooling, especially as zoning regulations mean that children have to attend a school close to their home – cutting down on lengthy commutes and ensuring that children get to go to school with peers form their neighborhood.
If you choose to go the public schooling route it’s important to do your research and get a feel for the different entry requirements and teaching ethos, because these can vary widely from school to school.
When it comes to higher education and graduate quality, LA boasts several prominent education establishments such as California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC), which have excellent research reputations.
Los Angeles produces more engineering graduates than any other U.S. city and has a high caliber of young and eager millennials to pool talent from.
The Car Capital of the World – Now With Added Public Transport
L.A. has earned a reputation for being synonymous with cars and can suffer from serious gridlock during commuting hours. It has won the dubious honor of being the most congested city in the U.S more than once from INRIX – however, all is not doom and gloom when it comes to cars and transportation in Los Angeles. L.A. is also known for being ‘car crazy’ with a bustling car culture and is home to world-leading car brand design studios such as Tesla, Honda, General Motors, Kia, Volkswagen and Ford. If you don’t want to drive yourself there are plenty of Uber’s and Lfyt’s to take and this is a common way for Angelenos to get around.
L.A. has been working on its public transport links for some time now and has the second largest public transportation agency in the U.S. with a range of buses, metro lines, commuter rail and subway. A new transit station – 96th Street Transit Station, costing $500 million is currently being developed. This system will link Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to regional transit systems -a significant advantage for international entrepreneurs who need to travel regularly. There’s also been a whopping $90 Billion allocated towards developing LA’s public transportation system further over the next 40 years, and the city’s Metro Expo Rail extension has meant that trains are becoming a more attractive option for commuting across LA.
So, whether you are a car junkie or a patient commuter, LA will get you from A to Z with less hassle than you might expect.
The Creative Hub of the Western World
Los Angeles has a huge range of entertainment and recreation options, owing to both its incredible entertainment industry and its location.
It’s known as the Creative Capital of the World because so many people (1 in 6) who live there work in creative industries, and there is a huge range of actors, musicians, dancers, writers, and filmmakers living in the city. Los Angeles is home to world-famous attractions such as Universal Studios and The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (the biggest museum in the Western Region of the U.S.), as well as L.A Zoo and Runyan Canyon Park.
When it comes to eateries the world really is your oyster, with a range of regions and neighborhoods renowned for their cuisine such as Chinatown and Silver Lake. Because the city is so vibrant and eclectic, based on the different neighborhoods, you can expect to find a huge range of cuisine and restaurants.
There are few cities that can beat L.A. when it comes to top-level sport. L.A. is home to 11 top-level professional sports teams such as the Angeles Dodgers, the L.A. Angels (basketball) and the L.A. Chargers of the NFL. It has incredible sporting stadiums such as the Dodger Stadium and the L.A Memorial Coliseum and has hosted the Olympic Games twice.
- Population: 10,165,100
- Major Industries: Entertainment, Aerospace, Tourism, Technology
- Gross Metro Product: $754 B
- Median Household Income: $62,987
- Median Home Price: $579,000
- Unemployment: 4.5%
- Job Growth (2017): 1.2%
- Cost of Living: 29% above nat’l avg
- College Attainment: 32.3%
- Net Migration (2017): -9,220
(Source: Forbes https://www.forbes.com/places/ca/los-angeles/)
Starting a business in the U.S. can be both exhilarating and exasperating. There is much to know and even more to learn, and the pace of the information coming at you can be overwhelming.
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So make that dream a reality by booking a consultation today with Mount Bonnell Advisors. Let the adventure commence!