Friday, May 11, 2012
LA Demo Day Crowd: The Good Times Are Back
Are the good times for startups back? That seemed to be the mood running through the cloud at the more-than-sellout crowd at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica Thursday at the first LA Demo Day, organized by Docstoc's Jason Nazar. At the event, the enthusiasm for startups was palpable. The crowd of more than 1,500 spilled out into hallways, and would-be investors were turned away from the doors, as a crush of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, wanna-be entrepreneurs, and others looked to be part of the surge of startups emerging in Los Angeles. The demo day's keynote was by Bill Gross, the patron saint of startup incubators, who spoke about his experience at Idealab, the early days of such businesses as CarsDirect.com, and gave advice to the crowd on finding the right partners, testing startup ideas, hiring, and more. The event also featured pitches from a collection of startups from across the burgeoning scene of Los Angeles incubators and accelerators, and panels of venture capitalists and angels.