Los Angeles area startups and would-be entrepreneurs were gathered Thursday as a part of the annual Twiistup technology conference, being held at the Skirball Center. The startup event--which continues until tonight--included keynotes by David Cohen of TechStars, Suneel Gupta of Groupon, Loic Le Meur of Seesmic, and many others. Despite some disagreement over the role of Los Angeles in the technology world, there was a sense of optimism among attendees of the area's role in the startup ecosystem.
"There is an optimism in the room about what's happening in the whole Internet ecosystem, and the talent pool here in LA, and the belief that there is not just one, but many great companies here," according to David Travers, a venture capitalist at Rustic Canyon. That was echoed by Ivan Nikhoo, an investment banker at Siemer and Associates, who said "there is an an enthusiasm in Southern California, which we have not seen for a very long time, which is very very nice."
Among the most popular speakers in the morning lineup, according to a random poll of attendees in the hallways, was Rand Fishkin, of Seattle search engine optimization firm SEOMoz. Startups pitching their firms this afternoon are Addroid, Badgeville, Chromatik, Foodme, Nevolution, Sonic Angel, Wanelo, Sharethrough and Wildcard.