For the last week of the year, we're featuring the thoughts and reflections of some of the movers and shakers of Southern California's high tech community. We asked the same four questions of a variety of top technology entrepreneurs, investors, and others, to hear what they're thinking about, and are sharing it here over the next week.
Paul Bricault is Managing Partner at Amplify LA (Www.amplify.la), a hands-on startup accelerator and co-working and community space in Venice. He's also a Venture Partner at venture capital firm Greycroft Partners, and is EVP and a member of the Board of Directors at William Morris Agency, and was Founder of the Mailroom Fund. He's also a very active angel investor and advisor to local startups.
1. What was the biggest news for you/your firm this year?
Amplify launched in our 10,000 square foot campus in Venice and after poring through over 1,600 applications, we funded our first 17 companies -- who have collectively raised over $14 million to date and created 58 new jobs in LA.
2. In your opinion, what events, companies, or people made the biggest impact on the technology world this year?
Instagram, Pinterest, the Facebook IPO and Elon Musk
3. What was the biggest lesson you learned over the past year (good or bad)?
That LA has what it takes to attract great entrepreneurs as well as grow them locally (6 of the last 10 companies to join Amplify came from out of state and two from out of the country)
4. What are the technologies, companies, or things we ought to watch in 2013?
I think mobile payments and online education will finally hit their stride in 2013 benefiting companies like Braintree and Dwolla and Coursera respectively. I'm also personally a big believer in 3D Printing so expect great things from MakerBot as well as next gen quantified self devices/apps and am interested in seeing what Ray Ozzie has up his sleeve (Cocomo). In LA in particular, I would keep an eye on Factual, Scopely, GraphEffect (and of course our Amplify graduates ;->)
See more insights from the Southern California high tech community in our continued series this whole week!