Many people know the Santa Clarita Valley as the suburb for Los Angeles. But today, it is increasingly being called the “Silicon Suburb” according to a front page article in the latest issue of San Fernando Business Journal (September 5 – 18).
According to the article, the burgeoning tech community in the Santa Clarita Valley is attracting a growing number of “tech entrepreneurs who seem comfortable being far away from the center of the industry in Silicon Valley and inland from Santa Monica.”
What the dedicated and passionate entrepreneurs have been able to create include Nuhubit Software Studios, a developer of educational mobile games; Kadenze, an online educational platform for creative arts curricula; 3D-Sentir, which develops 3D camera systems; and PayForward, an instant cashback reward system.
The article credited the City of Santa Clarita for opening the Santa Clarita Business Incubator in a former library building in the Old Town Newhall neighborhood, and as recently as last month, the city sponsored a mixer at its incubator that attracted a crowd of between 25-30 people.
The fact that Cal Arts is located in the middle of the Santa Clarita Valley is a great boom to the startup culture and growth. The article quoted Ajay Kapur, co-founder of Kadenze, as saying that “at least 50 percent of the company is Cal Arts alumni.” In addition to being a startup entrepreneur, Kapur is also an associate dean for research and development in digital arts and director in music technology at Cal Arts.
The challenge is to make more people aware of the exciting startup opportunities here in the Santa Clarita Valley. “I think improving that awareness that there is a tech community here and there is a great workforce here and matched with a business friendly environment would be good for us in the long run,” according to Holly Schroeder, President and CEO of Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, who was quoted in the article.
While more investor attention is needed for growing the startup community in the Santa Clarita Valley, some investors are paying attention. According to the article, investors were on the judging panel of last year’s Startup Weekend, and Kadenze was funded by angel investors.