Silicon Beach Fest: LA Proves It Has Tech Cred by Making the Enterprise Cool
Not all of us in LA work on movie sets and chase celebrities around. Some of us read TechCrunch and get excited about things like Microsoft and Google entering the tablet game. And that’s exactly what Silicon Beach Fest is all about – it’s LA’s first festival organized by its tech community to celebrate LA tech, entertainment & startups.
It may not have been exactly like a Silicon Valley conference, but Silicon Beach Fest proved that LA’s tech scene has more cred than you might think. The event had an entertainment spin, but the panels touted themes rooted deep in tech. In fact, enterprise and B2B technology, the not-so-sexy sides of tech, were topics that surfaced time and time again in unexpected and seemingly accidental ways.
One of the first panels I saw was, “Brands, Agencies & Startups: A Love Story,” and at the end, the moderator asked the panelists to discuss the areas where there’s an over saturation of startups and where’s there’s still room for innovation and potential. When discussing what’s overdone, panelists mentioned some of the areas that you would probably think of including music, gamification, and ad networks. But, when asked about the areas where there’s still room for startups, the answers were mostly focused on B2B solutions. One panelist said he’d like to see a social video management tool that can measure ROI and another mentioned he’d like to see a company that helps brands find influencers. A third panelist, from the digital agency HUGE, said she thinks the money is there for enterprise tech startups and referenced the need for “boring” technology solutions – something that streamlines corporate expense reports is an example she referenced. I, along with the rest of the audience, seemed to agree and suddenly a room full of LA locals was dreaming of what the next big enterprise tech startup could be.
In a similar way, during a panel called, “Elements of a Kick-Ass Mobile Strategy,” Maria Pacheco, the VP of Mobile at Atari, said the biggest hole in the mobile space right now is analytics. She mentioned that after-click metrics don’t exist for mobile like they do with web and that whoever develops an amazing mobile analytics solution will make a lot of money. The other panelists agreed chiming in about how important it is to integrate a measurement strategy into mobile marketing efforts and that this absence of a good tool was stunting the growth of the industry. During my conversations with other attendees at the end of the event, I realized I wasn’t the only one that picked up on the B2B topics brought up by the panelists.
Corporate expense report solutions and analytics tools may not seem cool right now, but I predict that perception will change as the LA tech scene begins to grow. The speakers, at Silicon Beach Fest made enterprise technology seem hip – and I don’t just mean Silicon Valley geek chic.