Innovation in the 21st century could be summed up into one word: startup.
The ubiquity of the Internet, social media and smartphones into our daily lives has established the new millenia as the digital age, where possibilities for invention technological engineering are endless and individual founders can start and scale up their business ventures.
Though Silicon Valley is generally recognized as the capital of the technology startup world, Los Angeles has been making its own mark as a hub for creators in the tech space and digitally-native services.
On Monday, Oct. 1, a new collaborative working space and hub for startups, Toolbox LA, held its grand opening in Chatsworth, right in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. Eric Garcetti — the ambitious, forward-thinking mayor of Los Angeles — welcomed Toolbox LA at a Makers Summit at company’s vibrant facilities.
“Los Angeles is the manufacturing capital of America,” Garcetti, who grew up in the Valley, proclaimed in a fireside chat with community director of Toolbox LA Raychel Espiritu. “The very brightest people have engineered, built and innovated in aerospace here, and if you look at technology broadly, in the San Fernando Valley you can see the landscape is really evolving.”
Toolbox LA’s facilities are a microcosm of the uniquely millennial startup culture: an airy and dynamic creative hub that embraces utilitarianism and sustainability that provides all the necessary tools for makers and creators, whether that be laboratories, manufacturing services or access to funding firms.
A multipurpose makerspace allows for maximum productivity and collaboration among creators. To accommodate the fledging life science industry of the City of Angels, biotech company Lab Launch also provided co-working laboratory facilities for biotech companies to conduct research.
“As mayor, I want to make sure the people continue to hold that because Detroit wouldn’t let the automobile industry leave, New York wouldn’t let the banking industry leave, but we’ve let Hollywood and aerospace go to other places, and it’s time to do work with our state to make sure [technological engineering] stays here but that really starts with one person, one great idea and one space for her to bring that dream into fruition,” Garcetti said.