What is the nation’s tech hub? Most people will answer Silicon Valley or San Francisco without hesitation. While they are not incorrect, the potential, dynamism, and talent within Los Angeles Tech Community are often overlooked and overshadowed by tech powerhouses headquartered in Silicon Valley, like Google, Facebook, and Adobe, just to name a few.
To highlight the incredible depth and breadth of the LA tech industry and to connect top hiring tech companies with talented Angelenos, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City’s Entrepreneur in Residence Jason Nazar organized and co-hosted TechFair Los Angeles, LA’s largest technology job fair to date. Held on 26 January, 2017 at The Reef in Downtown LA, the fair was attended by more than 11,000 people, and featured over 250 premier technology companies that are looking to hire great candidates in engineering, marketing, sales, administration, and more. Among them are Amazon, YouTube, Snapchat, Tesla, StackCommerce, Cooley, Riot Games, ChowNow, Tinder, Boingo, Hyperloop-One, Clutter, SpaceX, CrowdFunder and Jam City.
This unique event was created to help thousands of people in the LA area advance their careers and find their dream jobs, and to bring together the top companies in the tech community under one roof. “TechFair LA promises to be the tech community event of the year,” said Mayor Garcetti, “A place where people in this world changing industry will come to talk about new trends, to discuss new ideas, and to network with the leaders who are making it all happen.”
Jason Nazar, TechFair LA’s co-host and CEO of Comparably, told job-seekers, “The hard skills companies look for are centered around engineering, product design and performance marketing. The soft skills are passionate, driven, hard-working.”
In addition to having the rare opportunity to visit company booths to make live connections in-person with industry leaders looking to hire great talent, attendees could join workshops on professional development and learn about what makes LA one of the world’s leading tech hubs. The fair not only featured breakout sessions led by industry experts on diverse topics such as “Ask the Experts. Hiring Advice from the Front Lines,” and “How to Advance in Your Career,” but also included fireside chats with tech leaders, raffles, and keynote speeches by Mayor Garcetti and other VIPs.
Josh Brooks, Senior Vice President of Marketing at gaming company Jam City, said that Los Angeles provides a favorable environment for startups to generate revenue and obtain recognition. “In the last 10 years, the L.A. tech scene has gone from ‘something’ to ‘something really impressive’,” he noted, “That’s happened for a number of reasons: There are great schools like USC and UCLA focused on digital technology, there’s a significant amount of venture capitalist money here and you also have human capital.”
LA is currently ranked third in the nation in tech jobs, after San Francisco and New York, but city leaders, among them Mayor Garcetti, are hoping to narrow the gap and help develop LA into one of the most vibrant tech communities in the world.