Sunday, June 28, 2015

Silicon Dragon Eyes LA With Alibaba's Move To Set Up In Pasadena

Alibaba's new digs in
Alibaba's move into Los Angeles by leasing a 22,000 square foot office space in Pasadena’s new Playhouse Plaza signals a bigger opening of cross-border China and southern California business connections. These links are being framed around technology entrepreneurship, venture investment and nearby innovation hubs that seek to make startups more central to the city’s economic base.

This is a catch up for LA compared with its northern neighbor San Francisco. Sand Hill Road venture capitalists have long been bridged with China, and Chinese tech titans Baidu,

Alibaba, Tencent, Fosun and Renren have been setting up bases and making numerous investments in Valley startups over the past few years. But far fewer SoCal venture and tech links with China have existed.

Now a new corridor between LA and China is emerging from Silicon Beach in trendy Santa Monica to San Gabriel Valley’s Pasadena. Famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and parade, Pasadena is getting on California’s innovation hotspots map with startups from the world-renown Caltech, Idealab, the Art Center College of Design – and soon Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Silicon Dragon’s forum in LA, July 29-30, will delve into this trend of LA as a gateway city for China investment, with tech talks, venture panels and deal making at the Pasadena Convention Center, just a few blocks from Alibaba’s soon-to-open digs.