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3 Startups Putting LA Back on the Tech Map

2015 has been another great year for start-ups. As precocious teams earn more respect, funding increases and great ideas are developed.

San Francisco sems to take all the headlines but a mere 400 miles south of Silicon Valley, there’s a forgotten tech hub brimming with talent.

Southern California AKA SoCal, is poised and ready for a big 2016. Here are three LA-based start-ups ready to make huge strides in the new year.

Acorns

Acorns is a nifty app that beds you into the world of financial investment with minimum risk. Targeted at Millennials, users do not need either confidence or (much) capital to invest.

The app links to a debit card and every time an item is purchased, rounds the total up to the nearest dollar and invests that change into a diversified portfolio of index funds.

Perfect for beginners, Acorns only charge the nominal fee of $1 a month if your balance exceeds $5,000! Cool, no?

And with one of the smartest and most progressive teams in California – let alone LA – we’re praying that figurative Acorns are dropped this side of the Atlantic soon…

Gem

From chip and pin to contactless, to Apple Pay, to bitcoin – the world of payments is evolving fast.

But followers of Bitcoin’s swift ascendency from the unknown will have seen that billions of dollars’ worth of the currency was stolen or lost last year. An event that saw confidence in the product plummet.

So in stepped the aptly titled Gem. And what a little gem it has proved to be.

In short, the app safely secures all that ‘cryptocurrency’ that’s intangibly jingling around in your cyber pocket.

The platform allows developers to build apps in minutes with a three-key, multi-signature system. Gem’s system has bank-grade security features with loss and fraud prevention aspects built in.

uBeam

Visiting #DominateFund portfolio company @Ubeam while I'm in LA!!!

A post shared by Ben Parr (@benparr) on

Launched during a college innovation challenge, this app might well change the world.

uBeam converts electricity into sound from airwaves and channels it into a charge for your portable device.

Founder Meredith Perry explains uBeam’s vision:

“We have a lofty goal – a world without wires. A world where you could simply lift your phone in the air to charge it without needing to plug it in, no less be next to a power outlet. Imagine being able to go to an airport or a conference and not have to be tethered to the wall when your phone dies…

“A world in which every electronic device – hearing aids, tablets, sensors, light bulbs, computers, flat screen TVs – could be powered simultaneously with one simple device.”

 

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Thank you for reading, here are three innovations by seriously brilliant teams… and not a swanky Bay Area apartment in sight.

 

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