Andrew Chen, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, was waiting outside The Bungalow, a bar in Santa Monica, Calif., before heading to an after-party when he noticed that his colleague Connie Chan had her head buried in her phone. “Stop sending emails,” he joked. “You’re not in SF anymore.”
Chen, Chan and 15,000 of their fellow techies and venture capitalists were working hard last week to acclimate to Southern California’s more relaxed work climate. They were throwing off their Cotopaxi vests and donning shorts and cocktail dresses for LA Tech Week, a seven-day conference intended to showcase the city’s startup ecosystem. The Bay Area firm also known as a16z had recently announced a new office in Santa Monica, and this was its version of a red-carpet premiere.
“It was kind of like a16z promotional week,” said Stephen O’Brien, head of platform at LA-based venture capital firm Mantis VC. Just as Founders Fund has become a vocal booster of Miami’s startup scene with Miami Tech Week, and Polygon and MoonPay are the powers behind NYC NFT, Andreessen Horowitz used LA Tech Week to securely plant its flag in Tinseltown.