From preparing for entrepreneurial events, filing a patent in Los Angeles, to finding the best mentors in Los Angeles, there’s no doubt that starting a business in the “City of Angels” can be such backbreaking work!
That’s why we created this comprehensive guide so that all LA startups know exactly where to start, as well as what their next steps are before filing for a patent (or two).
So without further ado, here are the top 20 essential resources for entrepreneurs and inventors in Los Angeles (plus a few bonus ones).
From its “innovative academics and groundbreaking research to its top-tier medical centers”, UCLA is one of the top schools in the nation. This is especially true when it comes to business and technology.
Not only did its faculty and alumni helped develop the Internet and pioneered reverse osmosis, but it also has more than more than 140 technology companies developed.
It is also home to the UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator program, which is designed to help students utilize UCLA’s resources within the Anderson community.
Otherwise referred to as Throop University in 1891, the California Institute of Technology is designed to help student startups get the start that they need to make their businesses a reality.
In addition to providing students the resources that they need to succeed, Caltech also manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, which is designed to send probes to explore the planets of our solar system and quantify changes on planet Earth.
It even owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Seismological Laboratory and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories.
This institution is especially popular among scientific startups.
Ranked #1 in 2016 for being the top lending market in America, The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Los Angeles District Office (LADO) is the nation’s top international trade and manufacturing center.
It is the first district office to lend nationally to minority and women-owned businesses. It is also active in government contracting.
For those looking for a group that offers technical training and coaching for small businesses, this is an excellent starter tool.
Resume Advisor is a professional resume writing service based out of Los Angeles. Their professional writers service clients from all levels and backgrounds, so they’re a great resource for anyone.
Their primary services include ATS resume writing, cover letter writing, and LinkedIn Profile Optimization. As a senior executive resume service, they utilize technology to tailor your resume and cover letter in accordance with specific jobs.
Passing through applicant tracking systems helps your application stand out in the eyes of recruiters. The writers at Resume Advisor have a strong track record of creating winning resumes that are proven to earn you more job interviews.
Also, they service clients all across the country and provide competitive pricing with instant turnaround times. They have created thousands of entry level, mid-career, senior level, and executive resumes for their clients.
Best of all, they serve all industries, including business, finance, media, marketing, sales, engineering, education, management, IT, consulting, legal, and federal resumes.
Based in Orange County, CA, Inventors Group is a non-profit organization designed to help inventors collaborate with other inventors in the area.
It is one of the few groups that is recommended by the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). They also hold monthly seminars that are open to the public at Chapman University in Orange, California.
For those who want to participate in any of the group’s meetings, all members are required to sign a mutual NDA.
Founded in 1985, the Los Angeles Venture Association(LAVA) has been providing forums and other resources for entrepreneurs and other start-up members to succeed in today’s competitive global market.
In this group, members can post articles related to entrepreneurship on the website and meet with fellow executives, investors, bankers, and other professionals in order to better understand how to run their businesses.
Some of its major events include the Meet the VC conference, First Look LA conference, and the LAVA Awards Dinner celebration.
Around since 2008, the Small Business Expo a free, one-day event geared to putting on” fun and educational events that will help Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs thrive” in 17 major U.S. cities (including LA).
Some of these events include Product Demonstrations, Speed-Networking, a Business Card Exchange, and many others.
It also happens to be partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE is a non-profit organization geared to helping businesses get the support that they need in order to succeed.
In addition to providing free or inexpensive classes and tools, SCORE also free, confidential business mentoring in person, via email or by video.
As of now, SCORE has over 350 chapters throughout the United States and its territories, with over 11,000 volunteers nationwide. Most of these volunteers consist of working and retired executives and business owners helping out as business counselors.
Created in 2006 by three different organizations: the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association, the Ad Club of Los Angeles and the Magazine Representatives Association, ThinkLA is a creative marketing organization geared to help its members promote themselves in today’s competitive market.
To do this, ThinkLA pair businesses with the right mentor(s). Over the course of five months, businesses and mentors work together to help accomplish the goals of tomorrow.
For those who want to pursue a career in advertising, this is a good program to join.
“ThinkLA’s mission is to connect, educate and inspire the Southern California marketing community. Our goal is to facilitate business growth and promote the intellectual infrastructure for creativity. We bring together creators, buyers, and sellers and help our members stay ahead of the curve and prosper in the rapidly evolving advertising ecosystem. We help our members survive and thrive.
ThinkLA offers unique membership experiences, unparalleled networking and social activities, year-round professional development through our events and programs, volunteering opportunities and industry events for charities like Ad Relief, and promotes relevant news and content for its members and over 14,000 newsletter subscribers.” — Don Lupo, CEO at ThinkLA
Combining today’s healthcare with tomorrow’s innovative technology and entrepreneurship skills, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator provides companies with $100,000 in funding while having them go through a 3-month training program.
In the past, they have helped companies such as CardioCube and MedPilot get themselves off of their feet.
According to their site, “Since 2015, the accelerator has helped dozens of companies transform healthcare delivery and patient care.”
From robotic automated manufacturing to the future of personal transportation, from entertainment innovation to consumer tech, BRCHN has a proven track record of concept to market product development across a plethora of industries.
Utilizing cutting edge design tools, visualization renderers, and prototyping technology along with a focus on sustainability, manufacturability, efficiency, and quality design, they blur the lines between art and science to create beautiful, functional products.
Utilizing advanced rapid prototyping tools such their our in-house 3D printers & state of the art machine tools, they create functional and beautiful representative prototypes of your product in record time.
They maintain a tool set of the most in-demand prototyping technologies in-house for full control. Experience your color, finish, and material choices in pre-production. Having tangible product interaction in both form and function gives you confidence to invest in manufacturing.
Founded as an “economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP)”, LACI is one of the few incubators in the City of Angels that specializes in helping startups create and promote environmentally friendly technologies (aka. “clean technologies”) and creating “smarter, more sustainable cities.”
Because of this, UBI recognizes LACI as “one of the most innovative incubators in the world.”
Brand Knew is a creative agency and technology studio that focuses on helping businesses build better web development, brand development, and social marketing skills in exchange in for them participating in a “developmental venture equity program.”
This way, companies can build long-lasting relationships via online creation.
As of now, most of the companies that they helped build images towards are medical companies such as Mayo Clinic and entertainment companies such as E! Entertainment.
They even helped recreate the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s social media pages.
Founded by former research associate and lab manager, Betsy Manos, Lab Launch Consulting, LLC is a scientrepreneur incubator geared to help scientists set up and relocate their laboratories.
According to their website, their methods have saved institutions $25K to $100K in start-up costs and reduce downtime by 70%. This way, scientists would have more time to focus on finding and creating the tools needed to benefit humankind for future generations!
Indie Source is a full-production garment manufacturer located in Los Angeles’ buzzing Fashion District, specializing in local sourcing and in-house production.
They love to capture and share the storytelling aspect of clothing product development on our social media channels. Indie Source’s audience loves seeing every aspect of fashion production, and the fans especially identify with USA made brands.
They receive constant feedback regarding the value their fans find in our commitment to sustainability. Ultimately, there is some amazing work they are doing here to make dreams come true for new and established designers.
Designit4free.com offers the highest quality marketing products at the most competitive prices. You will be able to enjoy free graphic design with all print orders that are masterfully created by our very own in-house graphic designer.
They do not force you to design your own print products; instead, they will designit4free, all without the hidden costs and add-ons associated with discount print companies.
When you contact them, you will be greeted by a real person from the company. If they’re busy, just leave a voicemail and they will return your call the same day!
They are with you every step of the way throughout the design and printing process, so you will never be alone with this area of your business again!
Sunlight Media is a web design and digital marketing company, located in downtown Los Angeles.
They provide custom web & app development, SEO, digital marketing, and video production services. This makes them the perfect solution to the digital side of running your business.
Sunlight Media was recently awarded two prestigious industry awards. Recognized by Clutch as one of L.A’s top creative & design agency’s and awarded by UpCity as the 2019 Los Angeles city excellence award.
Named after Thomas Edison’s “original hackers”, Mucker Capital is a seed funding group that invests in seed and “pre-seed” stage companies building defensible and scalable businesses in Internet software, services, and media.
It is also home to MuckerLab, which was ranked number 2 in the country at one point.
According to GeoLinks’s 7 Best Business Resources in Los Angeles, “[Mucker] likes to get involved early on with companies, not just with funding, but with mentoring, coaching, and setting up new ventures for success. ” As such, Mucker Capital is not your typical money giving seed funding group.
As of now, most of the companies that they provide funding to include tech companies such as Mind Mate and hobby companies such as Bloom Nation.
Named after a Swedish coffee gathering tradition, Fika Ventures strives provide businesses with the support and finances that they need to succeed.
In the past, they have helped provide funding to companies such as food borne illness detection company Path Spot and bill saving company Papaya.
Once a year, they host a retreat to bring together some of America’s top inventors, entrepreneurs, and executives for a day of discussion. This retreat has been deemed as “one of the top tech events in Los Angeles” according to its website.
Founded in 1872, the Los Angeles Public Library offers a multitude of free resources for small business owners (and other members) to borrow and utilize such as Reference USA and the Small Business Research Research Guide.
According to the LAPL’s Wikipedia article, the library serves the largest population of any publicly funded library system in the United States.
It even has a Rare Books department, which is located in the library’s downtown Los Angeles location!
There you have it, everyone! A multitude of all the different resources available to inventors and entrepreneurs as listed above and below:
University of California Los Angeles – Famous for its innovative academics and groundbreaking research, as well as its top-tier medical centers
California Institute of Technology – An institution popular among scientific startups
2. Small Business Administration Groups
Los Angeles District Office (LADO) – Ranked #1 in 2016 for being the top lending market in America
Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network (LA SBDC) – Giving small business entrepreneurs and leaders no-cost, confidential, business advising services
3. Inventor Groups
Inventors Forum – One of the few inventors groups that are recommended by the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Invention Ideas – Helping inventors in the Los Angeles area collaborate with other inventors
4. Entrepreneur Groups
EO Los Angeles – Helping businesses succeed by hosting networking events and providing free resources in and outside of LA
Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) – Providing forums and other resources for entrepreneurs and other start-up members to succeed
5. Networking Event(s)
The Small Business Expo – A once-in-a-year opportunity for entrepreneurs and other business people to come together and participate in a variety of activities
6. Mentorship Programs
SCORE Los Angeles – A non-profit organization geared to helping businesses succeed by giving them free to low-cost resources
ThinkLA – A creative marketing organization geared to help its members promote themselves in today’s competitive market
Make in LA – “Southern California’s epicenter of hardware entrepreneurship”
TechStars – The accelerator that inspired LaunchPad LA
Cedars-Sinal Accelerator – A business accelerator that combine’s today’s health care with tomorrow’s innovative technologies
8. Tech Incubators
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubators – “One of the most innovative incubators in the world”
Brand Knew – A creative agency and technology studio that focuses on helping businesses build better web development, brand development, and social marketing skills
Lab Launch Consulting, LLC – Geared to help scientists set up and relocate their laboratories
Idea Lab – The longest running technology incubator
Expert Dojo – An incubator filled with experts
9. Seed Funding
Mucker Capital – A seed funding group named after Thomas Edison’s “muckers”
Fika Ventures – A seed funding group named after a Swedish coffee gathering
MiLA Capital – A seed funding group that provides funding mainly to hardware companies
The Helm – A seed funding group that supports women-led businesses
10. Shared Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces in Los Angeles – Please read the article, Top 17 Los Angeles Coworking Spaces
11. Library/ Libraries
Los Angeles Public Library – A great place to get free business resources
12. Patent Attorneys / Lawyers
Bold Patents – Your future go-to place for protecting your invention for years to come
In the meantime, what other resources would you recommend to your fellow entrepreneurs and inventors in Los Angeles? Please let us know in the comments below!
Legal Note: This blog article does not constitute legal advice. Although the article was written by a licensed USPTO patent attorney there are many factors and complexities that come into patenting an idea. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice for your particular situation. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists by simply reading and applying the steps stated in this blog article.