Silicon Beach Fest begins Wednesday in Santa Monica. The four-day event… (Silicon Beach Fest )
Silicon Beach Fest, aimed at boosting the growing Los Angeles technology scene, is back for its second year.
The four-day tech entertainment festival officially kicks off Wednesday with an opening party and a start-up demo day.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday will feature panels on topics including ad tech, digital content, branding and marketing, e-commerce, gaming and design. There will also be events such as a start-up showcase, food truck lunch and meet-and-greets with local venture capitalists.
The majority of events will take place at tech co-working spaces Cross Campus and ROC in downtown Santa Monica.
Festival director Kevin Winston came up with the idea for Silicon Beach Fest last year after returning from South by Southwest Interactive in Austin.
With L.A. home to scores of new start-ups, "I got back and was like, 'Why don't we have anything in L.A. that celebrates the tech scene here?'" he said. "This isn't meant to duplicate South by Southwest; it is a tech fest that celebrates the unique industries that we have in Los Angeles."
Winston runs Digital LA, a digital entertainment and technology networking organization in L.A. that hosts weekly panels and mixers.
The inaugural Silicon Beach Fest last summer was attended by about 2,000 people, Winston said. He held a smaller follow-up event in the fall to keep the momentum going.
Festival organizers added a day to this year's event to make room for more panels, start-up pitches and parties.
Venture capital speakers include Mark Suster and Steven Dietz of GRP Partners and David Travers of Rustic Canyon Partners. Founders from accelerator programs MuckerLab, Amplify LA and StartEngine will also present.
Full pass tickets are $399 and include panels and nightly parties; single-day and VIP tickets are also available.
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