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Welcome Letter from New Executive Director

Welcome to LAVA, your Los Angeles Venture Association.

As the new Executive Director of LAVA, I am honored to be entrusted with such a historic 36-year brand.  Inspired by the iconic acting legend Robert Redford, LAVA represents a community with a rich history of timely investments, society changing technologies and groundbreaking entertainment.  Today, the L.A. venture ecosystem can arguably boast that it’s the center of entertainment, from its historic strengths in traditional media such as movies and TV, to the new home of many a newly minted “influencer,” to what have become market juggernauts— streaming video, eSports, gaming and trending sectors like AR/VR.

But while the world knows L.A. for entertainment, the Los Angeles venture ecosystem is so much more from all sorts of tech startups in Silicon Beach, to the cutting-edge X-ators --my new name for incubators, accelerators & precelerators -- spread all around the city’s other hubs like Venice, Culver City, Playa, DTLA, Pasadena, South LA, the Valley and yes, even good ole Hollywood.  LA hosts corporate powerhouses like Disney, Google, Uber, Yahoo, Riot, Activision, Tesla, and Amgen, just to name a few. Industries receiving extensive investments include life & physical sciences, logistics, mobility, transportation, sustainability, cybertech, fintech, insurtech, biotech, consumer products, and many more. Moreover, the ecosystem has become much more vertically integrated in recent years with more and more creative funding firms filling in the niches between the various traditional seed, A, and B round funding stages.  

LAVA’s role in all of this is simple: to support all facets of the ecosystem in an effort to make connecting, information sharing, and especially deal-flow more efficient and effective.  And for out of town guests, LAVA should be their first stop to find guidance how to navigate the ecosystem.

There are a lot of new features of LAVA coming in 2020, including specially curated VC only and investor only events.  If you are a member of the community, please reach out to me directly and let me know how LAVA can help you.  And make sure to whitelist our newsletter, so you can watch out for upcoming events and new membership tiers soon to be announced.


Darren Eng

LAVA Executive Director

Darren Eng | Executive Director