City of El Segundo logoKnown as the City “Where Big Ideas Take Off,” El Segundo is home to a thriving cluster of Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, Gilead (Kite Pharma), Mattel, Chevron, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon. Industry diversification is key to a balanced economy and is an important part of El Segundo’s success, with businesses in entertainment, creative media, bioscience, financial services, food production and aerospace, along with three professional sports franchises – the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings and Chargers. Some of the nation’s most talented and highly skilled people work in El Segundo, making access to qualified employees another attractive bonus to businesses relocating to the area.

“El Segundo is the most important five square miles economically in Southern California,” says Mayor Drew Boyles. “Our high concentration of global, market-leading corporations, a thriving cluster of rapidly growing startups in a diverse mix of industries says a lot about what can be achieved here.”

Over the years, the City of El Segundo has seen tremendous entrepreneurial growth with numerous rapidly growing start-ups developing groundbreaking new technologies. The City offers lower taxes and flexible office and R&D space that supports these businesses and as a result, a cluster of early-stage start-ups has emerged, attracting significant investment from both the Department of Defense (DoD) and the venture capital community, particularly in space technology. The City’s Economic Development Division has worked with these start-up businesses to connect and build a network with prime DoD contractors, established aerospace and defense firms, startups and potential investors. According to Tom Mueller, co-founder of SpaceX and founder of Impulse Space, “You can’t throw a rock in El Segundo without hitting another SpaceX founded company.”  

The forward-thinking initiatives undertaken by the City of El Segundo underscore its commitment to nurturing a thriving startup ecosystem and fostering strategic partnerships. These efforts have created an environment conducive to innovation, collaboration and investment, thereby propelling El Segundo’s economic growth and further establishing it as an epicenter for entrepreneurship. 

“We came from Silicon Valley,” says Cameron Shiller, CEO of Rangeview. “For what we’re building [deep technology], you need a strong community of people. I think startups are realizing this and are all moving in.”

To build upon this foundation, a component of El Segundo’s economic development strategy is focused on creating business-to-business networking and collaboration opportunities with an emphasis on attracting new businesses and startups across industries to drive more venture capital investment to El Segundo. Some of the key initiatives include:

  • Business-to-Business Networking and Cross-Industry Partnerships
      1. Convened several prominent El Segundo business leaders across industries to share their stories of dynamic growth and global success that has made El Segundo a regional economic driver. Notable business executives and entrepreneurs include: Boomerang Chief Operating Officer Augustine Diep-Tran with Wpromote CEO Mike Mothner, Commander, Space Systems Command Colonel Mia L. Walsh with Varda Space CEO Will Bruey, Fabletics Chief Operating Officer Meera Bhatia and more.

  • Leveraging Public-Private Partnerships
      1. To welcome and nurture insightful discussions with some of the venture capital world’s top minds, the city hosted the “Rise of the Innovation Economy” Sidebar Summit focused on the vibrant startup ecosystem in El Segundo and opportunities to drive more venture capital investment to the city to bolster local economic growth.
      2. El Segundo partnered with Sunstone Management, a private capital management firm, and USC Sol Price School of Public Policy to consult with student teams in the inaugural “Sunstone Economic Development Challenge” in which innovative strategies were developed to attract entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to El Segundo.

  • Support for Startup Events
    1. SpaceWERX Expo Day: The city partnered with SpaceWERX, the investment arm of the U.S. Space Force, for the inaugural I2A Expo Day held at their headquarters in El Segundo. The event was a resounding success, with nearly 300 guests in attendance representing government, industry, and venture sectors. The partnership with SpaceWERX played a pivotal role in the event’s success, demonstrating the city’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration within the aerospace and defense industries. As a result of the event’s success, SpaceWERX is poised to welcome nearly 40 new companies to their program.
    2. Apollo Defense Tech Hackathon: The city sponsored a two-day defense tech-focused hackathon hosted by 8VC, Entrepreneur First, and Apollo Defense in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), where young brilliant minds from across the nation united to develop mission-critical solutions with unprecedented speed to address the challenges in war zones. 

El Segundo stands as a global innovation leader and continues to nurture its dynamic startup ecosystem, committed to fostering ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurship while sustaining its commitment to its established business foundation.