The fourth annual Siemer Summit ended yesterday in Santa Monica. The event—sponsored by Siemer & Associates, a bank that works with Internet companies—attracts startups looking to pitch their ideas, as well as VCs, angel investors and talent agencies looking for the next big thing.
Many of the companies that presented are local, as Los Angeles' "Silicon Beach" grows in stature. In Q1, $520 million was invested in LA's more than 1,000 startups, and the number of exits more than doubling in the first half of the year.
And VC Investment isn't just growing in Silicon Beach. On Thursday, Dow Jones Venture Source announced that the second quarter was the highest for US VC investment since 2001, with a 21 percent increase in capital invested.
Here are some of the hot trends that investors here at the Siemer summit are talking about now:
—In the wake of Facebook'
s $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, messaging apps are taking off both in consumer usage and in startup valuations.
One of them at the summit, TextPlus
, connects over 110 million people worldwide. Like anonymous communication app Whisper, it's based in Los Angeles.
Digital Content Creators
—Since this is Hollywood's backyard, it's no surprise that digital content companies are huge. One company getting a lot of attention here is Woven Digital
. It's the parent company of Brobible.com, and partners with a family of brands including Barstool Sports and THEChive.
It's the fourth-largest entertainment company for men age 18-34, filling a void for big name brands.
"Whether it's Miller Coors, Budweiser, whether it's Electronic Arts or Sony, we do a great job of creating phenomenal content that relates back to a millennial audience and I think there's very few people that do that well," says Woven CEO Scott Grimes. Read MoreTelltale signs you're in a bad restaurant
Other companies looking to tap into the lucrative ad market for original digital video are Jukin Media
, which creates digital content that targets the Hispanic market.
Tech-Driven Consumer Services
—Just like Uber is using technology and logistics to try to overhaul the old taxi business, there's a lot of talk about how consumer retail and services are ripe for disruption.
is a laundry delivery service, which has drawn big-name backers including Ashton Kutcher, Ron Burkle and Jerry Yang's AME Cloud Ventures, among others.
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aims to take on 1800-Flowers' virtual monopoly with lower prices and what it says is a better product, all enabled by streamlined logistics. Another company that presented at Siemer, TrunkClub
is a shopping service for men. It's drawing acquisition interest from Nordstrom