The state of the economy may be a big question mark but one thing’s for sure: L.A. tech is hot. Westwood-based Elevator Labs received $20 million in funding this week in another example of investors putting money into innovative Los Angeles-based startups (just last week Santa Monica-based BetterWorks received an $8 million investment).
For both businesses and consumers, geolocation apps and services are a dime a dozen these days. But many of these apps and tools serve to benefit both when used consistently and correctly. Much like social media itself, geolocation is a two-way entity.
“Geolocation makes it easier for consumers to get the services they want nearby and for local businesses to reach the consumers in their area,” Eli Portnoy, CEO of Culver City-based mobile marketing startup Thinknear told me matter-of-factly.
As consumers become increasingly engaged with smartphones and other mobile devices, geolocation will have a growing influence on commerce. For most businesses and services, location — and circumstance — means everything. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35 percent) are smartphone users according to a July 2011 Pew Internet report. Consumers are always on the hunt for quality goods and services at reasonable prices. As consumers grow accustomed to the “smart” aspect of always-connected, GPS-enabled mobile devices, the bargains appear at their fingertips and it only becomes a matter of convenience. As consumers discover the power of smartphones beyond texts, emails and phone calls, shopping habits change.
I caught up with Bettina Korek, founder of ForYourArt this week to discuss the current state of the L.A. scene and what we have to look forward to this fall.
“The art world isn’t just about collecting often-expensive objects,” said Korek, “it’s also about learning and engaging and it can be a gateway to all different discplines.”
“I hope that ForYourArt can be a resource for people to not only know what’s going on in L.A. but also to find that inspiring context that they can delve deeper into,” she said.
2011 has already been a strong year for art in L.A. but just wait for the fall: Pacific Standard Time, a collaboration between over 60 arts organizations with exhibits from San Diego to Santa Barbara. The first project of its kind in L.A., Pacific Standard Time, opening in October, is the result of nearly a decade of research by the Getty Institute and comprises a veritable history of the rise of art culture in Los Angeles over the years 1945-1980.
Pro Publica has published a database that makes it easy for you to compare your access to quality education and at what cost in an effort to provide insight into the opportunity gap demonstrated by economic difference in the classroom.
The data for L.A.-area school districts indicates that the higher the percentage of students who get free or reduced-price lunches the lower the percentage of students who take at least one AP course. For example, 76 percent of LAUSD students receive free or discounted lunches and 16 percent take at least one AP course. The data flips, however, for Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified: 1 percent get free/reduced priced lunch, and 41 percent take at least one AP course.