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connect / 2015

Plug In South LA

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Plug In South LA

Plug In South LA seeks to create a tech hub and co-working space in South LA. Our programming brings social capital to the heart of South LA, attracting thought leaders and visionaries from around the city and country. We create conversations that drive collaboration, partnership, and commerce at the local level. This activity is crucial for the youth in South LA. They will shape the future of technology and digital media, and the more opportunities they see, the more our local community will th

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA
  • Plug In South LA will be operating out of our Playa Vista location while our co-working space is built. The LA2015 grant would allow our organization to continue providing carefully curated programming to the South LA community at the Historic Leimert Par

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Host events that instigate entrepreneurial proactivity among students and young professionals in South LA.

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Voting rates by race
  • Attendance at cultural events
  • Participation in neighborhood councils
  • Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)
  • Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located near transit)
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)
  • Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)
  • Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.

Plug In provides opportunities for youth, city stakeholders, executives, startups, and entrepreneurs to play a role in South LA’s transformation into a tech hub. Our programming brings together the brightest, most successful, and socially motivated entrepreneurs and business executives. The connections forged through our programming benefit fledgling startups in the area. We facilitate collaboration that can generate new startups in South LA, inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs in South Los Angeles and making Los Angeles a stronger city overall.

South LA is at the physical edge of intense digital media, tech, and entrepreneurial activity. There are about 1,700 startups and digital media-focused companies within a four-mile radius just outside of — but not in — South LA. Same with dozens of incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces. Our area remains a tech desert. Our neighborhood didn’t make the top 10 highest funded startup neighborhoods list recently compiled by the online startup community Built in LA. Plug In will change this by infusing South LA with the programming and infrastructure needed to transform it into a viable place for startups. Our Digital and Beyond in LA series provides community education and awareness about the rapidly changing local economy within STEM sectors in the greater Los Angeles area, bringing water to the tech desert.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We will measure the growth and progress of our member companies, including startups, as they scale up. One metric is how many internship opportunities they develop for local youth. Plug In South LA also has the ability to track the total number of local companies launching, local companies moving into the next round of funding as well as the number of local youth and residents pursuing opportunities in tech and digital media sectors. In addition, we can also evaluate our work through attendance at events hosted by the co-working space.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research