Los Angeles Business Journal

StartEngine to Move into ROC

By Natalie Jarvey Wednesday, October 23, 2013

After two years in Westwood, startup accelerator StartEngine is moving closer to the beach.

Next month StartEngine will move into Santa Monica co-working facility Real Office Centers.

Co-Chair Howard Marks said StartEngine wanted to move closer to the center of startup activity and tap into a broader community of entrepreneurs.

"We learned that Santa Monica is very appealing to young entrepreneurs," he said. "So we decided that instead of going for our own office space, what if we went to some that already existed and had a community and integrated ourselves into it?"

StartEngine's administrative team will rent space on ROC's second floor. It will also lease desks for its startups on the third floor, an open area that is often used for hosting events but also converts into additional work space.

The accelerator, which is in the process of assembling its sixth class of startups, will have at least four companies moving into ROC on Nov. 1. The full class should reach eight to 10 startups, Marks said.

StartEngine also maintains an office in downtown Los Angeles for eastside companies. Marks said the accelerator typically has one to three companies that work out of that office depending on the class.

ROC Chief Executive Ron McElroy said he liked the idea of hosting an accelerator out of his co-working space.

"It is at the heart of what the startup community is all about," he said. "He's seeding these small companies and trying to determine who has the best chance at success. That is what our business is all about."

The hope is that startups will graduate from StartEngine and stay at ROC before they look for their own office space. Marks said it helps the startups to be near other entrepreneurs.

"Our startups like the idea of the proximity and the ability to interact more," he said. "The real decision was being in the right facility that will benefit our founders and our startups. A lot of our startups could end up going to the 2nd floor and renting space."