Of course, the U.S. economy is a recovery in progress. Some recent Kauffman Foundation data shows fewer women and millennials are becoming new business creators, while pockets of older workers—unable to re-enter the traditional workforce—are launching businesses. Data, meanwhile, only tells part of the story.
Read More US start-up activity rises, but women and millennials retreat
Helping to boost start-up activity is technology that's easing barriers to entry, says consultant and iCONIC attendee Tony Ubertaccio. He helps companies with branding through his agency, Semper Avanti, in New York City.
"There are almost no barriers to entry," says Ubertaccio, citing platforms like Kickstarter and now even Etsy help entrepreneurs and creators raise small amounts of money from multiple sources.
"There are ways to monetize now that just didn't exist in years past," he said. "So if you're a musician, an artist, someone who is driven, there's nothing stopping you from creating the life that you dream about, other than yourself."
One tech start-up, Naritiv, also based in Los Angeles, is using messaging app Snapchat to create branding campaigns for big companies like Marriott and Procter & Gamble. "Brands that are usually marketing to an older generation are now looking to Snapchat and other platforms as a way to reach a next generation consumer, before they make those decisions," Naritiv CEO Daniel Altmann said.
Read MoreThree generations of entrepreneur success