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7 innovative LA start-ups that rival the Bay Area's best

Los Angeles

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Los Angeles has been fighting the stereotype that it's not a place for start-ups to begin their quest for billions. Critics blame everything from the constant sunshine to the glow of Hollywood for distracting what would otherwise be innovative and hardworking entrepreneurs.

But LA's start-up ecosystem is far stronger than its reputation. Incubators and accelerators, such as Mucker Labs and Science, are plentiful. And the cash is flowing to LA's young companies. In 2014, venture funding to tech start-ups in the greater Los Angeles area hit $2 billion across 194 deals—a 25 percent jump year-over-year, according to CB Insights.

Several LA start-ups have already hit it big. Virtual-reality headset maker Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, and Disney spent nearly $1 billion scooping up the online video network Maker Studios. Snapchat made headlines for its reported $16 billion valuation, while SpaceX has been pegged at a reported $12 billion value.

There's a lot more happening among LA start-ups you may not have heard of yet. Check out these seven innovative companies—all pursuing big ideas and backed by big money from elite venture capital firms and major corporations.

By Lindsay Blakely, special to CNBC.com
Posted 22 August

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