These days, a company
looking to move to a bigger location has suitors. That was true for our
company, Equipois, a four-year old venture-funded company with an exoskeleton
technology that lets people maneuver objects as if weightless.  The technology can greatly reduce workplace
injuries and increase productivity.

For several years, we had
been approached by cities (and even countries) that said they would be thrilled
to be our new home, with nice incentive packages to welcome us. As a management
team, especially one tasked with taking good care of outside investors’ money,
we had to take such offers seriously.

For us though, the
decision to stay in Los Angeles was compelling. 
Our technology comes from an invention that originated on film sets –
the Steadicam, pioneered by inventor Garrett Brown.  Yet we sell to major manufacturers and
utilize the supply chain that services the aerospace industry. 

L.A. is the rare city
that sits at the convergence of both entertainment and manufacturing; in a few
minutes you can drive from movie studios to huge factories operated by Boeing
and Northrop Grumman, as well as scores of top quality machining operations.

The talent pool here is
deep and broad.  Though still small, we
hire for a wide range of positions ranging from assemblers to engineers to
sales to graphic design. In Southern California, we’ve been able to find
superstars for all of these slots.  It’s
a function of the diversity of the industries and residents here, the strong
universities and pure size of the population. 
Because of the entertainment industry, there is also a unique freelance
workforce that companies can draw upon, whether for projects or full-time

There is also an
infrastructure here that has become more and more focused on attracting and
supporting businesses like ours. We collaborate with three local,
world-class  universities – UCLA, USC and
LMU – on everything from product development to general business strategy. We
were also invited to participate in a consortium of representatives from
government, universities, non-profits and the private sector on how to support
business growth in the region.  A recent
report found that the L.A. area has the most "entrepreneurs" per capita of any
city in the U.S.; L.A. supports some 300,000 small businesses employing over 2
million people.  Fortunately, our leaders
here are intent on supporting and cultivating that tremendous resource.

That support starts with
Los Angeles City Hall.  Los Angeles Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa has launched a number of initiatives to promote
business.  They range from procurement
reform to make it easier to do business with the City, to information on direct
financial incentives to a Small Business Team dedicated to helping companies
like ours.

The welcome we received
when we moved from L.A. to L.A. was astounding. We were honored to have Mayor
Villaraigosa participate in our Grand Opening, along with City Councilman Bill
Rosendahl.  The Mayor made us feel like
we were a big employer in a small town, instead of the opposite – taking real
time to understand what we do and the value we offer, and pledging his
administration’s tangible support as we grow. 
That sort of attention for a young company in the nation’s
second-largest city and worldwide entertainment center is unexpected and
invaluable…and made it abundantly clear that for us, L.A. is home.

You can learn more about
Equipois at and the City’s support for
business at