Plug and Play Launches Maritime Innovation Platform in Antwerp, Belgium

LOS ANGELES, June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Plug and Play, the world’s largest global innovation platform, announced today its newest strategic partnership with the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, Alliance for SoCal Innovation, and Downtown Center to transform Downtown LA into the next urban innovation hub. This collaboration looks to catalyze an environment of ‘Live. Work. Play’ in the Downtown LA area by establishing it as a formal innovation hub and uniting its local startup and corporate community.

“We want to play a part in creating a new generation of urban living. With our founding partners, we want to transform the Downtown LA area into an urban tech hub,” said Michael Olmstead, Chief Revenue Officer at Plug and Play. “Our vision for this new Plug and Play location is to create a place where startups and corporations will have everything they need to live, work, and play.”

Los Angeles has already proven to be an area where entrepreneurs can come to live and start successful companies as we have seen with some of Plug and Play’s most recent investment stories such as Honey, a shopping platform that provides access to exclusive savings, deals, rewards, and discovery, which was acquired by PayPal in 2019 for $4 billion. Data from Pitchbook shows that the number of investments in startups made out of LA has increased by over 300% in the past 10 years. In addition, the average deal size has grown about 500% in the past 10 years. In 2020, the average deal size was about $15.5 million.

Plug and Play is no beginner to launching new programs in collaboration with city initiatives. Plug and Play operates in over 30 cities globally with offices across Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and now, Africa. This program will see Plug and Play sourcing, accelerating, and bringing together the best startups from LA and beyond to tap into the ecosystem’s growing assets and resources.

Downtown LA has all the critical ingredients to be a vibrant innovation district. Until now, what we have lacked is a unifying narrative that captures the compelling diversity of opportunity here and a flagship innovation platform that can galvanize innovators working in those sectors. By working together with a group of committed DTLA leaders, the L.A. Area Chamber, DCBID, and Plug and Play and focusing on a Live, Work, Play narrative, DTLA entrepreneurs are certain to thrive,” said Andy Wilson, Executive Director, Alliance for SoCal Innovation.

“The Los Angeles region is already a hub of technology, global trade, investing, and so much more. We look forward to partnering with Plug and Play to highlight downtown as an innovation hub which provides a vibrant opportunity to live and work in the same community,” commented Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO, L.A. Chamber of Commerce.

“DTLA is a place of innovation and creativity, where arts & culture meets technology & business, and where commerce & community come together to shape one of the most diverse and dynamic urban centers in the country. The Plug and Play partnership provides a perfect platform to connect corporate, civic, and entrepreneurial leaders around the core concept of a vibrant Live, Work, & Play city center and all the opportunity that embodies,” said Nick Griffin, Executive Director, Downtown Center Business Improvement District.

Startups are only one element needed to help turn Downtown LA into an innovation hub, it also needs buy-in from local corporations. Corporations play a key role in the early success of a startup’s life and this initiative hopes to bring together corporations and startups to collaborate and drive innovation forward.

“The 9-to-5 office workday has drastically changed over the past year. Developing a live, work, play community will allow entrepreneurs to thrive in an environment where they can do it all,” said Stephan Fay, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Plug and Play. “We are looking forward to growing our ecosystem even further by collaborating with the most innovative companies in Southern California.” 

Plug and Play and the LA Consortium will co-host the first event on the 1010 Wilshire rooftop located in Downtown LA on Tuesday, June 29th. This event intends to gather interest from the initial founding members that will jointly work on this project.
The event will be open to the public, accessible via: (virtually) (in-person)

Large industry players are encouraged to schedule a call with Stephen Fay, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Plug and Play, to learn how to become a partner of Plug and Play LA. Please visit the website to learn more:

About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we’re present in 35+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we’ve invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit 

About Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of businesses in the Los Angeles region. The Chamber’s mission: We design and advance opportunities and solutions for a thriving regional economy that is inclusive and globally competitive. Founded in 1888, the Chamber is the oldest and largest business association in the region. Its member companies work together to promote a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

About Alliance for SoCal Innovation
The Alliance for Southern California Innovation (the “Alliance”) is a not for profit formed in 2017 that has successfully brought together the heft of Southern California’s top research institutions, local business leaders, and world-class advisors to focus on bridging critical gaps in the SoCal innovation ecosystem. The goal of the Alliance is to engage and unify SoCal’s compelling diversity of talent, ideas, and perspectives in order to optimize the conditions for the region’s innovators to bring breakthroughs to the world.

Downtown Center Business Improvement District
Founded in 1998, The Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID) is a coalition of over 2,000 property owners in the central business district of Downtown Los Angeles. For over 20 years, the DCBID has been committed to enhancing the quality of life in the Downtown Center, a now bustling commercial and residential hub in the heart of the city which includes Bunker Hill, the Financial District, and the Jewelry District. From 24/7 safe and clean operations to a range of economic development initiatives, marketing programs, and community events, the DCBID helps a vibrant community of business leaders, retailers, artists, and residents reach its full potential.

Plug and Play Contacts
Stephen Fay: [email protected] 
Mehrad Moeini: [email protected]
Tanya Ma: [email protected]

SOURCE Plug and Play

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