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The Tech Issue

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  • Photography by Mr Sean Sullivan, founder, The Impossible Cool

You've heard of Silicon Valley near San Francisco, and also Silicon Roundabout in east London. The latest tech hub to take off, however, is a roughly four-mile strip of sand in LA connecting Santa Monica with Venice Beach - an area once more commonly associated with a rather different purpose for silicon.

Thanks in part to its sunny lifestyle, as well as the talent and money readily available in nearby Hollywood, there are some 800 start-ups in the area that have amassed $1.3bn in venture capital investment since 2011. Social media companies Whisper and Snapchat (the latter of which rejected a $3bn acquisition offer from Facebook last year) have offices here. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are also in the 'hood.

Innovation is in the salt air. Venice - where Mr Charles and Ms Ray Eames revolutionised design and the Z-Boys exploded skate-punk culture - has always been home to an array of colourful characters who push boundaries, think differently and take risks.

Earlier this month MR PORTER partnered with our friends at DETAILS magazine, which profiles the latest and greatest tech innovators in its annual Digital Mavericks issue. As part of that collaboration we commissioned the blogger behind The Impossible Cool Tumblr site, Mr Sean Sullivan, to capture the flavour of the Silicon Beach scene by photographing some of the men making it so hot right now.

"Venice is a great little community. I like that you can be out for a surf with the latest start-up entrepreneur or ordering a Moon Juice next to the CEO of Google. All these guys are rubbing sunburned shoulders with the old locals in the same square mile or so," says Mr Sullivan. Click on the images, above, to meet just some of the men making waves in the area.

Styling by Mr Scott Stephenson, Senior Fashion Assistant, MR PORTER

Words by Mr Dan Rookwood, US Editor, MR PORTER

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