Skip to Main Content


About LAVA

Founded as the Los Angeles Venture Club on the inspiration of Robert Redford in 1984, the Los Angeles Venture Association of today represents the mesh network of siloed communities centered around the investors and founders spread across the entire venture and early growth ecosystem of our diverse LA region.  

LAVA's role fostering more efficient communication between the nodes of the mesh network is designed to generate more efficient collaboration amongst the nodes with the intent of driving more efficient deal flow.  Being #longLA our collective goal is to continue to grow the ecosystem. 

As a 501(c)6 membership association, LAVA provides a platform for its membership comprised of LPs, VCs, family offices, angel investors, founders, incubators, accelerators, universities, researchers, innovators, mentors, politicos, government agencies and a host of service providers in legal, accounting, marketing, PR, investor relations, and countless other specialties.  

LAVA provides a wide range of benefits for the community including live and virtual event programs, community committees in over a dozen industry sectors, affinity group activities, private mixers, dinners and BYOB gatherings, investor-only events, roundtables & syndication programs, initiatives giving voice and access from our membership to elected leadership (local state and federal), access to a wide variety of programs from community partners, updates on the recent successes by others in the community, and much much more on the way such as investor, mentor and founder training programs. 

LAVA continues to evolve for you! Reach out, join and get involved. Let us know what more we can do to support you. 

Welcome Letter from New Executive Director

Welcome to LAVA, your Los Angeles Venture Association.

You are here at an exciting time in the organization as we refocus our programs and initiatives for you.  The countdown is on for our upcoming rebrand reveal in Feb.  

For the past two years as the "covid" Executive Director of LAVA, I have been honored to be entrusted with such a historic 36-year brand.  Inspired by the iconic acting legend Robert Redford, LAVA represents a community with a rich history of timely investments, society changing technologies and groundbreaking entertainment.  Today, the L.A. venture ecosystem can arguably boast that it’s the center of entertainment, from its historic strengths in traditional media such as movies and TV, to the new home of many a newly minted “influencer,” to what have become market juggernauts— streaming video, eSports, gaming and trending sectors like AR/VR.

But while the world knows L.A. for entertainment, the Los Angeles venture ecosystem is so much more from all sorts of tech startups in Silicon Beach, to the cutting-edge X-ators --my new term for incubators, accelerators & precelerators -- spread all around the city’s other hubs like Venice, Culver City, Playa, DTLA, Pasadena, South LA, the Valley and yes, even good ole Hollywood.  LA hosts corporate powerhouses like Disney, Google, Uber, Yahoo, Riot, Activision, Tesla, and Amgen, just to name a few. Industries receiving extensive investments include life & physical sciences, logistics, mobility, transportation, sustainability, cybertech, fintech, insurtech, biotech, consumer products, and many more. Moreover, the ecosystem has become much more vertically integrated in recent years with more and more creative funding firms filling in the niches between the various traditional seed, A, and B round funding stages.  

LAVA’s role in all of this is simple: to support all facets of the ecosystem in an effort to make connecting, information sharing, and especially deal-flow more efficient and effective.  And for out of town guests, LAVA should be their first stop to find guidance how to navigate the ecosystem.

There are a lot of new features of LAVA coming in 2022, including BYOB VC only and investor only events and three new affinity groups: Trojans@LAVA, Bruins@LAVA and YoungVCs@LAVA.  If you are a member of the community, please reach out to me directly and let me know how LAVA can help you.  And make sure to white list our newsletter, so you can watch out for upcoming events and new membership tiers soon to be announced.


Darren Eng

LAVA Executive Director

Darren Eng | Executive Director