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L.A. Startups Face Santa Monica Shark Tank

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Los Angeles tech startups get five minutes to pitch their business idea to investors at today's LA Demo Day event in Santa Monica. (Think ABC's "Shark Tank," but with apps instead of baked goods or baby gadgets.)

Twenty companies will demonstrate their product to an audience of more than 1,000 investors, bloggers and fellow techies at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. According to the Los Angeles Times, a few of the ideas include Capsule (an app for group events) and Eventup (a tool to locate and book exclusive venues) -- L.A. brides-to-be could really use something like this.

The event is open to everyone, but the free tickets are sold out.

Presentations will be judged by a rotating panel of notable names in the L.A. startup scene including Jason Calcanis (founder of Mahalo.com), Shawn Colo (EVP at Demand Media), Tom McInerney (angel investor), and Dana Settle (founding partner with Greycroft LLC), among several others.

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The event will kick off with a keynote by Bill Gross, an entrepreneur who's had 40 of his 100 companies either taken public or acquired, according to event organizers. Gross' IdeaLab, a Pasadena-based breeding ground for startups, which has been around since the '90s, is credited for launching Citysearch and CarsDirect.

Today's event adds to the growing tech influence from L.A.'s Westside, which has been dubbed "silicon beach" in recent years due to the concentration of startups in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Google reinforced L.A.'s tech-cred by taking up residence in Venice's Binoculars Building, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.