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SmartGateVC is establishing a technology hub in Glendale, CA - Hero House Glendale

SmartGateVC is establishing Hero House Glendale with the launch planned in Fall 2020 (subject to change due to COVID-19 developments). Hye Rise Investments and Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America (AESA) join the initiative as the strategic partners of Hero House Glendale.

Hero House Glendale will commence its operations with the launch of Gateway to LA (G2LA) - a 3-month acceleration program targeting overseas startups and serving as a gateway for them to expand operations to Southern California and the wider US market while leveraging the business development talent and opportunities in the LA area. SmartGateVC won a $500K award from the City of Glendale for the launch.

During the last few years, the tech landscape in Los Angeles has been going through a significant transformation. It is anticipated that during the next 10 years Los Angeles area will host more technology and tech entrepreneurs and will become the next big home for tech after San Francisco Bay Area. Hero House Glendale aims to serve the naturally-expanding needs of Glendale and the surrounding areas and become a significant player within the new paradigm. With this, Hero House Glendale goes beyond running only the startup program, and, with various partners, will focus on the following directions:

  • hosting and supporting technology companies year around, outside of G2LA;

  • consolidating local scientific and engineering potential around cutting-edge research projects;

  • developing further venture capital and angel investing culture in Glendale and its surrounding regions and establishing angel investors’ community around Hero House Glendale (SmartGateVC and Hye Rise will set the force for the establishment of an in-house VC infrastructure);

  • organizing and hosting various entrepreneurial, investing and technological events, as well as designing and running tech entrepreneurship programs for the youth and students from Glendale

Hambardzum Kaghketsyan, Partner at SmartGateVC said, “We see that many tech companies move out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles is already one of the top destinations. Few people know that Glendale is home to Disney and Dreamworks, while Warner Bros, Caltech and many other amazing organizations and companies are just a 15 min drive from here. Although Hero House Glendale starts with a startup program for international founders, it’s a complex and multi-layered project with many partners and stakeholders involved. Our vision is to become one of top tech hubs in Los Angeles during the next 3-5 years. Let the fun begin.”

Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America (AESA) will be hosted at Hero House Glendale and will play a key role in the activities aiming to unleash and consolidate Armenian scientific and technological potential in the U.S. Headquartered in Glendale, AESA brings together accomplished professionals from a wide range of disciplines in science and technology. It is focused primarily on addressing the professional, technical and scientific needs of fellow Armenians throughout the world. AESA will be a key partner in working with youth and students from Glendale and the surrounding regions in order to promote technology and make it part of Glendale’s DNA.

“AESA has formed a strategic alliance with Hero House to transform Glendale and beyond into a STEM hub incorporating AESA’s resources and network. This alliance is in line with AESA’s mission of enabling the Armenian STEM community to address global challenges through innovative solutions,” said Richard Ohanian, President of AESA.

Hero House Glendale will be located in a 7,000 sq. ft. area at 326 Mira Loma Ave. in Glendale, CA. The venue for Hero House Glendale is provided by Hye Rise Investments, a newly established investment group in Glendale.

“As a serial entrepreneur and investor, my dream was to mentor and invest in tech startups and surround myself with people that are out to change the world. Partnering up with SmartGateVC to bring HeroHouse to Glendale gives me that opportunity to realize the dream and to give back to the city that I always called home,” said Zarik Megerdichian, Founder of Hye Rise Investments.

“The LA area is known for having world-class scientific and educational institutions and we believe that Hero House Glendale will become a bright spot connecting entrepreneurship and academia,” said Vazgen Hakobjanyan, Partner at SmartGateVC.

Hero House Glendale will also be supported by local leading tech companies ServiceTitan and DISQO; Silicon Valley-based Armenian organizations HyeTech and AGBU Silicon Valley Chapter; as well as local leading universities USC, UCLA and Caltech. Each of these partners brings a unique value to Hero House Glendale and the Glendale tech ecosystem.

SmartGateVC also established perk partnerships with more than 20 world-renowned leading tech companies to provide various benefits for its portfolio and Hero House community. Total value of perks exceeds $500K per company.

“Setting up a Hero House in Glendale is a strategic milestone for SmartGateVC that will allow our current and future portfolio companies to efficiently leverage the talent and business opportunities of both North American and European continents. We can't wait to see the cross-border convergence of technology, capital and entrepreneurship into a powerful pipeline of disruptive companies,” said Ashot Arzumanyan, Partner at SmartGateVC.

Fall 2020 is the anticipated launch for the Hero House Accelerator. Learn more about this program at

About Hero House Armenia

In 2017, the founders of SmartGateVC established Hero House in Armenia with the support of the Support to SME Development in Armenia” (EU-SMEDA) Project within the European Union’s EU4Business initiative with an aim to further develop tech entrepreneurship in the Armenian ecosystem. Hero House is a technology hub that runs its own 3-month long startup accelerator program twice a year. 5 regular batches have been accomplished, and a new, more advanced Traction Program will be launched early in June. The Hero House initiatives also converge science and technology through Science and Technology Convergence Conference (STCC), tighten academia-industry collaboration through Artificial Intelligence Incubator, stimulate talent generation and capacity building through Entrepreneurial Assistants’ School and Startup Boost Weekends, and more.

About SmartGateVC

SmartGateVC is a Silicon Valley pre-seed venture capital fund backed by Tim Draper and a network of entrepreneurs and professionals from the U.S., Europe, and MENA. Their key focus areas are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Security, Internet of Things (IoT) and emerging Computational Biotech, Quantum Computing and Blockchain across California, Massachusetts, NYC, Armenia, and wider Eastern Europe. The fund invests on the edge of technology innovation where science and entrepreneurship join to disrupt the status quo. It is a leading Armenian VC fund with its portfolio comprising of 18 deep tech companies.

About Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America

The Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, and non-profit organization with a mission to enable and empower the Armenian STEM community worldwide to reach its fullest potential and facilitate global progress through STEM education, collaboration and humanitarian initiatives. AESA has established various programs for the local community and Armenia, including an annual Science Olympiad aimed to attract youth to careers in science and technology, a Science and Tech Expo and STEM Conference, scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students, free monthly lectures, and networking and mentorship opportunities. In addition, AESA maintains regular contact with various prominent organizations and agencies including UN-Habitat.

About Hye Rise Investments

Hye Rise Investments is a group of seasoned entrepreneurs and executives that invest in companies with strong vision, grit and resilience.


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