UC Irvine is leading an effort to turn O.C. into the next Silicon Beach

(L.A. Times, October 29, 2015) – On a recent evening, a crowd of entrepreneurs, investors and tech consultants gathered at an office building near UC Irvine, drinking Heineken, playing pingpong and watching the San Diego Chargers take an early lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But the socializing was just background for the main event: an emerging effort to connect Orange County entrepreneurs and financiers in building a local technology sector more like those in Silicon Valley and L.A.’s Silicon Beach.

Salar Soroori, a 36-year-old entrepreneur, stepped in front of a wall of televisions and pitched his company, Datavia Systems. It’s a new entrant in the burgeoning field of “big data,” the mining of business intelligence from massive databases.

After his presentation, he closed with a simple request: that he might chat with some of the business leaders, investors and tech executives. A short while later, Soroori walked up to the chief financial officer of a $6.5-billion company and talked up his venture.

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