ABC7: Galora Feature. Despite some companies leaving, California set to remain as tech capital

ABC7 Screenshot

This interview for ABC7 by Dustin Dorsey is available in full on the ABC7 website.  

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — What do tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook have in common? They are all born out of the state of California.

While the industry is becoming more competitive with some companies leaving for other states, experts say the assets California has to offer to technology will keep it as the tech capital.

Watch the 5 minute interview below.

“The story of modern California is one of risk takers,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “It’s pioneers who tried what no one else was willing to try. Technology has been a breadbasket here in Silicon Valley and really throughout the state of California. You can find the largest brands on the planet from Google, to Apple, to Facebook, to Cisco and newer companies that are sprouting out and growing rapidly.”


One of those new companies is based in Southern California.

Galora Sharing is a way that neighbors can share homemade or homegrown food products and share them with neighbors.

The founder says California helped set his company up for success.

“You don’t have to be part of the fraternity of startup guys anymore,” Galora CEO and Founder Ryan Xavier said. “There’s something about California that’s being a bit more expansive. They’re really trying to open up all of the incredible resources here. Our website gave people a way to not only meet other people, but to put food on the table in a less expensive way and to do something positive. I think California was the right place for that. I think there’s something very idealistic about what we’re doing and it is something that’s tapping into that California dream. Everybody in California hopes to do something broader, something more impactful for their lives. People move here, because of all of the opportunity, because of all the potential for success and to be able to achieve their career goals.”

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The TV Broadcast included previews of the Galora Search function for local homemade goods.

“The great threat to the future of our state isn’t that billionaires may move to other states or that industries will choose to grow throughout the world,” Liccardo said. “The great threat to California is that innovative people will no longer start the next great idea in a garage here in California. Silicon Valley and California will continue to be the place where tech happens. There’s much we need to do to create a more affordable California where people can continue to come from around the world to be able to launch their next great idea, to be able to work and strive and achieve the California dream.”

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Galora ‘s home page featured during live airing of interview.

“We had more than a thousand people sign up in three weeks,” Xavier said. “It’s been a passion project for us to see people posting their fruits and vegetables, home-baked bread, lumpia, chilaquiles, empanadas from Argentina, tiramisu, focaccia, Indian food, Indonesian food.”

If a member doesn’t have extra food supplies, he or she will often assist with fruit picking, preserving, dehydrating or baking, Xavier said. After helping out, the member will keep some persimmon bread or dried fruit or jam and give the rest to neighbors and the fruit tree owner.

“People need to rethink and reevaluate their place in their community, because often they have a skill to contribute,” Xavier said. “We live in an abundant, multitalented community in Los Angeles.”

Xavier sees the food gift economy not only as a way to alleviate loneliness and financial shortages during the pandemic but also as a progressive movement toward rediscovering community.

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Thanks to exciting new startups like Galora, California will remain the tech capital of the future.

“Our members are creating a return to a societal interaction that existed for millennia but has disappeared in modern cities by virtue of private property, a focus on long workdays and commutes, and the isolation of the nuclear family,” Xavier said. “Human beings are social creatures, and a lot of people didn’t really realize the negative impact of this many months of not going into work, of not having a friend circle.”

Xavier also created a mentorship program within Galora, where members can teach one another a skill, whether it’s cooking, foreign-language conversation, ukulele lessons, Lamaze breathing or yoga. Users of the app can access videos with foraging guides, gardening tips and cooking lessons.

Culver City videographer and pastry chef Alexandra Dorros used Galora to make an exchange that many would consider unusual: swapping her avocados for a neighbor’s rabbit feces. Dorros is an avid gardener who uses the rabbit droppings for the compost that fertilizes her 20 fruit trees. Dorros also gives away heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflowers and golden sapotes (a rare fruit that bruises easily and is seldom found in grocery stores) on Galora, and a neighbor she met through the app leaves other types of fruit on her doorstep. During passion fruit season, Dorros donates some of the produce to Nourish L.A., a charity group she found through Galora, and gives away and trades both passion fruit and passion fruit ice cream to neighbors.

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Galora founder Ryan Xavier talks about the idealism in young startups and how the resources of California’s startup community can help change the world.

“With the pandemic, things have changed a lot, and you value your neighbor more, and food more,” Dorros said. “There is definitely a change of going back to basics. Food you’ve grown is even more valuable than going to the supermarket and getting something with pesticides. It’s a little extra love.”

For nurse and Glendale resident Thuy Tran, using Galora to give away produce like moringa leaves, goji berries and passion fruit from her 7,000-square-foot backyard has changed how she feels about the city. “I always thought the city was so selfish,” Tran says. “When I joined Galora, my passion fruit were already growing, so I offered them to people, and they were so excited, and they wanted to know how to grow them, and I even donated my moringa superfood smoothies. … Now, I don’t think the city is so bad.”

Images credited: (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

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