September, 2019

Data collection is about to get much more dangerous


On January First, 2020, California will enact the toughest data protection laws ever, far outpacing Europe’s General Data Protection Act (GDPR.) Called the California Consumer Privacy Ace (CCPA), few of us are even aware of this and need to know.

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Upstart banking company Dave is now worth $1 billion, as Norwest puts in $50 million

TechCrunch LA

Two years after the Los Angeles-based fintech startup Dave launched with a suite of money management tools to save consumers from overdraft fees , the company is now worth $1 billion thanks to a nascent banking practice that had investors lining up.

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Rivian Gets Massive Order of EV Trucks From Amazon


Rivian , the electric truck maker which has offices in Irvine, has received an order for 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Amazon , according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday. Rivian--which is based in Michigan, but has development offices in Irvine--develops electric powered pickups and other trucks. Rivian had raised $700M from Amazon earlier in the year.

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Canoo takes the covers off of its debut electric vehicle

TechCrunch LA

The Los Angeles-based startup Canoo has finally unveiled its first model, the eponymously named canoo.

How TuesdayNights is Helping Women Entrepreneurs Connect With Capital


Raising capital for a female-led startup can be very diffiult--which is what Justine Lassoff and Melinda Moore found out when they started their own company, LovingEco, in Los Angeles. So, to help other female entrepreneurs, they founded TuesdayNights (, a group in LA which helps female entrepreneurs connect with capital and each other to improve their access to capital.

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Impossible Foods will debut in SoCal grocery stores on Friday as first step in phased national rollout

TechCrunch LA

Congratulations Southern California Gelsons store shoppers, you’re getting Impossible Foods on your grocery shelves. The meatless ground meat substitute will be appearing in stores across the Southern California as the first step in a phased nationwide rollout on Friday.

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More Trending

174 Power Global Gets Funding For Solar Power Efforts


Irvine-based 174 Power Global , a utility-scale, solar energy company which is owned by Hanwha Group, said this morning that it has closed on construction financing for a $210M, 150MW solar power plant near Odessa, Texas. The company said construction and term debt is being provided by Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and the Korea Development Bank, and an eight-year "solar hedge" is being provided by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. Terms of the debt were not announced.

Startups Weekly: Upfront Ventures bets on a bus service

TechCrunch LA

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy news pertaining to startups and venture capital. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I profiled an e-commerce startup Part & Parcel.

Base Your New Venture On These New Technology Trends

Startup Professionals Musings

A common request I get while mentoring entrepreneurs is for a copy of the startup checklist they need to follow, in order to build a successful new business. I wish it was that easy.

Tocagen Stock Tanks After Gene Therapy Drug for Brain Cancer Fails


Tocagen’s experimental gene therapy for brain cancer therapy has failed a late-stage test, sinking the biotech’s stock price below $1. San Diego’s Tocagen (NASDAQ: TOCA ), has been testing its drug in recurrent high-grade glioma, the most common and deadly type of brain cancer in adults.

How Startups Can Figure Out Sales: Amos Schwartzfarb, TechStars


Our interview today is with Amos Schwartzfarb , the author of Sell More Faster: The Ultimate Sales Playbook for Start-Ups , which comes out tomorrow, Wednesday. Schwartzfarb is currently Managing Director of Techstars Austin, but spent a significant time in the Los Angeles technology community working with Jake Winebaum at

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6 Founder Actions That Can Kill A Promising Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience as an advisor to entrepreneurs, business startup founders most often point to a shortage of funds as the primary cause of their startup failure.

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Caltech Gets $750M For Climate Research


In the second largest donation ever made to a U.S. university, the California Institute of Technology has received a massive, $750M pledge from entrepreneurs Stewart and Lynda Resnick, to go to environmental sustainability research. The entrepreneurs--who own The Wonderful Company--will go towards research into what Caltech says are the "most pressing challenges" in environmental sustainability.

Effort To Punish China Might Hit LA Instead


A new effort to punish China appears to likely to instead hit Los Angeles jobs instead , due to an obscure provision in a national defense bill, which seeks to bar Chinese manufacturers from supplying things like train cars and buses to the United States. According to a report from Wired, a provision in that national defense bill would block BYD , which manufactures electric buses in Lancaster, from the U.S. market.

With its third fund, Revolution Ventures stays true to its mission

TechCrunch LA

Most of the venture capital firms covered in TechCrunch and other tech publications compete for a spot on the cap table of the hottest Bay Area, New York or Los Angeles companies of the moment. Few seek out companies in Indianapolis, Milwaukee or Tampa.

SRAX Raises $5.5 Million to Fuel European Expansion

L.A. Business Journal

Advertising technology software firm SRAX Inc. announced Tuesday it will bring its product offerings to Europe, an expansion made possible by the closing of an Aug. 12 equity worth $5.5 million

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Most of your big problems start as small problems.


Let’s talk about surprises. And whether to warn your superiors or your boards about these unraveling events early. You have a dashboard or KPI’s, don’t you?

We Need Entrepreneurs Who Think Like Revolutionaries

Startup Professionals Musings

The realm of an entrepreneur is all about change, but in my experience as a mentor to business founders, I hear too much about incremental change, and not enough about revolutionary change.

An Entrepreneur’s Quest to Make Seattle a Genome Sciences Hub


Ivan Liachko turned postdoctoral research at the University of Washington into a company whose genomics tools are now found in laboratories researching human, animal, and plant health. His firm, Phase Genomics was one of the first startups to come out of UW’s genome sciences department.

Video: Advice For First Time Entrepeneurs, Matt Crowley


What are some of the biggest issues that brand new, first time entrepreneurs run into in starting their companies?

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Kensh?, ‘the antithesis of Goop,’ launches a research-based guide to natural medicine

TechCrunch LA

Goop is cashing in on pseudoscience and, in the process, giving natural health practices a bad name. Krista Berlincourt, the co-founder and chief executive officer of a new startup, Kensh? Health , hopes she can take back the narrative. “We’re We’re the antithesis of Goop,” Berlincourt, a fintech veteran who previously led marketing and product at Simple Finance, tells TechCrunch. What we are creating is less of a consumer magazine.

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Fair Obtains $500 Million Credit Facility

L.A. Business Journal

Car leasing startup Fair secured a $500 million loan from Mizuho Bank in the company's third line of credit since July

Can you just tell little business lies?


Are any of these little lies worth worrying over? “He’s He’s not in right now.” “I am going to the doctor at that time.” “I paid only two dollars a unit to your competitor.”

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How Idea People Can Transform Into Visionary Leaders

Startup Professionals Musings

A popular approach for aspiring entrepreneurs these days seems to be to corner anyone who will listen, with a pitch on their current “million dollar idea.” The initial monologue usually ends with the question “How much money do you think this is worth?”

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Enough with the Insanity. We Need to Fix Cybersecurity Now


The year 2019 has been another dreadful period for cyberattacks. The most notorious lowlights include: —More than 40 municipalities , including Baltimore, Albany and 22 cities in Texas alone, have seen their computer systems crippled by ransomware attackers demanding millions of dollars.

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Video Interview: Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, CMO, Los Angeles Rams


What are the lessons that Ronalee Zarate-Bayani , Chief Marketing Officer of the Los Angeles Rams (, has learned as being a female in the executive ranks? We spoke with Ronalee about the LA Rams, the importance of community to the Rams organization, and how she ended up at the Rams.

Workout app Fitplan adds Alex Rodriguez as a trainer… and an investor

TechCrunch LA

Former New York Yankees all star Alex Rodriguez is racking up quite an impressive batting average in his new career as an investor and has added Fitplan to his roster of portfolio companies. The Los Angeles-based workout app launched by Landon Hamilton and Cam Speck has closed on $4.5 million led by A-Rod and Corazon Capital, and has added new celebrity athlete trainers — including Rodriguez — to cover the needs of would-be sports stars and interested amateurs alike.

PlayVS Raises $50 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Esports league organizer PlayVS announced Sept. 19 it raised a $50 million Series C to hire more staff and further its reach into amateur esports competitions

Are your chairman and CEO the same person?


Here’s one that targets most any company that has taken investments at any stage, as well as more mature companies. Why would you split the positions?

10 Symptoms Of An Entrepreneur Who Is Nearly Broken

Startup Professionals Musings

If an entrepreneur doesn’t find themselves in over their head at least 20% of the time, they are probably not pushing the limits, not taking enough risk, and probably not working on an idea that’s worth doing.