December, 2018

Top CTO Challenges for 2019

SoCal CTO

The LA CTO Forum recently conducted a survey to find out what our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) members saw as their biggest challenges heading into 2019. We received over 250 responses that provides a pretty good insight into the top CTO challenges.

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Virtual reality gaming and the pursuit of “flow state”

TechCrunch LA

Maggie Lane. Contributor. Share on Twitter. Maggie Lane is a writer and producer of virtual reality experiences and covers the industry for various publications. More posts by this contributor. Inside Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles VR Interview Experience.

Should I license my IP, sell a royalty stream, or just produce products?

Berkonomics

This week we contacted royalty licensing expert, the well-respected Arthur Lipper, asking the magic question. Why are you so strongly sold on royalty licensing as the most effective way to finance a tech-based early stage company?

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Apple to Employ 1,000 at New Culver City Office

L.A. Business Journal

Apple Inc. plans to employ 1,000 people in a new office in Culver City, the Cupertino, Calif.-based based tech giant announced today

Calibrate Ventures Raises $80M Investment Fund

socalTECH

Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures , a brand new venture capital firm founded by Kevin Dunlap and Jason Schoettler, announced on Tuesday morning that it has raised $80M in its very first venture capital fund, Calibrate Ventures, L.P. According to the newly created venture capital firm, it will focus on early revenue startups, focused on companies across both the consumer and enterprise sectors.

Saxena: More Than a Tool, A.I. Must Be Used With Society in Mind

Xconomy

[ Updated 12/27/18, 9:54 am ] Manoj Saxena is bullish on artificial intelligence. As chairman of Austin, TX-based A.I. startup CognitiveScale and managing director of The Entrepreneur Fund , which makes investments in early-stage machine learning companies, Saxena believes A.I.

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Freeletics raises $45M for its AI-powered mobile fitness coach

TechCrunch LA

One of Europe’s most popular fitness applications is poised to flourish in the U.S. market with the help of several Los Angeles-based investors. Freeletics , headquartered in Munich, Germany, is today announcing its first round of private capital after bootstrapping since 2013.

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Risk, insanity, and the 50% startup rule

Berkonomics

Fifty percent of all businesses formed fail within the first two years. . There are many variations of this number since there are a number of ways to measure failure. But the number is a startling reminder that creating a business is not easy, nor is it any assurance of success.

West Hollywood Vacation Rental Outfit Raises $5 Million

L.A. Business Journal

AvantStay, a West Hollywood-based hospitality firm that provides short-term vacation rentals to groups, announced Dec. 19 it received $5 million in a round led by Menlo park investment firm Bullpen Capital

NASA JPL, Tech Companies Hacked By Chinese Spies, Says Justice Department

socalTECH

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory , in Pasadena, as well as dozens of technology companies--at least one managed service provider (MSP)--have been hacked by Chinese spies, according to an indictment by the Justice Department filed on Thursday. The indictment , filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, accuses a state-backed hacking group of hacking into companies from at least 2006 until 2018.

RiverVest Venture Closes $184M Fund for Backing Healthcare Ventures

Xconomy

RiverVest Venture Partners, a St. Louis, MO-based venture capital firm with additional offices in San Diego, CA, and Cleveland, OH, has raised $184.4 million for its fourth fund dedicated to investing in healthcare companies.

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11th Annual Digital Family Reunion

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 -- Digital Family Reunion. Please join us for the 11th Annual Digital Family Reunion, the premier holiday party celebrating LA's vibrant technology community. Come reconnect with old friends and enjoy quality networking with fellow technology, media and finance professionals from across biotech, martech, fintech, blockchain, healthtech, IoT, big data, VR, AR, AI, entertainment and more. See [link] (more

Apple plans major US expansion including a new $1 billion campus in Austin

TechCrunch LA

Apple has announced a major expansion that will see it open a new campus in North Austin and open new offices in Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles as it bids to increase its workforce in the U.S.

Can a revolutionary concept be too late to market?

Berkonomics

Too many startup businesses, especially in the technology world, are built upon brand new concepts that have not yet been proven in the field against products from other companies that already have revenues flowing.

Game Developer Pearl Abyss Moves to Manhattan Beach

L.A. Business Journal

Pearl Abyss Corp., based in Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea, announced Dec. 12 it will move from a temporary office in Irvine, Calif., to establish a full-time U.S. headquarters at the Omni Group Towers in Manhattan Beach

Reflections on 2018: Mike Panesis, Center for Entrepreneurship at CLU

socalTECH

Editor's note: As we head into the new year, we've been featuring reflections on 2018 from notable investors, entrepreneurs, and others from Southern California's technology community. You'll be able to browse all of those contributions here. Here's Mike Panesis , Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at California Lutheran University (CLU). What was the biggest lesson you learned this year? It's difficult to choose one. I regularly learn something new from our students.

Udacity Achieves 50,000 Nanodegree Grads Amid Company Reorganization

Xconomy

Udacity , a pioneer in the online teaching of IT skills, is celebrating a milestone today—50,000 students have now graduated from one of its revenue-generating “Nanodegree” programs.

Stradling Office Hours @ CONNECT, Dec 14

SoCal Tech Calendar

Friday, December 14, 2018 --.

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Elementary Robotics raises cash to expand in Los Angeles’ growing robotics hub

TechCrunch LA

Elementary Robotics has raised $3.6 million in seed funding to begin building a manufacturing facility and expand its presence in Los Angeles as the city continues to grow as a hub for robotics and automation. .

Can a “good-hearted” entrepreneur succeed in business?

Berkonomics

People argue over whether an entrepreneur with a sense of fairness, a desire for collegiality, a want to share the profits can succeed in the long run within a business world full of lions and tigers that eat timid entrepreneurs for lunch. Does a “good heart” diminish the chances of success?

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 5: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Creates New Venture

L.A. Business Journal

Upfront Ventures leads $14 million MetaCX round; Axiomatic invests in Matcherino; Hyperloop Transportation Technologies links with German port authority

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Reflections on 2018: Alon Goren, 805 Startups and Crypto Invest Summit

socalTECH

Editor's note: As we head into the new year, we've been featuring reflections on 2018 from notable investors, entrepreneurs, and others from Southern California's technology community. You'll be able to browse all of those contributions here. Here's Alon Goren , founder of 805 Startups and the Crypto Invest Summit. What was the biggest lesson you learned this year? Stick to what you love and what you know and do best.

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Synthorx Gets $131M In Upsized IPO For Synthetic Biology Drugs

Xconomy

Synthorx, which is working to develop cancer and autoimmune therapies using technology that allows it to expand the genetic alphabet, raised $131 million in an upsized IPO on Thursday. The company sold more than 11.9 million shares at $11 apiece. Nearly 1.8

Financial Services Cybersecurity Roundtable

SoCal Tech Calendar

Friday, December 14, 2018 --.

AppOnboard raises $15 million to let Android users try before they buy apps on Google Play

TechCrunch LA

Pitching app developers with a new way to convert app browsers into actual customers, AppOnboard has raised $15 million in a new round of funding, the company said.

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Lyft is becoming a one-stop transportation app in these 3 cities

TechCrunch LA

Lyft is turning its app into a one-stop multimodal transportation app in a few U.S.

Volvo Trucks teases the all-electric semi truck it’s bringing to California in 2019

TechCrunch LA

Volvo Trucks released teaser images Wednesday of the electric trucks it plans to bring to California next year as part of a demonstration project, the latest truck manufacturer to publicize its electric plans in the state. The attraction to California is no accident. The state has set aggressive targets to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions, particularly those generated from tailpipes.

Putting the band back together, ExactTarget execs reunite to launch MetaCX

TechCrunch LA

Scott McCorkle has spent most of his professional career thinking about business to business software and how to improve it for a company’s customers.

Fair Raises $385 Million, Led by SoftBank

L.A. Business Journal

Car leasing and financing provider Fair announced Dec. 20 it completed a $385 million Series B round, led by SoftBank Group Corp. Following this round, Fair now has access to nearly a $1 billion in debt capital since its 2016 founding and has raised over $500 million in equity to date

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Razor, Lime Deploy E-Scooters in LA

L.A. Business Journal

Four months after announcing its arrival in Long Beach, Cerritos-based Razor USA will bring shared electric scooters to LA, as well