January, 2020

Does your company culture encourage employee curiosity?


It’s more common than you think. Some of the world’s best companies to work for are those that encourage employees to spend time following their own paths of curiosity toward development of new products or services.

The electric scooter wars of 2019

TechCrunch LA

Throughout 2019, a number of mobility companies launched in additional markets, while many pulled out of areas that no longer served them. Meanwhile, transportation startups continued to raise more money even as they laid off employees, a sign that industry consolidation has officially begun.

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Caltech Wins $1.1 Billion Patent Verdict Against Apple, Broadcom

L.A. Business Journal

Caltech won a $1.1 billion verdict against Apple and Broadcom for allegedly infringing on the Pasadena university's wireless technology patents

SpaceX reportedly looking to build Starship rockets at Port of LA

TechCrunch LA

SpaceX is said to be in talks with local government officials about setting up a new rocket factory in the Port of Los Angeles, a location that would give it easy access to the ocean for transporting its next-generation Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicles to its coastal launchpad sites in Florida. CNBC reported that these discussions were confirmed by Port of LA officials. As CNBC points out, this isn’t the first time that SpaceX has done this dance with the Port of LA: The company had received approval to build a manufacturing facility in the port two years ago, and agreed on a 10-year, $1.4 million-per-year lease, before subsequently going back on that agreement in 2019. Currently, SpaceX is building its Starship prototype for orbital testing at a facility in Boca Chica, Texas. That’s a one-off vehicle however, intended for the purpose of testing and working out the final design for the Starship, which is meant to be a fully reusable spacecraft, which in tandem with SpaceX’s forthcoming “Super Heavy” booster will be able to take large payloads to orbit — and ultimately to the Moon and Mars. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has shared eventual plans for Starship that involve flying them with very high frequency, and ultimately attaining a rate of construction of 100 Starships per year with the aim of producing 1,000 over the course of the next 10 years. Musk says that this rate of production is required to perform cargo and passenger flights with the frequency and volume needed to establish a permanent human presence on Mars — which, ultimately, has been his goal all along with SpaceX. It stands to reason that building that many large vehicles in that span of time would require additional production facility resources. SpaceX currently manufactures Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy at its facility in Hawthorne, Calif., and then transports those in sections over land, but Starship and Super Heavy will be considerably larger and will likely require transportation by water to reach SpaceX’s launch sites. CNBC’s report cites LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino as saying that SpaceX might seek to be up and running with at least a temporary production facility in as little as 90 days, though no deal is yet finalized between the parties. Space TC Transportation BFR california Elon Musk Falcon 9 falcon heavy florida Los Angeles outer space spaceflight SpaceX Starship texas

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As Virus Fears Rise, LA Company Offers Up Germ Killing Robots To Airports


As worries about the spread of a new virus from China--which has resulted in the quarantine of Wuhan, China , a city of 11 million--a Los Angeles company, Dimer UVC Innovations , is offering up its technology to airports and officials, at no cost, to a number of airports.

TikTok inks licensing deal with Merlin to use music from independent labels in videos and new Resso streaming service

TechCrunch LA

TikTok , the fast-growing user-generated video app from China’s Bytedance, has been building a new music streaming service to compete against the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. And today it’s announcing a deal that helps pave the way for a global launch of it.

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5 Crowdfunding Approaches To Tempt Every Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Even if you ignore all the hype around crowdfunding, there can be no doubt that it is a real alternative for entrepreneurs to achieve visibility and funding today.

TikTok Opens Culver City Office

L.A. Business Journal

Social media company TikTok has opened an office in Culver City's Hayden Tract business park

How to Start a Podcast


2019 was the year podcasting turned into a major industry. A few high-profile acquisitions put Spotify into the running against Apple, while buzzy new startups like Luminary jumped into the pool as well.

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OpenX's Tim Cadogan To Take Over At GoFundMe


Tim Cadogan , the current CEO of Pasadena-based OpenX , is set to take over at San Diego-based GoFundMe , according to GoFundMe. Cadogan is taking over for Rob Solomon, who had been CEO of GoFundMe for the last five years. The reason for the shift was not given, however, GoFundMe said that Solomon will stay as Chairman of the company. GoFundMe lets peopel raise money through crowdfunding, for everything from charitable causes to personal needs. READ MORE>>.

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LA tech industry mourns Kobe Bryant

TechCrunch LA

The Los Angeles startup community is joining the rest of the world in mourning the death of NBA superstar, entrepreneur and investor Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Special edition: Building semi pro audio video studio


Like to make professional videos for a small cost? Postings to on-line sites? Dave takes you through the process, shows the results, and gives you the costs. There’s lots more information you will find as you experiment and may need when selecting and learning the tools Dave lists.

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7 Keys To Active Listening For Real Customer Feedback

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs and business executives seem to be even more focused on their technology than the rest of us, and less inclined to listen to the voice of the customer, even if they remember to ask.

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Snap Acquires AI Factory for $166 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Santa Monica-based Snap Inc. paid $166 million to acquire AI Factory Inc., a San Francisco-based startup founded by Snap's former director of engineering

The Business Tech You Need in 2020


The new year is officially here and, hopefully, your business is thriving. Customers are happy, clients are beaming, and the revenue just keeps rolling in.

Acquicent Adds Advisor, Investor


Los Angeles-based Acquicent , the startup which is developing a marketplace that allows users to invest in "museum-grade" collectibles such as art and vintage automobiles, is announcing this morning that it has added Kevin Conroy, CEO of ConroyMedia and former director of Sotheby's, as both an advisor and ivnestor.

China Roundup: Tencent’s new US gaming studio and WeChat’s new paywall

TechCrunch LA

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. The spotlight this week is back on Tencent, which has made some interesting moves in gaming and content publishing.

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The dangerous game: Hiring from a competitor


Sometimes it is the first thought you or your managers have when in need of skilled talent, especially for sales or product development. It is not hard to find and observe the best employees of a good competitor at work, skillfully moving the competitor forward in a visible way.

Startups Are Not Just The Realm Of Young Generations

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest myths in the business world is that startups are no place for Baby Boomers, that aging generation born between 1945 and 1964.

BYD to Build Rancho Dominguez Plant

L.A. Business Journal

EV maker BYD Motors will construct a 50,000-square-foot facility in Rancho Dominguez to build electric forklifts


Startup Spotlight: Business AF Podcast

Startup San Diego

Meet Chris and Marisa, co-hosts of the Business AF podcast, a weekly LIVE podcast that features business owners, industry experts, professionals and more. Learn what challenges the hosts have overcome and what makes them tick.

PayPal Completes $4 Billion Acquisition Of Honey


San Jose-based PayPal Holdings said this morning that it has completed its $4 billion cash acquisition of Los Angeles-based Honey , the developer of a browser plug-in that helps consumers find the best coupons for purchases when they are shopping online. According to PayPal, the deal will "transform the shopping experience for PayPal's consumers while increasing sales and customer engagement for its merchants."

Los Angeles-based Luxury Presence raised $5.4 million for its real estate marketing services

TechCrunch LA

Real estate is a big business in the sprawling city of Los Angeles, and new technology tools to target the industry continue to attract investor attention. The latest of these is Luxury Presence , which pitches digital marketing services to real estate agents and has raked in $5.4

Can your employees recruit from a customer or supplier?


The recruitment traps. It has happened to all of us who have been leaders in business long enough. One of your employees is approached by an employee of a customer or of a supplier, stating that “It sure would be great to work in your company.”

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9 Keys To Finding The Perfect Angel Investor For You

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time advisor to entrepreneurs, and a former angel myself, I still find startups confused about the definition of an angel investor, and how and when to attract one.

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Scopely Acquires FoxNext Games

L.A. Business Journal

Scopely Inc. acquired Century City-based game developer FoxNext Games from the Walt Disney Co.

Game Design Showcase 2020

SoCal Tech Calendar

Friday, January 31, 2020 -- Game Design Showcase 2020. Celebrate and play original games created by NYFA's Game Design graduating class! Join the NYFA Game Design graduating class of 2020 as they head off on their next big adventure: the real world! The NYFA Game Design Showcase features drinks, food and original video games and board games created by our MFA and BFA graduate students!

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Caltech Wins $1.1 Billion Lawsuit Against Apple And Broadcom


The California Institute of Technology has won a $1.1 billion patent lawsuit it filed against Apple and Broadcom on Wednesday, where it had alleged the infringement of its patents on Wi-Fi technology. The lawsuit--which had been filed in 2016--had alleged that Broadcom's wireless chips infringed on the university's patents. Those chips are widely used in Apple's iPhones. Both Broadcom and Apple have said they will appeal the verdict. READ MORE>>.

Los Angeles-based CREXi raises $29 million for its online real estate marketplace

TechCrunch LA

Los Angeles is one of the most desirable locations for commercial real estate in the United States, so it’s little wonder that there’s something of a boom in investments in technology companies servicing the market coming from the region. It’s one of the reasons that CREXi , the commercial real estate marketplace, was able to establish a strong presence for its digital marketplace and toolkit for buyers, sellers, and investors.

Do you empower others?


So, we’ve previously discussed why it is important for you to build consensus in an organization in most every major decision.

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