September, 2016

What to Make of Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns?

Both Sides of the Table

Rolf Winkler wrote a piece in the WSJ about A16Z’s returns in which he says they “lag behind Sequoia, Benchmark and Founders Fund.”

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This Startup Hacked LinkedIn To Recruit Customers & Reduce Churn


A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. Businesses typically use LinkedIn to recruit employees. However, savvy startups can leverage LinkedIn to create a customer acquisition and a churn reduction tool.

Trending Sources

New Cybersecurity Alliance Continues Trend of Industry Collaboration


For the cybersecurity industry, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of alliances. There have been a series of tie-ups, as security-tech companies try to boost their businesses and amplify their products via acquisitions.

Comparably Snags eHarmony Vet As CMO


Santa Monica-based Comparably , the startup which helps employees and employers track compensation and company culture data, has snagged a high profile hire this morning, hiring on eHarmony veteran Armen Avedissian as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Comparably--which is led by serial entrepreneur Jason Nazar--offersup an online salary comparison site which also helps companies to find candidates for jobs, among other services.

More Trending

These High School Dropouts Crushed It With Some Simple Growth Hacks


A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. Novelist and High School Dropout Louis L'Amour knew the importance of seemingly unimportant people (AP Photo). Growth hacking” is one of today’s most overused terms, yet despite its trendiness, it predates the Internet by centuries.

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What Startups Can Do About Cyber Attacks


ROX Medical Gets $40M Funding


San Clemente-based ROX Medical , a startup developing medical devices to treat hypertension, has raised $40M in a Series E funding, the company said this morning. The funding was led by Novartis Venture Fund and Apple Tree Partners and also included prior investors Versant Ventures and Domain Associates. ROX Medical, which is led by CEO Rodney Brenneman, develops a stent-like device placed between the artery and vein in the upper leg, which reduces blood pressure.

Comparably Hires eHarmony’s President Armen Avedissian

L.A. Business Journal

Comparably of Santa Monica announced it has hired eHarmony’s former President Armen Avedissian as it as its chief marketing officer

How to avoid “death by meeting.”


Imagine yourself with a calendar requiring you to be in six meetings in a day. Day after day. How long would it take to induce you to rethink your use of time – and that of the others sitting (or standing) beside you?

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A Teachable Moment on Race

Both Sides of the Table

Yesterday was the opening of the African American Museum in Washington DC, dedicated to the role that African Americans have played in building our country and our culture. It was signed into law 13 years ago by then president George W.

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The 5 Criteria That Matter When Evaluating A College Entreprenurial Program


A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. A friend recently asked me to give his startup-minded daughter some advice to help her vet undergraduate entrepreneurial programs.

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Ginkgo Builds Out Robot Labs as Microbe Design Business Grows: Photos


View the Slideshow If Ginkgo Bioworks has its way, robots and software will someday handle most of the genetic engineering work currently performed by scientists sitting at lab benches. Ginkgo is contributing to that shift.

How ContractSafe Wants To Help You Get Your Legal Docs In Order, With Ken Button


For a lot of companies�and their management and legal teams-- managing the reams of paperwork involved with legal contracts is a big, disorganized mess. To address that disaster, Ken Button and Randy Bishop�two veterans of the startup industry�created ContractSafe (, a new online service aimed at helping companies to tame that mess and manage and store their contracts in the cloud.

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Silicon Beach Report Sept. 14: Comparably Hires eHarmony’s President Armen Avedissian

L.A. Business Journal

Comparably hires eHarmony’s president Armen Avedissian, LeEco buys production studio Dichotomy Creative Group, and Snapchat increases ad targeting

Eye of the needle? Why worry over your bottlenecks.


Think for a minute whether there is any process or person that could be classed as the eye of the needle in your organization. Is there anything, process or person, that stalls the flow of work from start to finish?

How Do VCs Choose Their Investors (and should entrepreneurs care?)

Both Sides of the Table

I recently read a blog post by Beezer Clarkson, Managing Director of Sapphire Ventures about why entrepreneurs should care about from whom their VC funds raise their capital. I spent a bunch of time thinking about this position — especially since Beezer is an investor in Upfront Ventures.

Pasadena Angels invest over $1M in iKizmet

Ask the Angels

Pasadena, California (September 22, 2016) – The Pasadena Angels (PA) today announced the second investment from their PA Fund 1 (The Fund). The Fund invested an additional $75K in iKizmet, a business intelligence platform specifically created for small businesses operating fitness, wellness studios, and gyms. iKizmet allows these businesses to transform important financial, marketing and customer services data into actionable insights and smart metrics.

Immunotherapy Clinical Tests Spur Hope, and Plenty of Headaches


Thanks to remarkable results in a small group of patients, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter , cancer immunotherapy has spurred talk of once impossible-to-imagine cures and has gained its share, perhaps more than its share, of hype.

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TaskUs Boosts Executive Staff With Trio Of Hires, Now Has 5300 Employees


Santa Monica-based TaskUs , the fast growing provider of outsourced customer experience and back end services for online companies, said it has hired three new executives on Thursday, to help it with its growth efforts. TaskUs said it has named Balaji Sekar as its new Chief Financial Officer, Christopher McLaughline-Brooks as Chief Information Officer, and Lital Gilad-Shaoulian as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

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Silicon Beach Report Sept. 26: Snapchat Changes Its Name, Unveils Sunglasses with Camera

L.A. Business Journal

Snapchat changes its name and unveils sunglasses with camera, Disney in talks to buy Twitter, SpaceX test fires Mars rocket and more

A simple test: “Are we managing like jerks?”


Are we who issue orders to associates or employees ever acting as jerks? We’d never like to think so, or we wouldn’t do it in the first place. If someone is saying “This is confusing to me” when you’ve given an instruction or order, there are a number of ways to respond.

Why It’s OK to Show Your Anger

Both Sides of the Table

There’s an old saying in polite circles in the United States that there are two things one should never talk about a social gatherings: Politics & Religion.

Energy Storage North America

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, October 6, 2016 -- Energy Storage North America. North America's largest conference, exhibition and networking event for the energy storage industry. Now in its fourth year, ESNA connects developers, energy users, utilities and policymakers to advance understanding and deployment of energy storage and ultimately build a cleaner, more affordable, and more resilient grid. See [link] (more

Qualcomm and AT&T Partner to Use Wireless Network for Drone Flights


After signaling that it plans to operate drones via cellular technologies, San Diego-based Qualcomm says today it is working with AT&T to use commercial wireless networks for test flights beyond an operator’s visual line of sight.

Microsemi Adds To Board


Aliso Viejo-based semiconductor developer Microsemi announced today thatit has named Kimberly Alexy to its board of directors. Alexy serves on the boards of FireEye, Five9, CalAmp, and VIZIO. The company said Alexy has more than 20 years of combined experience, and has chaired audit, compensation, nomination and governance committees at mlutiple publicly traded companies. READ MORE>>. microsemi executive board semiconductor kimberly alexy

SGN Renames Itself Jam City, Acquires ‘Peanuts’ Franchise

L.A. Business Journal

SGN has renamed itself Jam City in a rebranding effort aimed at better reflecting its portfolio of games


Hire on ability. Fire on fit.


This is not necessarily the way we intend to behave as managers, but our headline reflects the reality of most experiences when viewed in retrospect. We carefully vet the potential hire for experience required.

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Fueling Extremism in a Wired World [ LOS ANGELES ]


Nazis used radio; today’s extremists use social media. Then as now, new technology provides extremists with unchecked ability to spread hate and prey upon disenfranchised audiences to realize their deadly agenda. This event will explore the tension between protecting free speech and limiting incendiary propaganda. What responsibility do technology companies, governments, and individuals have to limit uses of technology to keep our world safe? Speakers.