January, 2022

The best advice startups will never follow


Dave’s note: This is a reprint of a 2015 insight that seems to have struck a chord with investors and entrepreneurs. None of this advice has changed… Let me tell you a few short hair–raising stories of entrepreneurs who have raised money and regretted it later.

Fintech Launches Crypto Bank Account for Hispanics

L.A. Business Journal

A West Hollywood-based fintech announced the launch of a banking program Dec. 20 aimed at building Hispanic wealth through stakes in the crypto sector


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7 Keys To A Long-Term Career View As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Is it possible to be successful in business and not fulfilled?

ImmPACT Bio Lands $111M For Cancer Therapy


Camarillo-based ImmPACT Bio, a company developing cancer therapies, said this week that it has raised $111M in a Series B financing round. The funding was led by venBio Partners, along with Foresite Capital and Decheng Capital, plus Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), OrbiMed, Novartis Venture Fund, RM Global Partners (RMGP), and Bukwang Pharmaceutical. According to the company, the new funding will go to advance its next-generation CAR T-cell therapies.

Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

Seven Tech Startups To Watch Out For In 2022


Well, another year has come and gone, and while we're yet to leave the pandemic behind, it has led to a record number of small businesses starting up. With all these businesses forming, it's possible that some future household names are finding their footing as we speak.

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LINK Agency: Utilizing TikTok to Skyrocket Brand Awareness

StartUp Beat

One could say that 2021 taught us many things, but it could be argued that one of its most interesting lessons was how valuable the art of going viral is—giving people the capacity to reach millions from their at-home wifi […].

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Clean Tech Startup Mote Unveils Plans for $100M Carbon Capture Plant

L.A. Business Journal

There’s a new local entrant in the global decarbonization race: Culver City-based cleantech startup Mote Inc

6 Strategies For Luring Investors To Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Fundraising is brutal. Actually, according to Paul Graham of Y-Combinator fame, “Raising money is the second hardest part of starting a startup. The hardest part is making something people want.” More startups may fail for that reason, but a close second is the difficulty of raising money.

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TuSimple Sends Fully Autonomous Semi 80 Miles, Without A Human On Board


San Diego-based autonomous driving company TuSimple reports that it has sent its first, fully autonomous semi--without even a safety driver in the truck--80 miles, going from Tucson, Arizona to Phoenix. According to TuSimple, its truck made its 80 mile run on December 22nd, traveling from a railyard in Tucson, navigating surface streets and a highway at night, and arrived at a high volume distribution center in Phoenix.

Class 168

PortalOne raises $60M as it levels up to launch its hybrid, immersive gaming platform later this year


Gaming has been one of the most popular entertainment categories in the last two years of pandemic living.

Is Real Estate a Good Investment? The Pros & Cons of Real Estate Investing


Real estate investments are among some of the riskiest investments, but they’re also one of few investments that yield higher returns. One of the things that makes real estate so… The post Is Real Estate a Good Investment?

If you’re lucky enough: Celebrate your exit!


How might you view your successful exit from the company you have spent so much effort to build?

Solar Energy Company Heliogen Set for New Year’s Eve Debut on NYSE

L.A. Business Journal

As the clock was running out on 2021, L.A. County was poised to get another publicly traded company: Pasadena-based solar technology firm Heliogen Inc

How To Prevent Gaps in An Innovative Startup Strategy

Startup Professionals Musings

Everyone in the business world has heard of the classic bestseller by Geoffrey A. Moore titled “ Crossing the Chasm ,” but most entrepreneurs have no idea how it relates to them.

ONK Therapeutics Snags $21.5M for NK Cell Therapies


San Diego- and Galway, Ireland-based ONK Therapeutics announced today that it has raised $21.5M in its Series A funding. The funding was led by Acorn Bioventures and ALSHC, plus Cormorant Asset Management. The startup says it is developing optimally engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies. ONK said the new funding will go to drive multiple, pre-clinical programs through IND-enabling studies, and also go towards GMP manufacturing capability. The company's CEO is Chris Nowers.

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Glossier just laid off one-third of its corporate employees, mostly in tech


Glossier, the popular beauty brand led by former blogger Emily Weiss, let go of 80 of its corporate employees today, according to an internal email obtained by Modern Retail.

VC investors: Don’t be greedy even if you can.


First, the marginal exit event: Sometimes the end game or sale of the company is not a happy event for the early investors, including the entrepreneur or the founders.

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Curling Center Reflects Vernon’s Push to Grow Beyond Industrial Reputation

L.A. Business Journal

Peter Dohm’s list of top places to build an ice curling facility in 2019 did not include Vernon

Vernon 219

Long Beach Airport Begins Work on $25M Taxiway Improvement Project

L.A. Business Journal

Construction began earlier this month on a $25 million project to reconstruct a major taxiway at Long Beach Airport, according to an announcement from city of Long Beach, which runs the airport

UCLA Spinout Concrete-AI Closes $2M Seed Round for Concrete Efficiency Platform

L.A. Business Journal

Westwood-based Concrete-AI Inc., a UCLA spinout with technology to enable more efficient use of concrete, announced January 13th that it has raised $2 million in a seed financing round led by Boston-based Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment

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Edison Moves Forward With $1.2B Battery Storage Contract

L.A. Business Journal

Last month, Southern California Edison, the electric utility subsidiary of Rosemead-based Edison International, announced two major moves to reduce reliance on greenhouse gases (GHG

5 Tips For Startups Looking For A Great Solution Idea

Startup Professionals Musings

Potential startup founders are always looking for ideas to implement, when they should be looking for problems to solve. Customers pay for solutions, but there is no market for ideas. I’m often approached by people with a “million dollar idea,” but I haven’t seen anyone pay that for one yet.

Ideas 118

6 Essential Leadership Practices Raise Accountability

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to business executives and owners, I often hear discussions about employee accountability , almost always focusing on the negative.

Coach 116

Chronos Tech Names CEO


San Diego-based Chronos Tech said this week that it has named Ali Farhang as CEO of the company. Farhang also will join the company's board of directors. Farhang was most recently Corporate Vice President at Micron Technology, and also served 26 years at Intel. Chronos Tech is developing technology for systems-on-a-chip (SoC) in the cloud computing, AI, mobile, automotive, and other areas. chronos tech semiconductor farhang executive intel micron

8 Growth Practices That Every Startup Needs To Follow

Startup Professionals Musings

Many new business owners I know have learned the hard way that you can never be everything for everyone. As a startup, you need to use your limited resources to excel at a few core things for your best customers, in order to stand out and get the momentum going.

10 Benefits Of True Multi-Tasking As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

With the cost of entry at an all-time low, and the odds of success equally low, more and more entrepreneurs are starting multiple companies concurrently.

7 Startup Partner Pairings That You Are Apt To Regret

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs who start a company alone soon come to the conclusion that two heads are better than one – someone to share the workload, the hard decisions, costs, and tasks you don’t like. In a moment of crisis, you may be tempted to take on the first person expressing interest as a co-founder.

7 Keys To An Engaging Framework For Social Media Mktg

Startup Professionals Musings

Most startups, and many big businesses, still don’t have a clue on how to use social media productively for marketing their business.

Classy: More Than $1.1 Billion Raised For Nonprofits


San Diego-based nonprofit fundraising software developer Classy says that more than $1.1 billion was raised by its nonprofit customers on its platform in 2021. The company--which helps nonprofits reach out to donors--said about $30.8 million of that was in recurring donations on its platform. The company has been developing tools to help nonprofits move donors to give on a recurring basis--more like a subscription--rather than just provide on-time donations. The company said it saw $19.9

5 Keys To Establishing A Caring Culture In Your Team

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s easy to say to people on your team that they must be accountable for their actions, but it’s not so easy to tell them how to do it. It’s even harder to give them the mindset of wanting to be accountable.

AmazeVR Finds $15M For Virtual Reality Concerts


Los Angeles-based AmazeVR has raised $15M more in a new funding, from Partners Investment and Murex Partners, plus Smilegate Investment, Quantum Ventures Korea, ABC Partners, Everrich Group, GS Futures, We Ventures, Base Investment, Duname&Partners, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Partners Investment and Timewise Investment. The company offers up a way for artists to hold concerts in augmented reality. The company has now raised $30.8M in total.

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6 Hiring Principles To Grow The Best New Venture Team

Startup Professionals Musings

Startup investors tell me they invest in a new venture with a higher caliber of people, rather than the product or service, and I agree. In my role as a business advisor, I see successful businesses most often emerging from great teams rather than great products.

6 Signs That Your Startup Could Be The Next Exception

Startup Professionals Musings

I tell entrepreneurs that Google was an “exception” to all the investment and startup rules, but I’ve always wondered what it takes to be an exception. Since every business is built by unique individuals, I’m totally convinced that exceptional people are the key to an exceptional company.

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8 Reasons Why Great People Make Processes Repeatable

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business needs repeatable processes to grow and thrive, but modern business processes need the right people to make them efficient and productive. In addition, today’s customers judge a company by perceived people relationships through social media, phone conversations, and sales experiences.

Coach 104

5 Key Attributes Of A High-Performing Business Leader

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business leader I know struggles with the challenges of leadership , and is constantly honing their formula for success. We all wish it could be boiled down to a short list of actions, but we continue to be surprised and frustrated by new situations that seem to be beyond our thinking.

5 Components Of A Startup That Will Bring Fulfillment

Startup Professionals Musings

Building a startup is hard work for low pay, it’s risky, and it requires total responsibility to make it work. Yet, many entrepreneurs are the happiest people I know. On the other hand, I know many unhappy individuals who are always partying, have minimal commitments, and little responsibility.

Study 103