February, 2012

10 Startup Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Superheroes


As part of UC Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Jason Nazar, Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc , recently shared ten lessons that emerging entrepreneurs can learn from superheroes.

How This Entrepreneur Raised $28,000 Using Airbnb to Fund Her Startup

Both Sides of the Table

Tracy DiNunzio isn’t your typical Silicon Valley startup founder. She’s a painter and a self-proclaimed Bohemian. She did her first tech startup after the age of 30. And she didn’t start her company in Northern California. Tracy built her company, Recycled Media , out of necessity.

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Trending Sources

The Complete Guide To Southern California Accelerators and Incubators, Part I


In recent months, a dozen accelerators and incubators have emerged in the Southern California area, looking to help take the new generation of technology startups to funding and beyond. However, with the proliferation of incubators, the difficulty in figuring out.

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Stephan Paternot shares open letter to Facebook’s Zuckerberg

Tech Zulu Event

Amidst the media frenzy surrounding Facebook’s S1 filing to go public, some people took pause today to reflect on what the IPO could mean for the social networking giant.

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The End of the Mexican Road

Both Sides of the Table

Negotiations. We all think we’re good at them. Most people aren’t that good. For many the idea of negotiations is “let’s split the difference 50/50.” ” In some situations this is the right answer. In many cases it’s not.

Interview with Steve Jillings, TeleSign


Steve Jillings has a long track record of running successful startups in Southern California, ranging from such companies as FrontBridge Technologies (sold to Microsoft in 2005 for over $200M) and Vantage Media (acquired in 2007).

Amplify’s Guide to Crafting a Pitch Deck | Entrepreneur Resources

Tech Zulu Event

As we turn our ideas for the future into the latest startups and companies of today, there’s always a need for resources to help guide one through the process of it all.

UCI Entrepreneurship: Sydney Edwards, Allergan

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 -- Sydney Edwards, Ph.D., Senior Director, Portfolio Management and Strategic Planning, Allergan. Entrepreneurship Course, 2012 Guest Speaker Lectures, Henry Samueli School of Engineering, UC Irvine. Free and open to the public. This series is part of a course on Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers, but enrollment is not necessary to attend these guest speaker lectures Email goran@uci.edu for details.

Learn the science – practice the art of negotiation.


From the time we learn to manipulate our parents from the crib to the present day, we learn to negotiate to obtain our wants and needs. As we grow, we negotiate constantly with our parents, then with our peers. As we enter the business world, we negotiate with our bosses and our subordinates.

Five Startup Tips From Bill Gates


Note: This is an installment in the Iconic Advice series. Other installments include: Jeff Bezos , Steve Jobs , Mark Cuban , Richard Branson , Walt Disney , Mark Zuckerberg , Michael Dell and Larry Ellison. For more than 30-years, Bill Gates has been at the pinnacle of the software industry.

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Everybody Wants Their Pound of Flesh (Negotiating with Buyers)

Both Sides of the Table

I recently wrote a post about negotiating with suppliers called “ The End of the Mexican Road.” ” The post talked about how to find the lowest acceptable price & terms in a deal through testing.

Los Angeles Becomes YouTube's Content Hub With New Playa Vista Studio


The Los Angeles area is fast becoming the content hub for online video site YouTube , a position that takes advantage of both the LA region's long history in the entertainment business, and the rise of a slew of startups producing content specifically aimed at the YouTube audience. According to a property developer in Playa Vista, YouTube has signed an 11-year lease for a 41,000 square foot office building in the location.

Women 2.0 Conference 2012 | For The Men Who Missed It

Tech Zulu Event

Just like the sky scraping investment banks of Wall Street, the technology industry tends to be a sausage party. A Silicon Valley conference is a room full of suits, with the occasional skirt suite. So when I heard about Women 2.0

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Should you sell or is that a ??Sell Out???

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 -- Should you sell or is that a Sell Out? Acquisition lessons from both sides of the deal. Dealmaker LA. Last year companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Salesforce gobbled up a multitude of startups to strengthen their talent and technology strategies. However, just because theyve got money to burn doesnt mean you should consider selling. 75% of acquisitions fail due to timing, out clauses, and cultural fit.

Consider all resources before seeking investment.


I cannot tell you how many times I have seen executive summaries of business plans in which the entrepreneur seeks $5,000,000 to build the business. First, few startups can use that much money today with all of the virtual services available and increasingly inexpensive methods of development, prototyping and marketing.

StartEngine Creating Value for PROnoise.com

Steve Reich

One of the founders of PROnoise.com, an Indie music site that will shortly go live, confirmed that he’s getting real value out from being part of the StartEngine Accelerator.

Find Egg-breakers: People With Influence & Authority and Are Unafraid to Use Them

Both Sides of the Table

My friend and fellow SoCal venture capitalist Peter Lee wrote a post about the different roles within a VC and spent much time on the role of an associate.

Wittlebee Launches, Headed by Sean Pervical, Backed by Science


Sean Percival, best known for founding Los Angeles tech blog lalawag, in addition to his work as an executive at MySpace, has booted up a new effort--Santa Monica-based Wittlebee , a new, online subscription service for baby supplies. The new effort emerged this week, revealing that it is backed by Science, Inc. , the digital business incubator/studio headed by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones. Wittlebee is the third company from Science inc.

TechZulu LIVE from SXSWi | Join Us In Alcatel-Lucent’s Trend Lounge

Tech Zulu Event

It’s often referred to as Spring Break for Geeks, and for good reason. I’m talking, of course, about South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin’s annual film and music festival that in recent years added an interactive component.

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A Gasoline Guy Comes Clean

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 -- A Gasoline Guy Comes Clean. Clean Technology Council. Mark Kanitra, President of Kanitra Marketing, will discuss Big Oils business agenda and share his industry insights and experiences developing America's largest gasoline market. Learn why he moved to the world of clean technology. He will highlight keys to success from his career and demonstrate how they can be applied to expand your business. See [link] (more

Be approximately right rather than exactly wrong.


I love this statement from John Tukey, coiner of the word ‘bit’ to describe a single switch of digital micro-data. Tukey was a statistician, one you would expect to describe events in terms reeking with precision. Instead, Tukey implored us to think in terms of relevancy, cause and comparisons to known events. And all this ethereal talk makes me think of how we investors and entrepreneurs are often led to search for instances in which our plan can be wrong, based upon a past measure.

Incubators, Accelerators, and New Choices for Entrepreneurs

Steve Reich

Wild times in Southern California—VC firms contracting and incubators/accelerators exploding! You can’t turn around in SoCal without running into new incubators. No one even seems to know the exact count, but its somewhere between 20-30, as of last week.

New Concept? Ask These 3 Questions First

Frank Addante

Before you waste your time with a business case, sales pitch, or SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Then, answer these three simple questions: Why do I need a product or service like this? Why do I need yours? Why do I need it now? Seems simple? Try it. Not so easy, right? The first question, “Why do I need a product or service like this?” ” will help you clearly define your value proposition.

Silicon Beach Heads To SXSW


Los Angeles companies are looking to help get the word out next week about their companies--and the area--at SXSW , the annual technology and music festival held in Austin, Texas, a group of companies said Wednesday.

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American Immigration: The Invisible Wall to Innovation

Tech Zulu Event

A look around technology industry, perhaps the heart of the global revolution, shows a happily working international community all pushing for the common goal of innovation.

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Los Angeles Startup Ideation Bootcamp

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 -- The Startup Ideation Bootcamp provides expert advice with real-world practice. The evening begins with talks by leading startup Founders designed to teach you the components of good and bad startup ideas. For example, is your market big enough, is there organic growth potential, and a clear path to profitability? Then, attendees can share their ideas with both experts and peers to receive constructive feedback. See [link] (more

CitySourced Heads To Hawaii


Los Angeles-based CitySourced , the developer of mobile software used to help citizens to communicate with cities and local government, has rolled out in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Cool Planet BioFuels Claims Breakthrough


Camarillo-based Cool Planet BioFuels , the developer of technology to convert biomass to gasoline, is claiming a "major breakthrough" in its technology. The company said it has been able to produce 4,000 gallons of acre biomass-to-gasoline conversion in its pilot testing, which it says is about twelve times the yield than current, corn ethanol production levels.