March, 2021

There’s Still Time to Commit to Your 2021 Health & Fitness Plan

Both Sides of the Table

It’s March 1st as I write this*. The year is two months in. Seems like just a moment ago it was New Year’s Day and we were all committing to our better selves for 2021 as so many of us do.

Do you really want to be the first to market?

Berkonomics

My stories of missing the context of the times. Over the years, as I managed my several computer companies as CEO or executive chairman, I made the decision to go to market with a brand-new product that had never before been exposed to my customer’s marketplace.

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With an ARR topping $250 million, LA’s vertical SAAS superstar ServiceTitan is now worth $8.3 billion

TechCrunch LA

Who knew building a vertical software as a service toolkit focused on home heating and cooling could be worth $8.3 billion?

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MediaAlpha Brings Innovation to Staid Insurance Industry

L.A. Business Journal

MediaAlpha Inc., which generates customer acquisition leads for insurance carriers through a digital platform, is far from a typical tech startup

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.

7 Startup Laws Of Finance That You Dare Not Shortcut

Startup Professionals Musings

Many startups fail before reaching that magic “cash-flow positive” position they have been striving for, despite seemingly reasonable financial projections. A closer analysis often indicates the cause to be a lack of diligence in handling common business finances.

Wix Can Now Integrate with Google My Business

Tech.Co

Getting your website noticed by local customers just got a whole lot easier for Wix users. The leasing website builder has announced an expanded partnership with Google to integrate Google My Business into the platform.

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Your “drop dead” question for a customer survey

Berkonomics

Here’s the question: Sean Ellis, the marketing guru behind DropBox and other successes, advises clients that “The most important question on a survey is , ‘How would you feel if you could no longer use this product?’” He goes on to quantify the response.

Maestro nets $15 million for its interactive commerce, community and engagement tools for livestreams

TechCrunch LA

Making money on livestreams has never been easier thanks to a suite of tools from the Los Angeles-based startup Maestro , which just nabbed $15 million in financing to grow its business.

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Urb-E Raises $5 Million for E-Bike Deliveries

L.A. Business Journal

With ecommerce on the rise and millions of consumers now expecting same-day shipping options when shopping online

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In Your Business, You Can’t Learn If You Don’t Listen

Startup Professionals Musings

When you are not presenting to investors or your team, try to spend more time listening than talking. You can’t learn anything new while you’re talking, yet many entrepreneurs seem to never stop.

Squarespace raises $300M at a staggering $10B valuation

TechCrunch

Squarespace has raised $300 million in a round of funding that values the company at a staggering $10 billion valuation. New backers include Dragoneer, Tiger Global, D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

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Chipotle Launches Bitcoin Giveaway

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based Chipotle is jumping into the Bitcoin craze, saying today that it is launching a promotion where it will give away $100,000 in Bitcoin, plus another $100,000 in free burritos, as part of a "National Burrito Day" on April 1st. According to Chipotle, the promotion focuses on attempting to guess a valid, six-digit code for a chance to win a free burrito or up to $25,000 in Bitcoin.

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Switching costs: A competitive advantage?

Berkonomics

We know that one of the ways we hold onto our customers is if there are high switching costs to move away to a competitor. But how about the other side of the coin? Do you have an estimate of the cost for a potential customer to switch to your side?

Google promises better 3D maps

TechCrunch LA

Google is announcing a handful of major updates to Google Maps today that range from bringing its Live View AR directions indoors to adding weather data to its maps, but the most tantalizing news — which in typical Google fashion doesn’t have an ETA just yet — is that Google plans to bring a vastly improved 3D layer to Google maps.

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Openpath Helps Offices Reopen Safely

L.A. Business Journal

Culver City-based startup Openpath Security Inc. has been developing mobile-based door lock systems since 2016

7 Ways to Convince Other People To Take A Risk On You

Startup Professionals Musings

As a member of an angel investment group for years, I’m sometimes surprised to see founders with a good technical business case get rejected for funding, while others seem to have a hidden quality that gives them credibility to be fundable despite some missing elements.

USC Viterbi Startup Garage Deadline

SoCal Tech Calendar

Friday, April 2, 2021 -- USC Viterbi Startup Garage Deadline. USC Viterbi Startup Garage (VSG) is hosting an open call for early-stage technology startups for their Spring Cohort kicking off late-April. VSG is an incubation space in the heart of Silicon Beach to stimulate the growth of technology-based ventures and support the USC innovation network.

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IDrive Releases VPS Hosting Offering

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based IDrive Online Backup, best known for its online cloud backup and storage services, says it has released a new virtual private server (VPS) offering aimed at developers and enterprise. According to the company, its new serviec, IDrive Compute, offers multiple NVMe-powered instances at 20 of its US-based edge computing locations. The company said the hosting starts with shared CPUs at $0.0074/per hour or $5/month, and also includes dedicated CPU options.

Entrepreneurism is all about personal risk.

Berkonomics

Well, of course it is. So, let’s dig a bit deeper.

Closing on $103M, MaC VC is changing the face of venture capital

TechCrunch LA

The partners at MaC Venture Capital , the Los Angeles-based investment firm that has just closed on $103 million for its inaugural fund, have spent the bulk of their careers breaking barriers.

Startup TutorMe Rides Wave of Remote Learning

L.A. Business Journal

Well before the pandemic forced schools to adapt to virtual instruction, Myles Hunter was brainstorming ways to make tutoring more efficient

6 Fear Of Success Qualms Can Lead To Startup Failure

Startup Professionals Musings

In working with entrepreneurs and other business people over the years, I often hear stories of entrepreneurs who were so close to success, but somehow let it slip through their fingers.

Pepperdine University Most Fundable Companies Competition

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 --.

EDF Renewables North America Inks PPA For Solar Project

socalTECH

San Diego-based renewable power developer EDF Renewables says it has inked a customer for one of its solar developments in Texas. According to EDF Renewables, it signed a virtual Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with an affiliate of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. for 100 MWac / 132 MWdc at the project, which will have a capacity of 345 MWac / 455 MWdc. The Space City Solar project is located in Wharton County, Texas. renewables north america solar cleantech texas

ChargerHelp raises $2.75M to keep EV chargers working

TechCrunch

The coming wave of electric vehicles will require more than thousands of charging stations. In addition to being installed, they also need to work — and today, that isn’t happening.

New markets emerge for carbon accounting businesses as cities like LA push proposals

TechCrunch LA

Earlier this month, Los Angeles became the latest city to task its various departments with prepping a feasibility study for deploying new software and monitoring technologies to better account for its carbon footprint.

These 4 Programs Fuel SpaceX’s Ambitions

L.A. Business Journal

It has been nearly 20 years since Space Exploration Technologies Corp. was founded with the relatively humble goal of bringing down the cost of launching small satellites into orbit

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5 Benefits Of Business Leadership By Asking Questions

Startup Professionals Musings

I’m a big fan of the old adage "There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers."

TechFire Fireside Chat: Aydin Senkut (Felicis Ventures)

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 -- TechFire Fireside Chat: Aydin Senkut (Felicis Ventures), in discussion with Michael Platner, Chair of the Corporate Practice and Co-Chair of the Securities and Corporate Finance Practice, Lewis Brisbois (online). See [link] (more

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Nex Cubed Launches Summer Acceleration Program Focused On HBCU Founders

socalTECH

San Diego-based startup accelerator operator Nex Cubed says it has launched a virtual, summer startup acceleration program, focused on founders from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). According to the company, participants in its program will receive $10,000 in non-dilutive capital, technical resources to develop a minimally viable products, physical working space in Silicon Valley, business advice, as well as service provider perks and discounts.

LA’s socially conscious bank challenger, Aspiration, launches a carbon offset credit card

TechCrunch

Aspiration , the financial services business for socially conscious consumers, is back with another environmentally friendly offering for its customers — this time, it’s a credit card.

Swell Energy’s new deal in New York shows how the company plans to spend the $450 million it’s raising

TechCrunch LA

Back in December, Swell Energy said it would be raising $450 million to support the development of distributed power projects in three states.

Curio Raises $1.2 Million for Digital Collectibles Platform

L.A. Business Journal

Curio’s platform allows individuals to create, own, share and trade digital collectibles from TV shows, graphic novels, movies and music

5 Ways To Be Successful In Business Despite Bad Luck

Startup Professionals Musings

If you have had some success in a business, I’m sure you bristle just like I do when someone says “You were just lucky…” I’m a strong believer that we all make our own luck, which means that the harder we work, the luckier we get.

Preccelerator Program Virtual Demo Day

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, March 25, 2021 --.

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ServiceTitan Snags $500M, Valuing Firm At $8.3 Billion

socalTECH

Glendale-based ServiceTitan, which develops software used by home service providers and others in the trades to manage appointments, billing, marketing, and more, has raised a huge, $500M funding round. The new funding values the company at $8.3 billion. The funding was led by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, and also included H.I.G. Growth, Arena Holdings, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Dragoneer, Durable Capital Partners, ICONIQ Growth, Index Ventures and T. Rowe Price.