October, 2012

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How To Become a VC


A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. One the most frequent questions asked of me by entrepreneurs is, "How can I become a Venture Capitalist?" The inquiry is common because being a VC is (to an entrepreneur, at least) a sexy job.

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Santa Monica Tech Community Grows, As Another Tech Law Firm Sets Up Shop


10 Apps & Tools for Maximizing Personal Efficiency

Frank Addante

Sanebox (Email Organization) : Service that uses algorithms to organize your email into what’s important and what’s not. I was skeptical and had a lot of issues with giving up control of my inbox, but I’m hooked now. It works amazing well. Tips: Trust it.

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StoryBots Brings Edutainment to Second Screens | Delighting Kids

Tech Zulu Event

The Spiridellis brother-founder team behind the popular JibJab eCard line featuring personalization Starring You®, (think Elf Yourself )—have grown up and now have children of their own.

Why John Frankel Leaned in Early on Klout and Cornerstone OnDemand and What He Sees Next

Both Sides of the Table

It all started in 2010 with Klout. I wasn’t a believer. I had always liked and respected CEO Joe Fernandez but could never get my head around the fact that the Klout was putting up charts showing who influenced me and it didn’t map to the reality I knew in my head.

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SwingBySwing: Making Golf More Social

Steve Reich

There are days when I feel like we’ve gotten a bit carried away with social media. You get bombarded with Facebook requests–P&G wants me to “like” their consumer products, as if Tide is my best pal.

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UX Workshops by Celebrated Author & Usability Expert, Eric Reiss

Tech Zulu Event

“Great presentation. It was good to see someone else who actively thinks about the world from the user’s perspective.” ” -Testimonial from an attendee at the L.A. UX Meetup featuring Eric Reiss.

Recruiting Star Talent? Do This First

Frank Addante

When it comes to top hires, the questions people ask tell you far more than the answers they give. When I interview, I don’t ask many questions. Instead, I simply open with, ”What can I tell you about the company?”

Use your board’s “golden contacts.”


Boards of directors have a number of important functions, both legal and structural. Boards provide or see to it that there are resources for the company (especially money) to operate. The board selects, monitors, helps, and oversees compensation for the CEO. The board can replace an underperforming CEO.

Startup Thought Leaders With The Most Authentic Twitter Followers


This article previously appeared in Forbes. Not surprisingly, the most influential startup bloggers are those with the largest number of Twitter followers.

The Search Agency Unveils New Offering


Los angeles-based online search marketing provider The Search Agency said it has released a new offering today, which it is calling h(SEO).

Storytelling and Startup Fundraising

Steve Reich

Every startup has an elevator pitch, but what comes next? Do potential investors’ eyes glaze over when you get beyond the quick, punchy one liner and try to REALLY describe your company? Successful fundraisers tell a complete, engaging story and close the deal. Last week, the WSJ ran a great article (add link) on the value of college humanities courses, and used comments from a successful entrepreneur to make their case.

TZ Tech Crawl | Hollywood Edition

Tech Zulu Event

The Tech Crawl is back and in full swing heading to the Hollywood Tech Scene! This time around we are partnering up with Silicon Beach Fest to make it that much more awesome!

To Infinity And Beyond: Buzz Lightyear, T-Pain, Hot Chocolate And Technology

TechCrunch LA

I’m at the #BoxWorks conference in San Francisco this week, which is an odd place for me to be at first glance. Why odd? Because I don’t really get into or cover “enterprise” technology.

No negative surprises! Be first to warn of shortfalls.


In past insights, we’ve explored data gathering and dashboards for tracking the most important information to manage your company.

Celebrities With The Most (Allegedly) Fake Twitter Followers


I was shocked by the headline: "71% Of President Barack Obama's Twitter Followers Are Fake." By this measure, of the President's nearly 19 million followers, 13.5 million are bogus.

Startups' Gangnam Style Parody: Workin' Startup Style


It had to happen sooner or later -- the startup world has its own parody of the hit song Gangnam Style.

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Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk:

SoCal Tech Calendar

Monday, November 5, 2012 -- Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. SCV Meetup.

Coincident.TV Is “CREATE”-ing Second Screen Transmedia Producers Out Of Everyone [Beta Invites]

Tech Zulu Event

Hours after the panelists debated the future of content distribution at the Silicon Beach @ USC conference, across campus at the Annenberg Innovation Lab a remarkable product demo was taking place by Coincident.TV.

My latest venture

Eric Greenspan

Announcing the formation of Greenspan Consulting, helping startups startup. For more information, visit www.greenspanconsulting.com. Eric Greenspan

Can you just tell little business lies?


“He’s not in right now.” “I am going to the doctor at that time.” “I paid only two dollars a unit to your competitor.”

Five Trick Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Answer Before Asking For Money


From a venture capitalist’s point of view, there are no “trick” questions. However, certain questions can be tricky for an entrepreneur to answer. Below are five common questions an entrepreneur will encounter when seeking venture funding.


Arborbridge Helps International Students With Test Prep


Hoping to help foreign students better prepare themselves to get into U.S. colleges, a new, Santa Monica startup, ArborBridge , has recently begun to ramp up its online tutoring service for the standardized SAT and ACT tests. Arborbridge, founded by Tim Urban and Andrew Finn, connects those foreign students with one-on-one, live online SAT and ACT test preparation help from tutors.

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Family Day at the Beall

SoCal Tech Calendar

Saturday, November 3, 2012 -- Family Day at the Beall. Children and families of all ages are invited to enjoy free, hands-on art and science activities at UC Irvine?s s Family Day at the Beall. The event offers a ?kid-friendly? kid-friendly? introduction to new media art relating to the Beall Center?s s current exhibit, ?DataViz: DataViz: Information as Art? as well as presentations, music, and more. See [link] (more

CHNL – Social Network For All | Interview With John Wander, Co-founder & CEO

Tech Zulu Event

Inspired by the vast amounts of data from videos, photos, music, websites and blogs shared by the many friends and people they follow online and seeing how much time it takes to check all the content across many platforms, friends set out to come up with a solution and CHNL was born.

LED Lighting Manufacturer Sets Up Shop In Anaheim


A Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of LED lighting products, Lunera Lighting has set up shop in Anaheim, and will manufacture its products there.

How Tradesy Makes Selling Women's Clothing Simple, with Tracy DiNunzio


If you're a woman with unwanted--but fashionable--clothing in your closet, which you wish you could sell, what's the easiest way to sell it?

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Southern California Firms Get $694M In Q3 2012 Venture Funding


The latest numbers from the PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree report finds that companies here in Southern California raised $695.4M in funding in Q3, up in terms of dollars from Q3 of last year, when $670.9M was raised.

textPlus Lands $18M, Buys Jarvus


textPlus , the maker of the popular texting application by the same name, said today that it has raised $18M in a new funding round, led by The Raine Group. Prior investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Matrix Partners and GRP Partners also participated in the funding. In addition to the new funding, the company also said it has acquired Los Angeles-based Jarvus , which develops an app to people capture and share experiences, events and moments together.

The Guts, The Glory, and The (Virtual) Gold of Bragstr, with Jon Knarreborg


Sports fans: how do you prove you're the master of sports knowledge and sports predictions? What's the best way to claim your position among your friends as tops in the world of everything sports? How about an online game?

How TVC Aims At Acquisitions, Not IPOs, with Jeb Spencer


Southern California's technology community--despite all of the recent excitement around Silicon Beach--continues to be underserved in terms of capital, with a lack of venture capital funds (with money), and other private technology investors.

Enervee Ranks Appliance, Electronics On Energy Use


How energy efficient is that new television you just bought for your house, and how can you be sure? A new, Santa Monica-based startup, Enervee , has recently rolled out a new tool to help people estimate how much energy their television--and soon, other appliances--are consuming. The startup said it is working on introducing what it calls a miles-per-gallon (MPG) sticker for TVs, called the "Enervee Score".

Karlin Ventures Takes Aim At Los Angeles Startup Investments


Los Angeles has a new, well funded, investment firm in town, with big plans for local investments: Karlin Ventures. According to TX Zhou, who is heading up efforts for the investment firm, the venture capital firm is an arm of private investment firm Karlin Asset Management, the private family office of Gary Karlin Michelson, and is looking to help bolster sources of local capital for startups.

DeveloperAuction Targets Los Angeles With Job Auctions


DeveloperAuction , a Bay Area startup which is looking to let employers bid for engineers on an auction basis, has expanded into Los Angeles, beyond an initial launch in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Boston. The startup is looking to take advantage of the demand for developers by getting startups to "bid" on engineering talent.