Sat.Aug 24, 2019 - Fri.Aug 30, 2019

LiveXLive and Allied Esports Team Up to Produce Gaming Events

L.A. Business Journal

Live event producer LiveXLive Media Inc., based in Beverly Hills, announced today it will partner with Irvine-based Allied Esports Entertainment Inc. to put on live esports events

Amazon Alexa Fund Backs USC Viterbi Startup Garage

socalTECH

The USC Viterbi Startup Garage , the startup accelerator that is part of the University of Southern California, has scored backing from the Amazon Alexa Fund , the venture investment arm of Amazon that invests in startups using Amazon Alexa.

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Launching from beta, ProGuides is making money ensuring that gamers never play alone

TechCrunch LA

When ProGuides pulled the covers off of its service earlier this year, the young Los Angeles-based startup intended to give gamers a way to train with professional and semi-pro esports players from around the world. But as users signed on to the service, it became clear that they weren’t looking for training necessarily… Instead what players wanted was a ringer. “After we launched the beta, we found some interesting user behavior,” says Sam Wang.

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The best things about your company board

Berkonomics

For weeks, we’ve highlighted both good and bad things about boards of directors for your company (or non-profit.) This week, let’s focus upon number one – aside from the requirements of boards to protect the company itself (not the shareholders.). Normal functions of boards. Boards of directors fulfill numerous important functions, both legal and structural. Boards provide or see to it that there are resources for the company (especially money) to operate.

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.

Fair Secures $100 Million Investment from Ally Financial

L.A. Business Journal

Online car leasing startup Fair announced Aug. 27 it raised a $100 million credit facility led by Ally Financial Services Inc. to help finance its existing business and buy cars for its users

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6 Myths On Starting A New Business That Can Kill You

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting a new business is fraught with challenges, and none of us has the bandwidth to kill them all. As an advisor to business owners, and an occasional angel investor, my job is to separate the actual challenges from the common misconceptions that distract many promising entrepreneurs while building the leadership team required for your solution, marketing, and finance success.

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More Trending

CoreLogic: Hurricane Dorian Threatens 668,052 Homes With Storm Surge

socalTECH

Irvine-based property information provider CoreLogic has run an analysis on the possible impacts of Hurricane Dorian, the hurricane that threatens to hit Florida on Labor Day, and says 668,052 homes are at risk from storm surge damage. The company--which regularly analyzes possible impacts from storms during hurricane season--said the reconstruction value of all of those homes total nearly $144.6 billion. The company said it analyzed all of the homes in the August 29th "cone of uncertainty".

Mobile Game Developer Playtika Acquires Seriously Digital

L.A. Business Journal

Venice-based Seriously Digital Entertainment announced Aug. 26 it was acquired by Israeli mobile game developer Playtika Ltd

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How New Ventures Can Avoid Conventional Media Costs

Startup Professionals Musings

The power and influence of paid media advertising, including print ads, TV commercials, radio, and even online digital campaigns is waning, in favor of unpaid earned and owned messaging from your website, social media, key market influencers, and existing customer word-of-mouth. But startups need to remember that even zero paid media doesn’t mean that marketing is free. The case for zero paid media as the new marketing model was highlighted in the classic book, “ Z.E.R.O. ”

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Digital Workplace, UCC, and User Experience

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, August 29, 2019 --.

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Housecall Pro Adds New Finance Tools

socalTECH

San Diego-based Housecall Pro , the startup which provides a number of different software products for home services contractors, announced on Friday that it has launched a new set of finance tools for its customers. According to Housecall Pro, its new My Money suite will help its users accept credit card payments, deposit card payments directly into their bank accounts, store credit card information, and more.

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March Capital Leads $4 Million Fundraise for Mobile Game Developer Knock Knock

L.A. Business Journal

Santa Monica-based venture investment firm March Capital Partners led a $4 million funding round in San Francisco-based mobile game developer Knock Knock Games Inc

7 Delusions About Business Ethics Limit Future Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

New entrepreneurs tend to focus only on getting the product right, and assume that the right culture and ethics will come later simply by hiring good people. In fact, they need an early focus on developing their moral compass, as well as setting the right ethical tone. Building an ethical business is more than just compliance and meeting legal requirements, and it has big paybacks.

Game Dev Make n' Mingle

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, August 29, 2019 -- GET YOUR GAME ON! NYFA is not just a great place to learn about making games, it's a great place to make games! Come to NYFA to work on your game projects and make new friends! We'll supply the workspace, the pizza, the wifi and the mentorship. Bring your LAPTOP and your game projects and get ready to work (and have fun)! This event is open to the entire gaming community, whether you are a NYFA student or not, so bring a friend or two!

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Bird To Pull Scooters From Florida Streets, Ahead Of Hurricane

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based on-demand scooter startup Bird is pulling its scooters from the streets of a number of Florida cities, as the state faces its first major hurricane in the "on-demand scooter" era. Bird joins other scooter and transportation companies like Lime and Uber who are having to remove those scooters from the streets as Hurricane Dorian is expected to landfall somewhere in Florida.

Demand 109

For GW Pharma CEO Justin Gover, The CBD Trend Started 20 Years Ago

Xconomy

Remember the simpler times of the mid-2010s, when you could order a latte or cocktail in California without the option of adding CBD? For Justin Gover, CEO of British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH ), society’s sudden embrace of cannabidiol (CBD), the other active ingredient found in the cannabis plant, is a trip—though CBD won’t make you trip. That’s caused by THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the cannabis component responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.

7 Traits Of Today’s New Business Innovator And Model

Startup Professionals Musings

In the beginning all businesses are just people playing out an idea. It’s never the other way around – there is no idea so big that it doesn’t need people to make it succeed. Investors know this, hence the saying “Bet on the jockey (founder), not the horse (idea).” A great jockey is a great role model. Like it or not, everyone looks to the entrepreneur as the jockey role model in a new business.

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Some Seriously Great News. No, Seriously …

Both Sides of the Table

Some Seriously Great News. No, Seriously … Exactly six years ago today I received an email from my friend Ynon Kreiz introducing me to Andrew Stalbow and Petri Järvilehto. Ynon had been the CEO of Maker Studios and I trust his opinion a great deal so of course I took the meeting.

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March Capital Leads Funding Round In Knock Knock Games

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based venture investor March Capital Partners is the lead investor in a new, Series A $4M funding round for a new, video game developer called Knock Knock Games , according to the company on Thursday. The funding also included Raine Ventures, London Venture Partners, and Ludlow Ventures. As part of the funding, March Capital's Gregory Milken joins Knock Knock's board of directors.

New PCSK9 Cholesterol Drug Faces Tough Foe. (Hint: Not Cholesterol.)

Xconomy

Remember when the new wave of expensive cholesterol-lowering drugs—known as PCSK9 inhibitors—were supposed to give the healthcare system a financial heart attack ? Far from it. Four years after approval the two PCSK9 blockers on the market have yet to crack $1 billion in annual sales, combined, thanks to a gloves-off effort by insurers to beat back their use. One of the two drugs might even be on life support. Now a third PCSK9 inhibitor is in the ring.

5 Ways Writing a Book Will Kick-Start Business Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

What every entrepreneur needs more than anything else, after they have built an innovative new product or service, is visibility, credibility, and trust by customers, potential employees, and future business partners. In my experience as a business advisor, one of the best ways to get all of these, is to publish a book on the technology, the journey, or some relevant lessons learned.

Activision Brings Back Spyro In New Title

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based videogame publisher Activision is bring back a popular, retro character from the 1990's, its purple dragon, Spyro, through a new title, the gaming publisher said this morning. According to Activision, Spyro Reignited Trilogy will launch on the Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam, starting on September 3rd. The new set of "remastered" videogames include Spyro the Dragon , Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage , and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Spyro first debuted 21 years ago.

HyperX, JuJu Smith-Schuster Sign Two Year Brand Ambassador Deal

socalTECH

Fountain Valley-based gaming accessories maker HyperX , and NFL football star JuJu Smith-Schuster have signed a new, two year brand ambassador deal, which will have Smith-Schuster wearing HyperX headsets, as well as promoting HyperX's lifestyle headphones and gaming headsets, mice, keyboards, mousepads, and streaming mics. Financial terms of the branding deal were not announced. HyperX and Smith-Schuster are coming off an existing branding deal.

sonnen Plans Massive, Solar Powered Community In Utah

socalTECH

sonnen , the solar energy storage developer which has its U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, has announced a plan for a massive, solar-powered battery storage system and community in Utah, which will combine both on-site solar power generation and battery storage. According to sonnon , real estate development company the Wasatch Group , and power company Rocky Mountain Power , they are working together to create what they call a "Virtual Power Plant" (VPP), which will provide 12.6

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Startup Using Robots To Harvest Strawberries In Oxnard Gets $7.5M

socalTECH

A new startup, Advanced Farm Technologies , which offers up automated harvesting of strawberries in Oxnard and Santa Maria, along with other strawberry growing regions in California, says that it has raised $7.5M in a Series A funding round. Advanced Farm Technologies, based in Davis, California, said its Series A funding was led by Yamaha Motor Ventures & Lab, and also included Kubota Corporation, Catapult Ventures, and Impact Venture Capital.

Wescom Resources Group Sells Banking Software

socalTECH

Anaheim-based Wescom Resources Group (WRG), which provides technology and software to credit unions, announced that it is selling its Symmetry eBanking digital banking software suit to Connect Financial Software Solutions. Financial terms of the sale were not announced. Connect Financial Software Solutions is a provider of enterprise digital banking servies.

Video Interview: Chad Wasilenkoff, Helicoid Industries

socalTECH

For our interview today, we spoke with Chad Wasilenkoff , the CEO of Helicoid Industries (www.helicoidind.com), a spinout of UC Riverside. Helicoid's technology is used in the composites industry. READ MORE>>. interview chad wasilenkoff helicoid industries materials composites riverside

Blizzard Revives Original World Of Warcraft

socalTECH

Irvine-based online videogame developer Blizzard Entertainment has brought back the very original version of World of Warcraft , in the form of a new title, World of Warcaft Classic. According to Blizzard, as part of the celebration of the game's 15th anniversary, it has released a version of its game, which is an authentic re-creation of what its popular title looked as "pre-expansion" and in its "most feature-complete state".

Seriously, Maker Of Best Fiends, With Office In LA, Acquired

socalTECH

Mobile games developer Seriously , which has offices in Los Angeles and links to the local technology ecosystem, has been acquired by social gaming company Playtika , according to reports. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced, however, the deal is rumored to be around $275M. Seriously is best known for its game Best Fiends , and had run its marketing operations out of Los Angeles, with its game development in Helsinki, Finland.

UC San Diego Teams With Cummins On EV Battery Reuse

socalTECH

The University of California San Diego and engine and powertrain developer Cummins are in an effort to develop ways to reuse and repurpose electric vehicle batteries, Cummins said this morning. According to Cummins, the multi-year partnership with UC San Diego and its battery validation lab, will analyze viable business and technical approaches to effectively reuse and repurpose electric vehicle batteries. Financial details of the partnership were not announced.

Interview with Thomas Russell, ETC Solar, Improving Solar Cell Efficiency

socalTECH

For this morning's interview with an entrepreneur, we spoke with Thomas Russell , the Ceo and co-founder of ETC Solar (www.etc-solar.com), a Los Angeles startup developing technology to improve the efficiency and cost of solar cells. We spoke with Thomas on how the company's technology was spun out of Caltech, and why the startup believes the solar cell industry needs its technology. What does ETC Solar do?

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Amgen Acquires Otezla for $13.4 Billion

socalTECH

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen announced this morning that it is acquiring Otezla , the anti-inflammatory drug used to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, which is currently owned by Celgene Corporation , in a deal worth $13.4 billion in cash. According to Amgen, the deal will help strengthen its inflammation portfolio, and will be worth approximately $11.2 billion net of anticipated future cash tax benefits.

LiveXLive, Allied Esports In Partnership

socalTECH

Two, Los Angeles area companies-- LiveXLive , which operates live entertainment and media events and online media, and Allied Esports , and e-sports company, said this morning that they are in a multi-year partnership. According to the two, Allied Esports will provide its fleet of mobile esports venues, the HyperX Esports Trucks, at the music events and festivals run by LiveXLive Media. Financial details of the agreement were not announced.

Media 100

SpaceX Cargo Craft Splashes Down Off Long Beach

socalTECH

Hawthorne-based SpaceX said it successfully retrieved a Dragon resupply spacecraft from the International Space Station on Wednesday morning, filled with almost 2,700 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo.

Ring Opens Up Data On Law Enforcement Partners

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Ring , the maker of doorbell and security camera systems, has opened up on which law enforcement agencies it is working on. Ring released a map of all the departments with access to its Ring Neighbor Portal , the company's portal which lets local law enforcement agencies request doorbell video from Ring's customers, without the need for a warrant. The map also lets users see what date Ring started partnering with those 405 law enforcement agencies.

HireRight Names HR Head

socalTECH

Irvine-based employment background check provider HireRight announced on Wednesday that it has named a new head of its human resources. According to the company, it has appointed Chelsea Pyrzenski as its Chief Human Resources Officer, to head up developing and executing its HR strategy. Pyrzenski was previously Head of Human Resources at VIZIO, and also had served at the National Football League (NFL), AT&T and DIRECTV.