Sat.Oct 17, 2020 - Fri.Oct 23, 2020

My dad said: “Never take on a business partner.”


My dad was a smart businessman, even if not formally trained. He occasionally gave me advice that turned out to be more than wise, looking back at subsequent experience and events.

10 Principles For Surviving Hard Times In Any Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

“The devil in the details” is a quote that we have all heard, and clearly applies to startups, where success in the long run is all about execution.

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Belkin Rolls Out 60W GaN Wall Charger


Los Angeles-based Belkin is rolling out a new, 60W wall charger based on new gallium nitride (GaN) technology, which promises to make wall chargers much smaller than they are now. According to Belkin, its BOOST CHARGE PRO USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger charges such USB-C PD enabled devices as the Google Pixel 5, iPad Pro or Macbook Pro.

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Headspace Taps Morken as CEO

L.A. Business Journal

Headspace Inc., the Santa Monica-based meditation app developer, has promoted CeCe Morken to chief executive

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.

CONNECT Legal Office Hours

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 --.


How The Reality That Entrepreneurs Face Is Not Fair

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the time, I’m all about providing encouragement and inspiration to entrepreneurs. They need it and they deserve it, because entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy.

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Wired vs Wireless Backhaul- Which should your organization choose?

Southern California Edison Blog

Which should your organization choose? When determining the best underlying infrastructure to deliver reliable and effective network communications, enterprises, telecom carriers, academic institutions, and government agencies have two main options: wired vs. wireless backhaul.

SoCal Tech Calendar - Untitled Article

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 --.


5 Generators Of Customer Pain Conducive To Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

One of my favorite sayings is “Real change doesn’t happen until the pain level gets high enough.” There aren’t many of us who love change, just for the opportunity to learn something new, and even we won’t pay much for it.

Interview with Krisztina Holly, Good Growth Capital


Earlier this week, Good Growth Capital ( announced it has started looking at investments in Southern California, adding Krisztina Holly as West Coast Venture Partner for the firm. We caught up with Krisztina, who has been active in Southern California's startup community for a number of years, to learn more about the firm and its investment style. What kinds of areas does the fund make investments in?

5 Key Recovery Strategies Counter Economic Downturns

Startup Professionals Musings

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Driven by the current pandemic, smart entrepreneurs of all ages are jumping into the fray with new ideas, new recovery strategies, and discarding outmoded business models.

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7 Keys To Moving Your Best Of Breed Odds Up A Notch

Startup Professionals Musings

Everyone who starts or owns a business expects to be the best of breed, but only a few achieve that status. As a startup mentor and advisor, I often contemplate what makes the difference between winners and losers.

Polycade Takes On PC Gaming


Los Angeles-based Polycade , which is backed by Founders Fund, Wavemaker Partners, Rashaun Williams and Eric Campbell, and has been part of the Comcast/NBCUniversal LIFT Labs accelerator powered by Techstars, said it has announced a new product, which turns any PC into an arcade gaming system. The company--which was founded by Jake Galler and Tyler Bushnell, son of Atari and Chuck E.

Oblong Gets $3.0M In Private Placement


Los Angeles-based a href="[link] , which develops futuristic remote collaboration and meeting products, said Thursday afternoon that the company has raised approximately $3.0M through a private placement. The publicly listed company--which trades on the NYSE American as OBLG--said the private placement came from un-named set of institutional and accredited investors. of that private placement went to pay back Silicon Valley Bank on a $5.6M loan agreement.

Clearlake's Symplyr Acquires Another Firm, TractManager


One of the portfolio companies of Santa Monica-based private equity investor Clearlake Capital Group is on an acquisition roll, acquiring yet another company. Clearlake said that Symplr , its portfolio company offering up healthcare governance, risk management, and compliance software-as-a-service, has acquired TractManager , a provider of contracting, sourcing, and provider management software for the healthcare industry. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Report: 3 out of 5 Gig Workers Now Making Less Than $1000 Per Month


A new report from a Bay Area venture capital firm says that three out of 5 "gig" workers are now making less than a total of $1000 per month, having been hard hit by the ongoing pandemic. The report , from Flourish Ventures, says it surveyed 700 gi wokers across Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and found that 68% of those gig workers reported a decline in their total income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Whisper Energy Systems Aims At Small Engines


A new, Los Angeles-based startup, Whisper Energy Systems , said Thursday that it has partnered with electric carRpioneer Wally Rippel, on developing a new Lithium-powered device to replace small internal combustion engines. Rippel who was behind some of the first electric vehicles, including the GM EV1 (GM Impact), as well as Tesla's early effort.

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Wemo Debuts Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Plug


Los Angeles-based connected home products maker Wemo has launched a new, outdoor Wi-Fi enabled "smart plug", which users can control using their phone or tablet. According to Wemo, its new WiFi outdoor Smart Plug allows users to control lights, holiday decorations and other outdoor devices and appliances with no subscription or hub required. The new device works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Hey Google. Wemo is the smart home unit of consumer giant Belkin.

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Colony Capital's DataBank Invests $30M In EdgePresence


DataBank , a provider of colocation and managed services company which is owned by Los Angeles-based private equity investor Colony Capital , has made a $30M, strategic investment in EdgePresence , a developer of data centers. According to Colony Capital, EdgePresence provides multi-tenant, modular data centers, which include critical power, monitoring, physical security, and cooling, and are deployed at the base of cell towers, key real estate, and enterprise campus locations.

Quibi Confirms Shutdown, Will Sell Off Assets


Los Angeles-based short form, mobile streamng startup Quibi confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that it is indeed shutting down its service. According to the company, it is winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets. According to Quibi, it has "considered and exhausted every option available to us" and said it was "not succeeding" either because "the idea itself wasn't strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing."

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Beyond Limits, Fresh Off $133M Funding, Links With Management Consulting Firm


Los Angeles-based Beyond Limits , the artificial intelligence software developer which recently raised a big, $133M funding round, has linked with management consulting firm The Carnrite Group , the two said on Wednesday. According to the two, they are partnering to promote artificial intelligence awareness in the energy and industrial sectors. The Carnrite Group focuses on oil and gas, utility, power, and industrial customers. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Sonos Connects To General Electric


Santa Barbara-based Sonos and General Electric have connected GE's appliances with Sonos speakers, through a new integration effort between the two companies. According to the two companies, GE's appliances now allow its users to set up alerts--such that an oven is pre-heated, or a dishwasher cycle is done--through Sonos speakers in their home.

Quibi Shutting Down, Says Report


Los Angeles-based Quibi is shutting down and has hired a restructuring firm to help it wind down the company, with co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg confirming to investors on Wednesday that the company will shut down, according to a report from the WSJ. The report--citing "people familiar with the matter", which seem to include some of the company's investors--says that Quibi hired a restructuring firm in recent weeks to evaluate options, with one of those options a shutdown of the company.

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Zefr Selected By YouTube For Brand Safety Program


Los Angeles-based Zefr announced this morning that it has been selected by YouTube , to provide its Brand Safety & Suitability Measurement solution to brands and agencies. Zefr said its new solution will be developed and roll out throughout 2021, and will meet the 4A and GARM industry standards. Zefr says it uses both machine learning as well as human reviewers to understand content, which it says is better than traditional keyword and semantic analysis. READ MORE>>.

Output Finds $45M For Music Tools


Los Angeles-based Output , a startup developing music creation software aimed at professional artists, has raised $45M in a Series A investment. The funding came from Summit Partners. Output says its software is used by such artists as Drake, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Justin Timberlake. According to Outtput, its software-as-a-service offers up loops, samples and melodic content, making it easier for professionals turn those loops and sounds into tracks.

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Brain Corp. Wins Expanded Implementation With Sam's Club


San Diego-based artificial intelligence and robotics company Brain Corp says it is expanding its deployment of its technology to Sam's Club. According to Brain Corp., Sam's Club is adding 372 autonomous floor scrubbers, which are manufactured by Brain Corp partner Tennant Company, beginning this fall. Brain Corp's software is used in those floor scrubbers to both automatically clean floors--as well as take shelf inventory. Brain Corp.

Report: Time Might Be Running Out For High Flying Quibi


Time might be running out for Los Angeles-based mobile video streaming service Quibi , according to a report , which says that Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg is considering shutting down the company. The high flying content startup--which has been seeing lackluster uptake by consumers--apparently also has also been trying to sell its content library to such companies as NBCUniversal and Facebook. Quibi has raised close to $2 billion for its efforts.

VENN Scores $26M For Game Streaming Network


Playa Vista-based VENN , which operates a streaming game network, has raised $26M in a Series A funding round, the company said on Tuesday. The funding was co-led by BITKRAFT Ventures and Nexstar Media Group, and also included Eldridge, WISE Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, as well as the company's seed investors. Nexstar will add a member to VENN's board as part of the funding round. Nexstar is a major owner of U.S. television stations.

Ways2H Gets Investment For Renewable Hydrogen Production


Long Beach-based Way2H , a startup developing technology to convert waste into clean hydrogen fuel, has scored a strategic investment from Pacific6 Enterprises, the company announced this morning. Size of that investment were not announced. Pacific6 Enterprises is led by John C. Molina. According to Ways2H, it is developing a thermochemical process to produce clean hydrogen fuel from municipal solid waste, wastewater sludge, plastics and/or other waste materials, without incineration.

ThinkIQ Connects With $11.6M


Aliso Viejo-based software developer ThinkIQ , which is developing software for the manufacturing industry, said today that it has raised $11.6M in its Series A funding round. The funding was led by Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), and also included Hitachi Ventures and ArcTern Ventures. The company says it is developing a "digital manufacturing platform", which manufacturers use for material traceability and data insights, quality, safety and compliance efforts.

Zest AI Finds $15M More


Los Angeles-based software developer Zest AI has raised $15M in funding from Insight Partners, to go towards its credit underwriting software, the company announced this morning. According to Zest, the funding will go towards acceleration of adoption of its products, including growth, innovation, and customer success efforts.

Topdser Extends Drop Shipping Platform To Brazil, France


Los Angeles-based a href="[link] , a startup which operates a platform it says connects product suppliers who dropship with Shopify e-retailers, says it has expanded its platform to provide localized content for sellers in Brazil and France. The company says its now offers country-specific websites in French and Portuguese. Users are automatically geo-located by IP address and directed to the appropriate Topdser landing page.

Happy Returns, FedEx Team Up On Return Locations


Santa Monica-based Happy Returns , which provides software and reverse logistics services to e-commerce companies, and FedEx are in a new agreement where people can return their items at most FedEx Office locations. According to Happy Returns, the agreement with FedEx is starting in Los Angeles, and will expand nationwide by the end of October, extending its service to more than 2,000 FedEx Office locations.

Good Growth Capital Expands Venture Capital Efforts To SoCal


Good Growth Capital , a venture capital investment firm focused on complex science and technology start-ups, says it has set up shop in Southern California, and hired a new, West Coast Venture Partner in Los Angeles. Good Growth Capital says it has appointed Krisztina "Z" Holly --well known in the LA startup community--as West Coast Venture partner, as part of its efforts to expand its team.

CoreLogic Wins Liberty Mutual


Irvine-based property data provider CoreLogic said this morning that it has signed up Liberty Mutual Insurance as a customer. According to CoreLogic, Liberty Mutual has selected the company for a next-generation, cloud-based property estimation platform. Financial impact of the win was not announced. CoreLogic said that Liberty Mutual will migrate to its cloud-based insurance hub, which allows Liberty Mutual adjustors to connect with third-party insurance technology solutions. READ MORE>>.

DxTerity Diagnostics Launches Home COVID-19 Test


Los Angeles-based DxTerity Diagnostics , a genomics company with a CLIA-license laboratory, announced it has released a new, approved at-home COVID-19 test. According to the company, its new saliva test is designed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The company said it has recevied FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test, which it is offering under the SafeWorkDx name.

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