Sat.Feb 04, 2017 - Fri.Feb 10, 2017

Mark Cuban on Why You Need to Study Artificial Intelligence or You’ll be a Dinosaur in 3 Years

Both Sides of the Table

Mark Cuban opened the Upfront Summit in an epic interview by Jason Hirschhorn , founder of Media REDEF.

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Soraa Deploys In UK Museum


Soraa , the developer of Gallium Nitride (GaN) LED lighting technology, based on research out of UC Santa Barbara, has deployed its products at a museum in the United Kingdom. Soraa said its lighting systems are now being used at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, which the company says is the world's oldest public museum. Soraa's LED lighting systems are being used to replace what had been a halogen powered light generator system.

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U.S Dept. of Commerce Grants $500,000 to Cal State L.A. For Bioscience Bootcamp.

L.A. Business Journal

The U.S. Department of Commerce granted nearly $500,000 to California State University, Los Angeles and its partners, the Biocom Institute and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), to fund the creation of a bootcamp for bioscientists in the region

Biotech Leaders Sign Letter Condemning Trump’s Travel Ban


The blowback from U.S. business leaders to President Trump’s travel ban continues—today from a throng of biotech executives. This morning, 165 U.S. biotech leaders have signed a letter voicing “deep concern and opposition” to the order, which bars entry to the U.S. to refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. The Jan. 27 order placed a 90-day ban on immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen.

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Kentucky Biotech CEO’s Message For McConnell: I’ll Be Muslim, Too


President Trump’s order to bar refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is on temporary hold, and a court hearing later today could eventually force a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. One of the latest biotech executives to speak out against the ban is in the backyard of Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the top Republican in the U.S. Senate.

Why Was Winter in Venture Capital Funding so Short?

Both Sides of the Table

It was only a year ago that many in the Venture Capital industry were predicting that “winter was coming” and to be fair the author of this post was chief amongst them.

Ranker Sees Growth, Doubles Staff


Los Angeles-based Ranker said today that it has grown its revenue 115 percent year over year, and doubled its staff. The company did not release any actual financials behind the growth. The company led by CEO Clark Benson, says the company now has a "healthy 8-figure" in revenues. The company says it has more than 35 million monthly unique visitors, who go to the site for its opinion-based, crowdsourced rankings of everything. READ MORE>>.

Silicon Beach Report Feb. 7: Collectible Sneaker Reseller Goat Raises $25M.

L.A. Business Journal

Collectible sneaker reseller Goat raises $25 million, SpaceX plans to launch rockets every 2 weeks, and Virtual reality firm Upland expands into SoCal

Often Advocates Of Faster FDA, Patient Groups Wary Of Trump Deregulation


In the biomedical world, perhaps the biggest question looming over President Donald Trump’s upcoming pick for Food and Drug Administration commissioner is how drastically that person will help roll back FDA regulations. Trump said at last week’s meeting in Washington D.C.,

3 Ways IoT Startups Are Securing Their Devices

Tech Zulu Event

With so many smart technology devices and users— six billion Internet of Things (IoT) connections in 2015—we’ve long surpassed the adoption phase. Now, the focus has shifted to refining and improving features to help products stand out from the competition, especially in the realm of security.

Netwrix Gets Series A Funding


Irvine-based Netwrix , a developer of hybrid cloud security software, has received a Series A funding round, the company said Tuesday. Size of the round was not announced. The funding was led by Updata Partners. Netwrix, led by Michael Fimin, said the funding will go towards product development and growth. Netwrix develops software that monitors both on-premise and cloud applications for unusual user behavior. READ MORE>>. netwrix venture capital hybrid cloud security software

Silicon Beach Report Feb. 9: Brogan BamBrogan Starts Second Hyperloop Company

L.A. Business Journal

Brogan BamBrogan starts second hyperloop company, Greycroft raises $250 million fund, Wiredrive merges with MediaSilo, and more

Bio Roundup: Travel Ban Block, Gilead Shock, Dean Kamen Talk & More


The biotech community pushed back against President Donald Trump’s order to block travelers and refugees this week, and not much later, a federal court did, too. Patient advocates have scored big wins with recent approvals of rare disease treatments, but they’re not as happy with insurers’ coverage decisions or with Trump’s promises of massive FDA deregulation.

Avoid the race to zero…


When do you sell your company? Obviously we all want to sell at the top. And there is the problem. How do you know when you are at or near that right point to sell for maximum value?

Southern California Biotech Execs Take Stand Against Immigration Order


A long list of executives in Southern California have joined in a joint statement , published in Nature on Tuesday, which call the Presidential Immigration order a "misguided policy", and complained the move gave a message that "America is no longer welcoming of any immigrants, whatsoever."

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Silicon Beach Report Feb. 10: Snap Announces Deal with A&E to Develop First Original Snapchat Show

L.A. Business Journal

Snap Announces Deal with A&E to Develop First Original Snapchat Show, Honest Co. Looking for Consumer Package Goods CEO to Replace Brian Lee, and Activision Hits Record $2B in Sales in Q4

Xconomy is Growing: We Need Great Salespeople in SF, Texas, and NY


Since Xconomy’s founding nearly a decade ago, we have grown from a single bureau in Boston to having editors covering 11 innovation clusters around the United States.

Techstars Launches Virtual Accelerator


Startup accelerator operator Techstars announced this morning that it is launching a new "virtual accelerator", which seeks to provide the same kind of experience virtually that the startup accelerator is offering. The inaugural class of four companies in the the accelerator includes two different companies with founders in San Diego.

Interview with Mike Whitmire, CEO and Co-founder, FloQast


For today's interview, we sat down and talked with Mike Whitmire , the CEO and Co-founder of Los Angeles-based FloQast (, a developer of financial close management software for enterprise accounting. Mike tells us about the company, who uses its software, as well as how he was initially turned away from the Amplify.LA accelerator--which only inspired him to keep working on making his startup a reality and go from just an idea, to a real company.

New Website, ElectroMotive, Looks To Match You With Electric Cars


A new website, ElectroMotive , which recently launched here in Los Angeles, is hoping that its site might convince more people to switch to electric cars. The site--created by he 11th Hour Project and Insight Campaigns--says it is aimed helping Angelenos browse, learn, and "fall in love with the next generation of cars." The site quizzes users about their driving habits, lifestle, and budget, and then recommends different EVs depending on those answers.


Greycroft Partners Raises $250M In New Growth Fund


Greycroft Partners , one of the more active investors in Los Angeles technology startups, announced on Thursday that it has raised $250M in a new, growth equity fund. The fund, Greycroft Growth II , will be focused on expansion rounds for the company's existing, early stage venture funds, along with new investments not previously in its portfolio, according to the firm.

Silicon Beach Report Feb. 8: Snap Inc. Hires Swiss Engineer to Fight Copycats

L.A. Business Journal

Snap Inc. hires Swiss engineer to fight copycats, SpaceX aims for Feb. 18 to launch resupply mission to Space Station, and Exactuals Raises $10 million and signs SAG-AFTRA as client

Stem Raises $4.5M


Los Angeles-based Stem , a company which is helping artists collect royalties across online and other platforms, has raised $4.5M in funding, the company disclosed this week. The funding came from Upfront Ventures and Scooter Braun. READ MORE>>. stem venture capital royalties artists upfront

Glaukos Sets New CFO


San Clemente-based ophthalmic technology developer Glaukos said this morning that it has named Joseph Gilliam as its next Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. Gilliam will replace current CFO Richard Harrison, who is retiring this year. Glaukos said that Gilliam will not join the company as CFO until May. Gilliam was most recently at J.P. Morgan, where he was Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group; he also served at J.P.

Western Digital Pushes 3D NAND Technology To 64 Layers


Irvine-based Western Digital said today that it has started pilot production on a 512 Gigabit (Gb), three-bits-per cell, 64-layer 3D NAND chip--a big push forward in 3D NAND technology. WD said it expects to put the chip into mass production in the second half of 2017. The chip is being manufactured in Yokkaichi, Japan. READ MORE>>. western digital nand flash layer density

Social Reality Names New Board Member


Los Angeles-based Internet advertising technology developer Social Reality announced late Friday that it has named Derek J. Ferguson to its board of directors. Ferguson has previously served at Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC, Maxim Partners, J.P. Morgan Securities, Thoma Cressey Equity Partners and Wynnchurch Capital. The company said Ferguson has over 13 years as an investor in middle market companies.

Senate Confirms Price for HHS, But Stock Deals Still Raise Questions


The Senate confirmed Tom Price as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services early Friday morning by a 52-47 vote that, as expected, fell largely on party lines. Price is an orthopedic surgeon by training who has been a member of Georgia’s congressional delegation since 2004.

SanDisk Co-Founder Departs Western Digital Board


The co-founder and former CEO of SanDisk, Sanjay Mehrotra, has stepped down from the board of Irvine-based Western Digital , WD said Thursday afternoon. Mehrotra had joined the board of Western Digital in May of 2016, as part of the acquisition of San Disk by Western Digital. The company released a statement from Mehrotra saying the "time is right" for him to "evaluate the next challenge in my career." READ MORE>>. western digital sandisk executive board flash disk drive storage