Sat.Sep 19, 2020 - Fri.Sep 25, 2020

Human Capital: Moving away from ‘master/slave’ terminology

TechCrunch LA

TGIF, am I right? Welcome back to Human Capital, where we explore some of the latest news in labor, diversity and inclusion in tech. This week, we’re looking at the use of “master/slave” terminology in computer programming and the current state of gig workers in California.

So, do you have that entrepreneurial DNA?

Berkonomics

My immediate family members were entrepreneurs from as far back as I can trace. Dad was a jeweler, then a furniture store owner. Mom wrote books and articles from her college days until she could no longer see the keyboard. One grandfather owned and maintained his apartment houses.

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Oracle Agreement for TikTok Sets Technology Partnership

L.A. Business Journal

Facing a Sept. 20 deadline from the White House to find a buyer for its U.S. operations, TikTok parent company ByteDance Ltd. has accepted a bid from Oracle Corp

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Interview with Constance Curtis, The List

socalTECH

In a world of Tinder, Match, and dozens of other online dating applications, is there room for another approach to dating? Constance Curtis , the Founder and CEO of The List (www.getthelistapp.com), thinks so, and tells us about her startup's efforts to bring the world of matchmaking to the modern worldand how her own frustration with online dating let to her startup. What is The List? Constance Curtis: The list is a modern matchmaking company.

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.

Founded by former SpaceX engineers, First Resonance pitches tools to make things the SpaceX way

TechCrunch LA

After operating in stealth mode for about two years, First Resonance , a company founded by former SpaceX engineers, is finally showing the world their software toolkit designed to let manufacturers make things using the processes employed by their former boss.

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5 Business Relationships That Will Get You To The Top

Startup Professionals Musings

In the world of entrepreneurs and startups, high level relationships are everything. You can’t start a business alone. You need partners, team members, investors, vendors, and customers. But people don’t realize that all relationships are not the same.

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JibJab Dips Back into Politics, Launches Vote Registration Effort

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based online greeting card provider JibJab --which got its start originally via a viral political video--is dipping back into politics, saying that it has launched a new effort to bring out voters.

Sneaker culture staple GOAT hits $1.75 billion valuation on new $100 million round

TechCrunch LA

In this case, money, it really is the shoes. GOAT , the proprietor of online and physical retail locations for reselling the collectible kicks and kits that are the currency of street cred and cultural cool among the youths, is now worth a whopping $1.75

5 Basic Ingredients For A Startup Recipe For Success

Startup Professionals Musings

I realized a while back that creating a new company for the first time is a lot like whipping up a great dinner entrée for the first time – you need a recipe, even though it may look simple. You know the basic ingredients, and you can visualize the results you want.

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TrueCar Expands Management Team

L.A. Business Journal

TrueCar Inc., the Santa Monica-based online car-buying marketplace, has named three executives to its expanded management team and has added a member to the company’s board

BrainChip Expands In India

socalTECH

Aliso Viejo-based artificial intelligence software developer BrainChip says it is opening up a new software development center in Hyderabad, India, which it says will provide software and firmware development for its systems-on-a-chip technology. According to BrainChip, the new software development center initially will be staffed by five software engineers and local management.

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Leonardo DiCaprio takes a stake in Struck Capital to fund the future of LA’s tech ecosystem

TechCrunch LA

Leonardo DiCaprio is making a significant commitment to the Los Angeles-based investment firm, Struck Capital , as part of the actor’s commitment to building LA into a tech development powerhouse. It’s part of what Struck Capital founder Adam Struck called a vision of making Los Angeles “a leading hub for innovation to save the world.”

How To Pull Customers To Your Website With Real Value

Startup Professionals Musings

Traditional marketing says you have to “push” your message out to customers, over and over again, to get you remembered. A more effective approach in today’s Internet and interactive culture is to use “pull” technology to bring customers and clients to your story.

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SoCal Tech Calendar - Untitled Article

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, September 24, 2020 --.

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Amazon Studios To Continue Diversity Program With Howard University

socalTECH

Culver City-based Amazon Studios , the arm of Amazon which is focused on creating content for Amazon's streaming video service, says it is continuing a program it runs with Howard University , intended to help increase diversity in the entertainment industry. According to Amazon Studios and Howard University, the program is in its second year.

Libra Strikes a Balance With Approach to ALS and Other Neuro Disorders

Xconomy

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has no cure and few available treatments but the past decade has revealed new knowledge about the pathology of the disease. Libra Therapeutics is turning that research into potential therapies, and it now has $29 million to advance its work.

6 Drivers For Aspiring Entrepreneurs To Finish School

Startup Professionals Musings

A continuing question I hear from young entrepreneurs is whether a university degree is important to startup success, or just a distraction in achieving their purpose in the world.

President Trump reportedly has approved the Oracle deal for TikTok’s US operations

TechCrunch LA

President Donald Trump said has has given his stamp of approval “in concept” on the Oracle bid for the U.S. operations of the wildly popular social media app, TikTok, according to a report from Bloomberg.

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Fisker Opens New Software Development Office In San Francisco

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based electric vehicle developer Fisker Inc. --the the latest incarnation of Fisker--says it has opened up a new "technology center" in San Francisco, which it says will help support design and engineering of software systems for the Fisker Ocean SUV and future products.

Illumina to Acquire Cancer Diagnostics Developer Grail in $8B Deal

Xconomy

Grail is set to be acquired for $8 billion by Illumina, the gene sequencing giant that formed the cancer diagnostics developer and spun it out as a separate company four years ago.

5 Ways To Focus Your Strategy On Delighting Customers

Startup Professionals Musings

The world keeps changing, and visible business strategies that worked well in the past, including being the premium brand or low price producer, simply don’t get the customer loyalty they once did. Today, customers are looking for real relationships, a memorable shopping experience, and satisfaction of a higher purpose. They follow leaders who live and promote these strategies.

Helicoid Industries Finds $2.4M

socalTECH

Indio, California-based Helicoid Idustries , a startup developing advanced composite materials for use in the wind turbine, aerospace, sporting goods, auto parts, defense, and industrial market, has raised $2.4M--the first part of what looks like an ongoing $5M investment round. According to a regulatory filing by the firm, it raised $2,425,810 from 3 investors so far in the funding round. Helicoid is a spinout of the University of California Riverside.

Point Predictive Picks Up Series B

socalTECH

San Diego-based machine learning software developer Point Predictive has raised a new, Series B growth financing round, the company announced this morning. Size of the new funding round was not announced. Point Predictive said the round was led by Napier Park Financial Partners, and also included prior investor Mosaik Partners. As part of the funding, the company has named Michael Housman as Chief Technology Officer and promoted Eric Werab to Chief Revenue Officer.

SpaceX Gets Investment From Legendary Ventures

socalTECH

Hawthorne, California-based rocket and spacecraft developer SpaceX has just closed a Series N funding round, according to investor Legendary Ventures, which invested in the round. Amount of the Series N funding round was not announced, and Legendary Ventures did not say how much it invested in SpaceX through the round, and whether is was a major or minor investor in the round.

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Illumina Acquires GRAIL For $8 Billion

socalTECH

San Diego-based life sciences equipment maker Illumina announced this morning that it has acquired Menlo Park-based GRAIL , a developer of cancer early detection technology. According to Illumina, it will acquire GRAIL for cash and stock worth $8 billion. The deal also includes unspecified future earnout based on future revenues related to GRAIL.

Riot Ventures Looks To Raise Second Venture Capital Fund, Worth $75M

socalTECH

Venice, California-based Riot Ventures , led by Stephan Marcus and William Coffield, has launched an effort to raise $75M for its second venture capital fund, the firm disclosed this week in a regulatory filing. According to the filing, the firm has yet to record an official commitment to the fund, which is not unusual at this early of a stage.

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Eco Helicopters Plans Air Taxi Service

socalTECH

Palm Springs-based Eco Helicopters , which is developing all electric helicopters, says it plans to launch an air taxi service in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the second quarter of 2021.

Triller Sees 100M Installs On Africa's Transsion

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based social, musical video app developer Triller --which competes directly with TikTok--says it has reached over 100 million install on phones manufactured by Transsion, which it says is the world's fourth largest mobile phone manufacturer. According to Triller, Transsion is a dominant mobile phone brand in Africa.

J2 Global To Deposit $10M In Black-Run Banks, Credit Unions

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Internet services and information provider J2 Global --which owns a large portfolio of Internet services and publishers, including IGN, Mashable, Spiceworks, Everyday Health, BabyCenter, eFax, eVoice, and iContact--says it is moving $10M of its deposits into Black-run banks and credit unions. According to J2 Global, the move is intended to help those institutions to originate additional loans that will foster economic opportunity within underserved Black communities.

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Video: Amazon Ring's New Home Security Drone

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Ring announced its new, autonomous indoor drone, designed to patrol your home and record video, and which communicates with Amazon Alexa, as well as to alert the homeowner of any intrusions or other issues, on Thursday. READ MORE>>. amazon ring security drone alexa surveillance privacy video

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Ring Announces Home Security Drone

socalTECH

Want to keep a better eye on your home while you are gone? Los Angeles-based Ring said on Thursday that it has developed an in-home security drone, which can patrol your home from room to room on a regular schedule, alerting homeowners of any intruders or other issues. Ring said the new Always Home Cam , a small drone, can't be manually controlled, but can be set on a regular patrol route through your home.

SketchyMedical Finds $30M For Online, Visual Education

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based SketchyMedical , a startup best known for presenting medical topics using graphical illustrations and art, said on Thursday that it has raised $30M in a funding round. The funding came from TCG. According to the company, the new funding will go towards scaling the company's growth, as well as for a new in-house studio for live content and animation. The company also says it plans to expand beyond its roots in the medical area to new subjects.

ScoreStream Connects Into Amazon Alexa

socalTECH

San Diego-based crowdsourced local sports information provider ScoreStream , led by technology vet Derrick Oien, says it has connected its information into Amazon Alexa. According to ScoreStream, it has extended an effort which started last year to provide high school sports scores via Alexa to all sports in all seasons; the two had originally worked together on providing real-type local prep football scores through the Alexa platform.

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L Squared Capital Closes $500M Fund

socalTECH

Newport Beach=based private equity investor L Squared Capital said on Wednesday that it has closed a new fund, L Squared Capital Partners III , at just over $500M. The investor said limited partners include a number of large, US-based family offices. L Squared says its sectors of focus include education technology, tech-enabled services & software, and industrial technology & services. The company says it plans to make seven to nine investments from within its Fund III.

MarketCast Acquires Deductive

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based media and entertainment research firm MarketCast says it has acquired data science services provider Deductive. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. According to MarketCast, Deductive--formerly known as Dativa--will help expand its data science services for media and entertainment companies and brands. Deductive was founded by Michael Collette and Tom Weiss, both of wom will join MarketCast as part of the acquisition.

Camera IQ Raises $5M For AR Efforts

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Camera IQ , a developer of augmented reality (AR) software, said this morning that it has raised $5M more in its Series A funding, bringing its total raised to over $14M. The new round was led by Shasta Ventures, and also included Waverly Capital, Betaworks Ventures, Sway Ventures, plus Grand Ventures, Space Capital, and Gingerbread Capital. The company is developing augmented reality software specifically for use for brand marketing.