Sat.Apr 18, 2020 - Fri.Apr 24, 2020

An LA-led, public-private partnership pitches a $150B green infrastructure package to Congress

TechCrunch LA

Representatives from the government and the utility managing the power of Los Angeles are proposing a sweeping infrastructure package worth roughly $150 billion centered on the broad electrification of transportation and industry.

My Thoughts on the Current Market: on 20-Minute VC

Both Sides of the Table

Several years ago I made an appearance in a burgeoning new podcast called “20 Minute VC,” which by now needs no introduction. Harry was gracious enough to invite me back so this past week we recorded an episode discussing the current market environment.

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Especially now: Play nice!

Berkonomics

To survive this nasty Covid 19 surge facing businesses of all types, leaders must make decisions that hurt but are necessary. Keep the employees for the SBA PPP requirements regarding loan forgiveness, or furlough or let good employees go, so they can file unemployment claims?

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Wix Announces Half Price Flash Sale

Tech.Co

Wix has announced a limited-time half price sale on its website builder plans, with a 50% off deal beginning today and ending on Wednesday. The half price sale is open to new users and anyone currently using Wix's free plan.

Curative received FDA emergency use authorization for its novel COVID-19 tests

TechCrunch LA

The diagnostics startup Curative has received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its novel test to determine COVID-19 infection.

10 Keys To Enabling Your Startup For Unicorn Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

Investors will tell you that they love to put money into startups that are scalable, and ready to become the next unicorn. But what does that really mean? Simply stated, it means that your business has the potential to multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost.

OriginClear Moves HQ to Texas From DTLA

L.A. Business Journal

OriginClear Inc., a downtown water treatment technology business, has moved its corporate headquarters to the company's manufacturing site in McKinney, Texas

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More Trending

Manufacturing startup Divergent 3D reduces staff by one-third

TechCrunch LA

Divergent, the Los Angeles-based startup aiming to revolutionize vehicle manufacturing, has cut about one-third of its staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has upended startups and major corporations alike.

10 Stumbling Blocks To Innovative Business Thinking

Startup Professionals Musings

Successful entrepreneurs are the ones who think the most creatively, not only in their initial product or service, but more importantly all through the stages of growth from startup to maturity.

Why 2020 Is Pivotal for Microbiome Drug R&D (Or Maybe 2021, Given COVID-19)

Xconomy

The start of a potentially big biomedical breakthrough is blooming within all of us. Drug research aiming to turn bacteria into microbiome therapies now spans programs aiming to address gut disorders, autism, cancer, and more.

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Carey Ransom, OC4 On Startups, Investments, and What To Do Now

socalTECH

For our interview this morning, we spoke with Carey Ransom , from OC4 Venture Studio (www.oc4v.com). Carey tells us a bit about what OC4 is doing, how it invests and works with companies, and also gives startups some advice about how to approach moving forward in light of the pandemic. What is OC4? Carey Ransom: The way I think about it, is it is really the culmination of almost two decades of software and technology company building and investing.

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GM exits car-sharing business and shuts down Maven

TechCrunch LA

GM’s experiment with car sharing is over. The automaker Tuesday said its Maven car-sharing service, which launched in 2016, will shut down for good. Maven had paused service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

5 Keys to Results in the Current Marketing Revolution

Startup Professionals Musings

Most small businesses I advise still rely on traditional advertising models, assuming they can create enough media “noise” to get customers attention and sway them.

Synthorx’s Shawver Joins Silverback Therapeutics as New Top Exec

Xconomy

Veteran biotech executive Laura Shawver is taking over as CEO at Silverback Therapeutics, joining the cancer drug developer as it is poised to move its first compound into the clinic. The Wednesday announcement comes three months after French firm Sanofi (NYSE: SNY ) closed its $2.5

Swift Tactical Systems Deploys In Japan

socalTECH

San Clemente-based Swift Tactical Systems , a developer of unmanned aerial vehicle technology, says it has completed a personnel search and rescue and animal identification missions as part of a contract with Okayama Prefecture in Japan. According to the company, its systems were able to detect "high value targets" in minutes versus days in the feasibility study in Japan.

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Cruise hires PG&E board chairman Jeff Bleich as chief legal officer

TechCrunch LA

Cruise, the subsidiary of GM that also has backing from SoftBank Vision Fund, automaker Honda and T. Rowe Price & Associates, is turning to a heavy hitter to head up its legal team. The autonomous vehicle technology company has hired Jeff Bleich, board chairman of utility Pacific Gas & Electric, as its chief legal officer. Bleich has a lengthy resume that includes a position as special counsel to former President Barak Obama and as a U.S. ambassador to Australia.

10 Keys To Being A Thought Leader Across Social Media

Startup Professionals Musings

Successful entrepreneurs often start with a “random” idea, but they quickly focus their efforts and follow a “system” to organize their startup and maximize the clout of their activities.

Top 3 Government Network Security Setups

Southern California Edison Blog

Network speeds are closely tied to an organization’s ability to stay productive and remain competitive and profitable at all times.

Myosana Therapeutics Finds $1M In Funding

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based Myosana Therapeutics , a biotech company which is working on technology for non-viral gene delivery, has raised $1M in its seed funding round, the company said this morning. The funding came from CureDuchenne Ventures. The company said the new funding will go towards development of its non-viral gene therapy, for delivering a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Bio Roundup: Fast FDA Approvals, Biogen Delays, ORIC’s IPO & More

Xconomy

COVID-19’s spread has clamped down on a lot of economic activity, including the work of developing and testing new medicines. But the FDA isn’t showing signs of slowing down, at least when it comes to drugs filed for accelerated approval. The regulator signed off on three such drugs in the past week.

9 Strategies To Promote Your Image As A Communicator

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business professional and entrepreneur believes they are good communicators, but how do they know? It’s really the perception of the recipients that counts, and poor communicators are almost always poor listeners, so they don’t hear the shortcomings.

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HyperX Adds Two New Gaming Headsets

socalTECH

Fountain Valley-based computer gaming accessories maker HyperX --which is a division of Kingston Technology--says it has added two new gaming headsets to its lineup this morning. The company said the new HyperX Cloud Stinger Core + 7.1 and HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless + 7.1 Gaming Headset are both part of its Cloud Stinger family, and are expected to retail for $59.99 and $79.99, respectively. Both provide 7.1 virtual surround sound. READ MORE>>.

Allied Esports Seeing More Engagement, Participation

socalTECH

Irvine-based esports company Allied Esports says, despite the shuttering of its live event business, its companies are seeing increased fan engagement from the widespread shift of people online in wake of the COVID-19 crisis. According to Allied Esports, it is seeing increased engagement, registration, participation and viewership within its two business units, World Poker Tour and Allied Esports International. Allied Esports had previously cancelled its in-person World Poker Tour events.

Faraday Future Appoints Former NV Lieutenant Gov To Board

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based electric car developer Faraday Future said on Thursday afternoon that it has added former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki to the company's board. According to Faraday Future, the move will help it help bolster its leadership team, improve corporate governance, and secure funding for the planned delivery of its first ultra-luxury production vehicle (FF 91). Faraday Future had been planning on building a megaplant--now on hold--in Nevada.

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Century Park Capital Recaps Accelapha

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based private equity investor Century Park Capital Partners said this week that it has completed a majority recapitalization of business and IT consulting services company Accelalpha. Financial details of the recapitalization were not announced. According to the company, it has combined Accelalpha and a provider of logistics IT consulting, Prolog Partners. Accelapha is based in Bellevue, Washington; Prolog Partners is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

AeroVironment Launches Stealthy New Unmanned Aircraft

socalTECH

Simi Valley-based AeroVironment announced this morning that it has rolled out an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. The company said the new Quantix Recon is designed for defense applications, and is fully automated--with no need for radio communications during flight, allowing it to conduct missions undetected. The company said the Quantix Recon can survey up to 0.6 square miles or 12.4

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MaxLinear Gets Early Approval On Acquisition Of Intel Division

socalTECH

Carlsbad-bsed MaxLinear , which develops radio frequency, analog, and mixed signal integrated circuits, says it has received an early termination on the waiting period for its acquisition of Intel's Home Gateway Platform Division. The company said the early termination came from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on April 21st. MaxLinear announced the acquisition of Intel's division on April 6th.

Spireon: More Driving Leads To Upsurge In COVID-19 Cases

socalTECH

Irvine-based vehicle intelligence and data provider Spireon , looking to provide more insight into the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said this morning that its data shows that driving has a strong correlation to upsurges in COVID-19 cases. According to Spireon, its data shows that 10-14 days after recent spikes in driving activity, there have been corresponding upticks in the number of reported cases of COVID-19.

Bird Rolls Out Warm Up Mode

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based on-demand scooter service Bird announced on Wednesday that it has launched a new "Warm Up Mode", which will help its riders as they get back on the company's scooters, which will offer "gentle acceleration" so that riders who are "out of practice" or new scooter riders "sensitive to social distancing guidelines" avoid sudden acceleration. Bird said the new feature is available in its app, and also can be set as a setting.

Kofax Extends Platform For PPP Processing

socalTECH

Irvine-based Kofax says it is helping to power a platform from ImageTech Systems , for managing loan applications submitted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program--which recently ran out of funds allocated to it by Congress--is expected to be extended this week.

Edmunds Offers Steep Discounts To Dealers

socalTECH

In more proof of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting business, Santa Monica-based online auto information and automotive car shopping software provider Edmunds said today that it has been helping out its dealer partners, by providing a 50% discount on its subscription services. The company said it offered that financial relief to its partners in April, and will now extend that discount through May.

Snap Sees Increase In Active Users, Revenue Increase

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based Snap , the parent company of Snapchat , reported its first quarter 2020 financials on Tuesday afternoon, saying that it has seen an increase in both its daily active users and revenues. The company attributed that growth in part to the increased need by people to connect with their friends and family while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GM Shuts Down Maven Car Sharing Service

socalTECH

General Motors has shut down its Maven car sharing service, including its services in Los Angeles, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put the final nails in the coffin for the service. The car sharing service--which already had been struggling prior to the pandemic outbreak--had paused its business last month nationwide. Maven had previously set up a partnership with the City of Los Angeles to encourage EV sharing.

eharmony Adds Video Dating

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based dating app and service operator eharmony is adapting to the world of pandemic shelter-in-place, saying on Monday that it has rolled out a new "Video Date" feature. According to eharmony, the new feature allows people to "meet" face-to-face via a virtual get-together. The dating service said it has seen a 27 percent increases in messages in April, compared to March, as people have been spending more time at home with their devices.

Zefr Selected For Expanded YouTube Program

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Zefr , which develops software used by brands advertising on YouTube, says it has been selected for an expanded YouTube Measurement Program (YTMP). The company said the selection for participating in the program are linked to the company's recently expansion of its Context DMP product to support 20 languages, including Spanish and Japanese.

BlackLine Sees High Interest, Attendance At Online Conference

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based accounting software developer BlackLine reports that its recent switch to a "virtual" user conference was a success, drawing nearly 1,100 attendees--twice what it had expected at its in-person conference. The company, like the rest of the world, was forced to cancel its European user conference in March due to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. The company had converted its event from in-person to virtual in a hasty one week conversion.

K1 Sells Interest In Checkmarx For $1.15 Billion

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based private equity investor K1 Investment Management has sold its interest in security software developer Checkmarx , in a deal worth $1.15 billion, the company said on Monday. The company said it sold its interest in Checkmarx to Hellman & Friedman LLC , which was also joined by TPG in the deal. K1 said it will continue to own a minority interest in Checkmarx. Checkmarx is a developer of security software for the DevOps market.

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