Sat.May 09, 2020 - Fri.May 15, 2020

Taika is building a better coffee through natural chemistry and adaptogens

TechCrunch LA

So, an eight-year product veteran from Facebook and an internationally renowned barista walk into a coffee bar… It’s not a joke. It’s the origin story for Taika , a new startup that’s aiming to bring natural stimulants to the masses through its juiced up coffee-beverages.

Which is more important? Workplace safety or profits?

Berkonomics

Its a new world out there. Some businesses never sent people to work from home, told they were “essential businesses.” ” Soon more will reopen as weeks and months go by. That’s a relief for most of us from the combination of boredom and lack of social interaction. Even if we were safer at home as we became experts sharing screens in Zoom. We have new worries and responsibilities to protect those who return to the office.

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Navy-Startup Center, Lab Sets Up In Port Hueneme

socalTECH

A new, 60,000 square foot lab and research center in port Hueneme has been set up by the U.S. Navy and its NavalX unit, to help reduce barriers between the Navy and non-traditional partners such as start-ups, small businesses, academia, non-profits, and private capital. According to NavalX, Port Hueneme is one of six new "Tech Bridge" locations for its NavalX Tech Bridge effort, and will be based at the FATHOMWERX laboratory at the Port of Hueneme.

How Your Mindset Has To Evolve To Match The Business

Startup Professionals Musings

According to most definitions, an entrepreneur is one who envisions a new and different business, meaning one that is not a copy of an existing business model. Many entrepreneurs have a passion and an idea, or even invent a new product, but are never able to execute to the point of creating a startup. Even fewer are able to grow the startup into a viable business.

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.

Curri rolls out nationwide delivery service for construction materials industry

TechCrunch LA

A little over a year after its graduation from Y Combinator’s demo day, the on-demand construction materials delivery service Curri is beginning to offer its services in all 50 states. Co-founded by Matt Lafferty and Brian Gonzalez, Curri aims to solve one of the major hurdles for local construction suppliers who miss out on sales because of an inability to deliver to contractors when they need it.

Aerojet Secures $1.8 Billion NASA Project

L.A. Business Journal

Rocket propulsion manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., a subsidiary of El Segundo-based Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., was awarded a $1.79 billion follow-on contract by NASA to manufacture engines

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5 Keys To An Effective Startup Communications Mindset

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest challenges we all face when put into business leadership roles is how to communicate most effectively. As a mentor to entrepreneurs over the years, I see many of you who don’t communicate enough, others who seem to do all the talking, and some that are hesitant to be direct and open. I find that having the right mindset is key to getting all these right. You first have to accept the fact that communication is far more than relaying information.

Investors cozy up to LA-based ettitude’s bamboo bedding and sleep wear with $1.6 million

TechCrunch LA

Ettitude , the Los Angeles-based, direct-to-consumer startup making sustainable bedding and sleepwear from bamboo fibers, has raised a sustainably sized round that should keep the company going even in the face of an economic recession. Co-founded by the Melbourne, Australia native Phoebe Yu and serial entrepreneur Kat Dey, ettitude sells high-end bamboo bedding made using a process she first heard about in her old job working as an exporter helping chain stores source textiles in China.

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Embodied Plans Robot for Children

L.A. Business Journal

Embodied Inc., a Pasadena-based artificial intelligence and robotics company, has created an animatronic companion that it describes as “a Pixar character coming to life

NextVR Acquired By Apple

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based NextVR , a developer of virtual reality technology, has been acquired by Apple , Apple disclosed on THursday afternoon. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. NextVR's backers had included CITIC Guoan Information Industry Co Ltd, NetEase, CMC Holdings, SoftBank Corp.,

10 Marketing Strategies To Drive Exponential Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

As an angel investor, I see plenty of startups focusing on building an innovative product, but I’m looking for the few who are also leading with an exponential growth strategy, to put them in the category of the next Amazon or Google. Traditional marketing may be adequate for linear growth, but it likely won’t catapult you to Amazon’s unicorn status , or make waves in the business world.

Snap’s Yellow accelerator debuts its third batch of investments

TechCrunch LA

This morning, Snap joined a host of startup accelerators shifting its demo day online amid the COVID-19 quarantine. With its third class of startups, Yellow, Snap’s in-house startup accelerator that launched in 2018, brought investors and founders together in private slack channels after a live-streamed presentation.

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The Mindset of an Investor Today: Mark Mullen, Bonfire Ventures

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 -- The Mindset of an Investor Today. Join Peter Cowen (Managing Director, Sutton Capital Partners) as we explore what SaaS investors are looking for in the current climate. Sutton Capital Partners and the Recurring Revenue Conference. 5/20/20 - Mark Mullen, Co-Founder, Bonfire Ventures. See [link] (more

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Belkin Launches Emergency Ventilator

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based consumer electronics giant Belkin says it is working with the University of Illinois, to make available an emergency ventilator, which was designed in conjunction with the University of Illinois. According to Belkin, the FlexVent Gas-Operated Ventilator is pending the review and approavl of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Why You Need To Look Beyond Big Data For Future Needs

Startup Professionals Musings

We are now solidly in the era of big data , where computers are capturing and processing the details of everything we do with all our interconnected devices in real time. Businesses see this as the Holy Grail for finally being able to predict who, where, and when customers will buy their existing solutions, and what their future solutions must look like to be attractive. According to recent estimates , ninety percent of the data in the world today was captured in the last two years, at roughly 2.5

Origin wants to make accessible physical therapy women’s new normal

TechCrunch LA

“I spend a lot of time being angry — but I’m still hopeful. Gender bias in medicine is systemic,” says Carine Carmy, the fast-talking CEO and co-founder of Origin , during a condensed chat about her startup mission to make physical therapy for women and mothers accessible and affordable across the US, both online and through a network of physical clinics.

Rocket Lab Buys Sinclair

L.A. Business Journal

Rocket Lab USA Inc., a Long Beach-based space systems company, has acquired Canadian satellite hardware manufacturer Sinclair Interplanetary

Triton Digital Connects With Amobee

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based digital audio advertising provider Triton Digital said this morning that it has integrated its services with advertising technology firm Amobee. The company said it has integrated Amobee's demand-side platform with its programmatic audio marketplace. Triton Digital said the integration allows Amobee clients can now execute global, targeted, brand-safe audio ad buys through both open marketplace and private marketplace deals.

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5 Keys To Vetting Investors Before You Accept Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

Even though the color of their money is always green, all startup investors are not the same. Struggling entrepreneurs are often so happy to get a funding offer that they neglect the recommended reverse due diligence on the investors. Taking on equity investors to fund your company is much like getting married – it is a long-term relationship that has to work at all levels.

Despite the economy, LA’s Maple Media is hunting for app acquisitions

TechCrunch LA

Over the past three years the Los Angeles-based startup Maple Media has amassed a portfolio of roughly thirty companies and one hundred apps in its quest to become the IAC of app store businesses. And n ow, even with the economy continuing to collapse, the company is on the prowl for new acquisitions and expects to spend tens of millions of dollars on new deals.

Rocket Lab Buys Sinclair

L.A. Business Journal

Rocket Lab USA Inc., a Long Beach-based space systems company, has acquired Canadian satellite hardware manufacturer Sinclair Interplanetary

Syndio, With Co-Founder In LA, Snags $7.5M

socalTECH

Syndio , a developer of software being used by companies to help fix pay inequities in the workplace--and whose co-founder is based in LA--has raised $7.5M in a Series A funding. The funding came from Voyager Capital and the Emerson Collective. Syndio's headquarters are in Seattle, but co-founder and Chief Data Scientist Zev Eigen is based in Los Angeles. The company's CEO is Maria Colacurcio.

Best Network Setups for Media Content Delivery

Southern California Edison Blog

Users trying to stream video originating from a low latency network are likely to become frustrated as the media becomes slow to load and its quality becomes choppy. Without the proper bandwidth, your enterprise is limiting its ability to effectively host videos and load other forms of content. Media and content creation businesses expanding their services to meet future content needs require a network that can support growing media content demands. The number of digital video viewers in the U.S.

Bio Roundup: FDA Dings BMS, Genfit?s Fall, Alexion?s Activist & More

Xconomy

This was a disappointing week for at least two major drug makers. French firm Genfit reported a trial failure in an intensely competitive indication, and New York-based Bristol Myers Squibb encountered a delay when the FDA declined to review its experimental multiple myeloma treatment.

Aerojet Secures $1.8 Billion NASA Project

L.A. Business Journal

Rocket propulsion manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., a subsidiary of El Segundo-based Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., was awarded a $1.79 billion follow-on contract by NASA to manufacture 18 engines for the agency’s Space Launch System rocket

Semtech Gets Smart Meter Win

socalTECH

Camarillo-based analog and mixed signal semiconductor provider Semtech has scored a design win with a utility meter developer, Vision Metering. According to Semtech, Vision Metering is a developer of Internet of Things (IoT) utility metering solutions, and will use its LoRa devices and LoRaWAN protocol in its smart electric meters. Expected shipment volumes and financial impact of the design win were not announced.

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AeroVironment Gets $146M For Lethal Drones

socalTECH

Simi Valley-based unmanned aircraft systems maker AeroVironment says it has been awarded a $146M contract from the United States Army, for its "Switchblade" "aerial missile system". The company said the first year is worth $76M. The company said it will provide a full system, including Switchblade systems, operator training, and support and logistics.

The Boring Company Completes Las Vegas Tunnel Dig

socalTECH

The The Boring Company , the Elon Musk company which is developing underground transportation systems, has completed digging its tunnels underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnels are part of a planned effort to shuttle visitors to the property via a high speed underground transportation. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is hoping to be transporting passengers on the system by January of 2021. The $52.5M

Briq Adds $10M

socalTECH

Santa Barbara-based Briq , a developer of software used for financial forecasting in the construction industry, raised $10M this week, in what it says was a Series A funding round. The funding was led by existing investor Blackhorn Ventures, and also included Eniac Ventures, MetaProp Ventures, and Darling Ventures. Briq was founded by Bassem Hamdy and Ron Coldschmidt, and previously had announced $3M funding round in October of 2019.

Headspace Offers Up Free Subs For Unemployed Americans

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based Headspace says it will offer up free subscriptions to its meditation and mindfulness tools to all unemployed Americans. According to the company, it will provide free, one-year subscriptions and access to a new collection of exercises called "Living through unemployment." According to Headspace, the offer will give all Americans who are unemployed free "Headspace Plus" subscriptions, giving them access to all 1200+ hours of meditation and mindfulness content on the service.

Prodoscore Picks Up Series A

socalTECH

Irvine-based Prodoscore , which develops software for monitoring employee productivity, has raised a Series A funding round, led by Troy Carter. Size of the investment was not announced. According to Prodoscore, the funding goes towards sales and product development.

SpaceX Opens Up Online ISS Docking Simulator

socalTECH

Have you ever wanted to dock a spacecraft with the International Space Station ? Hawthorne-based SpaceX has just released an online simulator, where you can try your hand at docking one of the SpaceX Dragon capsules with the ISS--using the exact controls that NASA astronauts will be using. The ISS docking simulator allows anyone to attempt to maneuver a simulated Dragon capsule, using a complete set of pitch, yaw, roll, and thrust controls, to successfully dock the Dragon with the ISS.

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Allied Esports Ramps Content Efforts In Europe

socalTECH

Irvine-based Allied Esports says it is ramping its online content efforts, with new original content and production in Europe. According to the company, it will launch a new HyperX show and move its Esports Expo "Gamevention" online, as gamers and esports fans have moved online during the pandemic.

Openpath Debuts Hands Free Access Management

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Openpath , a developer of mobile access control systems, says it has launched a new "hands-free" feature as part of a new firmware release. According to the company, its new system lets users wave their hands in front of a reader--without touching any physical surfaces--to unlock an entry, helping building owners, managers and tenants who are looking to reduce risks for workplace re-entry.

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ServiceTitan Donates 100,000 Masks To Hospitals, Contractors

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based ServiceTitan , which provides software and services to the residential and commercial contracting business, says it has donated 100,000 masks to a combination of hospitals as well as essential trade businesses.

GrowFlow Gets $8.4M

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based GrowFlow , a software-as-a-service company which provides its software to the cannabis and hemp industry, has raised $8.5M in a growth financing round, the company announced on Tuesday. The funding was led by TVC Capital, and also included Bull & Bear Fund and two angel investors. As part of the funding, TVC's Jeb Spencer and Ryan McMorrow will both join the company's board.

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