Sat.Apr 30, 2022 - Fri.May 06, 2022

Mailing lists, email marketing, errors, oh my!

Berkonomics

Using old email lists for the first time is like eating really stale doughnuts. The taste is pretty bad, and the side effects could be disastrous. Strict rules about spam accounts. Email companies like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp and many others all have strict rules.

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7 Barriers To Communication In Business Relationships

Startup Professionals Musings

Most business mentors tell me that the single biggest problem they have to deal with in small companies is the lack of open, honest, and effective communication, both from the top down and from the bottom up. Some entrepreneurs forget that talking is not communicating.

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China’s gaming giant NetEase opens first US studio in Austin

TechCrunch LA

NetEase, the second-largest gaming company in China and the sixth-largest in the world, has opened its first US-based studio in Austin as China’s gaming industry slows. The company’s archrival Tencent was a step ahead in expanding to North America. TiMi, Tencent’s cash cow studio known for the mobile blockbuster Honor of Kings, began hiring in Los Angeles back in 2020. Last year, it added a base in Montreal.

Fig Launches Food Shopping App For Medical Diets

socalTECH

San Diego-based startup Fig said today that it has launched a new, mobile app which helps those on medical diets shop for food. According to the company, its app helps users browse through products available at grocery stores, and analyze ingredient labels to find foods that match up to those dietary restrictions. The startup was founded by Max Rebarber and Andrew Hollar.

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.

Shopify Just Bought the Deliverr Shipping Network for $2.1 Billion

Tech.Co

Ecommerce company Shopify supports small businesses with technology like ecommerce website builders and retail Point of Sale systems. Now, it's dramatically expanding capacity in another area, fulfillment, with the acquisition of Deliverr. Shopify is paying $2.1

6 Marketing Specifics That Apply To Every New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Marketing is everything these days. You can have the best technology, but if customers don’t know you exist, or they don’t know how your technology solves a real problem for them, your startup will fail.

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Alchemy Expands Into Latin America

socalTECH

Irvine-based Alchemy, a fintech startup which offers up lending and financing software, says it is expanding into Latin America. The company says it is looking at countries such as Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, and Mexico. Alchemy focuses on the "Buy Now Pay Later" market, which let people purchase items online and pay for them over time. alchemy latin america lending financing fintech

7 Traits Advised For Adoption By Every Business Owner

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience as a business advisor and angel investor these days, I seem to more frequently hear from entrepreneurs and business owners with “can’t-fail” or “get-rich-quick” ideas.

10 Key Business Domains Where ‘Big Data’ Looms Large

Startup Professionals Musings

Even though ‘big data’ has now been around for several years, the opportunities for startups seem to keep growing, just as the amount of data keeps growing. According to Forbes , over the last two years alone 90 percent of the data in the world was generated.

Illumina Links With Investor Deerfield Management

socalTECH

San Diego-based life sciences equipment maker Illumina and healthcare investor Deerfield Management said Thursday that the two companies are in a five-year partnership on "discovery and development of novel therapies for diseases with unmet medical needs".

Sienza Energy Names COO

socalTECH

Pasadena-based Sienza Energy, a Caltech spinout which is backed by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, has named Samuel Kang as its new Chief Operating Officer, the company said this week. Kang was most recently Head of Total Solutions and Head of School Buses for BYD; he also serves as a Councilman and Mayor of Duarte, California. Sienza is commercializing battery technology which the company says revolves around its own electrode design, which offers up higher energy and power density.

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Volta Trucks Plans EV Truck Pilot In LA

socalTECH

Swedish electric truck maker Volta said on Thursday that it plans to launch its electric trucks into the United States, starting with a pilot in Los Angeles. The EV maker develops heavy duty trucks which are meant for use in urban areas, and which have a range of approximately 95 to 125 miles. The company said it initially will roll out its vehicles as a service. The company says its initial deployment in the United States will include 100 trucks.

BloomNation Becomes Promenade, Offers Up Systems To Others

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based online floral marketplace BloomNation has made a pivot to its business, saying that it has become Promenade Group, and is now offering up its online e-commerce website and delivery platform to other markets. According to the company, it is offering up its e-commerce systems to other industries, starting with restaurants and beverage stores.

Performio Names CRO, CTO

socalTECH

Irvine-based sales commission software developer Performio has named Neil Graham as its new Chief Revenue Officer, and Dmitri Korablev as its new Chief Technology Officer, the company said this week. Graham previously served at Salesforce.com, Tealium, PayIt, and Jive, and also has served at Oracle. Korablev was most recently VP of Engineering at Datometry, and also served at GE Digital, Deem, and Informatica. performio neil graham dmitri korablev software sales saas

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DISQO Acquires Feedback Loop

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based DISQO said it has acquired Feedback Loop, which develops software for collecting customer feedback for product and marketing professionals. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. According to DISQO, the acquisition will add approximately 50 new team members to the company, bringing its total headcount to more than 500 people. Rob Holland, CEO of Feedback Loop and former GVP of Oracle Data Cloud, has been named EVP, General Manager of Feedback Loop at DISQO.

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URB-E Rolls Out Zero Emissions Last Mile Delivery In Santa Monica

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based clean transportation and delivery startup URB-E is rolling out a pilot of its technology in Santa Monica, to provide last mile, zero-emissions delivery services across the city, the company announced this morning.

Cameo Cuts 25 Percent Of Staff

socalTECH

Cameo, the celebrity personalized video startup with an office in Los Angeles--and many local, celebrities--has cut 25 percent of its workforce, the company's CEO said on Twitter. The company laid off 87 people from the company, but did not say how many were in the company's Los Angeles location versus its Chicago headquarters. Cameo is backed by Google Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins.

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Report: Sonos Plans Own Voice Assistant

socalTECH

Goleta-based whole home audio systems developer Sonos is planning on rolling out its own voice assistant, according to a report. The new feature apparently will let customers use their voice to tell its systems to play music, much like they can currently with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The new feature is reportedly known as "Sonos Voice". sonos voice assistant hardware sound audio

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7 Key Practices for Entrepreneurs Tackling Leadership

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the entrepreneurs and business owners I work with recognize that they must occupy and practice a primary leadership position , but many will admit that they are not thriving in this role.

The Mighty Names President

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based The Mighty, which operates a health community and provides information to life sciences companies, said it has named Matthew Michelson, Ph.D., as President of the company. Michelson was previously President of Genesis AI at Genesis Research, and CEO of Evid Science, btoh companies working in artificial intelligence. The Mighty says it provides data to help healthcare providers better undrstand patient behavior and sentiment.

OTOY Recreates Original Star Trek Set In VR

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based OTOY and the estate of Gene Roddenberry (the Roddenberry Estate) said on Tuesday that the two are working together to take the original cast and crew of the first Star Trek pilot through the company's life-sized "holodeck simulation". OTOY has created a fully accurate, life-size virtual set, customers, characters, and props for the original Enterprise interior of the 1965 pilot for Star Trek, "The Cage".

Stratolaunch Plans Test Flight Today

socalTECH

Mojave-based rocket launch vehicle developer Stratolaunch said that it will run its fifth test flight today of its Roc carrier aircraft, which will carry and release a hypersonic test vehicle for NASA this morning around 7:15am. The company originally had developed its vehicle for launching satellites into space, but recently has pivoted to providing a testbed for hypersonic flight testing for NASA and others.

Elevation Ventures Aims At $50M Fund For Climate Investments

socalTECH

Elevation Ventures, a new venture capital investment fund, disclosed today that it is looking to raised $50M for a new, climate investment fund. The new venture fund is led by Managing Partner Neal Rickner, with General Partners Bill Carpou and Scott Kitcher, plus Venture Partners Rachel Payne and Alex Shoer. The new fund is working with Octane and Sustan SoCal, and says it is looking at Orange County investments focused on "net zero transformation".

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Vance Street Capital Acquires Carmanah Technologies

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based private equity investor Vance Street Capital said today that it has acquired Carmanah Technologies Corp, a developer of solar LED pedestrian and traffic safety products. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. According to Vance Street, it will combine Carmanah along with Polara Enterprises, a company it acquired in December of 2021, to form a new traffic and pedestrian safety business. Carmanah is based in Victoria, BC.

Pray.com Jumps On NFT Bandwagon

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Pray.com, which provides daily prayer and Bible-based audio content, has jumped into the world of NFTs saying that it has released its very own non-fungible token (NFT). The company said it is providing information for "Christians who want to learn about cryptocurrency" with anyone who participates in its National Day of Prayer receiving a free NFT, a "National Day of Prayer" coin.

MyCase Looks To Switch Law Firms Off Dropbox

socalTECH

San Diego-based cloud-absed legal practice management software developer MyCase is hoping to convince legal firms to switch off of Dropbox, with a new service it calls MyCase Drive. According to the company, it has launched a new service which lets users save or drag and drop files directly from a case folder, organizing their files by client, practice area, or stage, as a replacement for users who might be using Dropbox or other services.

Rocket Lab Successfully Snags Rocket Mid-Air

socalTECH

Newport Beach-based Rocket Lab successfully snagged a rocket booster returning to earth using a helicopter on Monday, in the company's first recovery of one of its rockets for later re-use. The mission, which deployed 34 satellites to orbit, was named the "There And Back Again" mission, and is the 26th launch of a rocket for Rocket Lab. The company says it has now deployed a total of 146 satellites into orbit. This is what it looked like from the front seats.

Cardea Bio Gets $1.1M From Gates Foundation

socalTECH

San Diego-based Cardea Bio, which is developing "electronic nose" technology, says it has received a $1.1M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the company, it will use the funding to develop its electronic nose, which is being aimed at rapidly diagnosing infectious diseases. The company said it specifically is looking to develop the technology for use in rapidly diagnosing infectious diseases in developing countries. Michael Heltzen is CEO at Cardea Bio.

Vizio Gets Attorney's Fees In Patent Suit

socalTECH

Irvine-based Vizio has racked up another win in its battle against a company which had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the company, winning--along with Sharp Electronics--a combined $4.17 million in attorney's fees from Wi-Lan Inc. According to reports, the attorney's fees were awarded as a result of Wi-Lan continuing its patent infringement case against Vizio and Sharp even after it became "clear it couldn't win.". vizio sharp wilan patent infringement legal lawsuit

Tourmo Gets $5M In Line Of Credit

socalTECH

San Diego-based Tourmo, which develops artificial intelligence software for the mobile workforce, has raised $5M in a line of credit. The line of credit comes from Bridge Bank in the form of a monthly recurring revenue (MRR) line of credit. Terms of the line of credit were not announced by Bridge Bank, which said Tourmo plans to use the line of credit as working capital to support its growth. Tourmo is led by CEO Marc Brungger. tourmo artificial intelligence mobile workforce

LinearB Finds $50M For Software Engineering Tools

socalTECH

Los Angeles- and Tel Aviv-based LinearB, a developer of software engineering tools, has raised $50M in a Series B funding round, the company said this morning. The funding was led by Tribe Capital, and also included Salesforce Ventures, plus Battery Ventures and 83North. As part of the funding, Sri Pangular of Tribe Capital will join the company's board of directors.

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Kahoona Connects With $4.5M

socalTECH

San Diego-based Kahoona, a new startup which says it is focused on user privacy and first party data, has raised $4.5M in a seed funding round. The funding was led by Global Founders Capital (GFC), and also included Cardumen Capital, Plug and Play and Fourth Realm, plus angels. The company is jointly headquartered in San Diego and Tel Aviv, with sales and marketing in San Diego and R&D in Tel Aviv.

Rocket Lab Trying Again For Rocket Recovery

socalTECH

Hawthorne, California-based Rocket Lab will attempt its first rocket recovery via helicopter today, after a shift in the company's launch window for its "There And Back Again" launch from Friday. The company says its next launch window is today, May 2nd, between 22:35 and 00:40 UTC. The launch will be in New Zealand. Rocket Lab plans to livestream its first try at a rocket recovery from the air.