Sat.Jul 09, 2022 - Fri.Jul 15, 2022

Employee vs. contractor: Here we go again.

Berkonomics

Why revisit this issue now? Several years ago, I wrote an extensive article on the ten most important tests of a company in classifying a person as an independent contractor. See [link] for that important insight.

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GITAI Plans Space Robotics Test On ISS In 2023

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Torrance-based space robotics startup GITAI says that its robotics technology will be test on the International Space Station (ISS), on an upcoming mission to the space station in 2023. According to the company, it expects its extra-vehicular autonomous robot to be deployed externally on the Bishop Airlock. The company says its robotic arm is aimed at in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing in the vacuum of space. gitai space robotics robot international sation aerospace

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6 Lessons Startups Can Learn From Military Principles

Startup Professionals Musings

You have to be extra tough mentally to start a new business venture.

Mentor 110

7 Modern Day Business Strategies For Long-Term Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

I have learned from experience that scaling any business is difficult. You may feel good when that first burst of customers arrives, but don’t assume that “ word of mouth ” and those early adopters will grow your business to match your dreams of success.

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.

5 Current Technologies Still Have Room For Innovation

Startup Professionals Musings

A common request I get while mentoring entrepreneurs is for a copy of the startup checklist they need to follow, in order to build a successful new business. I wish it was that easy.

7 Technology Entrepreneur Examples You Should Emulate

Startup Professionals Musings

By most definitions of the term, an entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business, incorporating innovative changes to existing products, services, business models, and creating new markets.

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Yardi Launches Coworking Lead Gen Site

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Santa Barbara-based Yardi, which develops property management software, has launched a new, coworking lead generation site called CoworkingCafe.com. The company also said it has acquired CoworkingMag.com. The new service provides information on coworking and "flex" locations, and also allows for real-time booking of conference rooms and private offices. Yardi did not say how much it paid for CoworkingMag.com, which also provides searches for coworking spaces in the U.S.

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LiveOne Expands Deal With ReeachTV

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Los Angeles-based music and entertainment streaming and live event company LiveOne said this week that it is expanding a content and distribution partnership it has with ReachTV. Financial details of the deal were not announced. LiveOne said that ReachTV will start distributing LiveOne's content in over 2500 screens in airport venues and terminal locations, representing over 90 airports, as well as hotel rooms.

Haystack Rolls Out New Secure Delivery Feature

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Los Angeles-based Haystack, which develops Intranet software for corporations, says it has released a new "Secure Delivery" feature to protect sensitive and proprietary internal communications. The company said it is targeting human resources and internal communications professionals with the feature, which deters unattributed, unauthorized sharing of sensitive information. The company specifically said the new feature helps remove email sharing of company information.

Koji Releases New Watch, Listen Party Apps

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San Diego-based social media app store developer Koji announced two new apps for its creators, saying it has launched new "Watch Party" and "Listening Party" apps which lets musicians and artists create a live listening and watch experience for their fans. The company said the new apps let fans unlock audio content, using things like debit, credit card, email signups, or NFT purchases. Those fans will then be able to listen/watch what is going on from start to finish, with no replays.

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GM, Flying J Tap LA's EVgo For Charging Network

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General Motors and Pilot Flying J, the national truck stop and gasoline chain, said this week that they will be building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations at Flying J locations. The two are tapping Los Angeles-based EV charging station network operator EVgo for the buildout. Financial details of the deal were not announced. The companies plan to build 2,000 charging stations through the partnership.

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Compex Legal Services Names CTO

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Torrance-based Compex Legal Services, a provider of record retrieval services, said it has named Kevin Harbauer as Chief Technology Officer. Harbauer was most recently CTO and Head of Product and Technology at Ephesoft, and also has served at Healthwise and Trizetto. Compex Legal Services serves law firms and insurance carriers, by providing record retrieval, record summarization, and other related services.

CTO 109

AdQuick.com Expands International Efforts

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Los Angeles-based out-of-home advertising company AdQuick.com said today that it has added 22 new, international partnerships, as it continues to expand its global footprint. The company said the new deals, with such companies as VIOOH, JCDecaux, Dax, and Hivestack SSP, will put it on track to twice the number of international bookings this year compared with 2021. AdQuick.com is led by CEO Matthe O'Connor. adquick international advertising outofhome

Angel 109

Ring Under Fire, Again, For Sharing Video With Law Enforcement

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Amazon's Ring doorbell camera unit--which is based in Los Angeles--is under fire, again, for sharing doorbell camera video with law enforcement--without user consent or a court order. Apparently, Ring shared video 11 times with law enforcement as a result of rules that let it share video "in cases where someone could die or suffer serious injury." Those are similar to rules for law enforcement requests for cell phone records.

Angel 109

Trusaic's Chief Equality Officer, Megan Rapinhoe, Gets Medal of Freedom

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Los Angeles-based regulatory compliance software developer Trusaic said on Thursday that its new Chief Equality Officer--soccer star Megan Rapinhoe, has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Trusaic hired on Rapinhoe in May to head up its efforts to address gender and racial pay gaps. The company is led by CEO Robert Sheen. trusaic megain rapinhoe medal freedom equality equity software

Jurny Claims Rapid Growth

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Los Angeles-based Jurny, a startup developing software used by independent hotel brands, vacation, and short-term rentals for interacting with guests and automating interactions, says its bookings exceeded $5.4M year to date. The company said the increased usage comes as 20,000 iOS users have downloaded its app in the last 8 months. The company did not say what that level of bookings means for its revenues. Jurny is led by co-founder and CEO Luca Zambello, and is backed by Mucker Capital.

Merlin Labs, With Offices IN LA, Gets $105M

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Merlin Labs, a startup developing fully autonomous piloting systems which can be retrofitted into existing airplanes, has raised $105M in a Series B funding, the company said today. The company has offices in Los Angeles. The company said the $105M round was co-led by Snowpoint and Baillie Gifford, and also included GV (formerly Google Ventures). The company says its has now raised $130M in total. It's unclear how many people the company has in Los Angeles; Merlin Labs is based in Boston.

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Viasat Prepares To Launch New Satellite

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Carlsbad-based satellite communications provider Viasat said it has delivered a second, ViaSat-3 payload to Boeing in El Segundo, in preparation for a launch, which it says will provide broadband service over Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in 2023. Viasat said its new satellite is expected to provide greater than 1 terabit a second (1,000 gigabits a second) communications, which is three times faster than ViaSat-2. viasat satellite internet communications wireless aerospace

Plexium Names New Board Member

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San Diego-based targeted protein degradation company Plexium said today that it has named a new member to its board of directors. The company said it appointed Brian Wong, the President and CEO of RAPT Therapeutics, to its board. Wong also previously served as Senior Vice President, Research, and Head of Immuno-Oncology at Five Prime Therapeutics and as Director in the Inflammation Disease Biology Area at Roche.

TrueCar Expands Vehicle Delivery Nationwide

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Santa Monica-based online car selling marketplace TrueCar said today that it has expanded its home delivery program for used vehicles. According to the company, it will offer up the home delivery for dealers in a nationwide expansion, via a partnership with automotive logistics company ACERTUS. The company said the expansion of delivery services comes after a successful pilot in Texas and Florida.

Rivian Plans Hundreds Of Layoffs

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Electric auto maker Rivian is planning hundreds of layoffs, according to reports, which say that Rivian has "grown too quickly". Rivian has substantial operations in Southern California, including a substantial number of employees in Orange County. rivian layoff jobs employment staffing electric automotive auto

Activision Blizzard Launches Training Program

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Santa Monica-based videogame publisher Activision Blizzard said late Monday that it has launched a new, 12-week long training program, which looks to train and development professionals for engineering roles. According to the company, the new program, Level Up U is aimed at both people within and outside the game industry, to prepare them for full time engineering roles at Activision and Blizzard.

The Trade Desk Inks Major Ad Deal With Disney

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Ventura-based The Trade Desk, which develops advertising automation tools, has inked a major deal with Disney, to power ad matching on Disney's websites. According to a report from Axios, the deal will allow brands to automate their ads across Disney properties, allowing Disney to sell more ads at scale. Financial details of the deal were not annoucned. trade desk walt disney advertising automation sofwtare thetradedesk

Tool 109

Quadrata Finds $7.5M For Blockchain Efforts

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Marina Del Rey-based Quadrata, which says it is building a "passport network" to provide identity, reputation and compliance to blockchain applications, says it has raised $7.5M in a seed funding round.

Meta Hollywood Announces Star Studded Advisors List For Web3 Effort

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Los Angeles-based Meta Hollywood, a Web 3, blockchain venture which is a joint venture of Planet Hollywood and Animoca Brands, says it has created a new advisory group. The group includes a large number of Hollywood insiders and celebrities, including Gary Barber (Chairman, CEO of Spyglass Media Group); Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson III; Megan Fox; Avi Lerner (Nu Image and Millennium Films); Jessica Elbaum (Floria Sanchez Productions); and Joel Silver (Silver Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment).

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Soothe Expands Beyond Massages, Adds Skincare, Beauty

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Los Angeles-based on-demand, in-home massage service Soothe said this morning that it is expanding its services, adding new skincare and beauty services. The company said the expansion connects its users with skincare and beauty providers who offer facials, makeup applications, eyelash extensions, spray tans, beard grooming, haircuts, blowouts, updos, and more.

Demand 109

Sapient Gets $9.2M From Gates Foundation

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San Diego-based Sapient, which is developing biomarker profiling technology, says today it has received $9.2M in a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company said the grant will support studies to identify biomarkers that can inform novel nutritional, disease-prevention, and disease-treatment interventions. Sapient is using rapid liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (rLC-MS) for its biomarker profiling efforts. Sapient is led by founder and CEO Mo Jain.

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