Sat.Jun 06, 2020 - Fri.Jun 12, 2020

HBCUvc founder Hadiyah Mujhid on one way investors can advance racial equity

TechCrunch LA

In response to VCs’ sudden rush to invest in more Black founders , Black venture capitalists and entrepreneurs have penned a bunch of advice on the best way to tap into talent. Among the strategies? Team up with Black firms already doing the work. Some firms have said that they’re going to turn to HBCUvc , a nonprofit organization that helps students from historically Black colleges and universities enter venture and tech.

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Economics 101: If water flows downhill, then why fight it?


You’ll get the importance of this in a moment. Hang in there. Substitute the word “money” for “water” and we have an explanation for most all the reasons why successful products move from concept through early adopters through mass market. How money flows through the system. Money flows to the cheapest effective solution to a problem. Fighting this fact will just extend the misery of accepting a result with as product or marketing failure in the marketplace.


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Arch Shifts VFX Work to the Cloud

L.A. Business Journal

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed the visual effects industry, but Hollywood-based Arch Platform Technologies Inc. is helping to bring VFX artists back to their workstations, virtually

8 Indications Of A Real Entrepreneur Versus A Hacker

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup investor, I often see business proposals looking for funding that really look like expensive hobbies looking for donations. I recognize that entrepreneurs tend to substitute vision and passion for formal processes, but using no discipline or process in building something new is a sure way to spend money, rather than see any return and build a self-sustaining 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.

Ford’s 2020 Escape plug-in hybrid takes aim at Toyota RAV4 Prime

TechCrunch LA

The 2020 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid — a first for the SUV — comes with an EPA-estimated 37 miles of all-electric driving range and 100 miles per gallon equivalent, stats that will put the redesigned model into competition with the new Toyota RAV4 Prime. The Toyota RAV4 Prime has an estimated 42-mile EV range and 94 MPGe. Toyota unveiled the first plug-in hybrid version of the model at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2019. The vehicle is expected to hit dealerships in the U.S. this summer.

Dimer In Deal With Partnership For Airplane Disinfection


Los Angeles-based Dimer LLC , the maker of the "GermFalcon" germicidal lighting, has entered into a strategic partnership with Honeywell to the aviation market, the company said on Wednesday. According to Dimer, Honeywell will sell the GermFalcon as the Honeywell UV Cabin System for "airline recovery". Dimer's system uses ultraviolet light for disinfection of surfaces, something which has been used in the healthcare industry for years.

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7 Ways To Optimize Passion And Energy In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of you will start your business with plenty of passion and purpose, but all too often I see both disappearing after months of facing unanticipated setbacks and challenges. Indeed, it is even more critical that you keep your key team members energized with a high level of passion and purpose, or burnout rears its ugly head, putting the future of your whole business in jeopardy.

Biotech Roundup: BIO on Racism, AbbVie Antibodies, IPO Surge & More


At the start of 2020 thousands of biotechies anticipated spending the second week of June in San Diego, hobnobbing at the annual conference hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Instead, attendees from 64 countries spanning 28 times zones convened online this week for the first-ever virtual BIO International Convention. There, topics once as unanticipated as the remote nature of the meeting shared top billing: COVID-19 and racism.

Slingshot Aerospace Creates Online Mapping Tool For Food Help


Los Angeles-based Slingshot Aerospace , a startup which normally develops situational intelligence software, is helping to address some of the major issues to emerge out of the global COVID-19 pandemic, by helping to create an online mapping tool for finding food help.

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Dating App for Gamers Raises $2 Million

L.A. Business Journal

Downtown-based Covalent Inc., the developer of gamer dating app Kippo, has raised $2 million in a seed round

8 Learning Principles To Keep You Ahead Of The Game

Startup Professionals Musings

Aspiring entrepreneurs who rely only on traditional learning vehicles (teachers, classrooms, and risk-free practice) are doomed to failure in anticipating change today. Either they are never really ready to commit, study an opportunity until it has passed, or fail with tools and techniques from a bygone business era. The Internet and the current information wave have changed everything.

Moderna Finalizes Plan, Dose for Phase 3 Test of mRNA COVID Vaccine


Less than a month after reporting preliminary early-stage data for its experimental vaccine for the novel coronavirus, Moderna has finalized the plan for a Phase 3 test. The study, set to begin next month, is targeting enrollment of about 30,000 volunteers, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA ) announced Thursday. Those patients will be randomly assigned to receive either the vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, or a placebo. The main goal of the study will be preventing the symptoms of COVID-19 disease.

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Fralock Acquires Career Technologies USA


Valencia-based Fralock , which designs and manufactures specialty components for the aerospace, electronics, industrial life science, medical, satellite, and semiconductor equipment manufacturing industries, has acquired Chatsworth-based Career Technologies USA READ MORE>>. fralock career technologies semiconductor electronics manufacturing merger acquisition private equity

Subscription Brands Deliver for Consumers

L.A. Business Journal

For consumers stuck at home during the pandemic, a surprise delivery box just might be the thing that lights up their day


6 Tips To Market Your Idea Before Building A Solution

Startup Professionals Musings

Savvy entrepreneurs start testing their ideas on potential customers even before the concept is fully cooked. They have enough confidence in their ability to deliver that they don’t worry about someone stealing the idea to get there first, and they don’t forget to listen carefully to critical feedback. They become walking public relations machines for themselves, as well as their idea.

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Akouos Aims for an IPO to Advance Hearing Loss Gene Therapy to Clinic


Hearing loss can stem from a variety of reasons, but in rare cases it’s caused by genetic defects. Akouos is developing a gene therapy to address these problems and it’s planning an IPO to finance the first tests of its approach in humans. In paperwork filed with regulators late Friday, Boston-based Akouos set a preliminary $100 million goal for its IPO. The first target for Akouos is hearing loss due to mutations in the OTOF gene, which encodes a protein called otoferlin.

Google Sues Sonos Over Patents


Google has counter-sued Santa Barbara-based Sonos , with a patent infringement lawsuit, saying that Sonos has illegally used a number of Google patents in the development of its wireless audio technology. The lawsuit, Google LLC v. Sonos, Inc. , was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday.

Bird Scraps Some Scooters

L.A. Business Journal

Santa Monica-based Bird Rides Inc. is reportedly scrapping 8,000 to 10,000 e-scooters across cities Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The e-scooters belonged to Circ, a Berlin-based company Bird acquired in January

8 Business Accountability Lapses And How To Recover

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business investor, I look for investments where I see founders really holding their people accountable for their actions. More importantly, I look for entrepreneurs and owners like you who are not afraid to hold themselves accountable for the success of the business. If I see or hear evidence of a victim mentality , or someone playing the blame game, it may be time to walk away.

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LiveXLive Links With Baeble Music


Los Angeles-based live streaming audio and video provider LiveXLive said this mornign that it has linked with music streaming provider Baeble Music , to distribute its content across Baeble's platform. Financial details of the content, distribution, and revenue share agreement were not announced. LiveXLive said the addition of Baeble expands its reach to a total of 35 platforms.

Giftaplate Lets Users Donate Meals To Familes In Need


A new, nonprofit organizatino, Giftaplate , is working with local restaurants in Los Angeles, to allow people to donate to help both restaurants and families in need. The organization--launched by Silicon Valley startup Plate IQ, HotSchedules, and others--said it is looking to help aid restaurants and families who have been greatly impacted by COVID-19 in LA.

Grow Credit Gets $2M In Seed Funding


Santa Monica-based Grow Credit , a startup which helps people establish credit by paying for subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, and Spotify, has raised $2M in a seed funding round, the company said on Tuesday. The funding came from Mucker Labs. The startup, led by Joe Bayen, has a virtual Mastercard which lets users pay for services and establish a credit record using those payments.

Karma Automotive Sets Chief Strategy Officer


Irvine-based electric car developer Karma Automotive announced this morning that it has named Greg Tarr as the company's new Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). According to Karma, Tarr has previously served at such companies at Vvodafone China, Singel's Globe Telecom, Axiata Group and Rogers Communitions, Gympse, Sirius XM, Networks in Motion, as well as a number of other companies.

Interview with Scott Grimes, Stackin


Our interview today is with Scott Grimes , the CEO of Los Angeles-based Stackin' , which operates a text-based, financial messaging platform. Stackin recentlyraised $12.6M in a funding round led by Octopus Ventures, and also which also included Experian Ventures, Cherry Tree Investments, Dig Ventures, Mucker Capital, Unlock Venture Partners, TechStars and Wavemaker Partners. What is Stackin'? Scott Grimes: We are the simplest entry point into finance.

VetPro Offers Up Software For Free


Irvine-based Panoramic-VetPro , a developer of software for state and county governments used to manage disability claims, said it will offer up its software to free to veteran service organizations. According to the company, it will offer up its disability claim management system, VetPro, to any organization that works to support disabled Veterans apply for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs during the COVID crisis.

Avidity Biosciences Prices IPO


San Diego-based Avidity Bio , a biopharmaceuticals company working on oligonucleotide-based therapies, priced its IPO last night, saying that it will offer up 14,400,000 shares of its common stock at $18.00 per share. The company priced above its initial estimated offering range of $14.00 to $16.00 per share. The company said it will begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market today, June 12th, under the ticker symbol RNA.

SpaceX Planning New Launch From Vandenberg


Hawthorne-based SpaceX is planning a new launch of a payload from Vandenberg Air Force Base , just north of Lompoc, the first since June of 2019. According to NASA, it will be launching a new, international ocean measurement satellite, Sentinel-6. NASA said that Sentinel-6 will collect data on ea level, a key indicator of how Earth's warming climate affects weather and coastlines. SpaceX's last launch in Vandenberg was a set of three earth observation satellites for the Government of Canada.

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Headspace Raises $47.7M


Santa Monica-based meditation app provider Headspace has raised $47.7M in an equity funding round, according to a regulatory filing by the company, filed this week. The funding--an extension of its Series C funding--was announced at the Snap Partner Summit. According to the filing, the funding came from 10 different investors.

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inVia Robotics Expands Into Asia


Westlake Village-based inVia Robotics , which develops warehouse automation robots, is in an expansion into Asia, with its first deployment in Osaka, Japan. According to inVia Robotics, it will supply its autonomous mobile robots to automate fulfillment operations in the primary distribution center of Kantsu, a provider of logistics and warehousing services to the e-commerce industry. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

RocketLab Delays Launch To June 13th


Huntington Beach-based rocket launch provider Rocket Lab is again delaying its launch for this week, to June 13th. According to Rocket Lab, the delay--the second for the DontStopMeNow mission--is due to high winds at its LC-1 launch site. The company says the launch is now targeted for no earlier than 04:43 UTC on June 13th. The company's Electron rocket carries three payloads designed by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which provides imagery and other information to U.S.

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Cue Health Connects With $100M


San Diego-based Cue Health , a developer of rapid molecular testing products, has raised $100M in a Series C funding round, the company said this week. The funding came from Decheng Capital, Foresite Capital, Madrone Capital Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc., ACME Capital and other investment firms, according to the company. Cue Health develops rapid molecular testing products, aimed at use in nursing homes, emergency departments, and community health clinics.

SpaceX Bails On Lease At Port Of Los Angeles, Again


Hawthorne-based SpaceX has bailed on a pending deal to lease space at the Port of Los Angeles, the second time it has done so in the last year. The withdrawal of SpaceX's lease comes after a massive scramble by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners to approve a 10-year agreement with SpaceX in February. SpaceX did not give a reason for withdrawing from the lease, however, it comes after Elon Musk threatened to leave California because of the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wheels Re-Launches Operations


Los Angeles-based Wheels , which provides on-demand, e-bike sharing services, has re-launched its operations, 3 months after pausing its operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the service, it is re-launching in Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Austin, and Orlando this week, after re-launching its services in Stockholm and Madrid previously.

DelMar Pharmaceuticals Acquires Adgero Biopharmaceuticals


San Diego-based DelMar Pharmaceuticals announced this morning that it has acquired Adgero Pharmaceuticals. Financial details of the all equity deal were not announced. According to DelMar, it will change its name to Kintara Therapeutics , and change its NASDAQ symbol to KTRA. Adgero is a developer of late stage photodynamic therapy platform for the treatment of serious cutaneous oncology indications. DelMar said that current DelMar stockholders will own 50.5%

Wave Adds $30M For Virtual Concerts


Los Angeles-based Wave , which develops software and hardware to enable live, virtual reality concerts, has raised $30M in a Series B funding round, the company said on Wednesday. The funding was led by Maveron Ventures and Griffin Gaming Partners, and also included angels Alex Rodriguez and Scooter Braun. Wave is led by CEO Adam Arrigo. The company uses motion capture to power virtual, interactive concerts for music artists. READ MORE>>.

Los Angeles Sued By ACLU Over Scooter Tracking


On-demand scooter companies in the City of Los Angeles have gained a new ally in their efforts to keep the data about their scooters private, after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) over its collection of anonymized electric scooter data.