2022

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Praying to the God of Valuation

Both Sides of the Table

Something happened in the past 7 years in the startup and venture capital world that I hadn’t experienced since the late 90’s — we all began praying to the God of Valuation. It wasn’t always like this and frankly it took a lot of joy out of the industry for me personally. What happened? How might our next phase of the journey seem brighter, even with more uncertain days for startups and capital markets?

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The best advice startups will never follow

Berkonomics

Dave’s note: This is a reprint of a 2015 insight that seems to have struck a chord with investors and entrepreneurs. None of this advice has changed… Let me tell you a few short hair–raising stories of entrepreneurs who have raised money and regretted it later. Here are some rules that entrepreneurs almost always ignore to their future peril.

Startup 317
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Fintech Launches Crypto Bank Account for Hispanics

L.A. Business Journal

A West Hollywood-based fintech announced the launch of a banking program Dec. 20 aimed at building Hispanic wealth through stakes in the crypto sector.

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Kim Kardashian becomes a private equity dealmaker in collab with ex-Carlyle partner

TechCrunch LA

America’s favorite reality star is leveling up her repertoire and levering up businesses. Kim Kardashian, who passed the “baby bar” exam in preparation to become a lawyer last year, just added another job title to her lineup — private equity investor. Kardashian is launching private equity firm SKKY Partners in conjunction with ex-Carlyle consumer head Jay Sammons to invest in business across consumer products, hospitality, luxury, digital commerce and media, the Wall Str

Equity 304
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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.

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Seven Tech Startups To Watch Out For In 2022

Tech.Co

Well, another year has come and gone, and while we're yet to leave the pandemic behind, it has led to a record number of small businesses starting up. With all these businesses forming, it's possible that some future household names are finding their footing as we speak. Many of these businesses will take a while to gain some momentum, but there are already some fresh faces on the tech scene that are worth keeping your eyes on as the next year progresses.

Startup 203
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5 Keys To Satisfaction When Starting A New Business

Startup Professionals Musings

According to a classic Gallup survey , job satisfaction for employees has reached an all-time low. Only 13 percent of workers are fully engaged in their job. The sad part is that it seems to be getting worse, rather than better. One alternative is to become an entrepreneur. As a mentor to many aspiring entrepreneurs, I’m often asked what it takes to get satisfaction from this lifestyle.

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Press Release: San Diego Startup Week to Hold In-Person 4 Day StartUp Innovation Event Oct 25 – 28 Across 4 Locations

Startup San Diego

The post Press Release: San Diego Startup Week to Hold In-Person 4 Day StartUp Innovation Event Oct 25 – 28 Across 4 Locations appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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What Does the Post Crash VC Market Look Like?

Both Sides of the Table

At our mid-year offsite our partnership at Upfront Ventures was discussing what the future of venture capital and the startup ecosystem looked like. The market was down considerably with public valuations down 53–79% across the four sectors we were reviewing (it is since down even further). ==> Aside, we also have a NEW LA-based partner I’m thrilled to announce: Nick Kim.

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Upfront Ventures Raises > $650 Million for Startups and Returns > $600 Million to LPs

Both Sides of the Table

Photo by Scott Clark for Upfront Ventures (no, Evan is not standing on a box) Last year marked the 25th anniversary for Upfront Ventures and what a year it was. 2021 saw phenomenal returns for our industry and it topped off more than a decade of unprecedented VC growth. The industry has obviously changed enormously in 2022 but in many ways it feels like a “return to normal” that we have seen many times in our industry.

Startup 408
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OK. Let’s AMPLIFY your three levels of leadership.

Berkonomics

Another leadership development bit? Yup. But if you have no time or are impatient, here are the three levels: visionary, strategic and tactical. Skip or stay with me; but think about your balance in your leadership methods either way. The conundrum of competing needs. As a leader, you must worry over issues from mundane to strategic, constantly reordering your priorities to accommodate competing needs.

Metrics 293
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Down bad

TechCrunch LA

Welcome back to Chain Reaction. Last week, we talked about layoffs and the Winklevoss rock gods. This week, we’re looking at a new layer of crypto doom and gloom. Get this newsletter in your inbox every Thursday by subscribing on TechCrunch’s newsletter page. crash redux. We’ve talked crypto crashes a couple times already in the short life of this newsletter but the sell off this week has spooked crypto insiders in a very different way.

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How the myth of the ‘girlboss’ harms emerging women in tech

TechCrunch LA

On Lafayette Street in SoHo, young, fashionable women lined up around the block to enter a minimalist, millennial oasis, the most perfect Instagram feed brought to life. Staff members glided around the store in pastel pink suits, each embodying the kind of girl that Glossier made us all want to be: beautiful, yet effortless. “We want to inspire, but we also want to be realistic and show beauty in real life,” Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss said in a 2017 interview with Inc, just as th

Startup 284
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Micromobility in limbo: Takeaways from Paris and LA

TechCrunch LA

Shared electric scooters came onto the scene five years ago with a promising vision of getting people out of cars and onto greener modes of transportation. Yet despite billions in VC money and plenty of hype , the future that micromobility companies promised still hasn’t quite arrived. In cities like Paris, most people aren’t replacing car trips with shared e-scooter jaunts in a meaningful way; the cost of riding scooters makes them an expensive option for last-mile transit connections and equit

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MEDU takes in $4M to develop reusable personal protective equipment

TechCrunch LA

In otherwise normal times, hospitals generate more than 5 million tons of waste each year, according to Greenhealth. Personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply over the past two years, and it was widely reported that some had to reuse what is typically a single-use item, like surgical gowns. MEDU , a Mexico-based startup, wants to reduce that waste and replace single-wear medical garments through the creation of a line of sustainable, virus-resistant reusable pieces, including surgi

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Aero raises $65M for its semi-private airline

TechCrunch LA

Aero Technologies , which describes itself as a “next-generation air travel company” which currently operates on a limited number of routes in the U.S. and Europe, today announced that it has raised $65 million, with $50 million of those as a Series B funding round co-led by Albacore Capital Group and $15 million in convertible notes. Expa and Keyframe Capital, as well as new investor Capital One Ventures also participated in this route.

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Playhouse is TikTok meets Zillow for the next generation of homeowners

TechCrunch LA

We’re all guilty of it: sometimes, even when we’re not looking to move, it’s fun to look at home listings on Zillow just to see what’s out there. If that sounds weird to you… I don’t blame you, but I also recommend watching more HGTV. However, if this sounds like a fun way to procrastinate after you’re done playing the Wordle, Quordle, Globle and Heardle for the day, you’re not alone.

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Solar Energy Company Heliogen Set for New Year’s Eve Debut on NYSE

L.A. Business Journal

As the clock was running out on 2021, L.A. County was poised to get another publicly traded company: Pasadena-based solar technology firm Heliogen Inc.

Pasadena 278
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Food Rocket blasts off after securing funding, grocery delivery deal with Circle K parent

TechCrunch LA

Many grocery delivery startups begin small, in one city, building up locations to cater to a certain neighborhood. Food Rocket has taken an unconventional route, striking a funding deal with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. that puts its 15-minute grocery delivery service in more than 14,000 Circle K convenience stores and Couche-Tard locations. We first met the Chicago-based company and its founder and CEO Vitaly Alexandrov last year when we reported that Food Rocket launched in the Bay Area , goi

Funding 246
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How long can Zuckerberg afford to bankroll the AR/VR market?

TechCrunch LA

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review ! Last week, we talked about about the “de-stonkifying” of the market. This week, we’re looking at a wounded Facebook/Meta that finds itself backed into a corner. If someone forwarded you this message, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page , and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

San Diego 246
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Long Beach Airport Begins Work on $25M Taxiway Improvement Project

L.A. Business Journal

Construction began earlier this month on a $25 million project to reconstruct a major taxiway at Long Beach Airport, according to an announcement from city of Long Beach, which runs the airport.

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UCLA Spinout Concrete-AI Closes $2M Seed Round for Concrete Efficiency Platform

L.A. Business Journal

Westwood-based Concrete-AI Inc., a UCLA spinout with technology to enable more efficient use of concrete, announced January 13th that it has raised $2 million in a seed financing round led by Boston-based Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.

UCLA 245
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Clean Tech Startup Mote Unveils Plans for $100M Carbon Capture Plant

L.A. Business Journal

There’s a new local entrant in the global decarbonization race: Culver City-based cleantech startup Mote Inc.

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Edison Moves Forward With $1.2B Battery Storage Contract

L.A. Business Journal

Last month, Southern California Edison, the electric utility subsidiary of Rosemead-based Edison International, announced two major moves to reduce reliance on greenhouse gases (GHG).

Rosemead 243
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Uber Eats pilots autonomous delivery with Serve Robotics, Motional

TechCrunch LA

Uber Eats is launching two autonomous delivery pilots in Los Angeles on Monday with Serve Robotics, a robotic sidewalk delivery startup, and Motional, an autonomous vehicle technology company. The new programs are a part of a range of new products Uber is launching across its ride-hail and delivery platforms, which are being announced on Monday at the company’s Global Product Event.

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Starship Technologies picks up €50M from the EU’s investment arm to expand its fleet of autonomous delivery robots

TechCrunch LA

Starship Technologies , one of the bigger names in the world of autonomous delivery robots — those little caboose-like, boxy delivery vehicles that self-drive around cities — has been on a roll during Covid-19, providing extra (unmanned) horsepower to distribute food and other goods between stores or restaurants and consumers, at a time when consumers were either reluctant or being ordered to stay at home to minimize the spread of the virus.

Invest 235
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Curling Center Reflects Vernon’s Push to Grow Beyond Industrial Reputation

L.A. Business Journal

Peter Dohm’s list of top places to build an ice curling facility in 2019 did not include Vernon.

Vernon 264
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5 Tactics To Minimize Meeting Time And Get More Done

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are like most entrepreneurs I know, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get all your own work done, as well as run the many one-hour meetings each team member seems to demand for decisions and mentoring. I have found it to be more productive and effective to lead with the model that no meetings will take an hour, and may be done in as little as five minutes.

Mentor 154
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8 Types of Aspiring Entrepreneurs Who Will Not Start

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur I know is dismayed by the number of friends who approach them with a line such as “I have an even better idea that will change the world, and one of these days I’m going to get around to starting my own business.” I always wonder what is more important to them on an ongoing basis than changing the world, since their startups usually never materialize.

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Almost Always Any Decision Is Better Than No Decision

Startup Professionals Musings

Every so often a promising entrepreneur seems to freeze in the oncoming headlights and gets run over by his competition. Why is it that his idea which seemed so fundable only months ago fails to attract investors today? The team is the same. The company's market is the same. The only change might be a visible new competitor, or another economic downturn, resulting in investors holding their money, and that makes all the difference.

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10 Strategies To Mitigate The Challenge Of Leadership

Startup Professionals Musings

Most new entrepreneurs don’t anticipate the burdens of being the leader, including the sense of loneliness and isolation at the top. People outside the team can’t relate to the pressures of “the buck stops here,” and everyone on the team assumes that they are the primary ones under pressure to deliver. Even in a single entrepreneur startup, the leader carries a heavy weight.

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7 Agility Initiatives To Keep Your Business Expanding

Startup Professionals Musings

Most small businesses have now forgotten the recent pandemic, and are back to “business as usual.” They don’t realize that business as usual is gone forever. With social media and smart phone apps, real product information spreads at astounding speeds. Entrepreneurs that are not listening, not engaging, and not changing are destined to be left behind even in the best of times.

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All New Venture Opportunities Come With Unknown Risks

Startup Professionals Musings

Outside of dreams, there is no real business opportunity without risk. Serious entrepreneurs know that, but too many “wannabes” still fall for that elusive get-rich-quick scheme with no risk. As an active angel investor, I still hear entrepreneurs asserting large opportunities with minimal risk and no competition. My conclusion either way is that they have no market, or haven’t looked.

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10 Attributes Of The Perfect Partner For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time business advisor and angel investor, I’m a believer that “two heads are better than one” in building a new business. Very few entrepreneurs have the range of skills and experience to be the solution creator as well as business creator, or operational as well as sales leader. The challenge is to recognize and recruit that ideal partner match early with minimal cost and risk.

Startup 154
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7 Ways To Keep Your Business Working Like A Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

For all of you whose business has survived for a few years, have you noticed how your thinking has changed ? Instead of sizing up new opportunities and actively courting every new customer, you start worrying about cutting costs, repeatable processes , and overtaking known competitors. As a consultant, I hate to see you lose that startup focus on innovation, change, and customers.

Startup 154
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7 Business Leadership Traits Persuade Customers Today

Startup Professionals Musings

We are living in a new generation of business, where customers drive the experience, and highly engaged employees are required to keep up with customer expectations. Traditional business leadership practices, including autocratic, reactive, and narcissistic, aren’t good enough. Over 16 percent of workers are still actively disengaged , and half have left at least one job because they hated their boss.

Customer 152
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6 Qualities Of The Best People To Nurture Innovation

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs are usually highly creative and innovative, but many innovative people are not entrepreneurs. Since it takes a team of people to build a great company, the challenge is to find that small percentage of innovative people, and then nurture the tendency, rather than stifle it. A few years ago I read a classic book “ The Rudolph Factor ,” by Cyndi Laurin and Craig Morningstar, which is all about finding the bright lights that can drive innovation in your business.