February, 2019

Techstars and Starburst Aerospace are launching a space industry accelerator in Los Angeles

TechCrunch LA

With the help of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Maxar Technologies, SAIC and the Israel Aerospace Industries company, Techstars and Starburst Aerospace are launching an accelerator focused on the space industry in Los Angeles.

Why Has Seed Investing Declined? And What Does this Mean for the Future?

Both Sides of the Table

Seed investments are down by any measure (funds, deals, dollars) over the past 3 years in deals < $1 million AND in deals between $1–5 million. What gives?

Invest 377

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Berkonomics

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years. Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)? This is serious stuff.

Interview With Jamie Montgomery, March Capital Partners On The Firm's New Fund

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based venture investor March Capital Partners (www.marchcp.com) announced last week that it has raised a second fund, worth $300M. To learn about the new fund, we sat down with Jamie Montgomery , one of the fund's co-founders, to hear about March Capital's strategy and the new fund. Tell us a little bit about the new fund? Jamie Montgomery: It's interesting, as you grow, you get bigger and more focused. We found out what we're really good at, and we're drilling into those areas.

Quantum Computing: From Physics Lab to Applications

SoCal Tech Calendar

Saturday, February 23, 2019 -- Quantum Computing: From Physics Lab to Applications. Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum. Quantum computing is moving from lab experiments to real devices; but as with other disruptive computing innovations, what will be applications be? Will it be limited to a handful of niche scientific and government uses or will there be broad applications? And what of software platforms will be needed to leverage these devices?

Finding True Love Can Be Ruff, But This Startup Could Have Your Match

Xconomy

Too many people treat pet adoption like a one-night stand. You look at a dog, and see his eyes, and think he’s cute,” says Tama Lundquist, co-president of Houston PetSet, an organization that works with about 70 animal shelters in the Houston area.

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A Deep Dive into What Has Really Changed in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve heard a lot of people question whether there is too much money in venture capital chasing too few great deals. “We’re We’re in a new tech bubble!” some have pronounced. Valuations are out of control” is the mantra of others.

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Berkonomics

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years. Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)? This is serious stuff.

Rivian, With Operations In Irvine, Raises $700M From Amazon For Electric Pickups

socalTECH

Rivian , a developer of electric powered pickups and SUVs--which has significant operations in Irvine--has raised $700M in a funding round, the company announced Friday morning. The funding was led by Amazon. According to Rivian, its first two vehicles--the R1T and R1S--provide over 400 miles of range, and are expected to be delivered in late 2020. The company is led by founder and CEO RJ Scaringe.

Sharing Ownership

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 -- Sharing Ownership. CSULB Beach Incubator. Attorney Rick Citron. Mr. Citron is an attorney and entrepreneur specializing in business law, real estate, and succession planning. With over 40 years of experience in practicing law, Mr. Citron has contributed to the success stories of hundreds of companies, utilizing his experience and the synergy of a carefully nurtured network of professionals. See [link] (more

Cancer Cures and the Importance of Communicating Responsibly

Xconomy

Last week, it was reported by multiple media outlets (see here , and here , and here ) that a group of Israeli scientists had found “a cure for all cancer” and that it could be ready within a year. As a long-time life sciences industry executive my knee-jerk reaction was not “finally!”

Can you become a master negotiator?

Berkonomics

Think you don’t use negotiation most every day of your life? From the time we learn to manipulate our parents from the crib to today, we learn to negotiate to obtain our wants and needs. As we grow, we negotiate constantly with our parents, then with our peers.

Can you become a master negotiator?

Berkonomics

Think you don’t use negotiation most every day of your life? From the time we learn to manipulate our parents from the crib to today, we learn to negotiate to obtain our wants and needs. As we grow, we negotiate constantly with our parents, then with our peers.

Why Stacey Abrams got the First Standing Ovation in #UpfrontSummit History

Both Sides of the Table

Stacey Abrams Interviewed by Lisa Borders, CEO of TimesUp This past week Stacey Abrams spoke at The Upfront Summit in a 25-minute talk followed by a breakout town hall discussion. You may know that later today she will deliver the response to The State of the Union speech by the president.

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Want to See What all the Fuss was About? The Shocking Opening to the Upfront Summit?

Both Sides of the Table

As you may know we run an annual conference called The Upfront Summit in which we try to bring together the world of investors, entrepreneurs and interesting people from the world of sports, politics, music & film.

Avetta Merges With BROWZ

socalTECH

Irvine-based Avetta , a provider of supply chain management software, has merged with another supply chain risk management company, BROWZ , the companies said this week. Avetta is owned by private equity investor Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe. The combined firm says it has more than 85,000 customers in over 100 countries. Financial terms of the merger were not announced. The combined company will be led by John Herr, the CEO of Avetta.

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TrueCar Buys Stake In Accu-Trade

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based TrueCar announced late Thursday that it has acquired a 20 percent stake in Accu-Trade , a provider of vehicle apparisal technology. Financial terms of the deal were not annoucned. Accu-Trade, which is based in Manheim, Pennsylvania, and provides a mobile app which offers up vehicle appraisals and valuations for dealers and consumers.

TuSimple Takes $95M For Autonomous Trucking Technology

socalTECH

TuSimple , a developer of autonomous trucking technology which has offices in San Diego and in China, said on Wednesday that it has raised $95M in a Series D funding round. The funding came from Chinese investors SINA Corp. and Composite Capital. TuSimple says it has now raised a total of $178M. The new funding values the company at $1 billion. The company was founded in 2015.

TigerConnect Teams With OpenTempo

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based healthcare communications software developer TigerConnect has inked a partnership with physician scheduling and labor analytics software developer OpenTempo , the two announced today in a deal which will provide closer integration between their tools. Financial details of the deal were not announced.

Amazon Lockers Head To Coachella

socalTECH

Need something for the annual music festival at Coachella ? Amazon is looking to cater to the crowd of tech-savvy visitors to the popular festival, and said on Tuesday that it will be offering up its Lockers at on-site locations at Coachella during the two weekends of the festival in April.

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TigerConnect Rolls Out New Software Product

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based TigerConnect , the developer of healthcare communications software, has rolled out a new set of products and product enhancements, all aimed at communications between healthcare providers, patients, and health systems. According to the company, it has rolled out a new product called TigerTouch, which it says allows health systems to communicate directly with patients through video, voice, and text.

NEXT, Flush With $97M In New Funding, Hires First CFO

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based shipping and logistics marketplace developer NEXT , fresh off a big, $97M funding round announced last week, said that it has hired Peter Janda as the company's first ever Chief Financial Officer. Janda was most recently CFO at Chef'd, and also has served at such companies as Ingram Micro, Ernst & Young, among other companies. NEXT, which is led by Lydia Yan, raised its latest round of funding from Brookfield Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and GLP.

Greylock-backed Robotics Startup Nuro Snags Big $940M Funding Round

socalTECH

Nuro , a self-driving, delivery robot developer backed by Los Angeles-based venture investor Greylock Partners, has raised a huge, $940M funding round from SoftBank Vision Fund, the company said on Monday. Nuro said the new funding brings its total raised to more than $1 billion. Other investors in Nuro include Greylock Partners and Gaorong Capital.

HyperX Signs Pittsburgh Knights

socalTECH

Fountain Valley-based gaming accessories maker HyperX said this morning that it has become an official sponsor of the Pittsburgh Knights , the esports team that is associated with the Pitssburgh Steelers. According to HyperX, which is the gaming division of Kingston Technology, it will become the "Exclusive Peripherals Sponsors" of the Knights, providing gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mousepads and internal memory products to the team. Financial details of the arrangement were not announced.

Virgin Galactic Donates Rocket Motor To Smithsonian

socalTECH

Virgin Galactic and its sister company, The Spaceship Company (TSC), said last week that it has donated a rocket motor to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum , for the Smithsonian's efforts to create a new gallery focused on commercial space flight. The hybrid rocket motor was used on SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity last year. The rocket motor was designed and built by TSC. The 3,000 pound motor is what is used to send Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft into space.

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JibJab Acquired By Catapult Capital

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based JibJab , which provides animated, personalized greeting cards and other social content, has been acquired by private equity investor Catapult Capital LLC , Catapult Capital announced this morning. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. JibJab's stable of electronic greeting cards allow users to send personalized videos for such things as birthdays, holidays, and other events.

Cornerstone OnDemand Opens New Office In Utah

socalTECH

Santa Monica-based cloud-based human capital and resources management software developer Cornerstone OnDemand announced this morning that it has opened up a new office in Utah, where it expects to hire up to 350 people. According to Cornerstone OnDemand, the new, 26,000 square foot office is in Sandy, Utah, which is a suburb of Salt Lake City in an area where the tech industry refers to itself as the "Silicon Slopes".

Ice Energy Completes First Phase Of Big Deployment

socalTECH

Costa Mesa-based Ice Energy , which develops energy storage technology based on storing energy for air conditioning in the form of ice, has completed the first phase of a big deployment for Southern California Edison (SCE), the company announced on Wednesday. According to Ice Energy, it has installed 100 of its "Ice Bear" units across SCE's service territory, the first stage of a 21.6 MW energy storage contract it has with SCE. The company says the first units have a total capacity of 1.9

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Radicle Growth Puts $250K Into Leaf Agriculture

socalTECH

San Diego-based Radicle Growth , a new, seed-stage investor focused on the agtech and food technology sector, said this morning that it has invested $250,000 in Leaf Agriculture , a pre-seed company developing application programming interfaces (APIs) between agtech products. Radicle Growth said Leaf Agriculture is developing an API product that facilitates fast, easy and secure data transfer between agtech platform partners through a single point of access.

Tesla Buys San Diego's Maxwell Technologies For Energy Storage Tech

socalTECH

Tesla Motors , the electric car-and-solar panel company led by Elon Musk, is acquiring San Diego-based technology developer Maxwell Technologies , in a deal worth approximately $218M, the companies announced on Monday. ACcording to the two, the merger agreement calls for Tesla to pay $4.75 per share for all of the outstanding stock of Maxwell Technologies. Maxwell is publicly traded on the Nasdaq as MXWL.