June, 2018

Framework Benchmarks Round 16


Now in its fifth year, the TechEmpower Framework Benchmarks project has another official round of results available. Round 16 is a real treat for anyone who likes big numbers.

Lime brings electric scooters to LA

TechCrunch LA

While electric scooter startups are at a standstill in San Francisco , Lime is taking its scooter service to Santa Monica, Calif. — competitor Bird’s home turf.

After Completing This TechStars Exercise, Everyone On Your Team Will Pitch Like A Founder


A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. I was invited to lead a Techstars LA workshop, focused on honing their elevator pitches. In my UCSB classes , my students practice their Personal Pitch in front of their peers, who give them constructive feedback.

What Should You Send a VC Before Your Meeting?

Both Sides of the Table

One of the hardest things to know when you’re new to fund raising is what you’re supposed to send to an investor, when and will they keep your information confidential. As a VC and former entrepreneur let me offer you some advice. This is part of a series on how to improve your fund raising game.

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Sneaker market GOAT hires COO Lizzie Francis and makes a play for women sneaker shoppers

TechCrunch LA

GOAT, the secondary marketplace for sneakers that recently merged with Flight Club , is announcing a new hire. Lizzie Francis will join the company as Chief Operating Officer, coming from Brilliant Ventures where she will remain a managing partner.

Latticework Launches Personal Hybrid Cloud for Private Data-Sharing


Were you aghast at revelations that third-party organizations were able to capture millions of Facebook profiles from users who were unaware of the company’s privacy policy terms?

What Media Execs Missed about YouTube Stars

Both Sides of the Table

For Father’s Day I was watching the most heartfelt movies I’ve seen in a long time, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”

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Silicon Beach Report June 5: ICO Watchdog Looks to Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Fraud

L.A. Business Journal

East Coast accelerator brings program to Los Angeles; cryptocurrency company aims to reduce ICO fraud; Elon Musk’s tunnels approved in Hawthorne

UNREAL Mobile Targets Disgruntled Sprint Customers, Launches $10 Mobile Plans


Los Angeles-based UNREAL Mobile , a spinout of FreedomPop, is targeting disgruntled Sprint customers who were hoping to take advantage of Sprint's now unavailable $15 per month unlimited mobile service. According to UNREAL, it will offer up unlimited mobile plans for just $10 per month, with no contract and no credit check--and also will offer up new Alcatel Android smartphone for less than $50. The new service also will let anyone with an existing CDMA phone activate the service.

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MasterMinds OC Startup Accelerator Workshop #15

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, June 28, 2018 -- MasterMinds OC Startup Accelerator Workshop #15. OC ENTREPRENEURS: Join us for another LIVE MasterMinds Workshop. Bring your startup ideas and business questions so our friendly group of local Orange County entrepreneurs and business owners can help you move your business farther, faster. Free tickets available if you have a good startup business question for discussion, or you want to practice your startup pitch! See [link].

Malauzai Acquired

Steve Reich

I’ve been heads down for quite some time managing the ecosystem at Malauzai, and so have been away from my blog. I’ve taken a new position at Finastra, should have interesting things to report going forward. Please stay tuned…

For Sickle Cell, a Complex Disease, New Drugs Could Bring Complex Costs


Cassandra Trimnell has sickle cell disease. She also loves to travel. For her 30th birthday last year, she and her husband planned a trip to Indonesia, and she figured she would be fine.

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Be Careful Not to Lose Twice

Both Sides of the Table

There are times to fight. No great startup has been built without getting one’s knuckles bloody at times. This is especially true because incumbents now know how much is at stake when they let a startup get a huge head start in a market.

Silicon Beach Report June 6: Meditation Co. Headspace Aims for Health Care

L.A. Business Journal

Headspace Seeks Prescription Status; Rocket Lab Plans Upcoming Launch; Sonos Drops New Speaker

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Scratchpay Picks Up $6.4M For Pet Care Financing


Does Fido or Fluffy need some major veterinary care, but you don't have the money to pay? Los Angeles-based Scratchpay , which provides payment plans to pet owners to pay for their pets' immediate medical needs, said Tuesday that it has raised $6.4M in a a Series A funding. The funding came from Companion Fund, Struck Capital, TTV Capital and SWS Venture Capital. Scratchpay--based in Eagle Rock--was founded by John Keatley and Caleb Morse.

Join us for the Future Forum on Future Healtcare Innovation

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 --.


Business risk: Bet the farm only when the crops are on fire.


Close. How much risk you and your company are willing and able to tolerate over time? Most people believe that early stage companies should take risks aggressively because there is less to lose and much more to gain with each risky bet or decision.

Benchling Scores $14.5M to Grow Online Lab Notebook for Bio-Researchers


New immunotherapy approaches to cancer treatment, and the CRISPR technology for editing genetic material in cells, are among the most sophisticated research strategies scientists are using in their quest to defeat disease.

Scratchpay Lands $6.4M in Series A Funding

L.A. Business Journal

Eagle Rock’s Scratch Financial Inc., doing business as Scratchpay, announced June 19 that it received $6.4 million in series A funding. Underwriting for this round of funding was provided by Companion Fund, a $100 million pet-centered venture capital fund, as well as Struck Capital, TTV Capital and SWS Venture Capital

PolyCera Membranes Gets $9M For Wastewater Treatment Membranes


Los Angeles-based PolyCera Membranes , a developer of membrane technology used for industrial wastewater treatment, has raised $9M in a Series A funding, according to the company. The funding was led by Kairos Ventures and also included Bluestem Capital and the Wolfen Group. PolyCera, led by CEO Simon Marshall, said the funding will go to build out its global manufacturing, R&D and sales capabilities. The lead investor from Kairos Ventures was Jim Demetriades.

CapLinked Ties With Civic


Los Angeles-based software developer CapLinked , which develops secure document sharing software for the business market, has linked with secure identification software developer Civic , the two companies said this week. According to the two, Civic will enable secure login and sign on functionality for CapLinked's data management and information sharing platform. Financial details of the partnership were not announced.

Bonfire Ventures Leads Funding In Enterprise Drone Startup Kittyhawk


Los Angeles-based venture capital investment firm Bonfire Ventures is the lead investor in a San Francisco-based enterprise drone startup, Kittyhawk , Kittyhawk announced this week. Kittyhawk said that it raised $5M in a funding round, led by Bonfire's Jim Andelman, and also included Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Freestyle Ventures, and The Flying Object.

PR0HBTD Picks Up $12M For Cannabis Media Brand


Los Angeles-based PR0HBTD , a startup which says it is developing a "cannabis lifestyle media and brand platform", announced this week that it has raised a Series A investment round worth $8M, bringing its total raised to $12M.

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Truepic Finds $8M For Photo Verification Software


San Diego-based startup Truepic , a developer of software which "notarizes" digital photos for authenticity, has raised $8M in a Series A funding, the company announced on Thursday. The funding came from Dowling Capital Partners; Jeffrey Parker (co-founder of FirstCall & former CEO of Thomson Financial); Andrew "Flip" Filipowski (Founder and CEO of Platinum Technology and SilkRoad Technology); and William Sahlman, along with others.

Getty Images Launches Content Studio In LA


Getty Images has launched a new, custom content service in Los Angeles, called Getty STUDIO. According to Getty Images, STUDIO will be a "full-service production agency" and provide services to brands. Getty Images said the new unit will provide video, event photography, social-first content, commercial assignments, portrait studios, talent integration, media partnerships, full service production, immersive media, worldwide distribution, content strategy and visual intelligence.

Bird Seeks $200M For Warchest For Fight With Lime Over Scooters


Santa Monica-based Bird appears to filling its war chest for a massive battle with San Francisco-based competitor Lime , and is looking to raise $200M in funding, according to regulatory filings by the company this week. The news comes as Lime apparently is raising $250M of its own, led by GV (formerly Google Ventures).

Silicon Beach Report June 18: Robot Maker Gets $22 Million Series A

L.A. Business Journal

$22 million raised by Pasadena Robotics Co.; MindSpark acquired by Auticon; Sure Inc. expands to rideshare insurance

German Employer of Autistic Professionals to Acquire MindSpark

L.A. Business Journal

An award-winning German firm that employs professionals with autism across Europe is acquiring Santa Monica–based MindSpark Inc. to mark its entry into the U.S. market