Silicon Valley Goes to the Beach

Powered by video and fed by stars, a startup boom in west Los Angeles is giving California a second high-tech mecca

From Time:

The second-floor office of Tradesy, a 16-month-old online consignment shop, has all the requisite trappings of a digital startup. Inside an open, loftlike space, seven 20-somethings work at a central pod of desks near an L-shaped kitchen stocked with free snacks and drinks. Employees’ dogs scamper beneath their feet while a team of programmers, eyes glued to computer screens, huddles in a separate room.

But there is a giveaway clue that Tradesy isn’t based in Silicon Valley or one of the dozens of other tech hubs that have taken root from Austin to Omaha: a deck off the kitchen is piled with surfboards. From there, the Pacific Ocean and the wide white-sand beach of Santa Monica, Calif., is about 300 yards away–easy walking distance when the waves are breaking…


LA Biotech, C3 Jian, Raises $60M Series D Financing

C3 Jian is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing and commercializing novel products to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases related to the human microbiome, with an initial focus on improving oral health.

From C3 Jian:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — C3 Jian, Inc., a private company focused on developing proprietary drugs with an initial focus on improving oral healthcare, announced today the close of its Series D financing raising total proceeds of $60.5 million.

Funds from the financing will be used to support continued clinical development of the Company’s lead product, referred to as C16G2, a proprietary peptide-based antimicrobial drug specifically targeting Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium responsible for dental caries or tooth decay. Under a U.S. FDA Investigational New Drug Application, the Company recently began a Phase 2 Clinical Trial to study C16G2 formulated as a mouth rinse as well as a gel for both dental tray and tooth brush applications. Proceeds received will also help advance development of a second peptide drug candidate that has both teeth remineralization, as well as hair/nail growth properties. In addition, the Company plans to build a pipeline of additional innovative compounds using its proprietary STAMP (Specifically Targeted Antimicrobial Peptide) technology platform. STAMPs have the potential to alter human microbiomes by targeting and eliminating a specific bacterium versus broad spectrum antibiotics. The Company expects to explore development of STAMPs for medical uses in addition to oral healthcare…


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California Still Home to Most Women-Owned Businesses

California has an estimated 1.1 million women-owned firms, 427,800 in LA alone. These businesses employ 984,000 (393,400 in LA) and contribute $200 billion ($85.3 billion in LA) to the economy.

From L.A. Biz:

Business is picking up for women in California, and across the country, according to the fourth annual American Express OPEN State the of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

“We’ve seen much more diversity in the kinds of businesses women are owning over the past 10 to 15 years,” Julie Weeks tells me. Weeks is an American Express OPEN research advisor and author of the report. “We looked at the number of women-owned businesses started every day,” says Weeks.

Weeks is the President and CEO of Womenable, a for-profit social enterprise that looks to grown women’s entrepreneurship worldwide. Her report analyzed the 1997, 2002, and 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s quinquennial business census, the Survey of Business Owners..


UCLA Startup, Bruin Biometrics, Raises $10 Million Round

Funds will be deployed to market developed products, complete clinical trials and continue R&D on the product pipeline.

From BusinessWire:

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bruin Biometrics, LLC (“BBI”), a medical device company with two biometric sensing products ready for market in Europe and the United States, announced it has closed a $10 million round of funding which was oversubscribed by almost $2.7 million. The funds will be deployed to market the developed products, complete clinical trials and continue R&D on the product pipeline.

“Investors are responding to this important opportunity ideally timed to solve critical issues that cost healthcare systems globally billions of dollars in expensive, preventable diagnostics and treatments. BBI’s biometric scanning technology is proven and ready to improve patient care simply and inexpensively,” said BBI’s Chief Executive Officer Martin Burns. “Investors, physicians and hospitals understand these sensors detect a number of key health conditions. They soon will become another essential tool used by nurses and other healthcare workers to check a patient’s vitals, just as the blood pressure cuff is used today…”


Tech Merger Frenzy in L.A. Highlights New Set of Startups

There’s been a proliferation of both angel and seed capital over the last couple years, and that’s allowed companies to stay here, build and grow.

From Bloomberg:

Two takeovers in two days are putting a spotlight on Southern California’s role as a hotbed for technology startups.

Facebook Inc. (FB) said March 25 that it agreed to buy the virtual reality company Oculus VR Inc., based in the Orange County city of Irvine, for at least $2 billion in cash and stock. A day earlier, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) plunked down a minimum of $500 million for Maker Studios, a supplier of shows for YouTube that has its headquarters in Culver City, next to Los Angeles…


Santa Monica as the New Silicon Valley

People tend to be very outgoing and realize that you need to meet other people to get your start-up going.

From NY Times:

“LOS ANGELES — It was a Monday night, but Bar Marmont was packed. Women milled about in high heels and cropped fur coats (it was 50 degrees outside, this city’s version of a polar vortex). Hair had been meticulously coaxed into face-flattering waves, makeup freshly applied. “I’m going to get a massage on my lunch break tomorrow,” a woman at the bar told her friend, as she fiddled with a large gold necklace.

Nearby, Mark Salling, an actor from “Glee,” mingled with pals, and — wait, was that the guy who plays the British doctor on “The Mindy Project”? (Yes.) Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” was blaring. A model-like brunette wearing a rhinestone headband twerked gently in front of a GIF machine, the latest iteration of a photo booth, and made a halfhearted attempt at a duck face…”


Culver City-based, NantHealth, Launches $1B Clinical Operating System (cOS)

(cOS) is an open, cloud-based platform for collecting and processing data to help deliver safer, more accountable care.

From MedCity News:

“Culver City, Calif.-based NantHealth is backed by a $1 billion from pharmaceutical magnate Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, and represents the rollup of eight legacy companies started or purchased by Soon-Shiong. It officially launched in January after nearly two years in stealth mode under Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks umbrella.

The company announced its presence at HIMSS in Orlando, Fla., Monday by unveiling the NantHealth Clinical Operating System (cOS), an open, cloud-based platform for collecting and processing data to help deliver safer, more accountable care. NantHealth is positioning cOS as the “centerpiece” of this massive investment…