#SBF Reveals What’s Next On The L.A. Tech Horizon

Silicon Beach Fest was a rousing four-day phenomenon.

From Neon Tommy:

“With 300-plus speakers and more than 2,000 industry professionals in attendance, Silicon Beach Fest welcomed the brightest minds in the L.A. tech scene to discuss new ideas, introduce disruptive technologies and share a glimpse into our collective, connected future. The third-annual, four-day event took place throughout various locations in Santa Monica, attracting not only developers and techies, but Hollywood executives, startup CEOs, city officials and everyone in between.

At a panel on digital video content, YouTube celebrities shared their experiences and successes in the ecosystem of the online video world where megolith multi-channel networks (MCNs) and independents battle for eyeballs, analytics, audiences and ad dollars…”

SBF Speakers [web]
Silicon Beach Fest: Catching Up With Kevin Winston [web]


10 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the Game in L.A.

From mid-career to experienced veterans, these women are working to innovate and transform the sector, in both traditional and non-traditional ways.

From Forbes:

“A recent Forbes.com article highlighted 12 entrepreneurs who “are changing L.A. forever.” There was one slight oversight: There were no women mentioned.

This isn’t the first time women have been omitted from a key list, but hopefully it is a teachable moment to highlight some of the successful women entrepreneurs who are transforming the sector and the city.

We women entrepreneurs have become adept at competing in business in increasingly thoughtful and strategic ways. Continuing to do our work with excellence will go a long way toward changing values and perceptions of women entrepreneurs, but it won’t be enough. We also have to start speaking and working together to raise the visibility and recognition of women as successful and profitable leaders in startups, tech, and business in general—not as an afterthought, but as irrefutable and indispensable partners in the field…”


Silicon Valley vs. Silicon Beach? Tech Start-Ups Flock to L.A.

It sounds strange that the world’s entertainment capital, and the second largest city in the country, would be seen as a “startup” in anything.

From CNBC:

“Southern California has sun, surf… And now silicon.

“Silicon Beach”, as it’s being called, is attracting talent and funding for tech startups, entrepreneurs drawn to L.A.’s ability to brand and sell ideas…plus the weather.

“L.A. is such a hustler mentality,” says Tony Adam, a former Paypal executive who’s come to Silicon Beach to launch EventUp, a website that rents out locations for events. “Everyone wants to help each other.”

“This is a place where people have come for years to make dreams happen, so why shouldn’t they come here to make their technology dreams happen?” asks Michael Weir, a Silicon Valley transplant who is now Chief Marketing Officer for Sparqlight, an enterprise software startup in Santa Monica…”

Sparqlight [web]
Science, Inc. [web]

Interview with Michael Dubin, Dollar Shave Club

There is no reason to go to the store for something as regular as a razor…

From SoCalTECH:

“Earlier this month, Los Angeles startup Dollar Shave Club (www.dollarshaveclub.com) made a huge splash with its launch of a subscription, monthly delivery service for razor blades. The company also made quite an impression with its viral video–which you have to watch to appreciate–of CEO Michael Dubin extolling the virtues of the company’s products, and panning overpriced, expensive razor brands. We talked with Dubin earlier about the company. The company is also one of the companies to recently emerge out of Science, Inc., the business startup effort headed by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones, and is venture backed by top VCs Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Forerunner Ventures, Andreesen Horowitz, Shasta Ventures, and Felicis Ventures.

What’s your background, and how did the company start?

Michael Dubin: My background is digital marketing, and a little bit of editorial. My first job was as a page at NBC, and after that I went and did a year and a half of writing and production at MSNBC with Keith Olbermann and Chuck Scarborough. After that, I went to a digital marketing for a firm which provided marketing for Sports Illustrated and other big brand advertisers like Gatorade and Nike, driving video views of social video. Dollar Shave Club came to me about two years ago, in December of 2010, when I met my co-founder, who was my friend’s fiancé’s father. We somehow got on a conversation about shaving, and he mentioned the price of brand name razors. He had lots of contacts in the manufacturing space, and had somehow gotten a hold of some twin blade inventory–which we are live with. If you look on our site, the Humble Twin is the first inventory we had. We also knew we had to develop newer inventory to keep pace with Gilette and Shick, so we also launched with a new four blade and six blade razor. It was all a happy accident on how the company came to be, meeting at a friend’s holiday party…”

Dollar Shave Club [web]
And, here’s the viral video: [youtube]

Start-Ups In L.A.: Growing Scene Is Almost Famous

Computer science students graduating from UCLA don’t just want jobs, they want to be Steve Jobs

From Forbes:

“In a way, it’s a Hollywood story. Young-ish hopefuls, vying for the attention and dollars of larger, older, more experienced agents (of sorts), who will bring money, connections, and attention their way, launching their careers.

Only the players here don’t want to be actors. They’re starting businesses. Start-ups in Los Angeles — they are a growing population of social media riffs, mobile apps, cleverly-named development companies, video platforms, and every shade of web curation all competing for dollars in a company town.

Evidence of the growing zeitgeist was on display Tuesday night at Start Engine, Los Angeles’ largest accelerator, as they hosted their inaugural Investor Demo Day, at which their ten new companies presented ideas in 5-minute pitches.

This group was the first batch of start-ups Start Engine has sent through its 90-day fast-track program. Created by Activision co-founder Howard Marks and Bristol Capital Advisors founder Paul Kessler, Start Engine is aiming to make L.A. a top tech entrepreneur city…”

Start Engine [web]

UCLA Student Launches Networking site for Musicians

We give artists the benefits of free national exposure and a tight-knit community; we become their megaphone…

From Daily Nexus:

“This Valentine’s Day, UCLA student Ritesh Gupta launched CollegeRoots.com, an online service that lets musicians and bands from university communities showcase their work and boost their popularity through integrated social media.

Artists are organized by region and university on the website, which supports individual “My Scene” pages for each group and non-artist users. Users can log in through Facebook, listen to uploaded tracks for free and “root” for their favorite musicians.

Gupta, a fourth-year business economics major at UCLA, said the inspiration to create the site came to him when he noticed that many college students were unfamiliar with local artists coming from their own schools. Gupta said the website is structured to give college artists widespread exposure within a close community of like-minded musicians…”

CollegeRoots [web]

Organize Online, Hangout and Do New Things in Real Life: The New Social Networking?

An online service encouraging members to get offline.

From Wired:

“Social networks have sucked in some 82% of the world’s online population, all missing out on life as they “socialize” in front of a computer screen. Right?

Not all social networking is purely virtual, however. Some sites, like Meet-up, help local groups organize, and Grouper gets whole groups of friends on fun dates. Grouper is mostly just an online dating site, though, and Meet-up is very interest-specific (New York City Knitters, Naturally Fierce ATL Natural Hair, DFW Neo-Hippies, etc.) or profession-specific. But moving away from strictly online interaction is just part of the evolution of social media.

Now there is a small startup out of L.A. called Lifecrowd which brings us full circle (sort of): It’s purpose is to use a social media model to arrange in-person group experiences of things you have always meant to do. It’s sort of a bucket list that you start checking off as a 30-something instead of when you have one foot in the grave…”

Lifecrowd [web] [Facebook]