$811M Funding Record for LA Tech in the 3rd Quarter of 2014

Los Angeles digital tech startups raised more than they ever have, totaling $811 million in funding.

From BuiltInLA:

“The good news isn’t stopping for Los Angeles tech. In the third quarter of 2014, Los Angeles digital tech startups raised more than they ever have, totaling $811 million in funding. They also exited to quite a nice tune, selling off for a total of $2.417 billion. All in all, 51 companies received funding and six exited via acquisitions.

Funding: $811 million
Exits: $2.417 billion

That increased funding is no doubt because outsiders are seeing the potential of LA startups more and more. Just this week PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel called LA tech the most “underestimated” region in the country. Thiel said to the LA Times: “I’d definitely be short New York and long L.A.”



UCLA Launches New Company to Commercialize Patents and Inventions

UCLA announced the Board of Directors for a new company: Westwood Technology Transfer (WTT), a not-for-profit focused on better protecting and optimizing the discoveries and inventions developed through campus research that attracts about $1 billion in funding each year.

Unprecedented within the University of California, establishing the 501(c)(3) company extends the efforts of UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research (OIP-ISR), which manages a portfolio of nearly 2,000 inventions, pursues patents and licensing agreements, helps faculty obtain research funding and materials through external collaborations, and assists UCLA faculty startups. After a rigorous selection process that considered more than 200 candidates, UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block selected a Board composed of experienced executives from a range of industries, including biopharmaceuticals, engineering and technology; finance, private equity, and venture capital, as well as distinguished UCLA faculty.

Read Full Press Release [web]

How much is Los Angeles Tech Booming? Funding up 163% and Deals Up 180%

$4.71B has been invested across 1081 tech deals in the last five years into LA’s tech scene.

From CB Insights:

“Los Angeles’ tech industry has grown into its own over the past five years. Total funding to Los Angeles tech companies has nearly tripled, early stage funding has grown, and the mobile & telecom sector has quadrupled in funding share.

This analysis provides an in-depth look at the financing and exit landscape to tech companies in the Los Angeles region as well as the investors and companies fueling the LA tech startup ecosystem. If interested in more LA data, you may also want the previously issued Los Angeles Venture Capital Almanac and our research brief on LA’s largest VC-backed exits…”


UCLA School of Law Establishes Student Entrepreneurship Competition

The competition, which includes a $100,000 prize, is the first of its kind sponsored by a top American law school.

From UCLA:

UCLA School of Law has established the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs (“LMI-Sandler Prize”), an entrepreneurship competition designed to recognize student innovation and leadership and support the real-world launch of promising new business ventures. The competition, which includes a $100,000 prize, is the first of its kind sponsored by a top American law school. It was established through gifts totaling more than $500,000 from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation and the Richard and Ellen Sandler Family Foundation.

“The LMI-Sandler Prize is a completely new way to reward law student achievement and promote the entrepreneurial ambitions of UCLA Law students and recent graduates,” UCLA School of Law Dean Rachel F. Moran said. “The competition will provide students with an opportunity to put the principles of entrepreneurship into practice and to use their law school education as a path to careers marked by fresh perspectives and bold initiatives…”


The Sprawling, Booming LA Tech Scene Is Having a Moment

LA is and always has been a city that creates mass-market products. We’re closer to culture than Silicon Valley, so we’re crushing it in social mobile. Web 2.0 might have been there. Web 3.0 is here. -Mike Jones, Science

“From Santa Monica’s manicured pool houses to the new downtown e-commerce warehouses, from a bland glass office park in Irvine to a grand old frat house in West Adams, Los Angeles tech is having a moment.

So why are there still so many surfboards?

There they were, six of them propped behind the coding crew at Internet personalization company Gravity in Santa Monica. At the front desk of Cooley, the favorite law firm of LA startups like Snapchat, a surfboard adorned the corporate logo. One leaned against the pool house at secret-sharing site Whisper. At Oculus VR, a virtual-reality headset company in Irvine, there was a small sandbox in the conference room, complete with chaise and parasols.

“You saw our beach?” said Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, winking before settling into the conference room to talk about how he sold his company to Facebook for $2 billion a few weeks before. “It’s fun, right?”

The Battle over “Silicon Beach” [web]

UCLA Startup, ImaginAb, Closes $21 Million Series B Financing

UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology

From FierceBiotech:

“UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology, a biotech approach to imaging that the company believes will help personalize treatments for cancer and immune disease.

Mérieux Développement, the investment arm of French life sciences outfit bioMérieux, led the latest round, joined by repeat investors Novartis ($NVS), Cycad Group and Nextech Invest. Each is betting ImaginAb’s novel take on imaging agents will help investigators better understand disease and match patients to their ideal therapies…”

Read Press Release [web]
About ImaginAb [web]

Mayor Garcetti Launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

Entrepreneurs hold the key to sustained economic growth that makes an ecosystem vibrant and exciting.

From LA Daily News:

“Seeking to tap into private industry, Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced the creation of an “Entrepreneur in Residence” program to develop ideas on ways to create new businesses in the city, all funded by a private accounting firm.

“We want L.A. to be the leading destination for people starting new businesses, and there are no better guides for our efforts than successful entrepreneurs themselves,” Garcetti said of the program, sponsored by Ernst & Young…”

LA Mayor’s Press Release [web]