Author Archive: Desdemona Bandini

Long before Nest, smart home technology has been available. It was only recently that the stars have aligned between development, technology and bandwidth to make the Internet of Things (IoT) affordable and accessible. But to the early adopters still on the fence about converting to a smart home the question remains — is it reliable?

At this point most people know you can learn just about anything online, but MentorMob founders Vince Leung and Kris Chinosorn found weeding through free online instruction to find quality content cumbersome and tedious. The founders are lifelong friends and lifelong learners from Chicago who have had successful careers in tech before joining forces to create the ultimate free social online learning destination that takes the best teachers on the web and curates their content into MentorMob learning Guides.

There are many social networks out there to share pics or circles of friends, but onLoop’s mission is to engage users and conversations through shared interests within a rich multidimensional messaging app.

Radiolab, and former Groupon founder and CEO, and now Detour founder, Andrew Mason have been in town collaborating on an immersive Austin audio walking tour that will debut at SXSW 2015. The Detour app that launched last month takes the team’s expert storytelling skills and translates them into reality through voices, music, and ambiance.

The concept was simple; rent out an old boy scout campsite deep in the redwood forest of Northern California and give adults the chance to play and connect like kids again, sans technology. It was catchy and immediately went viral complete with a tweet from Arianna Huffington herself, coverage from CNN and Canada’s national news service. Tech bloggers spread the story with glee, and the website was tweeted and shared so much that camp sold out minutes after tickets were released. In this over-stimulated multi-screen world, a summer camp for adults to get grounded hit a collective nerve.

Content is king, and local startup Yekra has just secured $3 million in funding for their digital rights distribution service for the every man. In the digital age, streaming content is profitable for producers, but now digital rights management (DRM) is not just for big studios but for independent content creators as well.

Not just a new film, “The Cosmonaut” is a labor of love four years in the making, crowdsourced and created with a plan to test the boundaries of transmedia content distribution worldwide. The project was started by a group of young Spanish digerati called Riot Cinema Collective. Using the power of the Internet’s connected tools they are proposing a new film model from financing, distribution, production and user participation by fostering a hardcore community under a Share-alike Creative Commons license.

Malibu beaches are famous for stunning views, dolphins playing, great surf and quiet sunbathing spots nestled among some of the most expensive homes in America. What the owners of these million dollar beachfront homes do not want you to know is that the beaches are public.

As we reported earlier, Built in L.A., the online community for the Los Angeles startup scene, soft launched in January with the help of tech leaders, including mega VC Tony Pritzker. A new startup is launched every 40 hours in Los Angeles.

In 2006, Douglas Campbell started Mindshare LA out of the downtown art colony The Brewery. Campbell was new to Los Angeles, freshly inspired from a TED conference, and after attending a smattering of Barcamps and Westside Meetups he was ready to produce his own event that was a mixture of all.