Author Archive: Desdemona Bandini

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.

Twitter continues to move into new directions of social media, broadening its offerings. Today, a video partnership with the BBC was announced via (what else?) a tweet that the pair would create the first in-Tweet branded syced video to entertainment series. An interesting announcement fast on the heels of another announcement that the new Twitter #music discovery app is live today.

Katie Rock, the founder of Activyst lives up to her name. She really does rock, and hard. Katie’s journey from corporate lawyer at a top firm to a social good entrepreneur has been a zigzag of twists and turns, luck and tenacity. What began as a pit stop vacation in a third world county, led to an epiphany, which turned into a passionate pursuit, and eventually a new social enterprise company that fundraises to bring sports to girls worldwide through the sale of athletic bags.

It is getting hot in here. So hot. USC has just thrown their hat into the ring of the flurry of startup activity happening in SoCal with the introduction of a new accelerator, the Viterbi Startup Garage. Viterbi, the engineering school at USC, has teamed up with United Talent Agency, and Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers to support new ventures by USC students and alumni.

OMG. It is times like these that I wish I was a developer. This weekend March 23-24, Friskies Cat Food is hosting a “Games for Cats Hackathon” with a $15,000 dollar cash prize going to the developer who comes up with the winning app or cat game. Yes, using colors, swipes, animation and a scratch-resistant iPad, there is no telling how many hours of fun can be created for cats.