Author Archive: Desdemona Bandini

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.

It is going to be an informative night at the next Social Media Club L.A. (SMCLA) event at CrossCampus, with some major heavy hitters in the B2B industry dropping social strategy secrets. One that you will not want to miss if your business is selling to other businesses, and you are not sure how to utilize the power of social networks to promote your brand.

There is a plethora of tech innovation going on in Los Angeles right now, and not only in Silicon Beach — but all over from downtown to the valleys to everywhere in between. New entrepreneurs are setting up shop and the city is encouraging tech development with exciting initiatives. Keeping track of all the new companies, funding, networking and events going on across town is challenging.

Think about how many images are on the web. Millions, billions, trillions? Yes. The Internet thus far has been monetized by display, video, and in-text advertising — but the one place every user’s eye focuses on first are photos. Photos that are prime real estate and have never been monetized before, until one very ambitious Silicon Beach startup, GumGum, recognized the opportunity and created the first and largest in-image advertising platform, and an entirely new market. Photos…the final frontier.

The biggest culprit to a startup failure is a dysfunctional founding team. Intimidation alone of finding the right team kills many new ventures before they had a chance. The D.C.-based startup CoFoundersLab has addressed this issue by taking the guesswork out of matchmaking by introducing scientific methods, deep research and algorithms that have proven to lead to successful matches. They have partnered with Cross Campus to bring education and offline matchmaking events to Santa Monica quarterly

Over 500 startups applied last quarter to Launchpad LA’s accelerator, but only eight were chosen. Those eight have recently completed the program and are ready to do business.

This is class four for Launchpad LA. Sam Teller, the Managing Director of Launchpad LA hinted that big news would come soon. “The teams have accomplished an incredible amount in the past four months.

The creators of the renowned StartupWeekend — a place where random ad hoc teams work frantically for 54 hours to build a demo of a new business and then complete for fame and fortune — have picked up where StartupWeekend left off and have birthed a new course for entrepreneurs who need to level up called StartupWeekend Next.

ChowNow, the turnkey interactive food ordering platform, just raised $3 million in additional funding to launch new products and expand national operations. Funds were contributed by returning investor GRP Partners along with Double M Capitol, Karlin Ventures, LaunchPad LA and Daher Capitol, all local investors. ChowNow came out of incubator LaunchPad LA.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Chris Johnson and his partner Tarek Pertew were once startup guys who founded a software company in New York, but within one year they lost their CTO three times. It appeared that recruiting was a bigger problem to solve.

A traffic jam of expensive cars lined up to pull into the packed parking lot of MuckerLab for its second graduating class demo day. The large gathering of top investors spilled out of the office into the surrounding sidewalk and swelled with buzz and speculation of what the 10 newly formed companies had to offer. Some flew in from overseas, different states and from Silicon Valley to attend.