Meet Launchpad LA’s Graduating Startups

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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. They have hired great people, have brought on great mentors, have raised money from top tier investors, and we are excited for a bunch of big announcements in the months ahead,” said Teller.

Meet the Graduates:

  • Connectifier, which connects recruiters to potential job candidates, consists of 4 ex-Google employees and local angel investor, Terrence Yang, has dubbed Connectifier one of the best startups of 2012.
  • Milk & Honey has had shoes designed by Rachael Ray, Ginnifer Goodwin, Malin Akerman, and Kate Mara amongst others and has appeared in People, Redbook, Inked, Lucky, Bridal Guide, InStyle, Marie Claire, and numerous other publications.
  • YieldMetrics has already raised $1.7 million led by GRP Partners, with participation from Baroda Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), Daher Capital, Double M Capital, Karlin Ventures, Clark Landry, Andy Rankin, and Launchpad LA.
  • Atlas Powered has raised $700k from Tech Coast Angels, Maverick Angels, Pasadena Angels, Angel Capital Entrepreneur Fund, LaunchpadLA, and Clark Landry.
  •, dubbed for student loans, has helped students from over 130 universities manage over $100 million in debt, which represents over 10,000 student loans. The company’s CEO, Brendon McQueen, graduated from Columbia with 12 loans that totaled over $120,000
  • Divshot, a tool for web designers and developers, won a national pitch competition and one of it’s founders Michael Bleigh created a popular open source library now included in Ruby on Rails.
  • Less Neglect helps companies reduce churn, upsell users, and increase customer acquisition rates. The product integrates with Salesforce, Twitter, Zendesk and many other popular SaaS products. The founders previously ran another company together.
  • Swing by Swing, a mobile app for golfers, has over 1,300,000 members.was one of the innuagural investments for 28-year-old Mike Rothenberg’s Rothenberg Ventures.

“We’ve been blown away by the performance of the eight companies in this class. They have tackled eight unique challenges,” said Teller.

launchpad pic IMG_5889Ben McCann, the co-founder of the Newport Beach-based recruiting startup Connectifier, likes the model at Launchpad LA where companies in various stages are able to meet investors from day one until the completion, versus a demo day at the end.

“I think the model works well,” said McCann. “There are a couple of companies that have already done fundraising whereas at a normal incubator none of them would have even started.”

Launchpad LA was founded by prominent VC Mark Suster of GRP Partners in 2009, and invests in each company that is accepted into the program. From 2009 to 2011, Launchpad LA accepted 23 companies of which 19 received outside funding of around $80 million in aggregate, and 9 have been acquired to-date exceeding $60 million in proceeds. Last year Forbes ranked Launchpad LA the top Southern California incubator, and Seed-DB has shown Launchpad LA companies have historically done well.

Desdemona Bandini

Desdemona Bandini has an extensive background in journalism, advertising, social media marketing and emerging media. She has worked for some of the top newsrooms including KNBC, American Media, and The Los Angeles Times. Her background in advertising and marketing includes working on projects for Microsoft, Intel, GE, America's Top Model, Acclaim Video Games, Universal Pictures, E! Entertainment, and Katalyst Network among others. She recently completed her graduate studies at USC where she developed a start-up research platform for brands and advertisers using social media marketing.

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