Insights and Opinions


Welcome to the our community insights and opinions section, where we will be highlighting articles, information, and more from Southern California's thought leaders.


What Makes A Good Startup CEO

from Ivan Nikhoo

Ivan Nikhoo, an experience entrepreneur, investment banker, and venture capitalist, talks about what makes a good startup CEO.

posted Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Five Customer-Focused Trends for Companies in 2016

from Jaspar Weir

Jaspar Weir, co-founder of TaskUs, talks about some of the trends for companies in 2016.

posted Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why Your Next Startup Doesn't Need to be in Silicon Valley

from Erik Caso

Silicon Valley, or rather the Bay Area, is the undisputed center of the tech universe--but your next startup doesn't need to be located there.

posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Five Things Startups Must Do to Rev Up Business in 2016

from Tracy Olmstead Williams

Tracy Olmstead Williams gives five things that startups can do to help increase their business in the new year.

posted Friday, January 8, 2016

Raise Money On Good News

from Dave Berkus

When's the best time to raise money? On good news.

posted Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gaining and Maintaining High-Value Customers in Today's Digital Marketplace

from Bernard Luthi

Bernard Luthi, President of Monoprice, talks about how his company has figured out how to compete against the big guys in the room--Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and eBay.

posted Thursday, August 6, 2015

How The Subscription Economy is Changing Business

from Peter Cowen

Peter Cowen talks about the shift to the subscription economy.

posted Wednesday, January 28, 2015

3 Technologies Driving the New Sales Force

from Nick Hedges

Nick Hedges, President and CEO of Los Angeles-based Velocify, talks about some of the trends in the sales market.

posted Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Attracting Bay Area Tech Talent to Southern California.: It's Not as Hard as You Think

from Eric Larsen

Eric Larsen, an executive recruiter at Rivera Partners, talks about the best way to attract candidates from the Bay Area

posted Friday, October 10, 2014

The Sky is Not Falling: Reflections on My 16 Months in Bitcoin

from Michael Terpin

Michael Terpin gives his prediction for what will happen in Bitcoin over the next few months.

posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Curse of a Modest Exit

from Steve Reich

Steve Reich, an angel investor, talks about the experience of a modest startup exit.

posted Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

from Frank Addante

Frank Addante--who recently took Rubicon Project public--talks about the strategy for how to build a company: the 'find out' and the 'roll out'

posted Thursday, August 21, 2014

Do you really want to be the first to market?

from Dave Berkus

Do you really want to be the first to market with a revolutionary new product?

posted Monday, August 18, 2014

Amidst Change is a Constant: Life is Still Two-Way

from Sally Falkow

Sally Falkow talks about how the ideas behind social media are not so new.

posted Thursday, July 31, 2014

2030 May Be The Year They'll Take Your Driver's License Away

from Jonathan Handel

Jonathan Handel talks about how self driving cars are superior--in many ways--to humans, and why that might mean the end of driving as we know it.

posted Friday, June 20, 2014

Calling all engineering grads: There's lots of work in LA

from Eric Larson

If you're looking for work in technology, look to Los Angeles--says Eric Larson, a recruiter at Riviera Partners.

posted Thursday, May 29, 2014

10 Common Interviewing Mistakes Often Made By Developers

from Helen MacKinnon

Think being a developer is all you need to do to get a job at a company? Helen MacKinnon of Technical Connections gives a list of the top ten interviewing mistakes made by developers.

posted Thursday, May 15, 2014

Five Secrets to Landing your Dream Job in the Mobile Industry

from Dale Carr

The CEO of LeadBolt, Dale Carr, offers tips to score a career in today's high tech industry.

posted Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why UBER Matters, A LOT

from Ivan Nikkhoo

Why Uber matters, not just to the transportation industry, but to everything.

posted Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do You Have That Entrepreneurial DNA?

from Dave Berkus

Do you have the right DNA for entrepreneurship?

posted Friday, November 1, 2013

Venture Capital: The Times, They Are A-Changin'

from Jeff Grabow

Jeff Grabow, at Ernst & Young, talks about how the venture capital industry is changing.

posted Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Making Technology Transfer and IP Commercialization Work

from Ivan Nikkhoo

Ivan Nikkhoo talks about what might help technology transfer and IP commercialization work better.

posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Perils of Shiny New Objects

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster warns startups: beware the perils of shiny new objects.

posted Friday, August 23, 2013

Effective Communication

from Ivan Nikkhoo

Ivan Nikhoo talks about why effective communication is as important, or even more important, as technical skills for a company's founder or CEO.

posted Monday, July 29, 2013

Why You Need to Ring the Freaking Cash Register

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster makes an argument that revenues--not traction and traffic--are still as important as ever.

posted Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Wisdom of Differentiation

from Ivan Nikkhoo

Ivan Nikkhoo talks about the importance of differentiating your technology company.

posted Thursday, July 18, 2013

The power of just ONE more unit

from Dave Berkus

What's the power of just one more incremental unit of sales?

posted Monday, July 15, 2013

The Emergence of Los Angeles as a Booming Tech Hub

from Ivan Nikkhoo

Ivan Nikkhoo talks about the emergence of Los Angeles as a booming tech hub.

posted Friday, June 28, 2013

Why You Should Give Before You Get

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster tells you why you should always give before you get.

posted Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Survive the Series A Crunch--From Someone Who Didn't

from Sean Percival

How do you survive the "Series A Crunch"? Sean Pervical gives some first hand advice.

posted Thursday, June 6, 2013

Will Bitcoin Spark a Wave as Big as the Internet?

from Michael Terpin

Is Bitcoin the next big thing? Michael Terpin of Social Radius shares his opinions.

posted Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Most Important Financial Items Entrepreneurs Should Track

from David Ehrenberg

David Ehrenberg talks about the most important financial items that startup entrepreneurs ought to be tracking.

posted Friday, May 17, 2013

Raising Growth Capital

from Ivan Nikkhoo

Ivan Nikkhoo of Siemer & Associates talks about the challenges of raising growth capital.

posted Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Under What Circumstances are Noncompete Covenants Enforceable Under California Law?

from Guarav Krishan

Gaurav Krishan, an attorney with Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP discusses under what circumstances noncompete covenanants are enforceable under California law.

posted Friday, May 10, 2013

How to Raise Money When You’re Not in a Major VC Market

from Mark Suster

How do you raise money, if you're not in one of the big venture capital centers? Mark Suster of GRP Partners gives some tips.

posted Monday, April 29, 2013

In 40 years, the mobile phone transformed the world. What's next?

from James Citron

40 years ago, the mobile phone was invented. What's next now?

posted Thursday, April 4, 2013

Document your tribal knowledge

from Dave Berkus

What would you do if a key employee walked away or was hit by a bus? Dave Berkus talks about why it's important to document the "tribal knowledge" in your company.

posted Friday, March 29, 2013

Why You Should Bootstrap Your Startup

from David Ehrenberg

David Ehrenberg talks about some of the positive aspects of bootstrapping your startup.

posted Friday, March 1, 2013

13 Tips For Tech Startup Founders

from Sean Callahan

Sean Callahan, author of Startup Field Guide, Mistakes To Avoid, Tips to Get Ahead, gives 13 tips for technology founders in Southern California.

posted Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why Silicon Beach Is Flourishing

from Ron McElroy

Ron McElroy of RealOfficeCenters talks about why Silicon Beach is flourishing.

posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For Success, Do Your Best Work, Every Day

from Janet Pucino

Author and former IT executive Janet Pucino explains why doing your best work every day is the key to success.

posted Friday, February 8, 2013

Keeping Your Eyes Open For The People You'll Meet

from Eric Koester

Eric Koester, cofounder of Zaarly, talks about how one serendipitous weekend ended up in founding their company.

posted Thursday, January 31, 2013

Turbo-charging your CTO

from John Shiple

John Shiple, a technology consultant to CEOs, helps outline some of the key steps that are required to improve the communications between CEOs and CTOs.

posted Thursday, January 31, 2013

Navigating the Waters of Work for Hire

from Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein, of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP talks about some of the legal issues video game developers might run into working for clients.

posted Friday, January 25, 2013

Startup Mentors

from Tony Karrer

Tony Karrer talks about the difference between startup mentors and advisors, and how to find them.

posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013

5 "Don'ts" for Raising Startup Funds

from David Ehrenberg

David Ehrenberg talks about five things NOT to do when trying to raise startup funding.

posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fake Press Releases: What Have We Learned in The Past Twelve Years?

from Michael Terpin

Michael Terpin talks about the latest fake press release scandal at Google/ICOA/PRweb, and gives some perspective.

posted Monday, December 3, 2012

What's preventing you from finding and joining Start-Ups that will succeed?

from Nick Hulse

How do you find a startup that will succeed? Nick Hulse gives some tips.

posted Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's In It For Me?

from Dave Berkus

Your employees, your shareholders, your customers, and your suppliers are all driven by one question: what's in it for me?

posted Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Entrepreneurship: What It's Really Like

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster, blogger and venture capitalist, gives a frank and honest view of what entrepreneurship is really like.

posted Monday, November 19, 2012

A Primer on Anti-Dilution

from Louis Wharton

Louis Wharton, Partner with Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP gives a brief primer on anti-dilution protection. Louis’s practice focuses on advising startup, emerging growth and middle market companies across a spectrum of industries in securities compliance, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters.

posted Friday, November 9, 2012

Storytelling and Startup Fundraising

from Steve Reich

Steve Reich, an angel investor and entrepreneur, talks about how having a engaging story is important to fundraising.

posted Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Founder Restricted Stock 101

from Sean Greaney

Sean Greaney, attorney with Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP gives an informative introduction to Restricted Stock for startup companies.

posted Friday, October 26, 2012

Can you just tell little business lies?

from Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus, author and angel investor, asks: is it ever okay to tell a little business lie?

posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Introduction to 83(b) Elections

from Guarav Krishan

Gaurav Krishan, attorney with Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP gives a brief introduction to 83(b) Elections for startup companies.

posted Friday, October 12, 2012

Co-Marketing or Joint Venture?

from Greg Akselrud

Greg Akselrud, Chair of the Internet, New Media & Entertainment Practice Group at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP discusses the difference between co-marketing and a joint venture, and the benefits and risks involved with each.

posted Monday, October 8, 2012

Everybody's a Critic: How Developers Can Be Proactive in Policing Reviews

from Alex Quilici

Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, talks about how his company handles bad reviews in the app stores.

posted Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shutup and Sell: Entrepreneurs Shouldn't Discuss Religion, Politics Or Sex(ual Orientation)

from John Greathouse

John Greathouse has some advice for entrepeneurs who are interested in politics: just shutup and sell.

posted Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How To Position Your Company For A Sale

from Jonathan Hodes

Jonathan Hodes, an attorney at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP, talks about the steps you need to do to position your company for a sale.

posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you always follow the advice of your board?

from Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus asks: should you allows follow the advice of your board members?

posted Tuesday, September 18, 2012

They Just Didn't Get It: VC Rejection

from Steve Reich

Steve Reich talks about how to handle VC rejection, and the story of how one startup founder reacted.

posted Thursday, September 6, 2012

How We Raised Our First $100K

from Miron Lulic

Miron Lulic, co-founder of Swagsy, share the ups and downs his startup had in raising outside funding. Lulic shares his advice with other aspiring entrepreneurs.

posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Facebook, revisited

from Megan Lisa Jones

Megan Lisa Jones, an investment banking vet, comments on the travails of Facebook, and its stock price and life as a public company.

posted Monday, August 13, 2012

The Odd Couple: Angels and Accelerators

from Steve Reich

Steve Reich, an angel investor at the Pasadena Angels, talks about the weird relationship between local angels and accelerators.

posted Friday, August 10, 2012

Experience Is The Best Teacher

from Howard Marks

Howard Marks, founder of startup accelerator StartEngine, and co-founder of Activision, talks about why universities should help encourage entrepreneurship.

posted Monday, July 23, 2012

Social at Scale

from Matt Fitz-Henry

Matt Fitz-Henry, a marketer at local digital agency HYFN, speculates on the shape of the social media marketing landscape after's movement into the market via Buddy Media.

posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012

AWS: Time for a Multi-Vendor Cloud Strategy

from Steve Zivanic

It was a rough weekend for the cloud, with an outage over at Amazon Web Services, plus a leap second bug. Steve Zivanic, at San Diego's Nirvanix, makes the case for avoiding those issues.

posted Monday, July 2, 2012

A Contrarians Viewpoint on the Facebook IPO

from Megan Lisa Jones

Investment banker Megan Lisa Jones talks about the issues behind the Facebook IPO.

posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Learning How to Meet Investors And People Who Can Help You Raise Money

from Matt Crowley, Esq.

Attorney Matt Crowley, author of Getting Into The game, talks about how to network with investors and others who can help you raise money.

posted Monday, June 18, 2012

Find A Mentor

from Nick Hulse

Need to accelerate your career or success? Nick Hulse has some advice: find a mentor!

posted Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The LA Discount

from Howard Marks

Howard Marks, the co-founder of Activision and co-chair of accelerator StartEngine asks: why is there a discount for being in Los Angeles as a startup?

posted Friday, June 1, 2012

Long To-Do List? Make a Not-Right-Now List

from Frank Addante

Frank Addante tells how a "not right now" list really helps him prioritize his day.

posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Targeting China - Notes from a New China Hand

from Stanley Holt

Stanley Holt, now head of a company with operations in both China and Southern California, talks about the dynamics of doing business in China.

posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In Sales or Marketing? Focus... and throw out the Laundry List!

from Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson talks about why those in sales and marketing need to learn what they should NOT be doing.

posted Monday, April 30, 2012

Some Thoughts on Branding Startups and Communities

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster weighs in on whether Los Angeles should brand itself "Silicon Beach", or not.

posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to Decide if You Have a Business Or Just an Idea

from Matt Crowley

How do you figure out if you've got a real business, or just an idea? Matt Crowley, an attorney and author of Getting Into The Game, a new guide to venture capital and angel investment, gives some guidance.

posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Key to Success with Angel Investors: Respect Their Culture

from Steve Reich

What's the key to connecting with angel investors? Steve Reich sums it up: respect and understand their culture.

posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five by Five: Considerations for Raising Capital

from Jon Funk

Jon Funk, a venture capital veteran, gives five tips to keep in mind when raising capital.

posted Monday, March 26, 2012

Building a Team to WIN!

from Nick Hulse

Nick Hulse, Chief Revenue Officer at Rubicon Project, talks about how to build a customer facing team.

posted Thursday, March 1, 2012

5 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make While Raising Capital

from Eric M. Jackson

Eric M. Jackson, CEO and co-founder of CapLinked, talks about some of the mistakes made by entrepreneurs trying to raise capital.

posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fail Fast!

from Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus, author and angel investor, tells entrepreneurs why it is important, if things don't look like they are working out, to fail fast.

posted Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gameification: A Rapidly Growing Hard Trend That Will Accelerate Learning For Both Business and Education

from Daniel Burrus

Forecaster Daniel Burrus talks about why gameification is changing both education and business.

posted Friday, January 6, 2012

Punk Rock Circa 2012

from Megan Lisa Jones

Megan Lisa Jones, an investment banker and author, talks about the revolution in online content and how it's much like the Punk Rock revolution circa 1974.

posted Monday, January 2, 2012

Idealab, the Roots of the SoCal Tech Community, and the Bill Gross Legacy

from William Quigley

William Quigley, a venture capitalist at Clearstone Ventures, talks about why Idealab and Bill Gross paved the way for Southern California's technology community.

posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When Valuations Don't Actually Mean Valuable

from Tony Greenberg

Tony Greenberg talks about the issues with sky high valuations.

posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LA's Startups Accelerators Compared To NCAA Football Conferences

from Ryan Born

Ryan Born, a Los Angeles entrepreneur, compares the many emerging accelerators, mentorship organizations, and incubators in the Los Angeles area--using NCAA Football Conferences.

posted Friday, November 11, 2011

Start Something

from Megan Lisa Jones

Looking to raise some funding for a concept? Not going to happen, says investment banker Megan Lisa Jones. The best think you can do, is just start something.

posted Friday, October 28, 2011

Everyone loves to leave a legacy

from Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus, an angel investor, talks about leaving a legacy, and how people will remember you after your business.

posted Friday, October 14, 2011

Managing Disgruntled Employees

from Jack K.N. Tsai

Jack K.N. Tsai, a serial entrepreneur, investor, and consultant, talks about how to deal with the dreaded disgruntled employee.

posted Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What Startups Need to Know About Patent Reform

from Vic Lin

Congress recently passed some major changes to federal patent law. To address what has changed, and how it might affect startups, Vic Lin of Innovation Law Group, contributed this article.

posted Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Letter to President Obama: Jobs, Entrepreneurs, and the Simple Solution

from Ryan Blair

Ryan Blair, a serial entrepreneur and author, has a simple proposal for President Obama on how to create jobs.

posted Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Avoid Monoculture. Travel. Read Widely. Let Experience be Your Compass.

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster, a venture capitalist at GRP Partners, talks about how it's important to have a wide experience and look beyond the narrow confines of your company and Silicon Valley culture.

posted Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Waiting for Google

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters opines on the unlikelihood of being acquired by Google, and why startups ought not to count on it.

posted Friday, August 19, 2011

Man's search for meaning(ful work).

from Megan Lisa Jones

Megan Lisa Jones, an investment banker and author, talks about what people are looking for in work, and how companies can help.

posted Friday, July 29, 2011

7 DO's and 5 DON'Ts for Entrepreneurs (LA VC Revisited)

from Ryan Born

Ryan Born gives seven new DO's and DON'Ts for LA entrepreneurs.

posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Come On, Man! What Is Your Business?

from Jeff Solomon

Jeff Solomon, entrepreneur and co-founder of Leads360, tells new entrepreneurs: figure out a business model, as soon as possible.

posted Thursday, June 2, 2011

Learning from Sony's Mega-Mistakes

from Philip Lieberman

Philip Lieberman, president and founder of Lieberman Software, comments on Sony's catastrophic security mistakes.

posted Friday, May 27, 2011

Grads: Save Yourself, Start A Company

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, angel investor and podcaster, tells new grads having a tough time finding a job: start your own company.

posted Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If It Walks Like an Entrepreneur

from Gil Elbaz

Gil Elbaz, founder of Factual and Applied Semantics (the firm which became Google's AdSense), talks about entrepreneurship...

posted Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ten reasons to start a company; ten reasons not to

from Megan Lisa Jones

Megan Lisa Jones, an investment banker and investor, talks about ten good reasons; and ten bad reasons; to start a company.

posted Monday, May 23, 2011

Top 5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail

from Christopher Grey

Christopher Grey, co-founder of CapLinked, gives his top 5 reasons why entrepreneurs fail.

posted Thursday, May 19, 2011

There are two kinds of people in the world

from Lee Weinberg

Lee Weinberg -- a local attorney, entrepreneur, and angel investor here in Los Angeles -- talks about how there are two kinds of investors in the world -- those who have started a company, and haven't.

posted Thursday, May 19, 2011

Every Day I Try and Get Rejected

from Ryan Born

Ryan Born, entrepreneur and CEO of AudioMicro, talks about why he tries every day to get rejected--as a way to learn and grow.

posted Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Listen to the words, but focus on the meaning

from Neil Senturia

Neil Senturia, a serial entrepreneur and investor in San Diego at Blackbird Ventures, talks about listening to the words--but most importantly, focusing on the meaning behind those words.

posted Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Don't Worry, Your Email is No More Dangerous Today

from James Siminoff

Despite the huge email database hack this week, James Siminoff, CEO of Los Angeles, says it doesn't make a difference anyway.

posted Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Turning Soft on Social Entrepreneurship

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, an angel investor and podcaster at the Frank Peters Show, talks about his turn towards social entrepreneurship deals.

posted Monday, April 4, 2011

The Challenges (& Opportunities) of Starting a Tech Company in LA Jason Nazar

from Jason Nazar

Jason Nazar, the CEO of Santa Monica-based DocStoc, and organizer of the Startups Uncensored events, gives his summary of the challenges and opportunities of starting a startup in Los Angeles.

posted Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Introductions are a privilege not a right

from Megan Lisa Jones

Megan Jones talks about the right--and wrong--way to use an introduction.

posted Monday, March 7, 2011

How to Leverage Your Network for Raising Capital

from Christopher Grey

Christopher Grey, co-founder of CapLinked, talks about how to leverage your network of contacts when raising capital.

posted Thursday, February 24, 2011

Valuations like it's 1999?

from Megan Jones

Megan Jones looks at the elephant in the room--the skyrocketing valuations of high tech companies.

posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Creating High Barriers to Entry

from Brian Horakh

Brian Horakh, CEO of Zoovy, a developer of e-commerce software, gives some hints and tips on creating a high barrier to entry.

posted Monday, February 7, 2011

Fifteen things investment bankers won't tell you

from Megan Lisa Jones

Megan Lisa Jones gives a list of the fifteen things investment banker's won't tell you -- and will.

posted Thursday, February 3, 2011

In the New World of Healthcare Investing, Clinical Efficacy Is the Easy Part

from Lloyd M. Krieger, MD

Lloyd Krieger, a plastic surgeon, entrepreneur, and venture capital advisor, talks about how healthcare startups have to look beyond clinical efficacy, and towards milestones, timelines and budgets to accomplish their goals.

posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A VC's Response To 3 Things

from Jim Armstrong

Jim Armstrong, a venture capitalist at Clearstone Venture Partner, responds to Ryan Born's post of finding investors in Los Angeles.

posted Thursday, January 20, 2011

Response to 3 Things to Avoid When Fundraising in LA

from Tom Tierney

Tom Tierney, an angel investor with the Tech Coast Angels, responds to Ryan Born's post about things to avoid when fundraising, with his own version.

posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3 Things to Avoid When Fundraising in LA

from Ryan Born

Ryan Born, CEO of AudioMicro, gives a frank and blunt assessment of what to avoid when fundraising in Los Angeles.

posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Problem with the Super Angels

from Jim Armstrong

Jim Armstrong, Managing Director at Clearstone Ventures, talks about the problem with super angel funding.

posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seek Investors Aligned With Your Interests, Not Their Egos

from John Greathouse

John Greathouse, of Rincon Venture Partners, talks about why entrepreneurs should find an investor who understands the benefits of capital efficiency.

posted Monday, January 10, 2011

A Cynic Predicts IT and Media in 2011

from Tony Greenberg

Tony Greenberg, CEO of Ramprate, shares his views on what the IT and media world might bring in 2011.

posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Ten Commandments of Fundraising

from Gray DeFevere

Gray DeFevere is active in serving the local technology community, is an angel investor, and also helps run one of the longest running private technology networking groups in the Los Angeles area for venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and service providers. DeFevere gives his Ten Commandments of Fundraising.

posted Monday, January 3, 2011

Insights and Opinions: Net Neutrality For Poets

from Joe Moreno

Joe Moreno provides a quick primer and his opinions on net neutrality and what it means to Internet users.

posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Death and Taxes

from Jeff Solomon

Jeff Solomon, co-founder and Chief Evangelist at Leads360--and frequent blogger at The Complex System--gives his view on the tax cut conversation going on now in Washington.

posted Friday, December 10, 2010


from Marc Averitt

Marc Averitt, a venture capitalist at Okapi Venture Capital, gives his thoughts on the art of leadership.

posted Friday, November 12, 2010

Due diligence: better to identify problems early on

from Megan Jones

Megan Jones, an investment banker at Hadley Partners, talks about why it's better to identify problems in a transaction early, and how to go about due diligence.

posted Thursday, November 4, 2010

Having Kids And A Startup

from Jason Calacanis

Jason Calacanis, CEO of, host of This Week in Startups, and serial entrepreneur, talks about how having his daughter almost a year ago has changed running a startup for him.

posted Wednesday, October 27, 2010

21 Strategies for Generating Irresistible SEO Benefits

from Dustin Luther

Dustin Luther, chief storyteller and founder of social media consultancy 4realz, talks about 21 strategies for generating good search engine optimization (SEO) on your web site.

posted Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Exit Strategies: Practical Realities for 2010

from Megan Jones

Megan Jones talks about the new world of mergers and acquisitions.

posted Monday, October 11, 2010

Dear CEO: I don't give two cents about you or your company

from Jeffrey Swartz

Jeffrey Swartz, of Daly-Swartz PR, contributes a letter to the CEO, from the customer.

posted Thursday, September 30, 2010

VCs Planting the Seeds for a Cleantech Bumper Crop in L.A.

from John Paglia

The clean technology industry in Los Angeles is poised for growth, and even more can be done to stimulate investment in Los Angeles startups, says Pepperdine's John Paglia--if spurred by entrepreneurial drive and public policy.

posted Thursday, September 16, 2010

Instant Reaction to Google Instant

from Tim Howell

Tim Howell, of Binary Pulse Technology Marketing, gives his opinion on Google's new Google Instant search results.

posted Friday, September 10, 2010

Consolidation: or one industry evolution which often repeats

from Megan Jones

Megan Jones, an investment banker at Hadley Partners, talks about how consolidation is a normal part of industry evolution.

posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No One Cares About Your Company Logo

from Joe Moreno

Joe Moreno, an entrepreneur and founder of, talks about why you shouldn't spend too much time thinking about your company logo.

posted Thursday, August 19, 2010

Angel and Venture Capital Shareholder Liquidity

from Jeff Cohn

Jeff Cohn, a local entrepreneurs who also has extensive experience working for angel groups and VC funds, talks about what the recently liquidity means for investors.

posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010

By the Numbers: The Returns from Southern California IT IPO's 1995-2009 (Part 3)

from Jon Funk

Jon Funk takes a further look at the returns of Southern California IPOs, in his third and final analysis of how investors have fared in the region.

posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jersey Shore Cast Rings Bell at NYSE: Signaling a New American (Market) Low?

from Lee Weinberg

Lee Weinberg -- a local attorney, entrepreneur, and angel investor here in Los Angeles -- comments on the cast of Jersey Shore ringing the bell at the NYSE last week.

posted Monday, August 2, 2010

Where are the Social Media IPOs?

from Michael Terpin

Michael Terpin, of SocialRadius, asks where all the social media IPOs are?

posted Thursday, July 29, 2010

The 3 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website

from Ryan Born

Ryan Born, the founder and CEO of Los Angeles Startup AudioMicro, gives tips and hints on attracting traffic to your website.

posted Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Choose Counsel Carefully

from Marc Averitt

Marc Averitt, a venture capitalist at Okapi Ventures and "recovering attorney", gives some hints and tips about choosing an attorney for your startup.

posted Thursday, July 8, 2010

Business Development Advice (for the online world)

from Jason Nazar

Jason Nazar, CEO and co-founder of Docstoc, give his top ten tips for business development in the online world.

posted Thursday, June 24, 2010

When the CEO Gets in the Way

from Nicole Jordan

Nicole Jordan, who has been instrumental in bringing together the Los Angeles technology industry over the last few years, talks about the issues that come when a CEO is out of sync with their target market and the media, and how PR pros deal with it.

posted Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Drowning in Social Media and Going Down for the Count

from Jeffrey Swartz

Jeffrey Swartz takes a look at the overwhelming flood of social media, and how to deal with it.

posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010

By the Numbers: The Returns from Southern California IT IPO's 1995-2009 (Part 2)

from Jon Funk

Earlier this year, profiled a study of the financial outcomes of 700+ southern California IT startups from 1995-2009, and how they have created value for investors. Jon Funk, the author of the study, profiled the outcomes of southern California IT IPO's from 1995-1998, and described a simple arithmetic proxy to approximate the eventual potential return to pre-IPO shareholders, including venture capital firms. This Insights and Opinions column is the second in the series and looks at the same category of IPO's for the period 1999-2000.

posted Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Network in 10 Easy Steps

from Frank Peters

Angel investor Frank Peters, of the Frank Peters show. Frank talks about mixer events, such the Open Angel Forums from Jason Calacanis, and similar entrepreneur mixers from the Tech Coast Angels--and how to best take advantage of them.

posted Friday, June 11, 2010

Social Media Goes Medieval

from Drew Mehl

Social media strategist Drew Mehl, who talks about why social media is so important in today's high tech world.

posted Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stock Plans: Give the People What They Want

from Lee Weinberg

Lee Weinberg takes on the idea of equity grants and how they're used in the high tech world.

posted Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Finding Developers Is Tough Again

from Tony Karrer

Tony Karrer, CEO and CTO of TechEmpower, gives some hints and tips about finding technical developers in Los Angeles.

posted Thursday, May 20, 2010

Top 10 Ways to Win a Business Plan Competition

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters gives his top 10 ways you can win a business plan competition.

posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Equity is the currency of early stage businesses

from Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus, an angel investor, talks about how to structure equity ownership in your startup.

posted Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Hook, Part 2

from Aaron Fyke

Aaron continues his description of "The Hook," and why it is important when you're pitching investors.

posted Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Hook

from Aaron Fyke

Aaron Fyke, who has been a clean technology insider and investor for many years, gives his take on how you should be pitching your firm--and why "the hook" is important.

posted Monday, May 10, 2010

Angels Behaving Badly

from Joe Platnick, Pasadena Angels

Joe Platnick, a member of the Pasadena Angels, addresses that issue of less-than-desirable angel investors.

posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Open Letter on Paid Versus Unpaid Internships

from Robin D. Richards

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor indicated that it is cracking down on the use of unpaid interns, saying that the practice is a violation of minimum wage laws and other requirements. Robin D. Richards, Chairman and CEO of -- and a successful Southern California serial entrepreneur and investor -- addresses the issue in this open letter on Paid Versus Unpaid Internships.

posted Friday, April 9, 2010

By the Numbers: The Returns from Southern California IT IPO's 1995-2009

from Jon Funk

On March 10, profiled a study of the financial outcomes of 700+ southern California IT startups from 1995-2009, and how they have created value for investors. Jon Funk, the author of the study, delves further into how IPOs in the region have done.

posted Monday, April 5, 2010

Top Ten Lies Angels Tell

from Frank Peters

With a nod to Garage Venture's Guy Kawasaki and his Top Ten Lies of Venture Capitalists, Frank Peters offers his Top Ten Lies Angels Tell.

posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do You Want Your Startup Bad Enough?

from Dan Bliss

Dan Bliss, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Perfect Business, talks about how important passion for your business is in making your startup a success.

posted Friday, March 19, 2010

How to Start a Networking Group

from Cliff Allen

Cliff Allen, founder of SureToMeet, gives a great primer on how to create, organize, and promote a networking group.

posted Thursday, March 18, 2010

Twitter has Jumped the Shark

from Scott Fox

Scott Fox, author of Internet Riches, and a frequent commentator on high tech companies, makes the argument that Twitter has "jumped the shark."

posted Friday, March 5, 2010

Finding Your Driver

from Ryan Blair

Ryan Blair talks about entrepeneurship, and asks: Why do you want to step out on your own? Something must be driving this decision, and it's something inside you. Without a clear answer to this question, it will be nearly impossible to build a viable business. But once you determine your driver, it becomes the jumping-off point for everything that follows as you become an entrepreneur.

posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Do They Have A Great Rolodex, Connections and Advice?

from Joe Platnick, Pasadena Angels

Joe Platnick, a member of the Pasadena Angeles, outlines his list of some criteria to look at when selecting an investor.

posted Friday, February 26, 2010

Get Out of the Office!

from Frank Addante

Frank Addante, CEO and Founder of Rubicon Project, talks about how he's had to change his management style, having grown his company from a small startup to a much larger team.

posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Money comes smart or dumb. Find smart.

from Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus, an angel investor, sums up why -- even for an angel backed firm-- taking venture capital makes a lot of sense.

posted Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You Want a Job?

from Jared Reitzin

Jared Reitzen, CEO of Los Angeles-based MobileStorm, gives a few opinions on how to make you and your resume stand out above the crowd, when applying for a job.

posted Monday, February 8, 2010

How to Not Suck at a Group Presentation

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster, a venture capitalist at GRP Ventures, gives his hints and tips on pitching your company to large groups.

posted Saturday, February 6, 2010

Southern California Tech Jobs Make a Comeback

from John Savageau

John Savageau, President of Pacific-Tier Communications, says that technology jobs are on a comeback--and asks companies in Southern California to put local talent back to work.

posted Friday, January 29, 2010

Raising Money For Your Business

from Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus, an angel investor, gives a good summary and rundown of the various different places you can raise money for your business.

posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tax Extenders Bill Will Stifle Innovation In the US

from Robert Kibble, NVCA/Mission Ventures

Robert Kibble, Managing Partner at Mission Ventures and a Director at the National Venture Capital Association, writes on why the "Tax Extenders Bill" will stifle innovation in the U.S.

posted Monday, December 14, 2009

When the Cloud Goes Poof...

from Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Just think. Your entire collection in the sky, accessible from wherever, whenever, without the hassle of hard drives, synchronizations, or downloads. Now, just think about what happens when it all goes away, without warning.

posted Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Rise of the New Angel Investor Paradigm

from John P. Dilts, Maverick Angels

John Dilts, founder of the Maverick Angels, addresses what he calls the New Angel Investor Paradigm -- a different approach to angel funding -- in this piece.

posted Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ten vision tests for success

from Dave Berkus

Angel investor Dave Berkus, gives his list of ten factors to see if the vision for your technology might be attractive to customers or investors.

posted Thursday, December 3, 2009

Buying a Distressed Business: 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

from Scott Edward Walker

Scott Edward Walker, a corporate attorny, gives 10 tips for entrepreneurs looking to buy a distressed business.

posted Friday, November 13, 2009

In the Midst of the Nuclear Winter

from Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson, of Momentum Venture Partners, takes on Wil Schroter's earlier post and says there is a deep freeze in venture investing; and in fact, we're in the middle of a nuclear winter. Wilson talks about the environment, and what to do about it.

posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How I Got Investors to Write Checks this Year

from Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the CEO and founder of Santa Monica-based Affordit, and founded Go Big Network, an online community for entrepreneurs. He recently landed a round of funding, and talks about how he managed to raise a round of funding in this economy, and why.

posted Monday, October 19, 2009

The Great VC Ice Age is Thawing (for now)

from Mark Suster

In September of 2008, due to the financial meltdown, a "VC Ice Age" set in, which stalled out venture activity in the mraket. Mark Suster, a venture capitalist at GRP Partners, says that the "ice age" has started to thaw.

posted Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to Use Social Media to Find Prospects... Or Sell a House...

from Serena Ehrlich

Serena Ehrlich, SVP Social Media at Startup Army, gives a quick primer on using social media to promote your startup.

posted Thursday, October 8, 2009

Five Basic Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make in Dealmaking

from Scott Edward Walker

Scott Edward Walker, an attorney at Walker Corporate Law Group, outlines five of the common mistakes he sees entrepreneurs making while negotiating a deal.

posted Thursday, October 8, 2009

Frank Peters Interviews John Dilts

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, of the Frank Peters Show, interviews John Dilts of angel group the Maverick Angels.

posted Friday, September 25, 2009

Five Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make In Raising Capital

from Scott Edward Walker

This post discusses the five most common mistakes entrepreneurs make in raising capital: (i) playing securities lawyer; (ii) selling securities to non-“accredited investors”; (iii) advertising or soliciting investors; (iv) using an unregistered finder to sell securities; and (v) selling preferred stock to angel investors.

posted Thursday, September 24, 2009

Social media: You at the Helm of Your Own New Starship

from Tracy Olmstead Williams

Tracy Olmstead Williams, gives companies advice on how to take command in the new world of social media.

posted Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Open Letter To Congress About The Private Fund Transparency Act

from Marc Averitt, Okapi VC

Marc Averitt, a venture capitalist at Okapi Venture Capital, writes an open letter to congress about the proposed Private Fund Transparency Act (S.1276), asking Congress to remove the venture capital industry for inclusion.

posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No, Magazines Aren't Dying

from Emrah Kovacoglu, Total Beauty Media

Emrah Kovacoglu, Founder and CEO of Total Beauty Media, talks about the changing landscape of the magazine industry.

posted Monday, August 31, 2009

It's Not the Economy, Stupid

from Krisztina Holly and Jim Clifton

It's Not the Economy, Stupid Focusing on unemployment isn't the key to fueling innovation and job growth, says USC's Krisztina Holly and Gallup's Jim Clifton.

posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Most Common Startup Mistakes

from Mark Suster

Mark Suster, a VC at GRP Partners, talks about the mistakes he most often sees startups making.

posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Venture Capital 101 for Startups - Valuation

from Samuel Wu

Sam Wu, a business, corporate and securities attorney and partner of Innovation Capital Law Group, gives an in-depth look at how pre-money and post-money valuation works.

posted Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Value Of Free

from Marc Averitt, Okapi VC

At the risk of oversimplifying here, a vast majority of consumers expect information/entertainment (a.k.a. “content”) on the Internet to be free in that they are not accustomed to paying for the content the Internet provides them. In fact, there is a whole generation of consumer digital denizens that only know the “Web 2.0 / free” world of the Internet. This poses a potential problem for the related industries: how do we make money if the consumer of what we produce/source/distribute expect that it will remain free?

posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Top 10 Board Meetings Dos And Donts For CEOs

from Jim Armstrong, Clearstone Venture Partners

Jim Armstrong, a Managing Director at Clearstone Venture Partners, shares his list of the top ten board meetings do's and don'ts for CEOs.

posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Top 10 Attributes of Successful Southern California VC Investments

from Jeff Cohn

What are the top ten traits of companies who actually get VC investment? Jeff Cohn, a well known consultant to angel and venture investors in town, who was previously Investment Screening Director for the Tech Coast Angels, shares his list.

posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why Saying "No" Is Hard For Angels

from Joe Platnick, Pasadena Angels

In the world of startup investing, Angels invariably come across a lot of great entrepreneurs that they get to know on a personal level and think the world of. Unfortunately they sometimes have to say “no” to these individual because they aren’t completely comfortable with the company’s market space and/or technology.

posted Thursday, July 2, 2009

Valuation optimization vs maximization - what is the real goal?

from Peter Lee, Baroda Ventures

In this article, Peter Lee, a venture capitalist at Baroda Ventures, discusses company valuation, and what the real goal of setting a value on a company is, and should be.

posted Friday, June 19, 2009

How To Save MySpace

from Jason Nazar

Docstoc's Jason Nazar makes a proposal on how to save MySpace: He says: "MySpace has lost the battle as the 'place for friends'. If the powers that be, can accept this, and move forward with breakneck speed, they have an incredibly huge opportunity to build something we will all be talking about again."

posted Thursday, June 18, 2009

Entrepreneur and Investor Alignment

from Peter Lee

In this article, Peter Lee, a venture capitalist at Baroda Ventures, an early-stage investment fund in Los Angeles, helps entrepreneurs understand the importance of matching different kinds of investors and their goals with their exit outcome expectations.

posted Friday, June 5, 2009

Exit Outcomes

from Frank Peters

Ever wanted to hear how angels think of the terms they offer and the returns they expect? And what will happen if the outcome is less than a complete success? Frank Peters, of the Frank Peters Show, talks with Angel Capital Association Chairman John Huston.

posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CERN's Collaborative Management Model

from Krisztina Holly

Krisztina Holly, vice-provost for innovation and executive director of the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, talks about how business leaders could learn valuable leadership lessons from the collaborative management style at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

posted Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Interview with Bob Foster, UCLA

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, of the Frank Peters Show, talks with UCLA's Bob Foster, about his efforts helping out entrepreneurs.

posted Friday, April 17, 2009

How To Survive A Layoff

from Cathy Ashbaugh

Cathy Ashbaugh, President of Pacific Shore Resources, a local recruiting firm, gives some well timed advice on how to handle a layoff.

posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lessons From Launching Three Companies

from Andrew Warner

Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, talks with Brian Johnson, the founder of eteamz, Zaadz, and Philospher's Notes, about what he's learned in launching his three companies.

posted Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Venture Capital In San Diego

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, chairman emeritus of the Tech Coast Angels, and podcaster, talks with Dave Ryan of Mission ventures about what's going on in venture capital in San Diego, and how the changing venture economy will affect angel investors.

posted Friday, March 13, 2009

Angel Investors - Do They Charge Fees?

from Joe Platnick, Pasadena Angels

One of the biggest questions we get from entrepreneurs is if they should be having to pay to present to angel groups. Joe Platnick, a member of the Pasadena Angels, talks about whether fees are ever appropriate to present to an angel investors group.

posted Friday, March 6, 2009

Using the Economic Trouble to Your Advantage

from Aaron Ross

Americans are dealing with the worst financial and economic trouble in decades–and, unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before it gets better (sorry!) Why then, you might ask, will this ultimately be a good and healthy thing for us, i.e., the ‘us’ that decides to take advantage of it?

posted Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Slow Build

from Nicole Jordan

Nicole Jordan, who has been instrumental in bringing together the Los Angeles technology industry, gives startup CEOs a primer on what to expect from their PR efforts--and why it takes time.

posted Sunday, February 22, 2009

Starting Up In A Downturn

from John Greathouse

John Greathouse, a partner at Rincon Venture Partners, tells why a downturn is a great time to start a company, and why it shouldn't matter what the economy looks like in the first place: Attempting to determine the perfect time to enter the startup market, whether by starting or joining an venture, is akin to trying to time the financial markets. Those who attempt to do so find it is a consistently doomed strategy.

posted Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Stresses on Venture Capital

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, chairman emeritus of the Tech Coast Angels, and podcaster, talks with John Taylor, VP of Research at the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) about the stresses on the venture capital industry today.

posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009

7 Tips to Help Jobless Americans Persevere Make the Most of Being Unemployed

from John McKee

John McKee, a Los Angeles resident and former executive at DirecTV, is an author and business coach. In this article, he gives seven tips to the currently unemployed on how to persevere through - and even make the most of - this difficult time.

posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Screening for Success

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, chairman emeritus of the Tech Coast Angels, and podcaster at the Frank Peters show, looks at the angel investing business and thinks about how to optimize the screening process to respond to the weakened economy and the corresponding lack of capital.

posted Monday, February 9, 2009

The Innovation Ecosystem

from Krisztina Holly

Krisztina "Z" Holly, the Vice Provost for Innovation at the University of Southern California and Executive Director for the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, ponders the mass extinction of U.S. auto companies, and looks at how natural evolution might be applied to economics.

posted Thursday, February 5, 2009

Two Types Of Companies

from Aaron Fyke

Aaron Fyke, who was most recently a partner at Australia's biggest clean technology venture firm, and is now in Pasadena, gives some thoughts about what kinds of startup companies succeed, what kinds raise funding, and more.

posted Tuesday, February 3, 2009

5 Survival Lessons From The Dot Com Bubble

from Andrew Warner

Mixergy's Andrew Warner talks with Professor David Kirsch, founder of the Dot Com Archive, about some lessons that can be learned from the 1990's Internet bubble.

posted Friday, January 30, 2009

The State of Technical Recruiting in the Los Angeles Area

from Janine Davis

Janine Davis, of Technical Connections, gives some insight into today's job market.

posted Thursday, January 29, 2009

10 Ways President Obama Can Help Create Jobs

from Jeff Cohn

Jeff Cohn is a Los Angeles-based venture consultant, who helps source investment opportunities for San Francisco-based MHS Capital. Jeff shares some of his thoughts on how the incoming Obama administration can help create jobs.

posted Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 Angel Predictions

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, of the Frank Peters Show and former chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, talks with angel investors Dave Berkus, John Filla, and Bill Payne about pay-to-play, down rounds, liquidation preferences, and other terms, as the angels make their 2009 predictions.

posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The 7 Ways To Get Traffic On The Web

from Jason Nazar

Jason Nazar, CEO of Beverly Hills-based DocStoc, gives his advice on The 7 ways to Get Traffic on the Web. Nazar says: "Driving traffic to your website is a formula that can be reverse engineered. Other than paying for traffic with advertising, there are only so many ways to get people to show up at your door."

posted Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trouble in Venture Capital?

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, of the Frank Peters Show and former chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, talks with Jim Armstrong of Clearstone Ventures about the venture capital market and perspectives on how the economy is affecting the high tech and venture capital market.

posted Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bootstrapping Lessons From 37 Signals

from Andrew Warner

In what looks to be a very tough year for finding venture and angel funding, lots of startups are looking to bootstrapping as a way to fund their businesses. One of the more successful firms to use the approach--before it was fashionable--was 37Signals. Andrew Warner of Mixergy talks with Jason Fried about their hints and tips on bootstrapping.

posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Properly Compensating Entrepreneurial Advisors

from John Greathouse

John Greathouse, a partner at Rincon Venture Partners, gives startup entrepreneurs some key insights into advisors, advisory agreements, and how to make sure business advisors are valuable to your firm.

posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tips on Funding From Adeo Ressi

from Andrew Warner

Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, gives the tips and hints on funding he gathered from Adeo Ressi, of The Funded.

posted Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Market Shift Will Create Opportunities for Tech Companies in 2009

from O. Jacob Bobek and Scott D. Steuber, Cushman & Wakefield

With the down-turn of the local and national economy, there has been a shift in the Los Angeles commercial real estate market. Jake Bobek and Scott Steuber of Cushman & Wakefield give companies a few hints and tips on how to take advantage of the market conditions.

posted Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lousy Products Might Break Your Bones - But A Name Will Seldom Hurt You

from John Greathouse

"With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good." Really? I would think that with a name like Smucker's it has to be a vile disease or possibly a large, poisonous, South American leech. If "Smucker's" can be slapped on food and annually generate billions of sales, chances are that your company name, no matter how mediocre, will not preclude you from achieving significant success. Thus, join the ranks of Yahoo, Google, Amazon, eBay, Cisco and Microsoft and focus your limited time and resources on perfecting your customer value proposition, not on devising an ideal company name.

posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hollywood Under Siege

from Jonathan Handel

California's economy is at war with itself. Like the Civil War almost 150 years ago, the factions are split geographically, but this time, the two sides are Northern California and Southern California—more particularly, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. This battle turns on whether it’s true that "content is king," as many people believe, or whether content is becoming a mere commoner while the technologies that distribute it become ever more valuable. The outcome of this struggle may determine the future of the entertainment industry.

posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Remaining objective when fear is in the air

from William Quigley, Clearstone Venture Partners

William Quigley, a venture capitalist at Clearstone Venture Partners, counters the latest fear and doom attitude within the high tech community with this this editorial, entitled "Remaining objective when fear is in the air".

posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Economic Crisis: What To Do

from Jared Reitzen

Jared Reitzen is CEO of Los Angeles-based MobileStorm, and gives six tips that can help your business through challenging times like we're seeing today in the markets.

posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How Entrepreneurs Can Get the Love Without a Bear Hug

from John Greathouse

John Greathouse, a partner at Rincon Venture Partners, gives some of his hints and tips of working with corporate investors (or, as he calls them, Big Dumb Corporate Investors).

posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't look for first mover advantage

from Omid Rahmat

Parables, cliches, and axioms are wonderful things. They tend to exist because they tend to reflect generalities that have been tried and tested through time. So, it goes without saying that the tortoise does win the race against the hare, and the guy who doesn’t have first mover advantage tends to have the best shot at avoiding the mistakes, and expectations, of the guy who jumped to market first.

posted Monday, September 15, 2008

I love Executive Summaries

from Frank Peters

Frank Peters, of the Tech Coast Angels and The Frank Peters Show, gives his cheat sheet on writing an effective Executive Summary for your business.

posted Thursday, September 4, 2008

How To Clear Your Inbox

from Andrew Warner

Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, gives some quick hints and tips about keeping your inbox clear.

posted Monday, July 28, 2008

Kiss of Death - Contract Provisions Entrepreneurs Should Avoid at All Costs

from "Uncle Saul"

"Uncle Saul" gives some hints and tips on negotiating agreements with big companies.

posted Thursday, July 24, 2008

Succeeding In A Recession

from Omid Rahmat

Yes, we are in a recession. Maybe not a textbook definition of one, but textbooks tend to be behind the times. So, we’re in a recession. You can feel it. You can see the change in the business climate. Interestingly enough, those who have the resources – secure funding, or wealth – are relishing the inherent contradictions of the marketplace. They know that this is a time of great opportunity.

posted Thursday, July 10, 2008

Roping in the Legal Eagles

from "Uncle Saul"

Your lawyer may be the most important member of your extended venture. The difference between a great lawyer and a good lawyer is startling and you will know it once you experience both.

posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Seven secrets to entrepreneurial success

from Brian Ring, Ernst & Young

Brian Ring, program director at the Greater Los Angeles Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program, gives some hints and tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur.

posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hope Is Not A Strategy

from Marc Averitt, Okapi Venture Capital

Marc Averitt, a venture capitalist at Okapi Venture Capital, wrote this post for one simple reason: to be able to point every would-be-entrepreneur who asks him what it takes to “get venture capital.” So, what are VCs looking for before they decide to invest in a start-up? The good news is that Marc discloses the secrets here. The bad news is that even if you cover all of these elements it still doesn’t guarantee you will get funding.

posted Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How To Value Your Startup

from Al Schneider

Angel investor Al Schneider, of the Tech Coast Angels and Pasadena Angels, talks about the ways investors value your startup, deal terms, and valuation concepts.

posted Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Your First Sales Hire

from Steve Reich, Pasadena Angels

Every startup faces the question of who to hire for their first sales position. Do you look for that fantastic VP of sales who is not only a great closer, but also a master strategist? Do you hire that friend of the founder who is young but promising? How do you decide?

posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Author's Dilemma - Why Most Business Books Suck

from "Uncle Saul"

"Uncle Saul" talks about why most business books suck, and why.

posted Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Rookies and Startups Can Maintain Their Unfair Advantage

from "Uncle Saul"

A well regarded, local technology exec--who has led one IPO, was closely involved in another, along with a number of M&A transactions, but who wishes to remain anonymous -- talks about the "rookie advantage" of being a startup.

posted Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Webware, SaaS, WebTops, Cloud Computing, and Wapps

from Omid Rahmat

Omid Rahmat--former publisher of Tom's Hardware Guide--speculates on the next Internet wave, which he thinks will involve web applications and software-as-a-service.

posted Thursday, April 10, 2008

Entrepreneurial Consideration: Managing the ripple effect

from Sid Mohasseb, Venture Farm

Sid Mohasseb, managing director of Venture Farm and an angel investor who is the incoming President of the Tech Coast Angels Orange County, talks about the importance of watching performance indicators -- even as a startup.

posted Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Web Newbie Mistake - Hiding Your Location

from Scott Fox, author of "Internet Riches"

Scott Fox, the Los Angeles-based author of "Internet Riches," talks about the problem of Internet companies not telling people where their company is located.

posted Monday, March 31, 2008

Online Content: Hitting the Wall

from Omid Rahmat

Hitting the wall is a term that will be familiar to anyone who has attempted to run a marathon. Omid Rahmat, former CEO of Tom's Guide Publishing, talks about the current state of online publishing and advertising, and how online content is flagging a little these days, and may need to get a second wind.

posted Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Corporate Structure 101

from Matt Ridenour, Momentum Venture Partners

Matt Ridenour, Managing Director at Momentum Venture Partners, a Los Angeles early stage venture fund and advisory firm, shares some hints and tips about basic corporate structure for startups and entrepreneurs.

posted Friday, March 21, 2008

Slipping Through the Cracks

from Jared Reitzen, CEO, mobileStorm

Jared Reitzen, CEO and Founder of Los Angeles-based mobileStorm, gives some hints and tips on making sure important things don't slip through the cracks when running a growing business.

posted Friday, March 21, 2008

Five Things An Early Stage Company Can Do To Ensure Success

from Ken Deemer, co-founder and former chairman of Tech Coast Angels

Building a great company requires a combination of talent, persistence and luck. Angel investor Ken Deemer discusses the five things that he believes will ultimately have the most impact on your chances for success.

posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Selling A Business: Top Ten Tips For Entrepreneurs

from Scott Edward Walker

Entrepreneurs often find themselves in high-stakes negotiations with big, savvy players, with significant negotiating power (referred to herein as “Big Boys”) -- whether it be a venture capital firm in connection with a financing or a private equity firm in connection with the sale of the entrepreneur’s business; the situation can indeed be daunting. Scott Edward Walker gives ten tips to entrepreneurs.

posted Monday, March 3, 2008

Venture Capital and Investment Risk Assessment

from Marc Averitt, Okapi Venture Capital

Mark Averitt, a venture capitalist at Okapi Venture Capital, talks about the different kinds of risk that venture capitalists assess when deciding to invest--or not invest--in a startup.

posted Thursday, February 14, 2008

More On The Channels For Raising Equity

from Sid Mohasseb, Venture Farm

Most entrepreneurs looking for funding have heard about the various avenues available to them, but are not familiar with the positives and negative of each. Sid Mohasseb of Venture Farm gives a 10,000 foot view of different funding sources.

posted Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tips On Starting A Venture

from Scott Edward Walker

Scott Edward Walker, a corporate attorney, gives ten tips for entrepreneurs who are launching a start-up that will seek venture capital financing.

posted Sunday, November 11, 2007

Basic information About Trademarks

from Steven C. Sereboff, Mark A. Goldstein, and Michael D. Harris

Your company name. Your logo. Your slogans. The look and feel of your business and products. These all set your business apart from your competition, and therefore can act as trademarks. Steven C. Sereboff, Mark A. Goldstein, and Michael D. Harris discuss some of the basic issues behind trademarks.

posted Sunday, November 11, 2007

Selling A Business: Ten Tips For Entrepreneurs

from Scott Edward Walker

Scott Edward Walker, a corporate attorney, gives ten tips to entrepreneurs who are thinking about, or want to know more about, selling their business.

posted Monday, October 1, 2007

Basic Information About Patents

from Steven C. Sereboff, Mark A. Goldstein, and Michael D. Harris

The decision to pursue patents, which kind and how much to spend is a business decision that merits both consideration and planning. Steven C. Sereboff, Mark A. Goldstein, and Michael D. Harris discuss some of the basic issues and costs of filing a patent.

posted Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Reflections on Entrepreneurial Networking

from Elissa Grossman, Ph.D.

How do entrepreneurs identify and manage the personal connections that are central to their new ventures? Perhaps more importantly, what network-building strategies are most effective?

posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Changing Startup Real Estate Landscape For Los Angeles

from Scott D. Steuber and Ted Simpson

Scott Steuber and Ted Simpson look at the changing Los Angeles real estate landscape for technology focused startups who are looking for office space, and answer the question about where people are putting their startups today.

posted Saturday, June 23, 2007

Legal Tips For Entrepreneurs

from Stradling Yocca Carlson Rauth

Mark Skaist, a corporate lawyer at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, gives some hints and tips for entrepreneurs. Skaist talks in this interview about shareholders agreements, valuation, and intellectual property protection.

posted Monday, June 4, 2007

Planning for Your Business: A look at Business, Strategic Marketing and Information Technology Plans

from David Gadish, Ph.D.

The success of your startup is likely to be greater if you plan your business. The ensuing discussion focuses on proper planning prior to the start of operations, and continued planning during implementation.

posted Thursday, April 12, 2007

Think Like An Investor: Developing the Right Mindset for Successful Fundraising

from Matt Ridenour

In a perfect world, the most creative and innovative ideas would have an easy time getting funded, while all of the flawed business concepts would quickly fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world: we live in Southern California, a place where even the “next big thing” can have trouble lining up money. Technology entrepreneurs could save themselves a lot of time – and heartache – if they followed a few rules before they approached angel investors and venture capitalists.

posted Sunday, April 8, 2007

5 Applications Every Startup Needs

from Gene Marks

5 software applications that every startup needs, according to the author of The Streetwise Small Business Book of Lists.

posted Thursday, March 15, 2007

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Tenants

from Ted Simpson & Scott Steuber

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Tenants: How Los Angeles Technology Companies Can Make Real Estate Work for Them covers some key basic topics for high tech companies planning for their future.

posted Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Practical Guide to Venture Capital

from Bowne

Venture Capital: A Practice Guidebook for Capital-Seeking Business, Owners, Managers and Advisors is a complete book covering the basics of venture capital funding, including a overview of venture capital funds; investors rights agreements;what to expect in a VC transaction; terms sheets; venture capital terms and jargon, and more. The book comes courtesy of Michael Colwin, SVP of Sales at Bowne, who can be reached at or (310)282-8800.

posted Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bootstrapping Your Business. Get Real. Get Started.

from Steven Mednick, Plenum Revenue Group

You don't have to wait for angel investors or venture capitalists to fund your business in order to start. Steven Mednick gives some tips to get going on your own.

posted Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Angel Funding Process

from Ken Hayes, Pasadena Angels

Angel funding for growing companies is a mysterious process to most entrepreneurs. Somewhere between hitting up your rich uncle and begging for a loan at the bank, a professional angel group can provide $250,000 to $1.5m in equity funds to accelerate growth and make it attractive to later stage investors. Ken Hayes, a member of the Pasadena Angels, gives a rundown of the angel funding process and how it works.

posted Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Value of Leadership: Why Start-Up Ventures Need a Steady Hand at the Helm

from Matt Ridenour, Momentum Venture Management

While one can't underestimate the importance of funding, it's not the make-or-break factor that separates successful ventures from the also-rans. Rather, the most important issue is leadership. Simply put, companies need to have senior-level decision makers with the experience to understand how to navigate the unique and challenging path that start-up ventures need to take.

posted Sunday, December 17, 2006

Venture Capital - What's the rush?

from Frank Addante

Frank Addante, a successful Los Angeles entrepreneur, and former founder and CEO of StrongMail Systems and CTO and founder of L90, talks about when it is, and isn't appropriate to look for venture capital, and why.

posted Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Finding Your Passion

from Kelly Perdew, Angel-Led Venture Partners

What really turns you on? Think about it … what would cause you to jump out of bed every morning with a fire in your belly instead of dreading that train ride into “work?” What would you do if you could do anything in the world? Now, get ready for this question: Why aren’t you doing it? Kelly Perdew, Managing Director at Angel-Led Venture Partners and winner of "The Apprentice", talks about finding your passion.

posted Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Road to Funding: Three basic steps to attract early investors

from Momentum Venture Management

Matt Ridenour, Managing Director at of Momentum Venture Management, talks about some tips on finding early stage investors.

posted Thursday, November 30, 2006

Common Questions On Real Estate And Startups

from Venture Realty Group

Richard Abbitt, CEO and President of Venture Realty Group, gives some hints and tips to startups looking for real estate and office space.

posted Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Three Keys to Obtaining Venture Capital

from PricewaterhouseCoopers

Three Keys to Obtaining Venture Capital is designed to help first-time entreprenuers understand the venture capital process and provides a useful step-by-step tool for creating a business plan. Through this understanding, and armed with a comprehensive and thorough business plan, and entreprenuer will have realistic expectations and can concentrate on targeting the financing search for the most promising business investment sources.

posted Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Finding Funding For Your Startup


What are venture capitalists looking for today? Entrepreneurs often have a hard time figuring out what venture capitalists are looking for, and when the best time it is to approach them for funding. This article looks at what VCs are looking for.

posted Tuesday, November 21, 2006

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