Monday, February 7, 2011
LAVA 8th Annual Venture Awards Dinner - Feb 9 - Los Angeles
Richard Riordan to be Honored!

LAVA hosts its Venture Awards Dinner on February 9th to recognize companies in the Los Angeles area that have received a new round of financing during the year and that have been judged by a committee of venture capitalists and other technology and life sciences industry experts to have the greatest potential to grow rapidly and create value for their investors.

Also, LAVA’s tradition of recognizing an individual who has dedicated his/her life to supporting and advancing entrepreneurship continues in its nomination of Richard Riordan.

LAVA 8th Annual Venture Awards Dinner
Celebrating 25 years of service to the Los Angeles Entrepreneurial Community
February 9, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Luxe Hotel on Sunset

Featuring KNX1070 Business Hour Host: Frank Mottek as Master of Ceremonies

Register now at

eSolar Ties With Flextronics
Burbank-based eSolar, the developer of solar thermal power plant technology, said Monday that it has selected Flextronics to provide design services for its heliostats and solar collector systems. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. eSolar said the efforts would focus around cost reduction targets for its customers. eSolar is the solar thermal technology developer backed by ACME Group, Google, Idealab, NRG, Oak Investment Partners, and the The Quercus Trust of California.

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Conexant Gets Competing Acquisition Offer
Newport Beach-based semiconductor maker Conexant said Monday afternoon that it has received a competing acquisition offer from private equity firm Golden Gate Private Equity. According to Conexant, Golden Gate has offered to acquire the firm, paying between $2.35 to $2.45 per share in cash, or between $192M to $200M. The new acquisition offer ups an earlier acquisition proposal from SMSC in January, which offered to acquire publicly held Conexant for $2.25 per share, or $184M.

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Parchment Finds $4.5M
Los Angeles-based Parchment Inc., a stealth mode firm in the educational area, has raised $4.5M in a funding round, according to a regulatory filing from the firm. Parchment is headed by Matthew Pittinsky, who was a co-founder of educational software giant Blackboard, and also includes John Reese, the CEO and Chairman of Docufide. The company appears to be related to Docufide, with a number of the same directors, and a shared physical address. Docufide is a provider of a service which helps high (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011 (More)(Full story)

Insights and Opinions: Creating High Barriers to Entry

For our Insights and Opinions article today, Brian Horakh, CEO of Del Mar-based Zoovy, a developer of e-commerce software, gives some hints and tips on creating a high barrier to entry.

If your business is a "me too" entrant into any market niche, even the smallest success will soon attract competitors that will sap some degree of your potential growth. In the past 200 years, niche retailers were geographically bound due to the relatively high capital costs of establishing and operating (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Topspin Preps Updated iPhone Ticket App
Venice, California-based Topspin, the online music marketing software firm headed by Ian Rogers, said today that it is prepping an update to the firm's iPhone application for ticketing. The software is used by Topspin's customers to scan tickets sold through Topspin's software. Topspin said the new application allows users to scan both paper and smart-phone screen tickets and supports multiple scanners, among other updates. The firm said the update will be available to its users for free. Topspi (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

SolarReserve Gets Arizona Project Approval
Santa Monica-based SolarReserve, the developer of utility scale solar power projects, said today that it has received permit approvals from the Arizona Corporation Commission, for the firm's 150 megawatt Crossroads Solar Energy Project. The firm said the final approval includes a transmission line to connect the project to Arizona Public Service's transmission grid. SolarReserve said the project will supply approximately 450,000 megawatt hours of green energy to Arizona. The firm is using techno (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

GenVault Acquired By IntegenX
Carlsbad-based GenVault, a provider of systems used for managing DNA collections, has been acquired. IntegenX, a provider of equipment used for preparing genetic analysis samples, said last week that it acquired GenVault, but did not disclose any financial details of the deal. The acquisition came in conjunction with a new, $15.6M funding round for IntegenX from Domain Associates and others. GenVault was venture backed by Cross Creek Capital, Domain Associates, Montagu Newhall Associates, and Qu (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Row 44 Competitor Gets Funding Injection
A major competitor to Westlake Village-based Row 44, which develops Wi-Fi equipment for the commercial aviation market, has scored a big funding round this morning. Illinois-based Aircell, which provides a competing, in-flight Internet access service to Row 44, said it has raised $35M in funding from its private equity investors. Those investors include Ripplewood Holdings, Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and other investment entities associated with Oakleigh Thorne. Row 44's systems use (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story) Takes On Used Car Pricing
Santa Monica-based TrueCar, the automotive pricing startup run by Scott Painter, is launching a new site today focused on used car pricing. The new site, offers us a used car vehicle index, aggregating used car marketplace sales to provide pricing guidance for consumers and dealers. TrueCar said that ClearBook will provide price guidance based on used car years, make, model, mileage, and conditions. The new site is similar to TrueCar, in that it is using real pricing information fr (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Pandora IPO's SoCal Connections
Rumors of an IPO filing for Internet radio service Pandora heated up last week, after the firm's appointment of Peter Chernin and Barry McCarthy to its board. Pandora has some Southern California connections--beyond its relationships with music studios here--including Jon Kraft, who co-founded Pandora, and Peter Gotcher, the co-founder and Chairman of Los Angeles-based TopSpin. Kraft co-founded Pandora with Tim Westergren when it was known as Savage Beast, and is now COO of Pasadena-based UberMe (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Riot Games Acquired By Tencent
Los Angeles-based Riot Games, the online videogame developer headed by Brandon Beck, said late Friday that Tencent Holdings has acquired a majority stake in the company. Tencent is one of the biggest Internet services providers in China. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, reports are the deal was worth nearly $400M. The firms said that Riot Games will continue to maintain its headquarters in Los Angeles, and has plans to "hire aggressively" in 2011. Riot Games develops the (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

WebVisible Cuts Deal with Husqvarna
Irvine-based WebVisible, which provides local online marketing services and software, and chainsaw maker Husqvarna said this morning that the two are in an online search advertising partnership. According to the two, Husqvarna will make WebVisible's search engine marketing platform available to its dealers, through a co-marketing program, which will help those dealers place online campaigns across ad networks and search engines. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed. Husqvarna (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Beckman Coulter Acquired By Danaher For $6.8 Billion
Orange County-based Beckman Coulter, a maker of biomedical testing equipment, said today that it is in a merger agreement with Danaher, where Danaher will buy the firm for $6.8 billion. The deal is worth $83.50 per share in cash, which the firms said is a 45 percent premium over the closing price of its stock on December 9th, the day rumors of the deal started surfacing in the market. Beckman Coulter becomes part of Danaher's Life Sciences & Diagnostics segment. Beckman Coulter said it was advis (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

Electro Rent Adds Board Member
Van Nuys-based Electro Rent Corporation, which provides rental, leasing, and sales of electronic test equipment, PCs, and servers, said this morning that it has named Theodore E. Guth to its board of directors. Guth is EVP of Douglas Emmett, and also has previously served at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, as well as Irell & Manella LLP, Guth Christopher LLP, Dabney/Resnick, Inc. and UCLA School of Law.

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

ReVision Optics Names CEO
Lake Forest-based ReVision Optics, which is developing an implantable microlens for treating vision problems, said today that it has named John t. Kilcoyne as its CEO and President. Kilcoyne was most recently Chairman and CEO of Micrus Endovascular Corporation (sold to Johnson & Johnson), and also has been at Solace Therapeutics and Endonetics (acquired by Metronic). Current CEO J. Randy Alexander becomes Chairman of the board. ReVision Optics develops medical devices used for the treatment of p (More info...)

posted on Monday, February 7, 2011(Full story)

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