Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Safire Partners Executive Search
Safire Partners has completed 150+ retained executive searches since 2006
working with emerging businesses in digital media, Internet, eCommerce,
software and clean technology across Southern California. Please visit
our website to see an updated list of our clients and searches completed
at We are always interested in
meeting new candidates and potential clients, so feel free to email our
Managing Partner, Todd Gitlin at We can also always be a
friendly source for investor introductions and general market /
compensation intelligence.

Image Metrics Releases SDK For Mobile App Developers
Santa Monica-based Image Metrics, which develops computer vision and facial analysis and expression tracking software, said Wednesday that it has released a new software development kit for mobile developers. The firm said its new mobile app SDK, which runs on Apple iOS, allows developers to use its technology on augmented reality applications and games. The SDK allows mobile apps to capture, analyze, and replicate a user's facial expressions and emotions. Image Metrics did not how much it will (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story)

Active Network Buys Plancast
Plancast, an online service which lets you plan events and share those plans with friends, has been acquired by San Diego-based Active Network. Financial terms of the buy were not disclosed. Plancast's CEO, in a very public "post mortem" post on TechCrunch in January, had said the firm was shutting down, and outlined the various issues the company had run across. Active Network relaunched Plancast with a new design today.

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story)

EcoMom Finds $4.7M More
EcoMom, the online e-commerce site focused on organic and eco-friendly products for children, disclosed this week that it has raised $4.7M in an additional funding round. The round came form Blue Pacific Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Cue Ball, Rising Tide, Vegas Tech Rhodium and Embarcadero Ventures. EcoMom (Won Inc.) is headed by Jody Sherman, and started its life as Sprout Baby. The company looks to have now raised in the range of $10M for its efforts.

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (More)(Full story)

Movieclips Becomes ZEFR, Raises $18.5M
Venice-based Movieclips, the online movie clips site and content site founded by Zach James and Richard Raddon, said today that it has raised $18.9M in a Series C funding round, and has rebranded itself as ZEFR. The new funding round was led by U.S. Venture Partners, and also included MK Capital, Shasta Ventures, SoftTech VC, First Round Capital, Richmond Park Partners, and Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise. John Hald of USVP joins the company's board with the funding. The company said the name chan (More info...)

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PageWoo Finds Funding
Los Angeles-based Pagewoo, the mobile advertising startup founded by Holden Steinberg and Jason Crilly, has quietly scored a round of funding, which was disclosed by the Tech Coast Angels this morning. Financial details of the angel funding round, which closed earlier this year, have not been announced. Pagewoo--which is in private beta--was part of Howard Marks' StartEngine incubator earlier in the year. PageWoo, which is calling itself "the first mobile re-engagement platform" on its site, now (More info...)

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Tech Coast Angels Invests $4.5M In First Half Of 2012
The Tech Coast Angels said today that it has totalled up its investments for the first half of 2012, and found that it invested $4,571,000 in direct investments--as part of $10M in funding--for 17 companies. The angel investment group, which is the largest in Southern California, as well as the nation, said firms receiving funding from the group included Active Life Scientific, Cadence Biomedical, Cashie Commerce, Cognition Therapeutics, Emerald Logic, ExtendCredit, Gemmus Pharma, GridTest Syste (More info...)

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SheKnows Launches Parenting Website, AllParenting
Los Angeles-based SheKnows, the online women's publishing site owned by Atomic Online/Evolve Media Corp., said today that it has launched a new site, The new site is focused on parents, and specifically mothers, with content on family, home, style, pregnancy, prom, and other topics. As part of the new site, SheKnows said it has tapped fellow Los Angeles firm EQAL to include contributions from celebrities Tori Spelling, Alicia Silverstone, and Kendra Wilkinson, via EQAL's Celebr (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story)

Caltech Team Wins Top Prize, $100K In Bill Gates' Toilet Tech Effort
A team for the California Institute of Technology has scored the top prize, and $100,000, in a major technology effort--funded by Bill Gates--to reinvent the toilet. Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, announced an effort to help advance the technology of toilets, saying that current flush technology is "irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 percent of the global population". Gates' philanthropic organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said it will invest $3.4M i (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story)

Unbucket: Planning Your Life With Friends, with Elliot Darvick

What's the best way to plan and coordinate things to do with your friends, especially long term lists of what you'd like to do to together? Unbucket ( thinks it has one way, which is to create online, collaborative lists for planning out events with friends. We spoke with Elliot Darvick, one of the firm's co-founders, on what the Los Angeles startup is all about.

What is Unbucket?

Elliot Darvick: Unbucket is a platform that enables people to enable planning of their futu (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story) Expands Into Metal Prints, the online service which allows Instagram users to buy and sell their photos, has expanded its service to metal prints, the company said this morning. The company, which is headed by Sean Broihier, said the new feature allows users to get their photos printed directly onto a thin sheet of aluminum. Metal prints are a popular photo printing method, where photos are printed onto metal sheets and can be directly hung on a wall, without need for any framing or matting. Instaprints.c (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story)

FitKit Launches Personalized Nutrition Service
A new, Los Angeles startup, FitKit--started by a team of doctors and computer science students at UCLA--is launching today, looking to help make nutrition advice personal for online users. The company, which was incubated in the StartEngine accelerator, said it is offering up an interactive, lifestyle assessment which will help users identify nutrial deficiencies, gain the advice of two nutritionists, and provide personalized, nutritoin product recommendations based on users' lifestyles. The sta (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story)

uSamp Names VP
Encino-based uSamp, the provider of survey and sampling technology and services, said Tuesday that it has named Leslie Warshaw as Vice President of Research Solutions. Warshaw joins the firm from Lightspeed Research and TNS, and also worked at Nielsen Company. uSamp provides a platform and network of survey respondants used by companies to gain insights into consumers and businesses. The firm is led by serial entrepreneurs Matt Dusig and Gregg Lavin. The company says it now has more than 185 emp (More info...)

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012(Full story)

The latest trend in tech: Ordering Food Online with Seamless
From individual meals and late-night group orders, to catered meetings and blowout parties, Seamless is the easiest way to feed the office. We link companies and their employees to hundreds of local food options, offer fast and convenient online ordering and provide just one invoice for all food orders.

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August 14th @ 12 pm – Lucques
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Ventura Ventures Technology Center (V2TC) - Business Incubator
The Ventura Ventures Technology Center (V2TC) is a high-tech business incubator located in downtown Ventura, CA. V2TC offers a creative environment where high-tech start-ups and entrepreneurs can network, brainstorm, and grow their business. Work-spaces are affordable, flexible and scalable in order to allow companies the ability to manage their growth effectively and efficiently.

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Entrepreneurship Is Risky Business – How to Avoid 10 Pitfalls
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