Author Archive: Desdemona Bandini

In 2006, Douglas Campbell started Mindshare LA out of the downtown art colony The Brewery. Campbell was new to Los Angeles, freshly inspired from a TED conference, and after attending a smattering of Barcamps and Westside Meetups he was ready to produce his own event that was a mixture of all.

Twitter continues to move into new directions of social media, broadening its offerings. Today, a video partnership with the BBC was announced via (what else?) a tweet that the pair would create the first in-Tweet branded syced video to entertainment series. An interesting announcement fast on the heels of another announcement that the new Twitter #music discovery app is live today.

Katie Rock, the founder of Activyst lives up to her name. She really does rock, and hard. Katie’s journey from corporate lawyer at a top firm to a social good entrepreneur has been a zigzag of twists and turns, luck and tenacity. What began as a pit stop vacation in a third world county, led to an epiphany, which turned into a passionate pursuit, and eventually a new social enterprise company that fundraises to bring sports to girls worldwide through the sale of athletic bags.

It is getting hot in here. So hot. USC has just thrown their hat into the ring of the flurry of startup activity happening in SoCal with the introduction of a new accelerator, the Viterbi Startup Garage. Viterbi, the engineering school at USC, has teamed up with United Talent Agency, and Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers to support new ventures by USC students and alumni.

OMG. It is times like these that I wish I was a developer. This weekend March 23-24, Friskies Cat Food is hosting a “Games for Cats Hackathon” with a $15,000 dollar cash prize going to the developer who comes up with the winning app or cat game. Yes, using colors, swipes, animation and a scratch-resistant iPad, there is no telling how many hours of fun can be created for cats.

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

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

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

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

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

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