October 23, 2019 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Just One Day at Silicon Beach Fest: Fast & Furious

Friday, Dec. 1 at Silicon Beach Fest was a real head turner – so much to see, hear and learn — all at once.

And this was just one day of a four-day event.

The event was held at the CTRL Collective offices in Playa Vista.  This very cool setting established the mood for the day-long explosion of new ideas that would follow.

In a “Shark Tank”-like pitch-fest, there were two companies that clearly ran neck-and-neck in the competition.

Greta McAnany and Lauren Tracy of Blue Fever.

Blue Fever, which won the “show of hands” vote from the audience, is an app that sends positive and helpful messages, via text, to mostly teenage girls seeking reassurance.

The teen jots a quick text saying what’s troubling her – boyfriend problems, body image issues, parents – and immediately Blue Fever fires back an appropriate message, often with an inspirational video attached.

“Everybody needs a best friend” is how Blue Fever’s Greta McAnany put it.

Judges listen as Jeremy Wall describes Lumenus, a company that manufactures lighting systems that attach to helmets, backpacks, clothing and bicycles, with a goal of providing safety for the bicyclist.

For more information, go to bluefever.com.

The panel of judges, who were out of the room when the audience voted, clearly liked Blue Fever, but selected DASH Systems as the competition’s top winner.

DASH has come up with a very interesting way of getting help to people in post-cataclysmic situations – floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The company employs a GPS flight controller that allows boxes dropped out of airplanes (with parachutes attached) to land within 10-30 feet of the intended target, explained CEO Joel Ifill.

The team from Kluge Interactive, a design firm based in the Marina: Arturo Perez, Daniel Sabal, Ailyn Muñoz and Cameron Wood.

Drones can’t do this, because the boxes are too big and too heavy, he said.  And planes and helicopters often have no place to land in a situation like this.

Simply dropping boxes out of planes, even with parachutes, can result in helter-skelter deliveries, with boxes getting lost in out-of-reach places, added CTO Joe Caravella.  DASH System solves this issue.

DASH’s boxes are made of cardboard and styrofoam and have wings attached to the boxes that help guide them to the right landing place.  The GPS flight controller — with the landing coordinates set in advance — works together with the wings and the parachute to make sure the boxes land in the right place.

DASH recently helped out in Puerto Rico and is now in touch with Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations that might use DASH’s services in future emergencies.

The DASH system can also be used to make commercial deliveries in out-of-the-way places.  The company is exploring any and all applications for its product.  For more information, go to: dashshipping.com.

Angel investors Asher Leids (moderator), Austin Clements (TenOneTen Ventures), Maxine Koven (LDR Ventures), Brian MacMahon (Expert DOJO), Britt Danneman (Alpha Edison Ventures), Chang Xu (Upfront Ventures) and Michael Tam (Crosscut VC).

In a session on raising capital, moderated by angel investor Asher Leids (Leids was early into Uber), panelists gave the audience tips on raising money.

“Why are you doing this?” is a question Michael Tam of Crosscut Ventures likes to ask entrepreneurs, quickly followed by: “Is this a problem truly worth solving?”

Sean Kelly of SnackNation discusses the importance of team, values and culture. Millennials, he said, want to feel like they are part of something important.

Brian MacMahon, who runs Expert DOJO in Santa Monica, said it was important to “knock the creativity” out of founders, forcing them to focus on issues of business development.

“Be real,” he said.  “You need to make money for your investors.”

Britt Danneman of Alpha Edison Ventures said, “You need to have real clarity of vision and you need to be able to communicate that vision well.”

Maxine Koven of LDR Ventures said her fund especially likes to hear from female-led companies.

Joe Caravella of DASH Systems — winner of the pitch-fest (along with co-founder Joel Ifill) — shown with Kevin Winston, founder of Silicon Beach Fest and DigitalLA.

In another panel on the role accelerators can play in getting startups launched, Heidi Hubbeling of Stubbs Alderton said her accelerator program focuses on tactical steps entrepreneurs need to take.

Anna Barber of TechStarsLA agreed: “Entrepreneurs want revenues, engineers and  money – not lectures.”

Eric Pakravan of Amplify.LA said he’s open to most any interesting proposal but suggested entrepreneurs “keep it short” when first inquiring.

“Social, Chatbots and Innovation” panel.

In a panel on influencers and social media, all seemed to agree authenticity is key.  Video production values are nice, but not critical.

“People just want to be part of something,” said Jarrel Pyro2Sick, a YouTube producer.

“Sara on the Internet.”

That said, if you really want to make it in today’s social arena, it helps to have followers, said Sara Mills (“Sara on the Internet”).  Mills is a beauty and fashion blogger who has 590,000 Instagram followers.

The accelerator panel: Justin Wolske (Grid 110); Heidi Hubbeling (Stubbs Alderton); Eric Pakravan (AmplifyLA); Noramay Cadena (Make in LA); Maureen Klewicki (TechStars Health); and Anna Barber (TechStars LA).

Mills said her followers make her more interesting to potential partners, as they know she can help them gain more audience more quickly.

For more information about Silicon Beach Fest, go to SiliconBeachFest.com.




Related Posts

City of LA to Deploy Mobile Showers Near Venice Blvd Homeless Encampment Today

October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

All-day operation Friday By Sam Catanzaro The City of Los Angeles will be deploying mobile showers starting at 9:00 a.m....

Knife-Wielding Man Shot by Security Guard at Third Street Promenade

August 16, 2019

August 16, 2019

Man who approached armored truck shot, taken into custody By Sam Catanzaro A security guard opened fire at a knife-wielding...

Need a Little Growth Capital?

July 23, 2019

July 23, 2019

By Jeff Hall Got a company that needs money to grow?  Growth Capital Conference, the granddaddy of investor pitchfests on...

Edify TV: Culver Farmers Market $10 Challenge

April 24, 2019

April 24, 2019

In the latest Market Report, Edify TV’s Jacki Karsh heads to the Culver City Farmers Market for the $10 Challenge...

Check Out Growth Capital Conference April 25

April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019

By Staff Writer The quarterly meeting of the Westside’s Growth Capital Conference, or GCC, takes place this Thursday, April 25,...

Edify TV: Google and the Westside Pavillion

April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

Westside Pavillion, once the most popular mall in Los Angeles, will soon be home to Google. Find out more about...

The Future of E-Learning

April 1, 2019

April 1, 2019

By Nektar Baziotis Distance learning is as old as the 18th century when teachers would send their students weekly lessons...

Banning Rooftop Ads on Cars?

March 29, 2019

March 29, 2019

L.A. City Council considers idea. By Keldine Hull With the rise of digital rooftop advertisements on taxicabs and on-demand rideshare...

Suspect Still At-Large in Santa Monica Scooter Hit and Run

March 26, 2019

March 26, 2019

41-year-old Michael Ramljak identified as the victim.  By Sam Catanzaro  On Friday, March 22 the victim in a fatal hit and...

L.A. Marathon to Run Through Westside This Weekend

March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

By Chad Winthrop On Sunday, March 24, runners from all around the world will lace up their kicks and participate...

West Los Angeles Biomed Innovator Honored

March 11, 2019

March 11, 2019

By Staff Writer Michael E. Jung, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, was recently honored for his significant...

Edify TV: Venice Restaurant Scene Dying?

March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

By Edify TV Edify TV Live on the food scene in Venice Beach, where a number of local favorites have...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *