Preccelerator Managing Director Len Lanzi Featured on Biz Journal’s “People on the Move”

The Preccelerator’s new Managing Director, Len Lanzi was featured on LA Biz Journals People on the Move. Len leads the day to day program management, investor relationships, and investment screening of the Preccelerator Program. The Los Angeles Business Journal is a weekly newspaper and online news source that provides coverage of local business news.

To view the full post visit here.

About Len Lanzi

Leonard M. Lanzi has over 30 years of organization management and fund development experience. He has been serving as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Venture Association since 2007. In his capacity at LAVA, Len works with the LAVA board of directors to direct the strategic plan and organize educational and informational programs within the venture-funded startup ecosystem in the greater Los Angeles region.

Len brings a well-rounded knowledge from such diverse human service organizations as the Community Kitchen of Santa Barbara, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Junior Achievement of Southern California and the Boy Scouts of America.

Leonard graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He has professional certification from Pepperdine University on Private Capital Markets. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica where he served on its Board of Directors as VP Programs. Leonard also serves as Board Chair for Meals on Wheels West, as a director for Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention, Board Treasurer for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Governors for StartOut, a nationwide entrepreneurial organization for the LGBT community.

About the Preccelerator
The Preccelerator® Program is an accelerator for early-stage startups offered to select companies out of the Santa Monica office of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP that provides initial capital, sophisticated legal services, interim office space, mentorship, a targeted curriculum, investment strategy counseling and access to a strategic perks portfolio with the objective of helping grow founders’ ideas from business concept to funded startup.

 

Preccelerator Company Checkplis Featured on SuperbCrew

Preccelerator company Checkplis and founder & CEO Abner Flores were featured this past week on SuperbCrew, a tech news website covering innovative companies – sharing news, experience and knowledge from the tech and business world. The interview covers Checkplis’s features and suite of applications for things like repair, maintenance, and vendor orders as well as the company’s goals and plans for the future. Checkplis and founder Abner Flores are part of Class 10 of the Preccelerator.

To view Abner’s interview visit here. 

About Checkplis
Checkplis is a suite of restaurant-specific apps developed to help restaurant operators spend less time on the managerial “side work” and more time on preparing great food and providing customer experience. Visit www.checkplis.com

      

 

 

SA&M Preccelerator® Announces Addition of Len Lanzi as Managing Director

Len Lanzi, former Executive Director of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) Joins Preccelerator team as Managing Director, effective January 1, 2020.

LOS ANGELES, Calif., January 13, 2020  – The Preccelerator® Program, a Santa Monica, California-based early-stage startup accelerator focused on technology and digital media startup companies, announced today that it has hired Len Lanzi, former Executive Director of the Los Angeles Venture Association, as its new Managing Director. The addition of Mr. Lanzi to the Preccelerator team will broaden the network and continue to strengthen its resources and commitment to the Southern California tech community that it has become well known for.

Len said the following in connection with his new opportunity, “I am looking forward to this new challenge as the Managing Director of the Stubbs Alderton and Markiles’ Preccelerator® Program. My world got smaller and bigger at the same time. I will be focusing on specific startups that are part of the Preccelerator® and my contacts and friends remain as relevant or more so in this new role.”

In 2018, Stubbs Alderton & Markiles expanded the Preccelerator office into a new space located at 1316 3rd Street Promenade, which both increased the co-working space for the in-house companies and increased the event space. That same year, the Preccelerator and Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP announced a change in the program, adding an investment of $50,000 into Preccelerator cohort companies.

In 2012 Stubbs Alderton & Markiles launched the first-of-its-kind Preccelerator® Program to provide select start-ups with co-working space, mentorship, sophisticated legal services, curriculum and access to a strategic perks portfolio with the objective of helping grow a founder’s idea from business concept to a funded company. Over the past seven years, 46 diverse companies have graduated the Program, and most have received funding, with over $16M invested in Preccelerator companies in the aggregate.

Scott Alderton, Managing Partner of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and Chairman of the Preccelerator commented, “I have known Len for nearly 15 years, and worked alongside him on the Board of LAVA as he transformed that organization into the significant force within the technology ecosystem that it is today. The Preccelerator has reached an inflection point where it is now much more than a project of the law firm, it is a business of its own, and a meaningful contributor to the Southern California tech community. When we decided to hire a dedicated leader for the Preccelerator, I couldn’t think of any greater candidate for Managing Director than Len. He was our first and only choice for the job, and we are thrilled to be working with him.”

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is a Southern California-based business law firm with robust corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, entertainment, intellectual property and business litigation practice groups focusing on the representation of, among others, venture-backed emerging growth companies, middle-market public companies, large technology companies, entertainment, and digital media companies, investors, venture capital funds, investment bankers and underwriters. The firm’s clients represent a broad range of industries with a concentration in the technology, entertainment, videogame, apparel, and medical device sectors. The firm’s mission is to provide technically excellent legal services in a consistent, highly-responsive and service-oriented manner with an entrepreneurial and practical business perspective. These principles are the hallmarks of the firm. For more information, visit http://stubbsalderton.com.

About the Preccelerator® Program 
The Preccelerator® is a novel platform offered to select start-up companies out of
the Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP Santa Monica office that provides interim office space, sophisticated legal services, education, networking, mentorship and $500,000 in usable perks from Google Cloud for Startups, Amazon Web Services, and HubSpot among others, with the objective of helping grow a founder’s idea from business concept to funded startup. The program also retains more than 100 active strategic mentors providing free office hours and discounted services, and provides over 75-plus educational workshops and networking events each year. The Program expanded in 2017 to accept a greater number of companies in more formalized classes, depending upon where the companies are in their evolutionary growth and expanded benefits to accepted companies. To view Len’s full bio visit here. To apply to the Preccelerator, visit www.preccelerator.com/application.

Contact:
Heidi Hubbeling
Chief Marketing Officer,
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com
818-444-4529

How a Company Not Using PR Consultants Can Best Handle Its Own Public Relations

Public RelationsIn strategizing effective communications, what you say is as important as what you don’t say. The message must be strategically planned to achieve the purpose you desire, to target the markets you want to saturate. What you communicate is the most important. Your approach is more valuable than your contacts in achieving positive results.

Once you have made a commitment to an ongoing public relations campaign, compile a list of all the techniques available and avenues open to your type of business. Then prioritize them. They may include:

  1. Active participation in trade associations, Chambers of Commerce, or other business organizations;
  2. Exhibition at conventions and trade shows;
  3. Speaking engagements;
  4. Sponsorship of major events or planning your own;
  5. Press conferences and press previews;
  6. Placement of by-lined articles in key publications;
  7. Preparation of new product and/or personnel releases for trade publications;
  8. Capitalizing on a trend or newsworthy occurrence (or creating one) to target major business or general-interest magazines as well as major metropolitan daily and local weekly suburban newspapers, and radio and television news and talk shows;
  9. Submitting PSAs to radio and television to garner “free” air time;
  10. Design and implementation of a financial and investor relations program;
  11. Development of a direct mail campaign and other collateral (brochures, etc.) materials;
  12. Having and maintaining a website;
  13. Social media campaign; and
  14. Government relations, i.e. lobbying.

Keep all of these avenues in mind as you contemplate and prioritize the possibilities. And, to borrow a phrase from one motivational speaker, “plan your work, then work your plan.”

Now that you’ve determined what you are going to do, who is going to do it?

Some of the most effective early-stage public relations campaigns I’m aware of have been handled by the president’s assistant or secretary. He or she is someone who knows the company, its customers and goals and has regular access to you. And, if that person is also articulate and writes well, it is logical for some public relations activities to be added to his or her job description. In fact, this may be the only way a new business can afford a public relations effort early on. However, it is important to realize that with limited staff available only part time for communications tasks, the targeted outlets and the anticipated outcome must be minimized. Implementing a public relations campaign requires an extraordinary amount of time. Gear your expectations accordingly. And, in a situation such as the above, prioritization is particularly critical. Then too, assuming your assistant or secretary has no professional public relations background, he or she will need to acquire some media “savvy.” This includes:

  1. Developing a broad-based knowledge of business hot topics;
  2. Framing a story in terms of the trend it represents;
  3. Understanding both the targeted outlet and your market;
  4. Knowing how to pitch the piece in several different ways;
  5. Offering exclusives;
    6. Being aware of conflicts;
  6. Persevering, even after several rejections, while accepting “no” gracefully;
  7. Providing other story resources;
  8. Following AP style and double-checking facts, phone numbers, etc;
  9. Knowing what is and what is not generally accepted practice;
  10. Following through on commitments in a timely fashion; and
  11. Establishing a reputation for credibility and honesty and much more.

The next step is to add an experienced full-time public relations staff person or persons, retain an outside agency, or both.

A number of factors should be considered in the equation. Here are several possible scenarios:

  1. If trade publications are the only media important to you, one professional who has specialized in your industry and knows the editors are your best bet. Then too, his or her specialized knowledge will be useful in writing brochures, collateral material, and other content, etc.
  2. If penetrating one marketplace is critical to your success, whether it be the hospitality industry, the entrepreneur, etc. who has the proven expertise to do the job? This could be an individual or an agency.
  3. If a mix of trade and general-interest publications plus financial public relations and investor relations is required, is there any singular person who can provide the diverse support you need? And, if so, can you afford him or her?

About the Author
Devon Blaine is experienced in all facets of the communications industry. Formerly an actress, model, and stunt driver, she founded the agency in 1975. Besides designing communications campaigns that help businesses maximize their success, she has long been active in numerous entrepreneurial organizations, thus earning a reputation as “the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur.” She has incorporated the knowledge gained from these ventures into the philosophy of The Blaine Group. The agency has an award-winning track record in serving the public relations needs of fast-track emerging-growth companies and major corporations alike.

She was three times president of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), a founding board member and a past president of the Los Angeles chapter of (NAWBO) National Association of Women Business Owners. Devon also serves as a mentor for the Stubbs Alderton & Markiles Precelerator, the South Bay Entrepreneurial Center, and the Innovation Incubator at Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

About The Blaine Group, Inc.
The Blaine Group specializes in developing and implementing public relations campaigns and marketing strategies as comprehensive communications campaigns or as stand-alone entities.  The firm represents many authors and fast-track, emerging-growth companies.  It also handles investor relations and financial public relations activities for its publicly-traded clients.  The Blaine Group is located at 8665 Wilshire Blvd., Suite #301, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.  The telephone number is 310.360.1499 Visit www.blainegroupinc.com.

Preccelerator Workshop: Driving with Data w/ Sari M. Kern

“Driving Data”
Presented Sari Kern

All companies generate information from the day-to-day operations. The question is: how can businesses organize and use this data to drive success? This workshop will walk you through the steps of how to use data to inform strategy and make decisions.

This workshop will walk you through the steps of how to use data to inform strategy and make decisions.

 

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020
12:00PM – 1:30PM

Featuring:

Sari Kern

Sari is the founder and CEO of S Kern Consulting, a business strategy consulting firm which focuses on using data to drive business decision-making. Her diversified career as an entrepreneurial and strategic operations executive has touched various industries and markets such as healthcare, health-tech, clinical research, strategic consulting, nursing, leadership, visual arts, scuba diving and poker. Sari’s experience and approach give her an edge when it comes to discovering and interpreting information to develop comprehensive and evidence-based strategic business plans.

In addition to her consulting experience, Sari has worked on the corporate side of companies of various growth stages and industries, developing strategic corporate plans, financial projection models for boards and investors, and developing and growing new verticals.

​Sari earned her MBA from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University. While pursuing her degree and since, she has delivered impressive tangible and measurable results for various companies in competitive markets focused on strategy, finance, budgeting, marketing, change management, and competitive landscape analysis.

SAM Preccelerator
1316 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 107
Santa Monica CA 90401

*You must register with your name & email to attend this event.

Fundamentals of a Winning Business Model

At the core of every successful company is a strong business model.

Your business model is the blueprint for how your business will make money (or not). But for many companies starting out, not enough time or effort is put into identifying the right business model for their business.

This can turn out to be a very costly mistake.

In a study by CB Insights on the top reasons why startups fail, a top ten reason (coming in at #7) is going to market with a product without a business model.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Designing the right business model for your company, product and goals are very much in your control. From our experience working with fast-growing startups to global corporations, we cover core elements to building a successful business model.

To read the full article on HelloAdvisr, visit here.

EDWARD LEE
Founder & CEO
HelloAdvisr

Ed Lee is a pricing and go-to-market specialist and trusted adviser to leading companies and brands. He is the founder of HelloAdvisr, a Los Angeles-based growth consultancy helping companies and leadership teams build and implement profit growth strategies.

Ed specializes in international and national marketing and pricing strategies, discount optimization, and salesforce management across retail/ecommerce, marketplace and platform businesses. Previously, Ed held leadership roles with LG Electronics and Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global management consulting firm and world’s leading expert in pricing.

Ed is regularly invited to speak on pricing strategy at leading universities and institutions including the University of Southern California (USC), UC San Diego and General Assembly as well as startup/tech organizations such as LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and Wayra (London, UK). Ed received an MBA from Oxford University, MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from the UC, San Diego.

Three Ways to Know When Your Team Needs Sales Training

There are three common situations I run into that prompt businesses to look into sales training. Sometimes they may have tried to solve any one of these, for years, before having an awakening that professional training could be a solution.

1. Everyone is not using the same system.
2. Your company is not meeting its revenue goals.
3. You are having a lot of turnover.

If any of these challenges sound familiar, then sales training may be a solution for you. Using a proven sales system can have a dramatic effect on your company’s future, its revenue stream, and the overall cohesiveness and longevity of your sales team.

To read the full article, visit here.

Carrie Pobre

Carrie Lauby is an LA-based sales expert with over 25 years growing B2B2C SaaS companies in digital marketing and streaming media. Carrie and her team deliver customized solutions looking at all levels of the sales funnel including outside teams, inside SDR’s, client retention and online lead conversion. She is a regular speaker on sales and customer service with engagements that include EO, The Channel Company, AA-ISP and ASTA Global Convention.

Sandler Training is the largest sales consulting organization with over 250 training centers worldwide. Sandler utilizes distinctive, non-traditional sales and management methodologies, supported by continual reinforcement through ongoing training and individual coaching sessions. Sandler representatives work with all sizes of companies from startups to larger corporations which include LinkedIn, AT&T, Oracle, Accenture, American Express, Prudential and Salesforce.

If you have a question, a concern or a challenge relating to your sales, customer service, or revenue growth, please reach out to Carrie Lauby at BOOST Performance Sandler Training Los Angeles: Boostperformance@sandler.com.

 

Preccelerator Workshop: Term Sheets w/ Caroline Cherkassky & Kelly Laffey

“Fundraising Essentials – Term Sheets 101”
Presented by Caroline Cherkassky & Kelly Laffey

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Type of financing: convertible notes vs SAFEs vs priced equity rounds
  • Convertible notes and SAFEs: caps, discounts, and other key terms
  • Priced equity rounds: economic provisions, voting rights, and other key terms

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019
12:00PM – 1:30PM

Featuring:

Caroline Cherkassky

Caroline Cherkassky is a partner of the firm.

Caroline’s practice focuses on advising emerging growth, development stage, and middle market companies on a variety of matters, including venture capital and other financings, employee compensation, securities laws compliance, technology transactions, mergers and acquisitions, stockholder agreements, equity incentive plans, corporate governance, and other general corporate matters, including serving as outside general counsel to early-stage companies. She also advises the funds and other investors that invest in these types of companies.

Kelly Laffey

Kelly Siobhan Laffey is an associate of the firm and the Director of Business Affairs at the Preccelerator.

Kelly’s practice focuses on advising emerging growth and middle market companies in the technology, digital, internet, interactive media (i.e., AR and VR), and entertainment industries. Kelly counsels clients on issues related to corporate governance and formation, venture capital and other financings, joint ventures, employee compensation, complex stockholder and operating agreements, securities law regulation and other general corporate matters. Kelly also advises investors and funds in connection with venture capital and other financings.

Kelly also counsels clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions matters, including asset and equity acquisitions and dispositions, cross-border transactions, spin-off transactions, secured lending transactions, financing restructurings, and corporate reorganizations.

Drawing on her diverse work experience in the entertainment arena, including time spent with talent agencies, and music and television production companies, Kelly also assists on matters related to licensing, marketing, and exploitation of intellectual property rights.

SAM Preccelerator
1316 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 107
Santa Monica CA 90401

*You must register with your name & email to attend this event.

Preccelerator Workshop: Employment Contracts & Alternative Compensation for Startups

“Employment Contracts & Alternative Compensation for Startups”
Presented by Louis Wharton

For a company founder, it is easy to understand the benefits of providing stock or stock options to employees. It’s a way of compensating employees that doesn’t drain cash from the business. Employees will feel invested in the future success of the company. Join us to get insights and wisdom about maximizing opportunities and minimizing mistakes in creating equity compensation.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
12:00PM – 1:30PM

Featuring:

Image result for louis wharton

Louis A. Wharton is a partner of the firm and president of the Preccelerator Program. Louis’ practice focuses on advising venture capital funds and angel networks, along with early-stage, emerging growth, middle-market and public companies in corporate finance, securities compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate matters.

He counsels clients in the technology, e-commerce, digital media and entertainment industries, among others.

SAM Preccelerator
1316 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 107
Santa Monica, CA 90401

We hope to see you there!

*You must register with your name & email to attend this event.

How To Do Your Own PR: For Entrepreneurial Companies

How many of you watch television news daily? Listen to news radio as you commute? Read your local daily newspaper? Or the Wall Street Journal?

Have you ever wondered how the stories on people and companies got there? About 75 percent are planted by public relations people. That’s public relations at work, getting companies such as yours exposure by strategically designing what you have to talk about in either a newsworthy or public service fashion. In fact, at The Blaine Group, we often say that nearly everyone can become famous overnight.

Keep this in mind as you contemplate and prioritize the possibilities. And, to borrow a phrase from one motivational speaker, “plan your work, then work your plan.”

Now that you’ve determined what you are going to do, who is going to do it?

Some of the most effective early-stage public relations campaigns have been handled by the president’s assistant. He or she is someone who knows the company, its customers and goals and has regular access to you. And, if that person is also articulate and writes well, it is logical for some public relations activities to be added to his or her job description. In fact, this may be the only way a new business can afford a public relations effort early on. However, it is important to realize that with limited staff available only part-time for communications tasks, the targeted outlets and anticipated outcome must be minimized.

Implementing a public relations campaign requires an extraordinary amount of time. Gear your expectations accordingly. And, in a situation such as the above, prioritization is particularly critical.

Then too, assuming the president’s assistant has no professional public relations background, he or she will need to acquire some media “savvy.” This includes:

  • Developing a broad-based knowledge of business hot topics;
  • Framing a story in terms of the trend it represents;
  • Understanding both the targeted outlet and your market;
  • Knowing how to pitch the piece in several different ways;
  • Offering exclusives;
  • Being aware of conflicts;
  • Persevering, even after several rejections, while accepting “no” gracefully;
  • Following AP style and double-checking facts, phone numbers, etc.;
  • Knowing what is and what is not generally accepted practice;
  • Following through on commitments in a timely fashion; and
  • Establishing a reputation for credibility and honesty.

When your company has expanded and its communications needs are greater than those that can be handled by the president’s assistant on a part-time basis, the next step is to add an experienced full-time public relations staff person or persons, retain an outside agency, or both.

A number of factors should be considered in the equation. Here are several possible scenarios.

  1. If trade publications are the only media important to your company, one professional who has specialized in your industry and knows the editors are your best bet. Then too, his or her specialized knowledge will be useful in writing brochures, collateral materials, and copy, etc.
  2. If penetrating one marketplace is critical to your success, whether it be the hospitality industry, financial services, car dealerships, retail stores, etc., who has the proven expertise to do the job? This could be an individual or an agency.
  3. If a mix of trade and general-interest publications plus financial public relations and investor relations is required, is there any singular person who can provide the diverse support you need? And, if so, can you afford him or her?

The more expansive and sophisticated your communications activities become, the more you’ll benefit from the combined expertise of a number of professionals. Then too, it is at this stage that the campaign truly needs to be managed. Will you feel confident assigning that responsibility to an agency that is off­site, to people you see only periodically? Or, would you prefer to have a solid generalist on staff, someone with whom you can meet whenever you choose, to oversee the agency’s effort? One is not necessarily better than the other. It is truly a matter of personal style and preference.

Should you decide to retain an agency, here are some questions to ask:

  1. Have you ever worked on an account in this field before? (There is both pro and con on this.)
  2. Is our account conflictual with any other account in the agency?
  3. Please provide references we can check.
  4. Who are your clients?
  5. With whom in the agency will we be working? (Sometimes the person who makes the presentation is not the person who will service your account. You must have a rapport with your contact.)
  6. How will you position our product/service?

In accessing the company, look for open and honest answers. Look for distinguished clients, a successful track record, strong creative concepts, a talented staff, energy, enthusiasm, flexibility, and ambition.

Also look at how the agency plans to correlate your public relations and advertising activities. When they are cohesively planned and utilize the same theme, they cross-index and cross-­collateralize and provide maximum visibility for minimal expenditure.

As far as budget appropriation is concerned, agencies work in several ways: an hourly fee, a per-project fee, or a monthly retainer. Ask for a quotation and get several estimates. Plan to spend more on a new product/service launch than on an established one. Do appropriate an amount annually for public relations; stealing from another budget does not serve any area of the company well.

About the Author
Devon Blaine is experienced in all facets of the communications industry. Formerly an actress, model, and stunt driver, she founded the agency in 1975. Besides designing communications campaigns that help businesses maximize their success, she has long been active in numerous entrepreneurial organizations, thus earning a reputation as “the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur.” She has incorporated the knowledge gained from these ventures into the philosophy of The Blaine Group. The agency has an award-winning track record in serving the public relations needs of fast-track emerging-growth companies and major corporations alike.

She was three times president of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), a founding board member and a past president of the Los Angeles chapter of (NAWBO) National Association of Women Business Owners. Devon also serves as a mentor for the Stubbs Alderton & Markiles Precelerator, the South Bay Entrepreneurial Center, and the Innovation Incubator at Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

About The Blaine Group, Inc.
The Blaine Group specializes in developing and implementing public relations campaigns and marketing strategies as comprehensive communications campaigns or as stand-alone entities.  The firm represents many authors and fast-track, emerging-growth companies.  It also handles investor relations and financial public relations activities for its publicly-traded clients.  The Blaine Group is located at 8665 Wilshire Blvd., Suite #301, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.  The telephone number is 310.360.1499 Visit www.blainegroupinc.com.