Tag Archives: Preccelerator

Heidi Hubbeling Featured on Women Founders Network “An Insider’s Guide to Perfecting Your Investor Pitch”

While it seems that your fundraising journey may have been turned upside down because of COVID-19’s effects on the economy, rest assured there are still funders who are weathering the storm and actively looking for new deals. Although markets may change with the current economic circumstances, the process of fundraising and the criteria for creating a perfect pitch remains the same. Investors will be looking even more diligently into your specific market, competition, team domain expertise and the metrics of your company. At the Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP Preccelerator®, a Los Angeles based accelerator program for early-stage companies, we have a strong emphasis on fundraising technique and strategy. Audrey Delaney of StarMetrics, one of our recent cohort company founders, provides a window into what has made her fundraising journey successful. I’ll follow up with insights on how to apply her advice to your own investor pitch.

Heidi: How important is the role of “storytelling” in your pitch?


  • Audrey: “Storytelling is the most important part of the pitch. Interestingly, I’ve found that it’s even more important to investors who aren’t too familiar with your product or industry – for them, it’s even more important that the story be clear and pretty simple. What is a problem or change that’s happening in the industry/sector now, what is your “a-ha” insight that gives you a window into the future of that problem? For me, the more I could get my pitch down to a few short sentences, the bigger the potential people can see in it.”

Investors hear or see hundreds, if not thousands of pitches per year, and a strong founder story about the pathos of your idea can set you apart from the noise, showcasing the “Why You,” the “Why Now” and “Why This” of your company without loads of data – but with a memorable narrative. The data is very important but comes later in a pitch. Ultimately, they are investing in “you.”

Heidi: When you started attending investor meetings to pitch your company, what was the one consistent piece of information you were asked most about?


  • Audrey: “For my product specifically, the most consistent question came around TAM (Total Addressable Market). Many VCs and investors feel that entertainment is a difficult market, and too small of a TAM. I have had to make a clear story/ path for how my product can reach $100mil, and how the TAM is large enough to support that.”

While a large market by itself will not sell your product, if you are looking to be a venture-funded company, you will need to be addressing a market of hundreds of millions or $1B minimum. If your market is smaller, that’s totally okay – you can be a very lucrative small business, rather than a venture fundable business. I hear a lot that “we are taking a small sliver of a huge pie” or “we are going to get 2% of an enormous market,” but that’s not helpful to investors when fundraising — especially if not all of that market is relevant to your product or service.

It’s best to take a bottom-up approach in calculating your market. Show investors by your analysis that you have a great understanding of the market dynamics, the customer’s buying behavior, and what’s going to motivate a purchaser to adopt your product. Estimate potential sales in order to determine a total sales figure. Where will your products be sold? What are the sales of comparable products? How much of those current sales can your company steal from competitors?

Other information to have perfected in your pitch includes:


  1. Competitive Analysis – Never say “I have no competitors.” If there are no competitors – there is no market for your business. Define your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses compared to your company’s and where there are opportunities for your idea to flourish.

  2. Revenue Model – How will you make money? Investors need to see a clear path to a return on their investment. Find recurring revenue. Don’t rely solely on data-driven revenue or ads. Make sure whatever the path to revenue – you showcase it clearly in your pitch.

  3. Use of Proceeds and Needs – Make sure that you ask for enough funding to give you 18 months of runway (12 for performance, 6 for cushion while you fundraise again). Have your cost analysis completed to show to investors if they ask. Investors want to know what their funds will be used for (i.e. marketing, tech development, team growth), but also why you need THEM specifically. How can they be a resource to you on an advisory level or what partnerships and introductions can they make for you?

Heidi: How did your presentation style change from your very first pitch until today? Did you have to overcome any performance fears or challenges?


  • Audrey: “For me, I don’t have any real fears about speaking in public. But I have to work on making sure I come across as excited and enthusiastic, way more so than is my natural default mode – I’m pretty low key and analytical by nature. So for me, I have to put myself back into the mindset of when I first thought of the idea, and how exciting and game-changing that is – and then convey that.”

The bottom line is that you need to be confident and convey passion about your idea. If you are not comfortable as a public speaker – practice in front of people until you are. One of the benefits of joining an accelerator like the Preccelerator, programs like Women Founders Network’s Fast Pitch, or participating in one-off pitch events – is that you gain all of the necessary training to become comfortable and confident with your pitch. Many VCs would be happy to also give you valuable feedback on both your pitch deck and pitch presentation that you can utilize when you go to fundraise. If you have warm intros to willing investors in your network – don’t be afraid to ask!”

Heidi: Finally, what is one piece of advice that you would give a founder just starting out on their fundraising journey?


  • Audrey: “I knew that I was an expert in my product and industry, but not in the landscape of fundraising, VCs and so on. I think the best thing I did is to always be seeking and listening to those people with the experience you don’t have. For me, I needed to get expert insight on fundraising and how to grow – and so that was listening to mentors like SAM Preccelerator, angel investors, VCs, and other founders who had been through the process. There’s so much to figure out as a first-time founder, but there are a lot of people out there who know the path. And especially – if a few people are giving you the same piece of advice, it’s probably worth taking!”

Never stop learning. Surround yourself with individuals who have the experience and expertise that can take you and your company to the next level. Be coachable and heed guidance – but don’t bend like a reed in the wind with every different piece of advice. Be confident in your domain expertise and ability to build your idea!

To read the full article “An Insider’s Guide to Perfecting Your Investor Pitch” on WFN visit here. 
Heidi Hubbeling Leach
About the Author

HEIDI HUBBELING LEACH is the Chief Marketing Officer at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. Throughout her 12-year career with SA&M, Heidi has been a consummate team player with the firm’s continued growth. Heidi’s experience in professional services marketing, relationship building, business development strategy and entrepreneurship has aided her in leading the Preccelerator Program, an accelerator program for early-stage startup companies housed out of the Santa Monica offices of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles.

While this program began as a marketing initiative for the firm, it has grown into a venture-backed accelerator over the past 7 years and has demonstrated the dedication that the firm has for startups in the LA ecosystem. As COO of the Preccelerator, Heidi sourced and provided due diligence for hundreds of applicants, developed the Program curriculum, a formal mentorship program with over 100 active mentors, and built a Partner Program with various strategic corporate partners. Utilizing her network and fundraising expertise, Heidi continues to provide investment strategy and introductions to capital for both Preccelerator cohort companies and SA&M clients.

Preccelerator Webinar: Managing your Talent w/ Peter Deragon

Hiring the right talent for your company is just as crucial as having a great product. A team of talented and hardworking people not only aid the founders in taking their mission of building a successful company forward, but also helps build the right culture for a company. This workshop will explore the first things first in building your Startup Team and managing your talent.

If you did not have a chance to attend this workshop on managing your talent with peter Deragon, the entire webinar can be found here.

To view our other webinar events, please visit our events page. 


Peter Deragon
Managing Director
Global Sector Leader, Logistics Services
Global Sector Leader Capital Markets & Investment Banking

In his current role as Managing Director and Global Sector Leader at Stanton Chase’s Los Angeles office, Pete is active in North America leadership roles: in the Supply Chain, Logistics, & Transportation Group, which includes Aerospace and Aviation, the CFO Practice Group, and in Financial Services, where he started his career. Pete leads a diverse team of search consultants with senior-level experience in executive search for media, entertainment and television, technology, industrial, consumer products, not-for-profit, and life sciences & healthcare. Complementary to executive search, our offices provide high-level executive assessments and data-rich compensation reports for our clients.

Pete has 30-plus years of experience as a trusted adviser and manager in business-to-business environments. Based on a career begun in financial services that evolved into institutional sales and then executive search, Pete has called on hundreds of companies and organizations throughout the West. He has called many cities in California “home base,” namely San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, and Los Angeles. Now leading Stanton Chase’s Executive Search initiatives in California, our team serves public and private companies and public agency organizations across nine industry groups.

Our global collaboration ensures that our clients benefit from broad marketplace and domain knowledge, subject matter expertise, and vital executive connections. We apply proven processes to complete challenging executive search assignments. Pete has completed hundreds of senior assignments, and his technical expertise, solid support team, and high energy result in expeditious hires and repeat business.

Pete grew up in Southern California and earned a degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. When he is not pounding on a keyboard, meeting with his team, or interviewing, he can often be found racing motorcycles on one of California’s many local tracks.

To check out other events from the Preccelerator visit here.


Preccelerator Webinar: New Rules in Pricing w/ Per Sjofors

This presentation will cover the following topics and include several exercises to help you in your quest to price your services or products “right”.

• Why pricing has the highest leverage on profits.

• How we humans make our buying decisions, and how the seller can increasing customers’ willingness to pay.

• How to measure the customer perceived value of a product or service, and to translate it at the right price.

• How the seller can influence the buyer’s willingness to pay and buy, leading to higher sales at higher prices.

• How the current pandemic may have altered the decision landscape and how that may influence how companies market, sell. and price their product or service.

• The presentation is built on case studies and not theories.

Attendees will learn tips and techniques that can be implemented already the same day, and that drives higher sales volume at higher prices .

If you did not have a chance to attend this workshop on new rules for pricing with per Sjofors, the entire webinar can be found here.

To view our other webinar events, please visit our events page. 


Per Sjofors, Founder of Atenga Insights.

Pricing has always been an interest-area for Per. As a serial entrepreneur, running companies in Europe and the US, he did pricing experiments. Some of these worked spectacularly well, some did not work at all. As a result, Per founded Atenga out of his frustration that what business schools teach about pricing is too abstract, too academic for a business executive to act on. Likewise, with books about pricing. Consequently, he set out to make pricing practical and actionable. “Pricing for business people.” Since then, he has been at the forefront as a thought leader in everything pricing and he is a sought-after speaker for a variety of conferences and business circuits.

Per appears regularly on business radio shows and gets quoted regularly in the financial press, including Forbes, Fortune Magazine, Inc. Magazine, The Street, Industry Week, Business Insider, and the Financial Times.

To check out other events from the Preccelerator visit here.

Preccelerator Webinar: Elevate Your Brand with Laurel Mintz

Looking for a gateway into your brand’s marketing future? This enlightening mind map session will show you how to market your brand like a pro. We’ll outline multiple areas of opportunity so that you can skillfully represent your brand across all online and offline platforms. Get ready to elevate your brand!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
12:00PM – 1:30PM

*You will receive event link after registration*


With a J.D/M.B.A from Rutgers University, Laurel’s background has uniquely prepared her to run a successful agency. Inspired by the innovative consulting work she executed early in her career with prestigious brands like Le Bec Fin, Public House Restaurant Group, Bassett Furniture, and Julie Hewett Cosmetics, Laurel knew she wanted to play bigger. A decade later, Laurel has created an agency family, Elevate Your Brand, serving both startups and blue-chip global brands like Facebook, Verizon Digital Media Group, PAW Patrol, and Zendesk. Laurel’s favorite saying is FIOGID. Figure it out, get it done. And that’s exactly what’s brought the agency top talent and accolades since 2009.

Laurel sits on the Board of Directors for NFTE (Network for Teaching Leadership), the Women Founders Network, and the UCLA Restaurant Conference. She is a mentor for The Women’s Global Leaders Initiative and advises LAVA (Los Angeles Venture Association). Laurel wrote a weekly Inc. Magazine column appropriately entitled “On Brand” for three years. Her published work can be found in Entrepreneur, USA Today, The American Marketing Association and C-Suite Quarterly Magazine. Laurel and the agency have recently won the W3 Silver Award for the PAW Patrol Road Patrol Campaign, the 2017 Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Award, the LABJ Women in Business Award, Comerica and LA Lakers’ Women’s Business Award, amongst others. When she’s not wowing clients with amazing creative, you can find Laurel with her husband cuddling their furry kids Miso and Twizzler (food obsessed much?), or testing out a new recipe in the kitchen with a good glass of wine, of course.

Preccelerator Program Class 13 Demo Day + Angel Investor Panel

Preccelerator ® Program Class 13 Demo Day + Angel Investor Panel – Cohort companies get a chance to pitch to investors + fellow founders.

Clear your calendar – It’s going down!

The Preccelerator ® Program Class 13 Demo Day kicks off on February 26th @ 6:00 pm, and you’re invited to take part in the festivities.

Preccelerator cohort companies are early stage, and we work hand in hand with them throughout their term to know their market and users, foster their leadership skills, build and test their product, avoid legal pitfalls, ensure the defensibility of their products, acquire users and partnerships and prepare them for the fundraising process. Now it’s time to showcase their efforts.

Class 13 Company Pitches

As people become more passionate about a hobby or activity, the related items they want become more customized, expensive, or harder to find. Auxxit is an innovative mobile marketplace platform that brings together communities of like-minded people and provides them with peer-to-peer commerce tools that make it easier and more fun to discuss, buy, and sell their passion-based items. Our solution provides hobbyists with easier access to reasonably priced goods and quick cash to make upgraded purchases. Visit https://www.auxxit.com/

UNOMI is a SaaS for animators and video game developers. UNOMI leverages advanced, patent-pending voice recognition and motion capture technology that automates a lot of the most time-consuming aspects of animation production. Our voice recognition software understands human speech in multiple languages. This allows animators to easily create the speech of multiple 2D and 3D animated characters and for some, UNOMI gives them the ability to create content on a daily basis. UNOMI’s motion capture software will give content creators the ability to easily track human movement within their home or studio, which will eliminate the need to rent expensive motion capture studio space and equipment. Large-scale animation studios will be able to drastically reduce costs allowing them to create more content in a significantly shorter amount of time. UNOMI will also be releasing an Augmented Reality and VR, 3D object plugin for Adobe software which will allow users to easily implement and animate 3D objects quickly and easily. Each UNOMI software will be intuitive, which will eliminate a learning curve for most users. Visit www.getunomi.com


Investor Panel

Investors will be joining us from Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels, and Women Founders Network.

More details to follow!

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 Workshop: Employment Law for Startups with Rachael Lavi

“Employment Law for Startups”
Presented by Rachel Lavi

Rachael Lavi, an Attorney specializing in Labor and Employment matters in California, will be speaking on the top employment law risks for startup companies in California, including: (1) best practices for hiring employees; (2) independent contractors and misclassification issues; (3) how to utilize interns; and other significant legal risks.

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019
12:00PM – 1:30PM


Rachael S. Lavi, Associate, Littler Mendelson

Rachael S. Lavi advises and represents employers in all matters of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour claims. Rachael has vast experience representing clients in litigation in both California state and and federal court, as well as before state and federal agencies, such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the Public Employment Relations Board, and the National Labor Relations Board.

In addition to managing a diverse litigation docket, Rachael also provides clients with direct advice and counsel to help her clients come to the best legal and business decisions regarding compliance with state and federal employment and labor laws, including wage and hour requirements, leaves of absence, paid sick leave, handbooks and written employment policies, best practices for hiring, disciplining, and terminating employees.

During law school, Rachael was a judicial extern for the Hon. Andrew Wistrich of the U. S. District Court, Central District of California and was a volunteer law clerk for the Cancer Legal Resource Center. She was a lead articles editor on the Pepperdine Law Review, a teaching assistant, and a magister of the legal honor society, Phi Delta Phi. As an undergraduate, she was an intern for Hagen Resources International in Switzerland and U. S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

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.

Save the Date – Preccelerator Class 12 Demo Day

Clear your calendar – It’s going down!


The Preccelerator ® Program Class 12 Demo Day kicks off on November 13th @ 6:00 pm, and you’re invited to take part in the festivities.

What a wild ride it has been! Preccelerator cohort companies are early stage, and we work hand in hand with them throughout their term to know their market and users, foster their leadership skills, build and test their product, avoid legal pitfalls, ensure the defensibility of their products, acquire users and partnerships and prepare them for the fundraising process. Now it’s time to showcase their efforts!




Expy Health is a digital health platform designed to optimize orthopedic recovery. The platform helps patients prepare for & recover from orthopedic surgery while improving clinical efficiency through remote monitoring. By tracking real-time data, they are able to provide health analytics and insights that lead to increased patient engagement and better health outcomes. Working with healthcare providers, they deliver the tools to educate and support patients during at-home rehabilitation which expedites recovery and reduces costs.

Visit https://expyhealth.com/



nēdl (as in, “the haystack”) is a free app that converts audio into text so radio listeners can search live content as easily as they search the web— by keywords (being said at this moment!), and songs & artists (being played right now!)— and, then discover what comes next on over 120,000 live radio stations worldwide.

Users can even add their own voices to the live search results of premium live news, sports, talk to become searchable by the words they say. It’s as simple as tapping the microphone button in the app to go live – no signup necessary.

Visit www.nedl.com/

Checkplis believes people should feel like they are visiting friends when they go out for a meal or drinks with their friends. It’s all about the experience. They are solving the last mile problem of the hospitality industry service. Whether a solo lunch, a brunch with girlfriends or a table with friends at a club, paying the check can ruin what otherwise would be a great experience after an amazing meal or drinks with friends.

Checkplis is a mobile app integrated into POS systems so customers can pay, tip and split the check themselves, all from their phones. They are strategic partners and experience creators for restaurant, bar and nightclub industry leaders.

Visit www.checkplis.com

Trufl is an on-demand seating platform that allows guests to wait less at busy restaurants by bidding on the next available table. The total amount bid may be used as a credit towards their food and beverage dining experience. The Trufl platform includes a guest profile CRM system that allows restaurants to create a more personalized hospitality experience. Trufl also allows restaurants to managed their waitlist, seated guests, and floor plan.

Visit www.truflapp.com


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

Preccelerator Chairman and Board Member Scott Alderton Featured on SoCalTech

socaltechPreccelerator Chairman and Board Member and Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Managing Partner, Scott Alderton, was featured this month on SocalTech Interviews series. In his interview with Ben Kuo, founder and editor of SoCalTech.com, Scott discusses the Preccelerator Program and its offerings, as well as his top pieces of advice for startup entrepreneurs.

Scott Alderton is a Founding Partner of the Firm, Managing Partner, and a member of the Firm’s executive committee.  Scott is co-chair of the Firm’s Venture Capital and Emerging Growth practice group. Scott is also Chairman and a Board Member of the Preccelerator.

Scott advises clients across a number of industries, including software, technology, digital media, interactive entertainment and video games, cyber security and life sciences.

Scott’s practice focuses on advising early stage to middle-market technology and emerging growth companies in all aspects of capital formation, venture capital and finance, corporate and securities laws, mergers and acquisitions, high technology, intellectual property, licensing, interactive entertainment and video games, the internet,digital media, manufacturing and distribution of goods in commerce and commercial contracts. Scott also regularly advises senior executive officers with respect to employment, compensation and equity incentives.  Scott is frequently referenced as one of the top “start-up” lawyers in Southern California, and with over thirty years of experience working with technology and emerging growth companies at all stages along their evolutionary path, is sought out for his business as well as legal advice.

Scott is a frequent speaker on matters relating to technology, intellectual property, capital formation, capital raising transactions and emerging growth companies, and was formerly an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law school, teaching securities regulation.

To learn more about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth practice, contact Scott Alderton at (818) 444-4500 or salderton@stubbsalderton.com

Preccelerator Workshop: UX Primer for Entrepreneurs w/ Rich Abronson

“UX Primer for Entrepreneurs”
Presented by Rich Abronson

User experience design is much more than creating “clean” interfaces or deciding where to place buttons. In actuality, the UX design process is key to knowing your target users, defining core features, and uncovering your minimally valuable product (MVP). From the start-up perspective, this session will introduce entrepreneurs to the concepts, expectations, and techniques for bringing the user experience design process into the mix. This session will discuss:

  • What UX is (and isn’t) and why it’s important
  • UX costs and how to incorporate it into your strategy
  • The UX process including brainstorming, feature prioritization, and usability testing

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
12:00PM – 1:30PM


Rich AbronsonRich Abronson
Founder and User Experience Designer – Zero 2 Eleven

Zero 2 Eleven was founded by Rich Abronson, a veteran Internet professional and entrepreneur with an extensive, multidisciplinary background leading online product development, marketing, and user-experience design. Rich began his career as a Web designer in 1995, and has been engaged in shaping, defining, and communicating the online experience ever since.

Rich is an entrepeneur, and he created Zero 2 Eleven for entrepreneurs. In 2006, he co-founded a profitable mobile publishing platform company, Gumiyo, that was successfully sold in 2013. As a co-founder, Rich was immersed in many aspects of the tech start-up world including product and business development, fund-raising, and marketing. Rich continues to be involved in the Los Angeles tech start-up community, a.k.a. Silicon Beach, as a general partner for Accordance Ventures and board member of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA).

As a result of this experience, Rich understands the mindset to create something from nothing, and he empathizes with the tension that exists between boundless creativity and scarce resources. With that, Zero 2 Eleven seeks to help the small business or online startup conceptualize and realize web and mobile projects in a manner that balances this tension.

Zero 2 Eleven encourages active collaboration with clients who want to solve problems, fill market needs, and build cool stuff. With that, Rich becomes part of the team, and invests himself in the results.


LinkedIn | Website

*User-experience design, online marketing, product development, business development, fund-raising

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.