Tag Archives: Stubbs Alderton & Markiles

SA&M Preccelerator® Announces Addition of $50,000 Cash and Services Investment to Program Offerings

Preccelerator

The Preccelerator® has added a cash component and legal services to its already robust package of offerings for early-stage startups

LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 8th, 2018 (Newswire.com) – The Preccelerator® Program, an early-stage startup accelerator focused on technology and digital media companies, announced today that, with its next class starting in January 2019, it will provide an unrestricted cash investment of $25,000 to each participant company, and will add to the already robust perks package $25,000 in legal services from Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. The addition of the investment and services demonstrates a continued commitment to the Los Angeles tech community by Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP and the Preccelerator.

The cash investment and additional services will go into effect for Class 11 companies, with the class beginning on January 7th, 2019. The application period has been reopened for any founders interested in submitting their companies for review. The application deadline is December 4, 2018. You may submit your company application at www.preccelerator.com/application.

This announcement comes a few months after the expansion to the new Preccelerator office, located at 1316 3rd Street Promenade, which both increased the co-working space for in-house companies and increased event space. The Preccelerator remains strategically in the heart of Santa Monica to provide a technology hub that is close to many valuable educational and networking events, tech culture and other resources to facilitate company growth.

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 six years, 39 companies have graduated the Program, 27 of which have received funding, totaling over $12.5M in the aggregate.

Scott Alderton, managing Partner of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and Chairman of the Preccelerator commented, “An investment component is a natural outgrowth to the already robust package we offer participating companies in the Preccelerator, and frankly, is long overdue. We continue to evaluate ways we can serve the technology community and obviously a cash investment goes a long way towards the likelihood that participants in the Preccelerator will ultimately raise a significant round and become successful. The success we are seeing in the Program gives us great confidence, so we are doubling down on our commitment.”

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 $450,000 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 apply to the Preccelerator, visit www.preccelerator.com/application.

To read the full press release, click here.

Contact:
Heidi Hubbeling
Chief Operating Officer, Preccelerator® Program
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com
310-746-9803

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Preccelerator Alumni Company Napkin Finance Partnered with JP Morgan Chase Bank

 Napkin FinanceCongratulations to Preccelerator alumni company founder Tina Hay on their recent partnership with JP Morgan Chase Bank to provide insight into topics like determining your risk tolerance, diversification, and rebalancing your portfolio.

You can check out the financial literacy campaign here.

We’re very proud of your success!

About Napkin FInance
“Everything about money in 30 seconds or less.”™ Napkin Finance is a multimedia company that grew out of their own needs for a better way to learn and understand finance. They developed their platform as a quick and easy resource on everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less. Napkin Finance’s mission is to empower their readers to manage their money and understand basic financial concepts in a simple, fun and engaging way.
For more information about Napkin Finance, visit www.napkinfinance.com

For more about the Preccelerator® Program or to apply,  contact Heidi Hubbeling, COO at (310) 746-9803 or hhubbeling@100.26.91.60

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SA&M Preccelerator ® Program Announces Milestone Tenth Class of Companies + Location Move!

To accommodate this growth, Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ accelerator, The Preccelerator, is moving to expand its coworking space for companies in Santa Monica.

PrecceleratorLOS ANGELES, Calif., August 6, 2018 (Newswire.com) – The Preccelerator® Program, a Santa Monica, California-based early-stage startup accelerator focused on digital media and technology companies, announced today that it is moving its Santa Monica offices as a result of its growth as it adds its milestone tenth class of companies featuring six innovative startups including AlgoPay, CheckPlis, HaloLoop, Screen Door Labs, Star Metrics and UNOMI.

The new Preccelerator office, located at 1316 3rd Street Promenade Suite 107, both increases the co-working space for the in-house companies and increases event space. The Preccelerator strategically remains in the heart of Santa Monica to provide a technology hub that is close to many valuable educational and networking events, tech culture and other resources to facilitate their growth. The expansion also demonstrates the continued commitment to the Los Angeles tech community that Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is well known for. To celebrate the tenth class milestone and new office, the Preccelerator will host an open house in September.

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 six years, 37 companies have graduated the Program, of which 26 have received funding totaling over $11.5M.

Scott Alderton, managing Partner of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and Chairman of the Preccelerator commented, “When we founded the Preccelerator in 2012, and convinced 3 fledgling startups to move into our space and work with us, we had no idea we could end up where the Preccelerator is today. We conceived this model of offering co-working office space in conjunction with sophisticated startup legal services. We now offer that plus access to over 100 seasoned mentors that actively assist in growth and success, a sophisticated curriculum, access to our network of investors through investment strategy sessions, Meet the VC Luncheons, Demo Day and targeted investor introductions, plus a robust Preccelerator Perks Portfolio with over $450,000 worth of discounted services and benefits to help our cohorts succeed and cut overhead expenses. To say the very least, I’m incredibly proud of what our team has created, and the leadership we demonstrate every day in the Los Angeles tech community.”

Preccelerator® Program Class 10 companies include:

AlgoPay is a borderless e-bank that enables refugees to store and withdraw payments from anywhere. Along with not having access to standard payment systems like PayPal, a majority of refugees also have no place to store their income. On the macro-scale, there’s a borderless population of 67 million unbanked individuals, and on the micro-scale, some of the world’s most vulnerable people are carrying all of their savings in cash with no place to manage funds. AlgoPay operates like both an e-wallet and an ATM. Users can store their income in AlgoPay’s digital wallet, and similar to Western Union, they can withdraw payments at any Algo vendor location— totally bankless. Algo Pay is currently running pilots in Turkey + Jordan and have signed a partnership with UpWork as the first user of Algo’s payment network.

CheckPlis believes people should feel like they are visiting friends when they go out for a meal or drinks. It’s all about the experience. Checkplis is a mobile app integrated into POS systems enabling customers to pay, tip and split the check themselves, all from their phones. Checkplis increases table turnover and efficiency for restaurants and bars and simplifies the checkout experience for consumers.

HaloLoop is a Santa Monica based mobile software company that is reinventing the way people and religious organizations engage with each other. We are a marketplace and live streaming service where people can help others connect to live religious services and donate.
Screen Door Labs created ARescue, an Augmented Reality team communication software for “boots on the ground”. Built for first responders, the system organizes and displays data onto AR glasses. First responders have access to 2D and 3D maps, as well as geotags and video, feeds from drone operators and other responders. ARescue allows first responders to work safer, respond faster, and communicate better as a team.

Star Metrics is an entertainment analytics platform and suite of tools designed to make the casting, financing and forecasting process easier for content creators. With StarMetrics, users can easily discover new talent and understand the value of actors, directors and other entertainers across many data points, such as international appeal, social media reach, or box office impact. StarMetrics provides predictive intelligence and analytics that empowers creators, advertisers, investors and other stakeholders to succeed in an increasingly global and complex content marketplace.

UNOMI is a SaaS for animators and video game developers. UNOMI leverages advanced 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.

For more information about the Preccelerator® Program, visit
www.preccelerator.com.

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, video game, 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 https://preccelerator.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 $450,000 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 apply to the Preccelerator, visit www.preccelerator.com/application.

Contact:
Heidi Hubbeling
Chief Operating Officer, Preccelerator® Program
hhubbeling@100.26.91.60
310-746-9803

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Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Marc Kenny on “Selling Your Business”

Stubbs Aderton & Markilstartup superhero series marc kennyes and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring Stubbs Alderton & Markiles attorney Marc Kenny on “Selling Your Business.”

Marc Kenny is a partner at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. Marc’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private securities offerings, cross-border transactions, and other strategic transactions representing private equity funds, independent sponsors, family offices as well as public and private corporations.

 

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Speaker: Marc Kenny

Moderator: Heidi Hubbeling

Heidi: Talk to me a little bit about your background, how you got to be in mergers and acquisitions and private equity. Also, how you came to be with the firm.

Marc: Sure, I have been practicing for a little over twenty years, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, representing private equity funds, financial sponsors, family offices, corporate strategic and a range of transactions, both here in LA, London and in Silicon Valley. I came to the firm recently after working at another large firm over the years.

Heidi: One of the things we are going to talk about today is with mergers and acquisitions on the seller side, we are going to talk about the ins and outs of that. What are some of the preliminary considerations that a business needs to think about when they go to sell their business.

Marc: I usually start when I meet with an owner who’s interested in selling. I usually start with a series of questions to understand a little more about how they are approaching the process. I ask them “why are you interested in selling?”  “Do you intend to stay with the business after the sale?” “Can the business operate efficiently without you? If not, why not?” “What gaps do you have in managing the team?” “Are there family members or members of the management team who want to continue in the business after the sale?” On the operational side I also ask them, the financial history of the firm over the past 3-5 years of what their growth prospects are going forward. If there is customer concentration, I ask them about that. If they are in a regulated space I ask them regulatory issues they have had over the past few years. Going forward, what kind of regulatory issues they see having in their horizon.

Heidi: It’s a complicated process, a lot of people don’t quite understand. It’s not like selling personal property or your home.  Can a business do this alone? Or do they need a team to back them up?

Marc: Yes, selling your company is a process that is complicated and intense – I often say it’s a marathon that feels like a sprint. The challenge for a business owner is to run an effective sales process and at the same time managing its business. Don’t jeopardize the business because you have been distracted on the sales process. A way for them to do that is two things: one is they have to assemble an internal team at the company – a small group that you can rely on and have confidence in to work with you on the sales process and at the same time.  The goal is for you to keep running your business. The better your business grows during this process the more leverage you have with the buyers. In order to do that, you have to hire outside business advisors. Particularly, outside advisors that have done lots of M&A  transactions. Second, you’d be well advised to hire external advisors who regularly work on M&A transactions. You need an investment banker, accounting firm, wealth management advisor.  For all involved in a sale, it’s important to seek the advice of a wealth management advisor, investment banker – not only will a great banker get you in front of the right prospective buyers (strategic or financial), they’ll also be able to create a story that corresponds with your historical financial performance with your potential for future growth.  And then law firms again, you may have used law firms for real estate, company contracts, but you need to have lawyers who are adept in M&A transactions.

Heidi: Internally what should these businesses do to prepare themselves. Both the owners as well as the team to prepare themselves for this kind of transaction.

Marc: The goal is to become “transaction ready” before engaging with the buyers. By “transaction ready” I mean you have looked both at the good, the bad, the ugly with your business. You should be very honest with yourself about the business, as financial, then as legal, etc. Really the reason for that is if you provide accurate information, to position correctly with your buyer, you will increase the confidence with your prospective buyers and increase the value of your company.  We recommend “sell side” due diligence to basically start as if you were the buyer and you start with your management team and the external counsel or advisors, you start going through the due diligence list. Make sure that all the intellectual property in the business you own, that material customers contracts are all in order and they are not due to be terminated soon, that all regulatory issues have been resolved, confirm you have proper documentation for all stock issuances and equity grants. Again, it is a very exhausting process and that is the reason why you need to have external advisors to help you through the process to help you focus on your business.

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To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@100.26.91.60.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP Preccelerator® Program Announces Its Ninth Class of Companies

LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 28, 2018 (Newswire.com) – The Preccelerator ® Program, a Santa Monica, California-based accelerator program for early- stage startup companies in the digital media and technology space, announced today that it has added its ninth class of companies featuring three innovative startups.

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 five years, 37 companies have graduated the Program, of which 24 have received funding totaling over $11.2M.

Louis Wharton, President of the Preccelerator states, “Class 9 is representative of the diverse Southern California tech ecosystem, showcasing fintech, e-commerce and social connectivity.  We’re thrilled to partner with these founding teams as they accelerate development and deployment of their market solutions.”

Preccelerator® Program Class 9 companies include:

PayClub, Inc.payclub – Payclub is the easiest way to organize and collect money with a group. Payclub can be used for any type of group, which we call “clubs.” Payclub enables you to manage the entire process directly from your phone with a few simple taps, empowering groups to come together and gain insight without the need for spreadsheets or outdated systems. Whether you are collecting for your club or organization, to planning that next getaway with friends, Payclub will help bring both your group’s finances and the people who matter most, together.  Based out of Los Angeles, CA, the team is founded by tech, financial, and sales veterans who had a deep need for a solution to managing funds together. It’s time to #JoinTheClub.

Loved Lots, Inc.loved lots – Loved lots offers the best in premium
pre-loved baby goods in one safe and easy to use marketplace.  Buyers enjoy the best selection of top-of-the-line baby gear and Sellers benefit from a marketplace of Buyers who know the value of quality baby goods.  We’ve eliminated awkward cash exchanges and offer a variety of shipping and delivery options to fit your needs.  Rest assured with our Buyer and Seller Protection Programs and feel good knowing that a portion of each sale goes to help children and families in need.

Fork & Spoon, LLCfork & spoon – Connect. Cook. Share. Creating a culinary delight for someone is one of the most genuine expressions of care. Fork & Spoon revolutionizes the dating app paradigm by combining the joy of a home cooked meal with the convenience of a mobile app. Realize or extend your passion for cooking and experience what it’s like to Fork & Spoon.  Put a spark in your day by sharing your culinary adventure stories and even your #kitchenfails with our unique community. Welcome to a place where relationships start with the magic of sharing.

For more information about the Preccelerator® Program, visit www.preccelerator.com.

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, brand protection 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, video game, 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 https://preccelerator.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 $350,000 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 50 active strategic mentors providing free office hours and discounted services, and provides over 50-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, expand benefits to accepted companies, and will look to make strategic investments backed by strategic angel investors. To apply to the Preccelerator, visit www.preccelerator.com/application.

Contact:
Heidi Hubbeling
Chief Operating Officer, Preccelerator ® Program
hhubbeling@100.26.91.60
310-746-9803

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Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Preccelerator Mentor Mark Wald on “Mentor Partnerships & Financial Modeling with BallParq.io”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring Preccelerator Mentor Mark Wald as he talks about “Mentor Partnership & Financial Modeling with BallParq.io.”

Mark is an innovative problem solver who values simplicity, efficiency, and collaboration between people and organizations, with strong experience in financial modeling and data analytics to inform and support quick decisions on complex issues. Specific experience developing, deploying, and supporting new technologies to thousands of retail locations using 3rd party logistics and service providers.  Professional specialties: Financial strategy & fundraising, sourcing business opportunities, conserving resources, enabling people, satisfying customers, analyzing complex data.

 

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To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@100.26.91.60.

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Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Preccelerator Mentor Andrey Kudievskiy on “Startup Teams & Tech”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring Preccelerator Mentor Andrey Kudievskiy as he talks about “Startup Teams & Tech.”

IT executive, Serial entrepreneur, CEO and Founder at Distillery.com, and named one of the 25 Inspiring Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by Inc. Magazine.  Andrey Kudievskiy started his career in tech at the age of 19 while working on his degree in computer science. Within five years Andrey had established his first company and played a key role in creating a successful cloud synchronization startup that was sold to a Fortune 500 company. A serial entrepreneur and talented developer in his own right, he is currently focused on enabling other entrepreneurs to build businesses and continuing Distillery’s expansion in the U.S. and international markets.

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Transcript

 

Speaker: Andrey Kudievskiy

Moderator: Heidi Hubbeling

Startup Superhero Series Featuring Andrey Kudievskiy on “Startup Teams & Tech”

Heidi: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background and a little bit about Distillery.

Andrey: Absolutely! Distillery is a full-service software development company located here in Santa Monica. We like working with startups as well as enterprise clients. Now we are focusing on stack technology design and development. A little bit about myself, you can tell by my accent, that I came from Russia. Just a few years ago, not knowing anyone here in the States, I had a burning desire to build a business and to help other companies succeed in the area where I have a lot of knowledge and assist in technology. That’s how Distillery started  – and so far, we have been successful. This year we got on the Inc. 5000 list for the fastest growing companies in North America. I hope that we position ourselves for the next year as well.

Heidi: Congratulations on that, that’s a huge honor! You are one of the mentors of the program and Distillery, in the Los Angeles tech scene, is one of the premier agencies for startups. What do you like most of working with startups? I know you are one of the mentors of program. Distillery is one of the most well-respected agencies in Los Angeles and you work with a lot of entrepreneurs. What do you like most?

Andrey: Sure, I like working with startups because you can quickly see the value of the work you do. You can see the results of your work. When you meet someone, let’s say your friend on the street and you ask them to “hey can you show me your phone” and see the application I have developed and you can say “wow!” That is just pure happiness. That is when I feel my life is accomplished. Versus working with enterprises when you can work with them for years and years for one of the projects. When it’s released its just a small part of something huge, you don’t really feel like you’ve contributed enough.

Heidi: It doesn’t feel as impactful. When you work with younger stage startup you feel like you become part of their team. On that note, some of the advice that you give with startups. What advice do you give them when they are selecting a stack? What kind of stack do they need to select to be most successful?

Andrey: For technology stack as startups, what I like to say is that they don’t need to overthink it. All the companies who try to build something big in the beginning they go all in. They don’t test the market. They don’t really know what it is. It’s rather important to release something, test the market, see if people use it and then adjust as needed. When people do something enterprise scale for a startup, they spend months and months for development and end up being behind the time curve. So, they are late to the market. We try to build something at a scale you need right now. Something small, go to the market test it. Do the alpha version, the beta version do the public release later. Then at the end when you see that your idea is valuable, its fine to go and rebuild some of the parts. You will lose 50% of your time on building something with the right technology stack, but then this product will do better in the market.

Heidi: What are some of the pros and cons of hiring an internal vertical team versus hiring a team like Distillery, an outside tech team?

Andrey: I think the ideal scenario is when there is a ­­­combination. A tech team that will help you on stuff and you have an extension. A company like Distillery who would just help you move faster. When you don’t have enough resources, you cannot move fast enough or maybe some parts of the projects are simply outside of your core expertise. That’s when bringing an agency would be meaningful. It would help you. Outsourcing everything and giving control to an agency doesn’t seem right to me.

Heidi: I think so, because when you outsource without having a technical strategist that is overseeing development internally. If you don’t have that person that is vested in your idea and you fully outsource then you just have somebody whose just project-based developing it. When they’re done, they walk away from the project and walk away from your idea.

Andrey: You must have a vision. You must be able to provide a clear direction. Of course, the digital part of it that you choose. They need to be comfortable adding something to your idea. Advising, according to their expertise what to do and what not to do. At the same time, I feel that getting a technical co-founder for the team really does miracles.

Heidi: Absolutely, so let’s go back to the Preccelerator a little bit. Not to be self-serving, but we really appreciate you as a mentor and you’ve provided great value thus far with your mentorship. What are some of your favorite things about working with the Preccelerator and working with our companies.

Andrey: Well, first thank you so much for having me. The Preccelerator is an amazing group of people and amazing group of potentially big startups and companies, that I see will really grow. To me the value is talking to those young entrepreneurs, seeing them to be in my shoes 5 years ago maybe three years ago depends on how fast they will grow. And exchange knowledge, bounce some ideas around. I also like helping people. That keeps me motivated. When I see that I prevented one person from making the same mistake that I made 5 years ago. That’s the best I can do.

Heidi: I think that’s the definition of true wisdom. When companies take advice from somebody that has already been through that cycle, through that path. Rather than making those mistakes on their own. That’s very valuable. Appreciate you being here and we will see you all at the next startup superhero series.

Andrey Kudievskiy
Distillery
andrey@distillery.com

 

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To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@100.26.91.60.

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Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Preccelerator Mentor Lisa Tsou on “Fundraising Tactics”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring Preccelerator Mentor Lisa Tsou as she talks about “Fundraising  Tactics.”

Lisa Tsou provides independent strategy and solutions for entrepreneurs so they can grow their businesses to the next level. She is passionate about working with innovative entrepreneurs and startups to develop unique strategies to grow and fund their businesses. Whether you are a startup on the track for traditional venture-capital financing or an entrepreneur on a more offbeat path, she can collaborate with you to develop and implement a creative and practical strategy for success. Lisa also speaks regularly on issues related to startups, tech and women in business. She has been a featured speaker at events including The West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference, The SoGal Summit, The USC Graduate Women in Business Summit, Women Founders Network, and Bruin Entrepreneurs, and appeared in publications including The Huffington Post, CNBC, GenHERation and E The Magazine for Today’s Female Executive and the Business Rockstars program.

 

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Transcript

Speaker: Lisa Tsou

Moderator: Heidi Hubbeling

Startup Superhero Series-Intro with Lisa Tsou “Fundraising Tactics”

Heidi: Today we are featuring Lisa Tsou of the Winning Pitch and Lisa is one of our mentors here at the Preccelerator. She specializes in fundraising, pitch-investor decks, helping companies with their formal presentation as well as other kinds of strategies for fundraising. Tell us a little bit about yourself and thank you for being here.

Lisa: Thanks Heidi. I started working with startups back twenty years ago this year, when I graduated from law school. Spent many years on Wall Street doing Venture Capital, Ipos, mergers and acquisitions, all with tech and startup companies. Spent my whole career on startups and am now concentrating on the part I really enjoy which is the growth part of startups. Working with startups on their fundraising, their investor strategy and positioning for investors.

Heidi: All very important things, especially at this stage within the Preccelerator and other startup companies in this Los Angeles ecosystem. Going back to the fundraising and preparing the pitch presentation, what exactly are investors looking for when companies are starting that fundraising process?

Lisa: I think the best way to think about what investors are looking for is to think of it as a risk reward ratio. Basically, venture capitalists are looking for a really big reward and as small a risk as possible. They’re looking for things with really big markets or things a consumer or a business would be using with a lot of frequency. Something that can get really big and then they are trying to find things with as little risk with the really big as possible. Things that would be considered as something like a risk would be does your product work? Does the consumer like it? Things like what other competition might be out there? I like to think of it as that kind of ratio.

Heidi: That’s a great way to look at it. In a life-cycle of a company, especially with these early stage companies When is the right time to start fundraising? What are those key metrics?

Lisa: I’m going to say something that I know is going to sound really contradictory, but it’s a combination of as late as possible and earlier than you think. A lot of startups go “oh I should go out there and find a venture capitalist to fund me” without thinking through when do they really need the capital? Can they go a little longer? The longer you can go without outside financing, the stronger position you’re in. If you go very early, the venture capitalist is going to take a lot of your company control and you are not going to get as much capital as you would like. So, on one hand think as late as possible on the other hand, from that point start earlier than you think. It’s going to take longer to get in front of investors, get them comfortable with you and build that relationship. From that point when you think you need capital, I would say start certainly start six to nine months earlier than that.

Heidi: The due diligence process by itself once you actually have somebody who is interested in funding you can take four, six, eight months at that point. Also, figuring out whether or not venture capital funding is right for you, versus angel investors versus small business loans. Whatever funding that type of company might need depending on their scalability.

Lisa: Absolutely! Investors are going to ask questions and you may need to think things through or vet some other elements of your business before they will write a check.

Heidi: What are your tactics? What do you suggest to startups when they start looking for funding? How can they get in front of an investor or a VC?

Lisa: It’s a combination of research and somehow wrangling a warm introduction. The research part being finding the right VC or investor depending on their situation. That makes sense for them. How big a check the investor generally writes and the industries they may be comfortable with investing in. Doing that research which will take time and then wrangling your warm introduction to get to them. A lot of investors are not going to be receptive just cold email or blind submissions to them. Working your way through your network, which may be a five or six step process to finding the person who knows a person, who knows a person, who knows a person, to getting in-front of that investor.

Heidi: That’s very important. So, you have been a value and a resource to the Preccelerator program. What are some of your favorite things about being a mentor here, about the program and working with the companies?

Lisa: I really enjoy working with the Preccelerator. As I said I was an attorney at one point doing this kind of work. It’s fun being around really smart people like at Stubbs Alderton and the other mentors who are also awesome. I just love working with the companies. I think you put together a really smart batch of companies who are doing a lot of interesting things in different industries. It’s always fun to come over here and hangout for a couple of hours and see what they’re doing and see if I can help them.

Heidi: I am proud of them! It was great to have you here and we will see you guys next time at the Startup Superhero Series.

Lisa Tsou
The Winning Pitch
lisa@winningpitch.com

 

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To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@100.26.91.60.

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Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Preccelerator Alumni Andrew Cheeseman on “Empathy in Entrepreneurship”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring Preccelerator alumni Andrew Cheeseman, as he talks about “Empathy in Entrepreneurship.”

Andrew is a proven leader in both sales and marketing in startups and large organizations PLUS a successful startup with an exit.  He is passionate about turning customers’ experiences into revenue and retention. He has deep experience in the software market and loves to build relationships.  Andrew’s gift is to inspire leaders to innovate. Combining creativity, leadership, and technology, he also develops game-changing solutions and products with and for industry leaders.  Andrew grows businesses through innovation, partnerships, and sales, to create profitable new revenue.  He creates vision, influences stakeholders to secure funds, and organizes teams to drive business.   He instigates growth through product and market innovation, and through building internal and external networks.

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Transcript

Speaker: Andrew Cheeseman

Moderator: Heidi Hubbeling 

 

Startup Superhero Series – Empathy in Entpreneurship 

Heidi: So, we want to talk a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey today. What made you take the wild leap into entrepreneurship?  

Andrew: Well, I had been interested in being a creator of things for a long time. Also, I am interested in impact, areas that have a lot of impact. My particular passions are for mind, body, health and community and connectiveness. I was really excited about creating things that could incorporate all these together. 

Heidi: What are some of your favorite things? What do you really love about it?  

Andrew: Apart from those things, the creation the impact and the passions –  I have some interests as well. I love people and what you can do with connecting people. I love creating systems. My belief is that you can’t really grow unless you can delegate. You can’t really delegate unless you have system in place. I just love that stuff. 

Heidi: I think it’s one of those lessons that we all learn. It’s one of those things that can direct us to successes, the organizations and being able to create those systems in place to get you to that next level.  Let’s talk a little bit about Team(You). Talk to us about what Team(You) is and along the journey with Team(You), what was your proudest moment?  

Andrew: Team(You) is a system that addresses one of the issues that is happening in schools. Its widespread. The problem is around learning and apathy and teacher retention. These are all interrelated. Team(You) is a system that addresses those, by creating a culture of empathy vs. apathy. It’s a software based system where students earn points for things like empathy and kindness and service. You asked about what are my most proudest, moments. I think my proudest moment was when we got our first school up and running. Just seeing those points roll in. Realizing, whereas the norm in the industry is about 15% user adoption we had 98% user adoption, we are very proud of that. 

Heidi: You guys really entered a time in the market, where you could really make a difference. It was before there was legislation involved that required incentive based learning as a positive reinforcement. You really had an impact from the start.  

Andrew: Exactly, it was. In fact, we – as of the end last semester, had 30,000 students enrolled who were collectively engaged in the system for 2.2 million hours per month.   

Heidi: Wow, that is very exciting. So, you had those successes. Along your full entrepreneurial journey what’s an important lesson that you learned? What is something you can give back as a lesson of wisdom for other entrepreneurs? 

Andrew: I think the biggest lesson is this lesson around empathy. My company is based on empathy which gave me a particular lens to look at, not just my customers, but the actual business. What I came to realize is how deep the importance of empathy is. Not only for customers, of course and understanding what their journey is, but also for employees. Empathy for developers, meaning when I develop something new for the software, I am thinking of everyone who will have to interact with that change. Customer service, investors, empathy for everybody whose involved. I think the big learning, ultimately, is if you look at business through the lens of empathy you can discover things that you never knew existed. It’s one of many lenses of course, but empathy is the interesting learning that I got from this experience.   

Heidi: Yeah, I think that’s so important, even when it comes to practical aspects such as product development, you mention how users are going to use the platform. Empathy on the side of investors or on the side of other strategic partners that you’re going to have. Other team members, right? Your core employees, I think that, that is such a foundational characteristic. 

Andrew: It is and just to take the customer service example, empathy for the customer service staff is critical. Done the right way, if we position the customer service the right way to customers, investors, partners, and everybody else means that, that role other than just a supporting role becomes the critical role. That means that job is really satisfying because you are executing and carrying out a really important role. It only happens for empathy in that role or people in that role.  

Heidi: Finally, going back to the Preccelerator. You were early, early on in the Preccelerator Program. What is one of the biggest values that a program like the Preccelerator has had for you? 

Andrew: There are, of course many different values. From a place to have meetings, to the expert legal advice, but I would say probably the biggest one is the impact that mentors have had on me. I have had some amazing feedback and support from some of the mentors.

Heidi: Yes, they are a core value of this program, it wouldn’t work without them. We really appreciate you being here.  

Andrew Cheeseman
https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewcheeseman/

 

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To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@100.26.91.60.

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Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Peter Csathy on “The State of the Digital Media Market”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring Preccelerator Mentor and Board Member Peter Csathy, as he talks about the state of the digital media market.

Peter Csathy is a media/digital media/tech advisor, business development executive/dealmaker, strategist, entrepreneur/operator, venture capitalist/investor, and journalist who has consistently led and driven transformative innovation, expansion and enterprise value for both leading public and private companies (including via successful M&A exits and negotiated deals valued in excess of $4 billion). Career equally spans both traditional and digital media/technology (and with significant international experience). Deep senior level decision-maker and influencer contacts and relationships.

He is a recognized thought leader frequently featured in The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Venturebeat, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, TheWrap, Billboard, CNBC, BBC, USA Today, Bloomberg, Forbes, Advertising Age, The Huffington Post, Wired, Fast Company and other leading publications/blogs; frequent moderator and guest speaker at leading industry conferences and events (including CES, NAB, Variety Summit, Digital Hollywood, Siemer Summit, Streaming Media); frequent guest columnist for leading media/digital media/tech publications (TechCrunch, Variety, Billboard, Venturebeat, VideoInk) and prolific blogger on own “Digital Media Update” blog; mentor in the Disney Accelerator and the Points of Light Civic Incubator; appointed to commission making recommendations to President Obama; board member and advisor to for-profits and non-profits.

 

 

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Transcript

Speaker: Peter Csathy. 

Moderator: Heidi Hubbeling 

 

Startup Superhero Series – The State of Digital Media 

Heidi: I would like you to tell us a little bit about Creative Media and what your background is. Tell us about what CREATV Media does as well as why you chose to join the Preccelerator as board member and what value you think the Preccelerator brings to companies? 

Peter: So, I started CREATV Media, a little over a year ago, as to be really a leading digital media focused business development, advisory and investment firm. What that means is that it kind of ties together this network I created. If people go to the website http://www.creatv.media, you’ll see that it is a team of really connected individuals. It’s meant to be a super network of people across traditional media, new media, technology so that we can bridge or bring opportunities for our clients and really identify where to go. Help facilitate these new opportunities, structure deals, get investment into those deals. Also, work with companies on an M&A front, where for larger companies (media as an example), we can identify potential areas of strategic investment. Then for those who are privately held companies they are looking to potentially have a strategic partner, that can eventually be an investment or M&A.  We frequently work with those companies to position themselves, tell their story, identify the partner structure deals. So that there’s ultimately a great result for them.  We do a lot of connecting. We do a lot of business development, identifying opportunities, and then a lot of market intelligence. I have great team of people on the consulting side, who with our unique access and relationships that we have – can get information and market intelligence that nobody else can get. We can bring that to light, to our clients, so that they are smarter and faster and better. That’s on the creative side.

On why I joined the Preccelerator? It’s just this great opportunity to support an organization, Stubbs, and what they are doing here to support entrepreneurs in the LA community.  Accelerators are always interesting because it’s a great place for entrepreneurs to come together and rub shoulders –  the community that comes with that, both within, but also from without when you have market leaders coming in to share their stories. Hopefully, I can bring mine and bring some wisdom of the things I did right and the things that my company did wrong and they can learn from that. Stubbs did a really great thing here because it’s a law firm doing something that is typically not done by law firms. Really being entrepreneurial, creating this space, bringing new opportunities, new mentors, a tremendous package of benefits, as well as this great office space here on Third Street Promenade. That’s a wonderful thing and when they asked me to join, how could I say no?  

Heidi: Now, you provide huge value to the companies with your expertise and your background in digital media. One of the perks in the perks package is consulting services and getting to have your ear, your introductions, and access to your network. What are some of the things in your background, that make you an ideal mentor here? Also, what’s your entrepreneurial story that has brought you to this place.    

Peter: It certainly hasn’t been a straight path which is part of the fun of it all. I started, many many years ago. I’ve been in the media and tech world for over 30 years, which is kind of hard to believe. I started as a media and entertainment lawyer, almost 30 years ago. From that point, I went into the studios. I was at New Line, Universal, Savoy and really transitioned from being a lawyer to a business person and negotiating deals – from a dollar to multi-billion-dollar international joint ventures.  In about 2000, I went to my first entrepreneurial company.  I became a real start-up guy initially where this one was a true start -up where we built up a series B close to $10M round, then moved it to the east coast, I stayed here, then was recruited to go down to San Diego, really the most innovative software, music, and services company at the time. Really the Spotify before Spotify –  so I was an entrepreneur there. We sold that company for $160 million dollars, and then I ran another company that we also sold. I have seen a lot of different things and for the past several years I have been an advisor because I built this network along the way and hopefully I have some war stories that I can bring to help these entrepreneurs.  

Heidi: And then your background is in digital media and technology. Through all your experience, what are your views on the state of digital media and tech market. How do you think LA as an ecosystem fits into where digital media is going? 

Peter: It is such an incredibly exciting time. I have been in the space for more than 30 years, I’ve never been more excited than I am today about just the different opportunities for companies big and small. You have the fundamental traditional media and entertainment business which is completely transitioning or transforming at the hands of technology.  I’ve seen both sides of that which is what makes it particularly fun. You see this transition happening and the media companies need to understand all these new technologies and new ways to engage and reach an audience and create content and monetize it. On the other hand, you have all these technology companies that are becoming media companies. Like the Googles, like Amazon, Facebook, very much these are media companies, they even call themselves media companies which is pretty incredible. All of this is happening at the same time and then you have innovation and it’s becoming a multi-platform world – where its traditional platform and then you have mobile of course which is the first screen. Live events are not going away so that’s another platform. VR, AR immersive platforms are also there, E-sports, and on and on and on. It’s just this really incredible and interesting time and LA is very much the hub of it. When it comes to certainly digital first media companies, absolutely here. When it comes to VR and AR so much of it is happening here. Drone technologies so much of it is happening here in Southern California. So, you have real money being poured into the LA, entrepreneurial community for the first time, really. You are seeing some great exits that flow out of that. Snap is one, where let’s not forget, Snaps right here. Snap of course just recently went public and that’s just one. Oculus of course, was acquired a couple years back and on and on and on.  

Heidi: Right, it’s very an exciting for LA and I think that it’s neat to see all the bourgeoning companies and how the ecosystem here is and how its growing and the neat ideas that are coming out of the space.  

Peter: It’s a really exciting time and now this community is not just able to not to retain the great talent, but actually really for the first time –  attract some of the top talent, both on the creative side, and also on the engineering side – which is great. It’s coming here and fueling innovation all the time. 

Heidi: Right – and I think there’s getting to be more investors that are seeing that this ecosystem is growing and that we really have some solid technology down here too. 

Peter: That’s why we created SAM Creative Ventures, we want to ourselves invest more and more into this tech world. We are primarily focused on LA, but not exclusively. We are going to be taking a very close look at entrepreneurs in this community.  

Heidi: Absolutely, providing a huge value to this ecosystem.  

 Peter: That’s the goal! 

 Heidi: Appreciate you being here and we will learn more about Creative Media and about Peter Csathy and another video upcoming, in the StartUp Superhero Series. Thanks for being here. 

 

Peter Csathy
www.creatv.media

 

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To learn more about the Preccelerator Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@100.26.91.60.

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