#SMhub2 in July!

Santa Monica New Tech networking event 1On July 15 we hosted our second networking #SMhub2 event at Regus. CJ Bruce from Newantics gave a talk about video strategy.Santa Monica New Tech networking event 2
AwardFantasy and Film Bundle told us about their film startups. More than 100 people networked in 3 groups: startups, film/video and social media.
Thank you to our great sponsors: Regus for the venue, and Insperity and MoPro for beer!
Our next pitch/demo event is on Wed, July 24 at CrossCampus!

Elance Friday Night Party

Elance OverviewSusan Arete from Elance.com organized a great info session about the company last Friday at 3110 Lounge on Main Str in Santa Monica. She gave a short presentation on what Elance is about and why Elance loves startups!

She told about a myriad of services tElance serviceshat are available through Elance for less than what brick and mortar businesses offer. See short presentation: Elance 5 min Preso

“Startups have always been lean by necessity. When budgets are slim or nonexistent and founders are bootstrapping their companies, it pays to keep costs under control. Many startup entrepreneurs are torn between wanting to hire quickly in order to scale up the business, while wanting to be cautious about keeping payroll in line with revenue.

Join us and learn how Elance offers an ideal middle ground, providing a world of talented freelancers ready to help do the heavy lifting of building your startup company. Hear first hand from a startup entrepreneur who uses Elance to gain a competitive advantage in business!”Joe Wine Seller at Elance

Indeed, two startup founders shared their experience with attendees on how Elance helped them find freelances: service providers and talent.

Elance bought drinks and appetizers for all at the event. Even more – they give $50 credit to everyone who wants to try Elance out towards your first hire. Here’s the signup link to claim your $50: Elance credit towards your first hire: www.elance.com/join/susan

Photo is courtesy of Victoria Kashtan http://www.victoriakashtan.com/

Photo is courtesy of Victoria Kashtan http://www.victoriakashtan.com/

Freelancers who use that same link also get a bonus for signing up (10 extra job bids with free account). To see pictures and be notified of upcoming events, please join our facebook page: facebook.com/elancesocal

If you have any questions or would like more information about how Elance can help your business, please get in touch with Susan.

Thank you, Susan, for fun networking time with fellow entrepreneurs as we lounged and nibbled on some happy hour treats. http://elancestartupmixer.eventbrite.com/

Silicon Beach Fest Demo Day June 2013

santamonica-beautySilicon Beach Fest (SBF) kicked off Wednesday with a demo day showcasing over a dozen startups from the Los Angeles area. Here are a few companies that caught our eye.


The Wikipad 7 is a $249 hybrid Android tablet and gaming controller. It launched last week, selling out at Best Buy and Walmart. The device was originally pitched as a 10.1-inch tablet at twice the price, but the company delayed the product and went back to the drawing board.

Based on a quick hands-on, the combo has a nice ergonomic feel to it. Switching between the touchscreen and the controller can be a bit jarring, but the improved gaming controls make up for it.

Wikipad’s founder said it took about $2 million to get the tablet off the ground, and the project reportedly has the support of both Google and Nvidia.


Preact helps companies collect and understand user data to improve their support and customer management systems. The company offers a side bar that pops up alongside applications like Zendesk, Salesforce and Hootsuite. The tool offers data on user behaviors related to: churn likelihood, account health, unusual behavior and onboarding funnel.

Founder Christopher Gooley highlighted one company using Preact that got its support ticket resolution time down to 44 seconds.


We covered Bitium back in April when they announced completion of a $2.4 million seed round. The startup bills itself as a “cloud operating system”. Its product acts as a centralized system for SaaS applications, helping enterprises consolidate logins and manage permissions and allowing employees to easier collaborate and communicate across applications.

The power of SaaS applications is growing quickly, but juggling apps is becoming a tangled affair. Bitium’s making a huge play for the enterprise, and we’re optimistic about their prospects.


Prevoty offers a security filter meant to help websites avoid malicious attacks by managing cross-site scripting. SmartFilter is designed to allow website users to continue submitting healthy content such as links and videos to a site, without opening it up to attacks.

The startup says SmartFilter works faster than traditional firewalls, while providing analytics and notifications. It can remove all HTML/CSS tags, allow a subset, and automatically convert links to a URL shortening service.

Prevoty believes in its product enough that it set up a SmartFilter sandbox on its own website and lets hackers submit code through it.

The Kive Company

The Kive Company won Startup World LA earlier this year with its Artkive app, which helps parents  archive kids’ artwork. Now it’s moving forward with Tastemaker Mom, a platform for signs moms to interact with and help influence brands and their products.

It’s nice to see that the startup isn’t just going to rely on a one-app wonder. The mom demographic is obviously a huge potential business, and the data The Kive Company collects from its user base is going to be immensely valuable for brands.


You probably already know Instagram gallery site Instacanvas, but you probably didn’t know that it boasts the largest commercial image catalogue with over 38 million images for sale. Over the past year, the company has ramped up to $2 million in annual revenue.

Instacanvas raised a $1.7 million seed round in just 48 hours, with Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital participating.

The Bouqs

Flower e-commerce site The Bouqs just crossed the half million revenue mark this month with over 200,000 blooms shipped.

Buying from other online flower vendors is a pain. The Bouqs wants to change that by offering a flat $40 fee for all of its bouquets, discount subscription services, and three-click check out. With the subscription, you can add in holidays, birthdays and special occasions and have flowers automatically delivered on the day of. You can also sign up for recurring bouquets or surprise shipments.

Flowers are apparently sourced from an active volcano in South America and cut to order.

I’ve been burned by flower delivery services in the past, so I was skeptical about this one, but I was practically reaching for my credit card by the time this pitch was done.


Wallaby aims to tackle the credit card market by optimizing users’ rewards programs in the background. You can sign up for a Wallaby card and add existing cards to your account and the service will automatically direct the charges to the card with the best reward for that purchase.

Wallaby launched version 2.0 of its iPhone app earlier on Wednesday and also offers an Android application. Other services include Wallet Boost, which recommends new cards, and an upcoming point of sale system and API.


Productivity and music need a special something to go together well, and Focus@will takes a scientific approach to finding it. The company builds “phase-sequenced music” playlists that are designed to help you focus for 100-minute segments.

The service launched five weeks ago and has reached 135,000 members. Growth is definitely on the up and up, as founder Will Henshall revealed during his pitch that the company had doubled membership in the last 48 hours.

This article is re-posted from http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/06/20/our-favorite-startups-from-las-silicon-beach-fest-demo-day/

More Startup and Tech Event Organizers in Santa Monica


Based in Los Angeles, California, TechZulu is an independent news organization delivering an insightful story of the technology industry by showcasing the very people creating it. Our mission is simple: to discover, cover and connect you with vetted technology resources in the Southern California ecosystem and beyond. A pioneer in live Web television, TechZulu engages millions of viewers through real time reporting at conferences and its weekly news show, TechZulu Live. TechZulu also offers production services for conferences and events, and runs the Spotlight Series highlighting promising new technologies. Final Friday http://bit.ly/18uWhxE.


Technori is building the starter community through curated events and a passionate network http://technorila.eventbrite.com/


Startup World is a global competition started by Hermione Way and Erick Davidson to find the world’s most innovative startups. While most media is currently focusing on Silicon Valley, we want to shine a light on entrepreneurs in emerging markets. http://startupworldla-eorg.eventbrite.com/


Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. We host monthly events in more than 40 cities and 20 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Our monthly fireside chat interviews, startup mixers and annual conferences provide ample opportunities to connect with amazing startups and the people behind them, tap into a strong support network, form meaningful connections and gain inspiration for the startup journey ahead. www.StartupGrind.com


Tech Cocktail is a media company focused on better connecting, educating and amplifying the start-up technology community and showcasing the latest tech innovations. Tech Cocktail is aimed at helping build and strengthen local tech start-up communities both online and off. During past mixer events we have had companies find employees, co-founders, funding and some start-ups have even been acquired. We love it when that happens. Tech Cocktail

Digital LA

Digital LA organizes networking events for online entertainment, marketing and advertising friends and professionals around entertainment, strartups, movies, TV/web series, music, video games, VFX/3D, including content creation, development, distribution, marketing and social media. Digital LA is the founder of the Silicon Beach Fest, a biannual startup entertainment conference http://www.eventbrite.com/org/1423518361

Social Media Club of LA

Social Media Club Los Angeles designs monthly educational networking events focused on new and emerging social media trends and tools for business, case studies, and best practices. We strive to bring in speakers and hold interactive sessions and workshops useful to social media newbies and experts alike. http://socialmediaclub.org/

TZ Tech Crawl in Santa Monica

Tonight Tech Zulu organized a tour of some of the hottest Silicon Beach companies. I didn’t go, but I think it is a great idea:

Why not stop by for a quick beer, game, snack or just say hi at one of the many Silicon Beach tech companies from 6pm to 11pm?  Have a free beer or beverage, drop off a resume, see the office space or just kick back.

Starting Point

Swing by Cross Campus (820 Broadway, Santa Monica CA) to pickup your name tags. The first wave of crawlers will begin promptly at 6pm, be there early to pickup your name tags.tztechcrawl2013

  • Cross Campus 6pm
  • Vokely 6:25pm
  • Handmade Mobile & Somo 6:50pm
  • Stubbs Alderton & Markiles & Splash 7:15pm
  • CallFire 7:35pm
  • GumGum & Surf Air 8:55pm
  • Real Office Centers (ROC) 9:15pm


It’s like a bar crawl, but featuring tech companies instead of bars. Each participating business will open its office for the duration of the crawl, giving you a chance to see where the magic happens and meet the team in an informal setting.


How often do you get to go behind the scenes at a company and experience where the work is done? Whether you’re a networked entrepreneur or just finding your way in the LA tech scene, TZ Tech Crawls give you a fun way to discover new things about the community and each other.


Thursday, May 23, 6-11pm PT. The Crawl happens in waves with team leaders escorting groups from the first venue every 30 minutes, so you can arrive after 6pm and still enjoy the full experience.

Tech Crawl Venues

Cross CampusVokelyGumGumReal Office CentersHandmade mobileSomoSurf AirStubbs Alderton & MarkilesCallFireSplash 

SponsorsInternapCriterion Law GroupGonnaBeFalcon

Fireside Chat with Babak Nivi

Fireside Chat May 2013Another great event Fireside chat with AngelList and VentureHacks co-founder Babak Nivi was hosted by Jason Nazar, the Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc.com, on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 6:30pm at Shutters on the Beach Hotel, 1 Pico Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90401.

Docstoc has the “widest selection of professional documents (over 20 million), and resources including articles, videos, & productivity tools to make every small business better.  Docstoc is a top 500 most visited website worldwide and has over 28 million registered users. It offers a vast collection of free resources & provides a monthly membership which unlocks its widest selection of premium content. Latest Docstoc product, ExpertCircle, is a recommendation engine for the best products & vendors for you business”.

This event is #37 in the series of events dubbed as Startups Uncensored. This month’s guest of the fireside chat was Babak Nivi, who is the co-founder and President of AngelList and Venture Hacks, Good advice for startups. He has worked at VC firms including Bessemer and worked with startups that are backed by Sequoia and Benchmark. He has 2 patents and is a graduate of MIT.

The interview was very refreshing as Babak has a great sense of humor. He said that the best decisions he made when he was 25 were to drop out of PhD program and move to San Francisco. His company has 13 employees and was funded by Kauffman foundation. His company aspires to become Craigslist for startups, talent, incubators,  and become wildly profitable. He said that he thinks that every startup’s mission should be to change the world. During Q&A session, he said that there is no need to join the incubator if you know what you are doing. Usually to get investors you need either traction, pedigrees or demo that would vow everyone. For MVP you don’t’ need to spend a lot of money, just a Wufoo form and a blog post would do it.
I met several local startup founders at this event, like Kuyam, CampusExplorer and other ones. Next month’s event will be on June 19, 2013 with Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk.

Startup Workshops

Startup WorkshopsIt was not easy to get up early, but I came to the Breakfast Un-Meeting in Santa Monica’s Panera Bread at 7:45AM. There were other like minded people who came to talk about startups. Tom Nora, the founder of Startup Workshops group, has been organizing events like this one since Jan 2012 and already has 700+ members in his group.

“Startup Workshops are startup experts helping entrepreneurial leaders achieve long term success. We provide serial entrepreneurs, financiers, startup attorneys, marketing experts and others in the startup ecosystem to network and teach best practices to early stage startup founders and those who would like to join an early stage startup”.

There were 12 early birds. Among them: John Cronise, working on his secret startup, Roni, former CEO of a fashion design company, Jose daVeiga, serial entrepreneur who worked on Klicksports; Brett Harris from Super Accelerator, Tai Greene, working on My choice app; Julio looking to join a startup, Byron bus dev formerly with Sun and T- Mobile, and other interesting people. Great conversations and connections. Thank you, Tom, for organizing it!

She++ Documentary

On May 16, ROC offered an exclusive screening of “She++” documentary and a panel of female engineers.She ++

“In 2010, only 15% of computer science majors were females and 50% of girls felt that STEM was not a career path for women. These statistics inspired a few Stanford University students to produce a short film that explores the topic of women in tech. The documentary is meant to help girls feel less intimidated by coding”.

The leaders from the following organizations that support women in tech were present: DIY Girls, WITI, Girls in Tech LA, USC School of Engineering.

Panel of Female Engineers:

Melissa Bennett / Senior Software Developer / Huge

Esther Nam / Web Developer / Cars.com

Mirian Avalos / CTO / County of San Bernardino, District Attorney

She ++ imageThere are more women in tech and business today than ever. Examples are Marissa Meyer from Yahoo!, Sherry Turkle from MIT and the author of “Alone Together”, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and the author of “Lean In”, Jennifer Pahlka from Code for America.

The majority of jobs today have technology component. And technology is about logic, which could be followed and designed by any gender. Both men and women can totally do it.

Related articles, books and blogs:





SMNT One Year Anniversary

So our birthday is#SMTBDAY May 20 coming up. It’s been a whole year of pitches, demos, great talks and networking. We will be celebrating our one year anniversary at 31Ten Lounge in Santa Monica  6:30PM -11PM on May 20, 2013.La Tech Happy Hour

Our venue 31Ten Lounge provides free massages and happy hour prices. Our friends from La Tech Happy Hour will come and celebrate with us!

Bring more friends, RSVP http://bit.ly/105QVmY.

Submit feedback on SMNT in person or via SurveyMonkey anonymously http://svy.mk/19An8XQ, and get quoted!

We will have cake, provided by our sponsor Elance.elance-logo

Elance is where people Work Differently™. A pioneer in today’s freelance revolution, Elance is the world’s leading platform for online work. Today over 500,000 businesses and 2 million freelancers use Elance in 170+ countries. Over 1 million freelance jobs are completed. Party on!

#SMNT10 at Santa Monica Public Library

Our #SMNT10 event took place at Santa Monica Public Library. There were 5 presenters, 1 special speaker, 1 great sponsor  and about 150 members attending.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Santa Monica Public Library impressed everyone with their current technology and on-going initiatives: digital books, bump payments, responsive website, virtual library navigation map that shows you how to get to the shelf where your book is, mobile app, digital catalog, and much more. Only 2 years ago OneClickDigital was not around, but today you can instantly download books to your smart device and listen to them at your convenience! And you don’t need to walk to the library to return the book, it will fly off your device back to the library when it is due! Diane Bednarski, Principal Librarian, mentioned a possibility of having stations around the city where you can easily download chapters of any book for free while you are waiting for your bus or else. How cool is that?

Heather Martin from Insperity.com was our venue sponsor and provided Krispy Kreme doughnuts! She wrote an article about our group back in Dec 2012: http://bit.ly/XwHmQJ. Marcus Filipovich from Pasadena Angels gave his friendly investor feedback at the end and told us about the design accelerator that he is launching in Pasadena.

My comments about presentations:

Lumeo – interesting approach to education, it is “not painful anymore”, beautiful images, video and slides

MyTrueCloud – impressive presentation with good explanation slides, 15 ppl team, and 1mln revenue already, congrats!

The Suitest – very elaborate demo video about hotel room comparison, I also thought about applying it to event venues

At The Pool – nice new concept about meeting people based on shared interests, I’d say a blend of craigslist and meetup, but could work for dating too

Tikr – countdown for your events, a perfect blend of video and ppt, entertaining

All presenters did a great job, and we do like variety in ways of delivery, content, industries, etc. So it was just perfect!

Our next meeting is Monday, May 20 at 3110 Main Str at 31Ten Lounge. We will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary, so come to chat with your fellow entrepreneurs from our group and LA Tech Happy Hour group, have a cake, and give your feedback about how to make SMNT even better. Also, please, submit your comments via survey anonymously http://svy.mk/19An8XQ

I will gather all comments and read highlights at our next demo/pitch event #SMNT11 at Cross Campus  on June 26.

#SMNT10-1     #SMNT10-6 #SMNT10-4     #SMNT10-2

See more pictures from #SMNT10: http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Monica-New-Tech/photos/14906432/