Not So General Assembly

The Santa Monica Junior Chamber of Commerce is not at all what it sounds like.

I can see right through your medulla oblongata past that judgmental little breath (ahem…giggle) that you just drew. You’re thinking Sandra Dee on the beach – with a Mouseketeer sized beach ball – that just sailed over a group of preppies eating cucumber sandwiches – and jumping into the back of their parents’ Chevy Corvette.

I saw Grease, too. And Grease II. But after harboring a little adolescent prejudice of my own, I’m here to tell you that not all coalitions of young professionals have to rock popped collars and carry around matching monogrammed tote bags.

IMG_8762When you run with the Jaycees, you’re looking to get into a whole new batch of what’s brewing in your community.

Let’s say, hypothetically that: you’re met at the door with a hug and a cold Heine, at the city’s hottest new global network campus for technology, business, and design

Ok, screw hypothetically – that just happened.

Tonight at General Assembly: Los Angeles, The Santa Monica Jaycees hosted their monthly membership meeting, and guest, Matthew Joseph, Chief of Stuff (aka Director of Investments & Operations) at Launchpad LA.

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Now when your invite basically says, “There will be cold ones and tech celebrities”…you know I’ve already called “shotgun” at the TOP of my lungs. So here are my Top 5 Takeaways from Matthew Joseph, regarding the state of LA Tech and what you thought you knew…but that you might want to recharge:

5

“The fear of having your idea stolen is ALWAYS misplaced…I’m always really disappointed when I see those court cases…the reality is: Every idea has been taken.”

4

“People will take whatever’s in front of them in the startup world…they’re going to look at your business card and get back to you.” – on networking as a service provider

3

“Valuations for companies are pretty consistent through an ecosystem…it’s just a function primarily of location.”

2

“Up north…there’s more of a pack mentality…down here it takes a little longer.” – on what remains a strong differentiating factor between Silicon Valley and Socal Tech

1

“Learn what it takes to get more runway.” – on the #1 deciding factor when choosing a tech accelerator or incubator program

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Want to learn more? Already part of the Socal Tech Community and want to SAY more? Please leave your comments or any questions you may have for Matthew and we’ll follow up!

To request more info on membership or community involvement with the Santa Monica Jaycees, contact them directly here, or feel free to reach out to us at Digihaute and we’ll put you in touch with the powers that be.

 

Beauty Brains & Bling

 

…AND BEYONCE!

Well – not just yet. But this amazing workshop geared towards young female entrepreneurs, brought to you by Persona Program’s, Michelle Harris Collins, will have Queen B in attendance in no time.

Mark our words. This effort is fierce. Heck, it’s Sasha Fierce.

The Persona Program was created by Michelle in 2007, out of,

“…a passion to inspire and empower youth on being prepared to actualize their dreams.”

As we all know, entrepreneurship is just an elemental-system-operating-desire that we wake up with one morning. Fact: That doesn’t mean that it’s an easy dream to facilitate on one’s own.

Supporting young children with the essential tools that build a firm foundation is a necessity in all of our eyes and hearts. Michelle is actively attending to that urgency, and continues to climb with ambition and contagious excitement for the event series.

Each program and event features practical skills, personal knowledge and professional advice to support our youth as they mature into productive citizens. Stay tuned for more workshops and Persona Program’s grand plans to slowly be revealed for 2015. Hint: You want IN.

beauty brains and blingA giant thanks to Digital Diva, Alaia Williams for the intro to Persona Program and the magic they’ve been stirring up in Southern California. You can see some of Alaia’s “Fairy-Godmother-like” flow in the footage from yesterday’s event. She led part of the afternoon workshop and was able to discuss “What Entrepreneurship Means to Me” with the attendees…the very small…but very powerful, attendees. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover -

…but you don’t have to take my word for it.

Find us with more questions for Michelle, and we’re also more than happy to connect you a step further, so don’t be shy!

 

Fashion Week|Los Angeles

digihaute on digial la

No need for any wordy explanations or introductions to why this week is near and dear to our hearts, pockets, and closets…

LA Fashion Week was officially ‘ready to wear’ in 2002, but we all know that LA has had a place on the proverbial worldwide runway since Judy Garland clicked those ruby-red-slippers together and cried, “There’s no place like the Catwalk!” (*Well – she might as well have).

We were lucky enough to catch up with our friends at Digital LA, you know ‘em we love ‘em (they featured @catmangan on the poster!), the largest networking organization for digital entertainment, fashion, and anything else that is trending digitally in LA and beyond. They’re like the peanut butter to our jelly.

This year, Digital LA held a “Fashion and Beauty Go Social” panel that dazzled Hollywood devotees, and we were there to catch all the red-rays.

Even though we were…fashionably late, we finally got to meet YoutuberJill Cimorelli & Mgr. Cassi Mink of Fullscreen fame, we won an iThigh gift certificate, and we were able to get our #selfies in with Digital LA’s Kevin Winston! All this before the Captain America premiere let out across Hollywood Boulevard from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Anyone already planning for their next Fashion Week experience? Let us know in the comments so we can follow up and see what you’re up to!

 

The Meaning of Life – Remix

We’re shameless. And we have a new favorite startup.

If you haven’t heard us out and about in Los Angeles (or online…loudly) bragging about Co-Founder & CEO, Linda Franco of MACHINA, well then – you haven’t been listening.

The gist: MACHINA is an advanced wearable technology brand launched in 2012. The company is founded on the belief that wearable tech will enhance our lives rather than disrupt, disconnect, and distract us by being functional, intuitive, and aesthetic. The founders at the core of MACHINA are constantly motivated by the idea of extending the life of their products by providing the booming wearable tech community with access to APIs.

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#FTW.

Browse. Shop. Stalk L. Franco and ask her lots of questions…and for Jobs’s sake of entrepreneurship – do your due diligence and watch some of our interview footage from our latest visit to DF and their amazeballs startup culture.

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Oh and leave your comments. She’s awesome. You know you wanna talk about it…

Digital Get Down

digerati

Some people have an uncanny way of always putting themselves in circles of people that are on the next big frontier. They don’t push their way in and they don’t coast their way in. They just wouldn’t feel at home in any other sort of crowd.

These are the Digerati, and they are the frontier.

This past Sunday evening, Kevin Winston, CEO of Digital LA, brought together a unique and intimate group of Los Angeles influencers to The Beverly Hilton for the inaugural Digital LA|Digerati Awards. Winston said,

“This is LA’s first awards show recognizing digital leaders across industry, who exemplified excellence in digital over the past year, and giving back to LA’s tech community.”

Even though the soirée took place right smack dab in the middle of LA’s overbearing Awards Season, there was more modesty and grace present than there was pomp and circumstance. The much spotlighted hotel remained quiet and calm with Oscar Sunday only a week away. Not a creature was stirring. (Not even a Lohan, a celebrity-housewife, or a mouse.) The guests, out of context, could have been mistaken for a family gathering near Thanksgiving time.

From left to right: Patrick O'Neill (olloclip), Clark Landry (SHIFT), Cat Mangan (Digihaute), and Kevin Winston (Digital LA).

From left to right: Patrick O’Neill (olloclip), Clark Landry (SHIFT), Cat Mangan (Digihaute), and Kevin Winston (Digital LA).

2013 Entrepreneur of the Year, Digerati Award Winner, and CEO of olloclip, Patrick O’Neill, said,

“I didn’t know I was an ‘entrepreneur.’ I was just someone who gets s**t done.”

And with that articulation, O’Neill hit yet another home run. No matter how many awards, rewards, dividends, or accolades we do or don’t get as entrepreneurs, we’ll still wake up in the morning and continue to get s**t done.

catherine red carpetSometimes it’s really pretty and charming like last Sunday evening at The Beverly Hilton. Sometimes – not so much.

Winston is one of those people that has an uncanny way of always putting himself in circles of people that are on the next big frontier. He doesn’t push. He doesn’t coast. And none of us would feel as at home in Los Angeles with any other sort of crowd.

Please check back over the next week for more interviews and coverage from other influencers at the Digerati Awards Celebration that we met or reconnected with.

Who are you looking forward to watching disrupt the LA Digital scene in 2014?

 

Come on, Mann | Tarado del Mes

*DISCLAIMER: BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO JUST VENT

Photo courtesy of Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, U of T

Photo courtesy of Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, U of T

Photo courtesy of Rakka

Photo courtesy of Rakka

Steve Mann starts out this week’s MIT Technology Review post with,

“Many of us who use a wearable computer to augment our vision have come to rely on it as our normal way of seeing, understanding, and making sense of the world.”

Come on, Mann. You and what army?

We know you’ve been inventing, designing, building, wearing, spending your Friday night’s and long walks on the beach with these devices for a solid 30-years now – but the rest of the universe (*ahem* as we know it) is just getting started.

Is it really necessary to go full glasshole on the rest of society in an uproarious ethics battle about the right to bare tech in public? Or do you think we could just hold off the whole Man vs. Machines installment through The Terminator‘s prediction until at least 2029?

Thoughts? Comments? Balks? Concerns? Talk to us, Geese…

Stipsters Dream

I’m sure you’ve read about enough resolutions and new beginnings baloney to compete with your overload of family time and booze this season. So, I’ll cut right to the chase:

It’s now officially 2014, and stipsters are trending. That’s right. I said it. Startup Hipsters. And I say it with a full-heart and sense of endearment. Chuck Palahniuk’s, Tyler Durden of Fight Club fame says,

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your f******g khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

Well mi socios, that just ain’t true anymore. Tell that to Mark Zuckerberg and you’ll get laughed out of the boardroom. You are what you eat, you are who you cheat, and you are what you tweet.

First Rule of 2014: DO NOT look back. Pass go, collect your $200, and move forward.

We don’t want to be the ones to preach about thinking outside the box. Our first grade teachers and first job interviews did a fine job of that. Think outside the web. Think how your dream not only challenges and benefits the world around you, but how it can effect an entirely different culture. Think about that stuff that doesn’t make the business plan final draft because seemingly “no one gives a s*!t about that”, and do it anyway.

We are our jobs. Our startup sensibility denotes our identities. You always said you wanted to change the world growing up, right? So, do it. Leave any adolescent prejudice behind, grab your laptop, and just embrace the trend.

“I am stipster.”

We here at Digihaute HQ resolve to crawl out of our comfy shoebox in Silicon Beach this year, and put a tap on other startup cultures around the globe.

For us, digital fashion isn’t just about the next contraption you can strut in AND turn on and off. DigiHaute is what’s trending. What’s the new wrinkle? What are the new modes and customs that are being cut out of the shaping tech cultures around the world? Now…that’s haute.

We started this year off in México City. There’s plenty of content to come from our interviews with Machina & Tech Startup Nights. While we process the footage and leave on jet plane back to Los Angeles, here’s @catmango acting silly, and an unparalleled firework show from New Year’s Eve in D.F. Those are two things you just can’t have enough of.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo 2014!

Quick Reminder: For those of you in Silicon Beach and surrounding areas, DO NOT MISS TechZulu’s Startup Forecast 2014! Who will we see there?

High 5 Takeaways – Indiegogo

Just after kindling the lights of the candelabrum, and just before Santa dropped  gifts off at all the non-naughty houses, we caught up with Adam Chapnick of Indiegogo. Adam has spent the last year or so screaming, “INDIEGOGO!” from the mountain-tops of Los Angeles.

Adam and Indiegogo have been integral to 2013′s obvious international coming of age for crowdfunding. Liz Wald, Head of International at Indiegogo was quoted earlier this week by (one of our personal favorite) Mail Online contributors, Rob Waugh, saying,

“We’ve seen it all. From a couple crowdfunding a baby (or more specifically an IVF treatment) to an entrepreneur who pitched – and sold – a headband that read your brain.”

Stealing the words right out of Ron Burgundy’s mouth, we’re not even mad. We’re just impressed.

More video footage to come, but this should tide you hungry workaholics up for now. Here are Adam’s top 5 takeaways from our interview at Pay it Forward for Business‘s holiday party:

5

“Eat lots of chocolate, because chocolate tastes really good. If you’re thinking about a campaign the word is preparation…Actually, I’m going to bump it up to #1. I’m going to put chocolate below that. That’s how important it is. And if you know me, that makes it very important.”

4

“Most people believe that crowdfunding equals, “Hey I’m gonna tell a lot of people what I’m doing, and a lot of people are going to give me free money. And while at the end of the day, that may end up happening…If you don’t prepare and start the ball rolling yourself, nobody is going to jump on it.”

3

“You, and I, and no one else like to give money to a zero dollar campaign.”

2

“You’ve got to think of crowdfunding as the crowd amplifying what you start.”

1

“We all like to be part of something that’s already happening…it’s up to you to make something happen.”

Stay tuned right here and on Digihaute’s YouTube channel for more crowdfunding advice from Adam Chapnick, Indiegogo, and many more…coming soon!

Hour of Code @ La Salle Cancún

Following up on last week’s Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15, 2013) and our post Everybody’s Doing It, Digihaute caught up with some leading-edge students at Universidad La Salle, Cancún.

We heard through the digital grapevine that a couple of La Salle colleagues were so stoked about the international Hour of Code media blitz, that they organized and hosted their own on campus workshop last Friday, December 13th. When asked about their enthusiasm for the project, Co-organizer, Jorge Castro said,

Sabrina Casas and I are both marketing students at La Salle University. We are both very conscious about the importance of digital marketing and digital solutions in business today, so we are trying to expand this knowledge to our peers. Right now, we’re organizing StartUp Weekend: Playa del Carmen, trying to launch our own startup, and developing talks and conferences about the importance of technology in today’s world. We both like to code, I’m a developer on formation (HTML/CSS/JS) and have given conferences and talks about tech and the lean startup methodology.”

Even if you don’t have (or take) the moment to click on one of Jorge’s hyperlinks, it’s definitely deserving of our time to shine a bright spotlight on it right here. He leads his brand with, “Only by doing what you love you can achieve greatness!” He doesn’t end it with a period.

It’s an exclamation.

He’s a self-proclaimed “workaholic”, and it says so directly on the landing page of his website. It’s clear as day, just beneath “lover of coffee and good music”. This work hard, play hard mentality has spread globally like wildfire, so it’s nice to remember once in a blue moon that the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

Jorge CastroSo over the next few months, we’ll be studying our programming languages (and *ahem* our Spanish language), in the hopes of attending Startup Weekend: Playa del Carmen, to celebrate our new friends and their achievements!

In the meantime, watch some of the #instavideos that Jorge sent us, and let us know how you’re going above and beyond the Hour of Code call to action. Keep us posted on your ventures, discoveries, and innovations so that we can feature you from sea to shining sea.

A Few Good Lawyers

@catmangan with Promojam's CMO, Amanda  MacNaughton, socalTECH 50 honoree

@catmangan with Promojam’s CMO, Amanda MacNaughton, socalTECH 50 honoree

Last Wednesday evening’s Digital Family Reunion was a whirlwind. The production team is cooling off for a few. Luckily, they’re all socalTECH vets and aren’t looking for a cozy winter wonderland to unwind in. Silicon Beach just cranked up the holiday heat, again.

Whether it’s for those looking to get some pre-Santa surfing in or to keep the tech-brains ticking with solar power, it doesn’t suck to be a startup in Southern California at the moment.

We were lucky while running around the Skirball scene, to lure (proud #DFR13 sponsor) Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP’s associate, Stephen Charles McArthur, to share a few words about the practice’s company culture.

Of course we were clear that he had the right to remain silent, and that anything he said would probably be misquoted, then used against him. But McArthur is a good sport, and an even better debater…I mean…spokesperson.

Watch to quickly and virtually meet Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP if you missed them at the event this year, and stay tuned for more footage and stories we’re collecting of Digital Family Reunion 2013!