Mariel Devesa Joins Tech Startup Phyn 0

Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mariel Devesa, who had just joined tech startup Phyn as Global Head of Business Development. In the first half of our interview, we covered the basics:

Where was she born? Argentina (she moved to the United States at age one).
Where did she go to school? She has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA.
What positions did she hold before starting work at Phyn? Mariel was a competitive athlete as a windsurfer, worked at companies like Deloitte & Touche, Redbull, and Herbalife, and was working at Farmers Insurance as Head of Innovation before moving to Phyn this summer.

It was this last question that really caught my attention. How does one go from working as a sponsored athlete to being Global Head of Business Development at a Los Angeles County tech startup, and what skills and lessons did she bring with her along the way?

An Introduction to Phyn

Mariel explained that one of the things that attracted her to Phyn was how advanced their technology is. Phyn is a Torrance startup focusing on smart water management technology.

The Phyn Plus, Phyn’s first product, aims to enable to customers to “speak the language of water” by providing technology that monitors the water use in their homes or commercial buildings. To learn the basics of Phyn’s background, read our article on their technology here.

Working at a Startup

Mariel has an entrepreneurial background, her family having roots in real estate. To Mariel, working at a startup provides a higher level of agility in her work. She explained, “If you need something done, you just get it done.”

Phyn still has fewer than 50 employees, allowing her to work very closely with the product team. As Mariel put it, “Product is my next door neighbor, finance is my other next door neighbor, and [our desks are] six inches apart.”

The Makings of a Self-Starter

During her late teen years, Mariel’s involvement in competitive windsurfing resulted in a turning point for her confidence. She needed a way to finance her sports career, compelling her to network with companies (local and global) in order to source sponsorships. These endeavors were ultimately successful, as she put together multi-year sponsorships with companies like Redbull.

This wasn’t an easy feat, though. Mariel recounted her experience with shyness and rejection, “It was like a game for me. I’d walk into a room and say: I’m going to get this person to say yes. Even though 50 people are going to say no, that 51st person is going to say yes.” Books acted as a source of motivation for the young businesswoman, specifically, Harvey Mackay’s works, Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt.

Mariel’s curiosity and drive are key to her work, as she has switched industries and business departments multiple times throughout her career. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, refers to modern careers as “not a ladder,” but “a jungle gym.” Sandberg describes this as people who “look for opportunities, look for growth, look for impact, look for mission. Move sideways, move down, move on, move off. Build [their] skills, not [their] resume. Evaluate what [they] can do, not the title they’re going to give you. Do real work.” Devesa is a model example of this metaphor.

Actions at Phyn

It has now been just over a month since Mariel started work at Phyn, and you can be sure that the LA Startups team will be keeping up with the actions she is taking to maximize Phyn’s international growth through consumer education and global partnerships.

For more information on Mariel Devesa, you can visit her page on LinkedIn here.

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Saphira has a combined social following of 150,000+ followers; experience in digital marketing, brand development, and business consulting. She is all about learning: reading 50 books a year, independently learning languages and computer programming. Completing her degree at Loyola Marymount University’s Hilton School of Business.
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Managing Editor
Saphira has a combined social following of 150,000+ followers; experience in digital marketing, brand development, and business consulting. She is all about learning: reading 50 books a year, independently learning languages and computer programming. Completing her degree at Loyola Marymount University’s Hilton School of Business.
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Weekly Roundup: Snap to Launch Gaming Platform, Tinder Bolsters its Security, Honey sued by RetailMeNot 0

Weekly Roundup: Snap to Launch Gaming Platform, Tinder Bolsters its Security, Honey sued

Los Angeles Weekly Roundup …

Top Headlines

  • Comcast suffers outage of video, broadband services across parts of U.S. … read on
  • Amazon Buys Online Pharmacy PillPack for $1 Billion … read on
  • Apple rebuilding Maps in massive overhaul, first results appearing in next iOS 12 beta … read on
  • Rebranded Chinese scooters are taking over San Francisco … read on
  • Farting Unicorn Sparks Legal Battle Between Local Artist And Elon Musk … read on

LA’s Tech & Startups

  • Cordial, a San Diego startup building what CEO Jeremy Swift described as a “truly next-generation platform” for email marketing, has raised $15 million in Series B funding … read on
  • Tinder’s parent company Match Group publicly announced …, that it is now encrypting photos sent between Tinder’s servers and its app. The changes were implemented in February, following the public disclosure of an attack that could have let hackers view people’s profile pictures and swipe actions … read on
  • Tesla opens orders to all US and Canadian Model 3 reservation holders … For people who put down a $1,000 deposit for a Tesla Model 3 as long as two years ago, the big day has arrived. Specifically, the day has arrived when they can give Tesla another $2,500 and then wait a few more months for their car to arrive … read on
  • Snap is reportedly about to launch its own gaming platform … The news makes a lot of sense, given the efforts Snap has increasingly been pouring into its own Lens Studio software for developers to create its specialized AR filters. Snap reportedly bought a web-based 3D game engine last year, called PlayCanvas, which would serve as a good backbone for even more robust developer tools … read on
  • Bird CEO Explains Why His Scooter Startup Needed $300 Million … As word spread that an electric scooter rental company called Bird Rides Inc. was amassing $300 million from investors just months after its first birthday, one question has plagued onlookers in and outside Silicon Valley: Why? read on
  • RetailMeNot sues rival Honey over patent infringement … According to RetailMeNot’s suit, Honey infringes on U.S. Patents 9,626,688; 9,639,853; 9,953,335; and 9,965,769, which detail technologies related to things like facilitating access to promotional offers, merchant offers and coupon codes … read on

Cultural Shouts

  • Breaking Down Every World Cup 2018 Last-16 Matchup … Two weeks, 48 games and a whopping 122 goals have led us here: the World Cup 2018 knockout stages. The round of 16 begins on Saturday with France vs. Argentina and will be followed by seven more cracking games … read on
  • Kroger Just Made a Stunning Announcement That Could Change Everything You Think of When You Think About Supermarkets … In short, Kroger announced Thursday it’s working with an electric car startup called Nuro “to redefine the grocery customer experience for Americans by piloting an on-road, fully autonomous delivery experience.” … read on
  • Joe Jackson, a musical family patriarch, dead at 89 … Jackson was the father of and at times manager to pop stars Michael and Janet Jackson, along with the sibling singing group, The Jackson 5 … read on
  • Cat Rescuer Shawn Simons’ Ultimate Aim: No More Feral Cats … Simons, 49, a former reality TV producer, realized that she could no longer bear the rigors and inertia of that job shortly after she began rescuing cats … read on
  • 98 Percent of VC Funding Goes to Men. Can Women Entrepreneurs Change a Sexist System? … read on
  • What’s Leaving Netflix in July 2018 … When a new crop of movies and TV shows hits Netflix each month, it’s inevitable that another must head toward the exit … read on 

Welcome to the coven.

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This Weekend

  • The 7 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Weekend … read on
  • 20 Vegetarian Meal-Prep Recipes to Make Once and Eat All Week … read on

 

Author Details
Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen of local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen of local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

FatDragon Breathes New Life into Old Classics Chinese Dishes 0

FatDragon Breathes New Life into Old Classics Chinese Dishes

With Chinese restaurants available just about everywhere in LA, a new place needs something unique to stand out. Sure, lots of people love Chinese food, but most of them already have a favorite takeout place near their place, so you really need to be different to compete. And different is actually what Fat Dragon is. Aside from its fast-casual setup, it’s also more than just a Chinese eatery as it’s also a tea bar.

Founded by one of the same people behind Side Chick and RBTA, Fat Dragon is truly a promising Chinese place that’s not just about the food but the ambiance and drinks as well. While the restaurant is pretty minimalist with its industrial concrete floors, bare ceiling, and a few tables, it does have everything you’ll want if you’re hankering for some Chinese food. They even have a nice selection of loose leaf and milk tea, completing the experience. You can pop in either for some food or drink and you’ll step out with a happy tummy and maybe even a chuckle from their custom flavored fortune cookies.

#Coachella2018 #fatdragonla #orangechicken

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What to order:

  1. Moo Goo Gai Pan – Mary’s farm chicken breast, shiitake, king oyster, portobello, carrots, snow peas
  2. Fish with Black Bean Sauce
  3. Double Cooked Pork Belly – Leek, cabbage
  4. Honey Walnut Shrimp – Housemade candied walnuts, wonton skins
  5. Dragon Fried Rice – Chinese sausage, Chinese bacon, kohirabi (go brown rice for $1)
  6. Tiger Skin Peppers – Anaheim peppers with black bean sauce

Location:  3500 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026 Phone (323) 667-9193


Follow Fat Dragon:

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter 0

5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter

The nice thing about a great employment rate in the country is that there’s a greater demand for your services and skills. That may lead to a competing offer from a recruiter trying to lure you to work at another company instead.

However, some workers forget the cardinal rule of always trying to look your best when you’re at a job interview. If you’ve been approached by a recruiter, you can’t regard them as merely the middlemen between you and your future employer. You have to regard them as another part of the hiring process, and you cannot underestimate the recruiter’s role on whether you get a more attractive offer or not.

This means you need to watch your mouth when you’re interacting with the recruiter, as the wrong words can botch the whole thing up. Here are some statements that you should never ever utter during that conversation with a recruiter:

  1. “I know the interview is supposed to be today, but can we reschedule this?”

    This is a cardinal sin. It shows a marked lack of respect for your recruiter and their job offer when you cancel an interview on the day it’s supposed to be held. The only reason this is even remotely acceptable is if there has been a sudden family emergency or death. However, if you’re running late, call or send an email with an explanation. In general, you need to be respectful.

  2. “I’m open to any job available in your company.”

    Job interviews are like first dates, and in both cases, you don’t want to come across as desperate. This statement is and for your image for several reasons. It implies some sort of inadequacy on your part, and you’re selling yourself short. The statement also makes it look like you haven’t thought things through regarding the move to the new company and your career goals. You also tell the recruiter that you’re willing to settle, and that’s an attitude that won’t get you the best offer.

  3. “Wow, that’s a great salary!”

    The rule in salary negotiation is that you never bite at the first offer. It doesn’t matter if that offer is already larger than what you were expecting to get in the end. You should do your research, and then make your salary pitch based on your research and the offers you get. A good salary negotiation is not accepting the company’s offer. They should be saying “yes” to your salary demands.

  4. “My previous (or current) company is terrible.”

    This is a huge mistake. You simply can’t complain about your former company, boss, or colleagues. Trash-talking only ends up making you look bad. Instead of complaining about the work circumstances, focus on how you dealt with the challenges that you faced.

  5. “My boss felt threatened by me, which is why they won’t give me a good recommendation.”

    Again, it doesn’t matter if this is true or not. If you give them a list of recommendations and your boss isn’t on the list, the recruiter will probably not comment on the absence anyway. If the recruiter does ask why your boss isn’t on that list, you can reply that your list of recommendations offers the most comprehensive view of why you’re the best person for the job.

Any snarky comments made to the recruiter should also be avoided, even if you’re annoyed that it took a while for the recruiter to respond to your job application. You may not be the only applicant, and the recruiter may be dealing with a busy schedule as well. Again, treat it like a first date—always be respectful and make yourself look good!  

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.