Recap of StartEngine’s Third Crypto Conference in LA

Recap of StartEngine's Third Crypto Conference in LA

This year’s StartEngine Summit held on October 19th at the Fairmont Hotel was very nicely attended with over a 1,000 people.  Those in attendance featured groups from both traditional crypto and the ICO world as well as the emerging red-hot security token exchange universe.

This year’s hot topic was all about security tokens, which is considered the next big thing in the crypto space. The arrival of security tokens and the regulated exchanges where trades will be made was evident with the keynote speaker Chris Cox, former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who discussed paving the way for these exchanges within the regulatory framework.

Another topic that’s trending as well are stable coins, which is a cryptocurrency designed to minimize the price volatility, were discussed as these are security tokens that should be traded only on regulated security token exchanges since they collateralize assets, including US Dollars or other currencies. In simple terms, stable coins seek to be the ideal bridge connecting the blockchain to tangible assets.

LA Startups - StartEngine Summit 2018
LA Startups – StartEngine Summit 2018

In talking to those in attendance, everyone felt that there were still more regulatory frameworks has a long way to go before security tokens can go mainstream, which further highlighted the complexities that are associated with regulated security token exchanges, including their need to have a regulated custodian that is also SEC approved to custody security tokens.

A few institutional investors that we chatted with, indicated that further discussions around the benefits of a tokenized economy require a bit more market maturity and more discussions are required, where security token exchanges like brX Exchange will play a vital role in the transformation of global assets on the blockchain.

Overall, the attendee sentiment was that security token exchanges are quite challenging in how they are structured, and they need to be dealt with in a compliant manner as the risk of running afoul with the securities and exchange commission or any other regulatory body are extremely high and can really slow the progress of the company for non-compliance, in addition to the reputational risk the project will endure.

It is still pretty early in the security token exchange world and the most appropriate blockchain still has to emerge that would be the defacto standard. However, there are several blockchains that are battling to be the leading contender, including Stellar, EOS, ADA, etc.

StartEngine Summit: Tokenizing the World
LA Startups – StartEngine Summit: Tokenizing the World

This leads to other topics, which assets are the most suitable for tokenization and how can investors can put capital in them. From real estate to private assets, several global asset classes are the prime target and we heard from the conference that investors are getting involved at record pace especially since the traditional ICO market has for the most part disappeared.

StartEngine’s Tokenizing The World was a great catalyst for conference month events in LA such as Crypto Invest Summit that took place on Oct 22 – 24, 2018. It was great to see familiar faces and new ones as well. For all crypto aficionados that have come to evolve with space, it was also a breath of fresh air to see market maturity in the space with professional money coming into space.


Contributed by Eli Ansari, Co-founder & CEO, brX Exchange
Eli is the Head of Blockchain Investment Banking and Managing Director at Boustead Securities (FINRA member and SEC Registered Broker-Dealer)advising Blockchain companies on strategizing and executing Security Token Offerings. Eliis also a Managing Partner at Boustead Capital Partners, an institutional digital asset management firm focus on investments in blockchain tech, digital currency, tokens, and crypto assets.

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Karlie Kloss Teaching Code to Teenage Girls

Karlie Kloss Teaching Code to Teenage Girls

If you’ve followed fashion over the last decade, then you’re familiar with the Karlie Kloss name. She’s the gorgeous model who’s actually been around for the last 11 years or so. She’s BFFs with the likes of Taylor Swift and Serena Williams. Her boyfriend is Joshua Kushner, who happens to be the younger brother of Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner.

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So how can a fashion model suddenly teach doing to teens? Actually, it’s all because of the people she met while working in fashion.

Learning the Language

As a model, her work often had her meeting various Silicon Valley entrepreneurs at parties. It didn’t take her long to realize that these were the people whose technology was suddenly changing how society worked.

Karlie wanted to learn what they knew, so she learned. She went to a 2-week class at the Flatiron School, which is a renowned coding boot camp in lower Manhattan. That’s where she learned how to use the Ruby program to build web apps. It’s wasn’t all that hard for her, because prior to her modeling career she excelled as a student in subjects like math and science.

A year after that, she began her own coding scholarship program at the Flatiron School. This program grew to 50 camps in up to 25 cities. This summer, a thousand girls in those camps can learn various coding skills such as basic HTML/CSS, Ruby, and JavaScript. They can get into virtual reality programs, gaming platforms, and even artificial intelligence.

Networking and Connections

Part of her professional life as a model was meeting people from many other industries in various parts of the world. It just so happens that Karlie Kloss also met Kevin Systrom, who founded Instagram. Kloss was fascinated by how such a platform can touch the lives of hundreds of millions of people, and she wanted to understand that skill set and language. It was this meeting that gave her the nudge to go to the Flatiron School.

Her friendship with Serena Williams also includes sitting together on the board of Oath. This is the Verizon subsidiary that owns AOL, Yahoo, and other digital content brands.

Her beau’s career is also separate from the political industry in which Jared Kushner is a part of. Joshua is a venture capitalist, and he also helped found the health insurance start-up Oscar Health.

Kode with Klossy

Karlie Kloss isn’t just a model. She also runs Klossy, which is a philanthropic organization also involved with both fashion and multimedia. She runs this group out of her home in Lafayette Street in SoHo.

In 2015, she started Koding with Klossy as a coding camp for teenage girls. It’s to counterbalance the fact that most coding camps are predominantly peopled by boys and men. In such an all-girls environment, teenage girls tend to feel safer and more comfortable.

The results have been very encouraging. One camper had been accepted to Princeton University, where she will major in computer science. Another had completed a computer science internship at Microsoft, while another girl had just finished an internship at Viacom and will now pursue her activist goals with the help of coding.

In the end, it’s not farfetched to realize that pretty models and girls can learn how to code. The fact that some people judge due to gender is actually one of the first misconceptions that must be put to rest, sooner or later. Karlie Kloss is doing just that.

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.

How to Maximize Your Networking Opportunities at a Conference

How to Maximize Your Networking Opportunities at a Conference

When you’re working, you want to see an ROI in everything you do. That’s why conferences are sometimes ignored by some people. That’s because these conferences take precious time away from their work, and even from their family. It’s tiring to travel, and there are the costs of the transportation and the hotel to consider. Is it really worth going?

But conferences are great opportunities to network, and you can maximize your networking benefits with the following tips:

Use the Conference App

A lot of conferences these days offer a free app. These offer schedules and other convenient features and data, and often there’s a chat or a messaging platform included. Download this app and use it extensively. Use the conference hashtags to boost your visibility with other people going to the event.

Sit in Front

Many of us subconsciously regard front row sitters the way we did when we were first in school. The front row folks seem somehow “nerdy”. They seem to be too serious and ambitious.

But these are actually the sort of people you want to network with. They’re the ones who take things seriously, so you can pick their brains regarding various topics. What’s more, you can connect with them and you gain a new contact.

Optimize Your Break Time

You’ve listened to one speaker, and now there’s a short break before a new speaker comes on. What do you do? Maybe you visit the restroom, but after that you may end up just playing with your phone and talking to the folks back home.

Instead, use this time to connect to people. The break time may be too short to really connect with people, but you may want to consider leaving early for some session so you can go to the restroom and then sue the next whole break time for networking.

In fact, you may want to sit out a few sessions altogether and spend that time instead with the common areas with other conference attendees. If you find others going to the same conference as you, then you certainly should have plenty of topics to talk about.

Don’t Skip the Receptions

Yes, after a day listening to various speakers you may want to rest in your hotel room and just order room service to wind down. But this is a mistake. Receptions are there because they offer excellent networking opportunities. If there’s one, be sure to attend it.

What if there’s no reception? That doesn’t mean room service for you. Sit at the hotel bar and order a few snacks or a meal. Sooner or later, you’ll find other people from the conference drifting in. The setting will be much more casual with a few drinks, so networking can be much more effective.

Email

Send emails to the speakers and remark on what you enjoyed or learned from their talks. Such emails can make you stand out. You can also follow them on Twitter or connect with them through LinkedIn.

Send emails to the people you’ve met as well. Now that you’ve started a connection, it’s time to cultivate it.

So you see, going to a conference can be worth it. You learn something from the talks, and you also widen your network. That’s a great ROI for your time and effort.

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.
×
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.

Military-Grade Encryption VPN Device Created by Former JPL Mechanical Engineers

Military-Grade Encryption VPN Device Created by LA Mechanical Engineers from JPL

Many savvy smartphones, tablet, and laptop users utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to surf anonymously, stay protected from malware, and avoid censorship, among others. But why stop there? There’s a new gadget that can provide these useful services, as well as allow individuals and organizations secure and remote access to their home and office networks.

The izzbie ONE is an all-in-one VPN device that offers a personal cloud, online security, and a private local area network. This means that as you access your private network at home or in the office, your online activities will be protected without encryption.  

Plus, there’s no need to go through third-party providers, such as Apple and Dropbox. These providers can encrypt files and messages but keep in mind that these can still be hacked in theory.

With izzbie ONE, you can also access geo-restricted websites and their contents, as is the case with the strict censorship laws in China. Basically, it’s a useful tool for accessing the Internet without your location determining the content you can see.  

You will then be able to enjoy complete privacy and safety online. No wonder that it’s a device gaining more acceptance among digital nomads, the entrepreneurs running their own businesses on the road.

The izzbie ONE is a small black box device with plug-and-play features. Just plug it into your router using an Ethernet connection, go to your computer’s control panel, and add the internal IP addresses of the items that will be connected.

These can be your network attached storage (NAS), IP cameras, video game devices, and wireless printers. You can connect as many local networks as you want, too. You can, for example, print a paper from your laptop while in a hotel to your printer at home.

You may also build a virtual mesh network with multiple locations provided these are all connected to izzbie ONE. Think of it as being in all or any of these locations without physically being there.

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 local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com
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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 local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com