Leadership

John Diep
Founder, 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) for the co-founder of Activision.  Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi Consulting, and Raytheon.  A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen of local LA startups.

Saphira Howell
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.

Contributors

Todd Bartlett
Writer

A native New Yorker graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; moved to Los Angeles for the awesome weather. Todd worked for major agencies like 72andSunny and Deutsch.  Currently consulting at SnapChat (Snap, Inc.) in Santa Monica, Venice, CA. 

Kevin Au
Editor, Writer

Born and raised in LA, Kevin is all about Los Angeles.  Graduated from USC in Business Administration focusing on Information Systems and Finance. Worked for major corps like HP, Hitachi, Toyota, Capital Group, GreenDot, and Consilio. Kevin knows a thing or two about building, managing and launching quality products.

Alessandro Fard
Writer

Alessandro is a published UX/UI designer with a passion for amazing design and intelligent user experience. He has over 14 years of experience in web with a special focus in UI/UX. Alessandro has worked directly with brands such as Facebook, American Express, Bank of America, eBay, Sony, Yahoo, TrueCar, and many more.

Paula Markow
Writer

A Los Angeles ‘solopreneur’ combining her passions for food and tech through her startup, Cravingz app.  Winner of two distinguished entrepreneur awards through the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University.  Paula spends her free time tutoring students in English and writing.

Chad Hahn
Author

Chad Hahn is a partner overseeing the digital & technology practice at Optimity Advisors. He is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in strategy, business development, operations, and technology, and has started and sold two successful service businesses. He has a strong background in software engineering and enterprise architecture, with deep expertise in both traditional and emerging technologies

Advisors, Mentors

Dr. David Choi
Advisor

Dr. David Y. Choi has had an active career as an academic, consultant and entrepreneur over the last 20 years. Dr. Choi has been a faculty member at LMU since 2003 and is director of the nationally-ranked Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship. He has taught undergraduate and MBA courses in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, social entrepreneurship, and technology management at LMU as well as other institutions around the world including Peking University and Korea University.

Kevin Diamond
CTO, Mentor

Kevin is a seasoned technology executive, with more than a decade of experience leading technology development and infrastructure management with multiple startup and mid-phase companies. Currently, the Chief Technology Officer at The Black Tux, revolutionizing how men rent suits and tuxedos, and formerly CTO and co-founder of Nordstromrack.com and HauteLook, two e-commerce sites offering the top brands in women’s and men’s fashion, part of the Nordstrom family since 2011.

James Bottom
USC, Mentor

Program Director at Blackstone LaunchPad USC / IncubateUSC – James’ expertise is in startups, incubators, mentors, crowdfunding an crowdsourcing. James is also a founder of IncubatriX, a premier Trojan Incubator that works to develop and enhance ecosystems at USC.  IncubateUSC is the definitive online portal of the USC Startup Ecosystem. James brings together Trojan entrepreneurs across campus to work, play, and build great companies together. 

Alex Chen
Legal, Mentor

Alex’s practice focuses on general counsel services, with an emphasis on equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, entertainment transactions, corporate formations, joint ventures, corporate governance and business counseling, licensing and commercial agreements, international transactions, and other general corporate representation. Alex has represented a wide variety of companies ranging from start-ups to mature public companies in various industries including technology, retail, and entertainment. Alex holds a JD from UCLA School of Law, where he graduated with honors.