5 LinkedIn Changes You Need to Make Today

In job-searching, making connections with business acquaintances, and following the steps industry leaders take to grow their brands, I’ve found myself spending more and more time on LinkedIn. Users on the site seem to fall into one of two clear categories: professionals who have created accounts on LinkedIn and professionals who actually use the accounts they have created – and you don’t want to be the former. Here are 5 LinkedIn changes you need to make to your profile today to show that you are active, ambitious, and have the skills and experience to back up that ambition.

1. Add a personal touch to your profile summary.

The first of the LinkedIn changes you need to make is to your profile summary. This is the section that appears right below your name, photograph, and job title. First impressions are tough, and, functioning as an opportunity to introduce oneself to potential recruiters or business partners, the majority of LinkedIn profile summaries are not taking full advantage of this opportunity. To put it frankly, most of these descriptions are flat, redundant, and boring.

This is your opportunity to present yourself professionally, while also giving profile viewers something to comment on when reaching out to you.  It’s important that you do include details on your professional experience, but make sure that you add a personal touch, as well. If you love to travel, include a line about the last place you visited. If you’re into Game of Thrones, throw in a reference. As an example: I’m a big reader, so my profile summary covers my business experience, business interests, and then a look at what I’m currently reading (right now, that’s Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis).

2. Actively add new business connections.

There are two ways to poorly manage connections on LinkedIn: 1) Add too many connections (the users who add, add, add… without knowing who most of the people are), and 2) fail to add enough people (the users who barely add anyone after opening their accounts). Your list of LinkedIn connections should be a list of people you know would be ready to work with you in some capacity when the time is right. Make sure to add colleagues as soon as, or soon after, meeting them, as the longer you wait, the less likely you are to add them (and the more awkward it gets).

3. Share updates.

Similar to other social platforms, if you want to stay relevant, you need to keep posting. This is especially important on LinkedIn because due to the way profiles are currently organized, any posts you have made or shared are difficult to discover on the profile page. If you want to be noticed by connections and mutual connections, you need to be actively sharing new content. This could be anything from sharing a post from another user that you found to be valuable, to writing an update on your current position or a project you are working on. Constantly sharing is one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart on LinkedIn.

4. Engage with posts from your connections.

As noted in tip #3, sharing content on LinkedIn is vital if your goal is to stand out from the crowd. However, LinkedIn is also about fostering a community of people who want to work with and support one another. You want to make it clear to people that you are interested in and supportive of their work – and this doesn’t have to be ingenuine (in fact, it shouldn’t be). If you are connected with the right people, then most of the content they share should be content you find value in. This could be articles, news updates, or job opportunities. When a LinkedIn connection posts something you find useful, let them know through a ‘like’ and/or a comment.

Another perk to this is that your comment will appear in the comment section of their post, familiarizing all of their connections with your name and face.

5. Download the app.

No, this isn’t a paid endorsement – but downloading the LinkedIn app will entirely change the way you interact with the platform. It’s old news that the majority of people online are spending more time on their mobile devices than on desktops. This means that just by keeping the LinkedIn app on your phone’s home screen, the likeliness you will use the app skyrockets. When you’re waiting in line for coffee, awaiting an Uber pickup, or laying in bed (delaying sleep), you can open the app and scroll through the content shared by people in your network. The more you use LinkedIn, the better you will become at utilizing the platform to grow and strengthen your professional network.

After implementing the LinkedIn changes you need to make, check out the LA Startups LinkedIn page to be some of the first to know when we share new content!

Author Details
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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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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Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

Want to Work at a Startup? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With These Simple Tips

If you’re looking for a job at a startup, no other social networking tool will be of greater help to you than LinkedIn. The vast majority of startups use it as their primary candidate search tool, so you need to do a version of SEO on your LinkedIn profile to make it stand out.

Even if you are happily employed, you owe it to yourself to be well represented on Linkedin, as you NEVER know what will come your way. LinkedIn is the first place companies go to find out about you.

Here Are The Must-Haves

Right from the very beginning, your profile has to stand out from the rest of the riff-raff. Startups are a lot about the mission of the company their building. Show why you are passionate about working for their company by sharing your experiences that align with their mission. Startups want to find someone who loves their company almost as much as they do.

So, first, make sure that you have the basic steps covered. This starts with a professional-looking profile photo to help them recognize you. It’s been found that you get 9 times more connection requests when you have a photo than when you don’t have one.

You also need to make sure that your profile is updated with the latest information. It must include your present industry, company, and position, so that you’re better able to connect with the content, groups, and jobs you’re interested in.

Your current location is also crucial, as this type of listing helps searches made by recruiters, former coworkers, and fellow alumni. With your location listed, you’re 10 times more likely to be found.

A good profile can immediately display your work affiliation and location, your contact info, and your list of connections. It can feature your education history, though you can also hide this easily if you don’t want to highlight it. You should also add videos and images to your summary.

Make your profile stand out from others by adding your FUN side to it.  Use emoji, symbols and visual cues in your profile will definitely help to make it stands out from the crowd in a positive way especially if you use them conservatively. Make sure you don’t overuse them. You don’t want your profile to appear unprofessional.

Keyword Your Skills

Recruiters spend hours searching on LinkedIn looking for top performers. And when they find them, they will contact the top performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a top performer by highlighting your skills in the summary and experience section.

With the ever-increasing data available about you, the candidate, many companies are using innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to quickly weave out the low performers. AI technology has the ability to quickly sifts out keywords and key skills in your resume. Customize your profile with keywords that represent the required soft and hard skills found in the job listings. Incorporate these terms throughout your profile, particularly in the “Key Skills” and “Work Experience” sections will definitely help. Remember, hiring managers to need to know what industry you are an expert in, what technologies you are most fluent in, and which types of products/services do you have the most familiarity with.

You can start by featuring your top 3 skills on your profile. These are the skills for which you want to be recognized. You can also categorize your skills so that others will find it easier to find out if you have the particular skills they’re looking for.

One example of categorization is to have categories such as Skills in Technology and Tools, Industry Expertise, Interpersonal Skills, and Miscellaneous Skills. You should take care of the order of the skills you list within each category, as the most important ones should be at the top of the list. Don’t forget to update these lists as you gain more skills. Whether you learn a new program or even just a new musical instrument, include them all here.

These listings matter a lot, in case you still don’t realize their importance. If you have at least 5 skills on your profile, you’ll get 17 times more profile views. Recruiters and other people who can help you advance in your professional career can send up to 31 times more messages.

You can finish off the profile by adding more clues to who you are aside from your work and educational experience. Mention every charity or community work you’ve, and don’t forget to add new awards and accomplishments. Always update, as you’re never really done with your LinkedIn profile.

This might interest you: Top 5 Items that Job Seekers Need to Remove from Their LinkedIn Profile


 

Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin.

 

Jason Stomel
Contributor
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.
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Jason Stomel
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.

A 30-Point Checklist for Your Startup

A 30-Point Checklist for Your Startup

Do you want to make sure your new startup succeeds? Here’s a nice list of what you have to do for your startup.

Everybody seems wants to do a startup these days. But before you’re dazzled by the prospects of billions of dollars, here’s a list of what you really have to do first:

  1. Find out if your business is actually viable. It’s not enough to say that you’d buy something you offer. You have to determine with utmost honesty if you’ll have enough customers to actually make a profit.
  2. Come up with a business plan. This will help guide your path. Make sure you have financial projections in there so you know if you’re still in the right path.
  3. Deal with the financing. Figure out how much money you need to get your business started. Then see where you can get that money.
  4. Pick your business name. It should be original and memorable.
  5. Get your family to support you. It’s going to be hard enough to start a business, and it’s harder when your family thinks it’s going to fail.
  6. Set up your legal structure. You may need a lawyer for this. Incorporating your business is essential, so you can protect your personal assets.
  7. Apply for an Employer Identification Number. Don’t worry; EIN numbers are free. This number will be needed when you incorporate or open a bank account solely for your business. You can also use this in lieu of your social security number.
  8. Apply for a business license. Check with the SBA for what to do.
  9. Open a business bank account. You ought to separate your business and personal finances ASAP.
  10. Choose an accounting program. You don’t want your books to be a mess.
  11. Register a domain name for your business. Make sure it’s a real commercial domain name. A website with free hosting looks to amateurish.
  12. Start building your website. Nowadays, not having a website for your business is suspicious.
  13. Set up your social media profiles. You need to reserve your brand ASAP. You also get ready to market on these social media channels later on.
  14. Begin generating revenue immediately. Don’t wait until things are perfect. You’ll need that revenue to add to your financing.
  15. Determine if you need an actual office. If you can do everything online, then you can use your money for other expenses as you hold off getting an office. But you’ll need an office if you expect customers to actually meet with you.
  16. Get some business cards. They’re nice and handy marketing materials, and they’re helpful for networking.
  17. Define the responsibilities of all cofounders. These should be in writing, so there are no disagreements as to who has to do what as time passes.

After your launch, make sure you then do these things:

  1. Access free advice. Consult with friends who’ve started their own businesses, check with the local SBA, and find other online resources.
  2. Find the right business apps. These can help while you’re on the go.
  3. See if you need insurance. Your business may need health insurance, workers’ comp, or liability insurance.
  4. Hire an employee. Sooner or later, you’ll find that you can’t do everything yourself if you want your business to grow.
  5. Set up your source of inventory. You may also need suppliers and service providers.
  6. Get legal advice on patents and trademarks. Your lawyer can again definitely give good advice on this topic.
  7. Enhance your network. Tell your family and friends about your business. This doesn’t mean you nag them into buying your products. But they can introduce you to people and they can recommend your business to their own friends.
  8. Focus on making sales and attracting customers. Hold off on chasing business partnerships in the meantime.
  9. Practice your elevator pitch. You need to be persuasive when you encounter financiers, potential customers, and new hires.
  10. Back up your IT. You need to protect your sensitive information contained on your computers.
  11. Consider a salesperson. You may be the head salesperson of your startup at first, but you need someone to focus on day-to-day sales while you concentrate on other aspects.
  12. Pay attention to customer feedback. What your customers have to say can help improve your products and your approach.
  13. Try to find a mentor. Find someone who has already succeeded in your niche to help you out. Their advice can be tremendously helpful.

You may also like this list of 21 Excellent Productivity Apps

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
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.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
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.

How the Stock Market Affects the Job Market

  • Cadre Talent is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering in LA
How the Stock Market Affects the Job Market

The recent stock market plummet has sent many people into wondering if the job market will follow suit, affecting their careers and livelihoods.

The good news is, even though the health of the stock market does have an impact on the job market, it’s often not a one-to-one correlation.

The Stock Market As an Indicator of Shareholder Confidence

The stock market reflects not only the strength of the economy at the moment but also the confidence that investors and corporations have in the future of the market.

If shareholders believe that a company is going to make more profits, then the stock price will bounce back and the organization will have more resources to expand and hire employees. If the market feels that a company’s earnings will remain stagnant or decline, then the stock price will drop and the organization will likely have to tighten its belt.

As such, how investors evaluate the economy will impact corporations’ resource allocation and hiring decisions.

Keep in mind that the stock market is a leading indicator while the job market is a lagging indicator. A single fluctuation in the stock market is unlikely to impact the job market significantly in the short run.

However, if the downward trend continues in the stock market and shareholder confidence starts to erode, the job market will likely suffer since a company’s stock value is based on investors’ projection of its future earnings.

One major reason that a bull market typically creates more jobs is the increased M&A activities. Larger companies have more cash and tend to expand more aggressively. On the other hand, M&A activities tend to slow down in a sustained bear market.

Also, VC money tends to drop off in a sustained bear market, which often results in a tight market, as well as a contraction in seed and Series A rounds. This, in turn, affects the hiring prognosis for startups while more candidates are holding onto their jobs at bigger shops. Such candidate-favored market could deter smaller companies from hiring.

How the Stock Market Affects the Job Market

How the Stock Market and Job Market Affect Each Other

Many factors, such as the global economy, political climate, and investor confidence can impact how the stock market and the job market affect each other as they’re intertwined in nuanced ways.

For example, the economy doesn’t have to decline to put CEOs under pressure. If shareholders start losing confidence for any reason and executives are forced to put a hold on spending, the job market could be affected.

Alternatively, when job seekers see signs of uncertainty in the market, they’re likely to stay at their current jobs and start banking more money instead of taking more risks or increase their spending. This will reduce their disposable income, impact the economy, reduce corporate earnings, and eventually affect the stock market.

There are other factors that will affect the confidence of the market and the outlook of investors in response to a plummet in stock prices, which can have a major impact on the job market.

For example, if investors are pessimistic about the political climate and the Fed responds by increasing the interest rates, global stock and bond market will continue to drop. Companies will be under pressure to tighten their spending by pausing their hiring or even laying off employees.

However, if the political climate instills an optimistic mood in corporate America (e.g., through deregulation and tax breaks,) stockholder confidence can stay high despite a momentary drop in stock prices. Businesses will feel empowered and continue to expand and hire more employees.

Last but not least, wild swings in stock prices could impact market confidence more significantly. As a result, the fluctuation is likely to be more destabilizing for the job market.


 

Cadre is a quality over quantity boutique recruiting shop specializing in all things software engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. Cadre is building a talent network utilizing AI and Machine Learning to help solve the tech talent crisis across their portfolio of 85 startups throughout California, Seattle, and Austin.

 

Jason Stomel
Contributor
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.
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Jason Stomel
Cadre Talent, Santa Monica, CA
Jason is the founder and CEO of Cadre; a talent agency, recruiting software incubator and Angel Investor. He has been recruiting in LA for 12 years across a portfolio of startups ranging from Pre-Series A to publicly traded tech companies and Venture Capitalists.

Blockchain: Trust Is Not A Binary Option

Blockchain: Trust Is Not A Binary Option

Trust doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition when it comes to Blockchain

Blockchain’s primary value proposition is decentralization, the idea that the “truth” can be validated without 3rd party intervention in a trustless environment.  As technology has proliferated over the last several years, we have seen the infrastructure incorporate many different types of protocols:

  • Public  – Fully open blockchains with no barrier to participating (eg, Bitcoin, Ethereum)
  • Permission – Private blockchains where a central entity controls access (eg, Orderers in Hyperledger Fabric)
  • Federated – A consortium of entities controlling the blockchain (R3 comes to mind)

Each of these options has a different take on “trust.”  There are some in the crypto space who feel the only groundbreaking solutions are the public, or “permissionless,” solutions.  Their argument is that a protocol is only decentralized when it is fully public, and only then can it reach the full potential of the blockchain.

It’s a fair point, to be sure.  How can you be decentralized if one or more entities are entrusted control access to the blockchain?  However, it occurs to me that this is a very binary view of trust – in reality, trust is more nuanced and multi-layered, like a set of qubits more than a simple 0/1 representation.

Every single day we maintain simultaneous levels of trust at the same time.  I trust my wife implicitly (I hope that is wise), while I have much less trust in the Lakers’ ability to win a title without LeBron.   I have varying degrees of trust in my employees based on past performance, while I have no trust in the cars speeding along my neighborhood street when I walk the kids to school.

Our entire day is defined by a cascading array of trust, depending on our situation.  We understand and accept this because trust is a tool we use to maximize our benefit in specific situations.  I’m not going into a conversation with my wife about whether to have a 4th child (spoiler alert – not happening) from a lack of trust, because the conversation would be utterly pointless.  Conversely, I’m not going into a startup pitch from a place of trust, because it would eliminate the healthy skepticism I’ll need to evaluate the opportunity.

Why wouldn’t the same concept apply to blockchain?  Does every system need to be fully permissionless to add value?  The security and decentralized nature of Bitcoin works great for payments between people who don’t know each other, but in certain environments, organizations can still benefit from blockchain with a degree of centralization, provided there is a healthy level of trust.  For a tight supply chain of organizations with the right incentives to work together, a federated or permission solution would do just fine.

Ripple uses roles to establish specific participants to act as transaction validators

I’ve heard the argument that blockchain technology isn’t needed in situations where a centralized approach is acceptable – a central database would do just fine.  Sure it may be fine, but why not use blockchain when the technology provides other value propositions out of the box – namely, transparency and immutability?

My point is this: because trust is a multi-layered concept in our daily lives, and blockchain can handle trust in many different ways, we should embrace its implementation to support more than just the no-trust situations.  Let’s not limit blockchain’s potential while we still shaping this exciting new technology.

Is Blockchain Truly Decentralized?

Chad Hahn
Contributor
Optimity Advisors, Inc.
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.
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Chad Hahn
Optimity Advisors, Inc.
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.

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

Making friends is something that we’ve all been trained to do ever since childhood. In kindergarten, our parents often ask us to be good and to make friends with the other children in the playground.  This is probably one of the most important things that you need to learn if you want to succeed in life.

You wouldn’t feel comfortable borrowing a pen or paper from the person next to you if you aren’t friends with that person in the first place. You can’t ask for a raise if you aren’t on friendly terms with your boss. And you can’t get married if you can’t even find a partner.

To survive the jungle that is life, you need companionship, you need other people. They say that no man is an island – this is a very accurate statement.

But why make friends at work?

You might ask yourself, “Is it necessary for me to make friends in the workplace?” You might even think to yourself that you already have enough friends outside of your career, so why would you need more?

To be honest, you didn’t sign up for that job offer to build connections with your coworkers. But being in friendly terms with your coworkers brings you a lot of perks. Studies have shown that working with people you like will help you gain power throughout the day. Studies also show that these people will help increase your productivity as well. Sweet deal, right?

If you’re one of the people who say that friends at work are one of the most important factors to having a happy working life, then you’re not alone. 70% of employees say that this is true for them as well. This makes making friends a lot easier. With like-minded individuals, you’ll be sure to spot someone who you’ll instantly connect within no time. Some people go even as far as saying that they would refuse a higher paying job if it means not getting along with their colleagues.

But I don’t think I need friends at work!

Still not convinced huh? Well…

Data shows that one out of every three adults meets at least one of their closest friends at work. Having good company while working makes you feel happy and a lot more productive.

Eating alone is deemed to be a sad practice. Did you know that there is a 25% increase in morale and productivity when you’re given a larger lunch table to eat with your colleagues? After all, food does put you in a good mood. Use this advantage to your advantage and build positive relationships with the people you’ll be working with.

Having a best friend at work also improves the probability of staying in that company for a very long time.  After all, you’ll have someone you can trust to watch your back.

But there’s more!

The benefits don’t just end there. People who have a best friend at work are more likely to receive praises and they have a higher chance of being promoted as well. They also have a higher commitment to quality.

Because of this, they start developing a higher sense of consideration for constructive criticism, making them work harder to be the best that they can be.  These are actually things that can help make your career grow.

Having friends at work can also help you lead other people

Managers should start actively participating and encouraging the building of office relationships to ensure that happiness levels at the office are kept at the optimum level. Activities such as team buildings and office small talk prove to be useful in strengthening friendships between team members. Supervisors can also join in on the talk, to help ease the tension in the office and to establish that they aren’t just there as a body to reprimand them when they make mistakes. Establishing that even supervisors can be human can help build trust between the team and its managers.

Even a few minutes of chitchat over coffee during breaks will help you foster better relationships. This will lead you to have the drive of improving your performance, and improving your career.

Yes, even non-work related banter is considered to be a big help. If you have problems striking up a conversation with other people, try thinking of things that you both mutually know, you can try talking about food or the current events.

You could even try giving your coworker a compliment or two. Do not think too much about what you’re going to say and just let words flow naturally.

Don’t give up!

Friendship is a two-way road. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem interested in your friendship. Then don’t worry. They might just be having a bad day, or they might not have gotten enough sleep the day before. Try again another day, or with another person. If they still don’t feel like being friends with you, then it’s okay. It’s their loss. You still have the rest of the company anyway!

Finding yourself in a good mood will greatly affect how you go on about doing your daily tasks. Even the most difficult tasks seem a bit lighter when a good company joins you. Productivity is always seen as a good thing in the office. The more work is done, the happier your bosses will be.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

A happier “you” can make people around you happier as well. Muse writer Kaitlyn Russell goes on to explain that the friendlier you are with the people you see every day, the happier you’ll be. Remember that happiness is actually something that can infect the people you work with. You end up more open-minded about challenges that your boss presents to you, and you get to collaborate even better with your workmates.

Just be happy!

Conclusion

Workdays can be long and exhausting. Deadlines here, deadlines there, deadlines everywhere!  But, don’t let that get you down.  If you made friends with your coworkers, then there will always be people that you can rely on.

Your friends will help you get back on your feet when you feel like a failure. Don’t be afraid to summon the 4-year-old in you and make friends with people.  If you can’t do that, then you’ll most likely end up alone and without allies. If you want success, then you need connections. Period.

Why Some Work Friends Just Stick People

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
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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LA Startups Crew
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.