Baroda Ventures: VC Firm That Focuses on Pre-Seed & Seed Stage Investments in LA

If you’re an LA-based company looking for some venture capital seed money, you should consider Baroda Ventures that’s also based in LA. They prefer to be geographical to the companies they fund, and they tend to come in at the pre-seed and seed stages of a startup.

Their focus is on companies in sectors such as digital media, mobile, e-commerce, SaaS, and the Internet in general. However, they want to invest in companies with a founding team that’s a good team of business and technical leaders. They search for the real passion in solving problems, over companies who are merely jumping on the bandwagon of current fads and trends.

They also prefer to invest in companies which do not need large amounts of capital before they can gain customers and revenue. At the same time, they like it if there is a large potential upside. The particular market of the startup should be ready for vast improvement, and there should be a potential for huge gains.

If you’re starting a new company and you want Baroda Ventures to invest in your company, you will have to be more resourceful. You can’t just send them an email with a contact request and a business plan attached. Well, you can do this, but it probably won’t work. Baroda Ventures tends to focus more on startups that have been referred to them by sources that they trust. These trusted sources include the founders of the companies in their portfolio and their co-investors.

So your best bet is to do your research on shared contacts and networks, so you can reach out to those trusted sources who can make the proper introductions and recommendations. Look at this as part of your entrance exam—reach the right contact, and you’ll get your appointment.

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.

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Brands Are Built With These Four Components

Brands Are Built With These Four Components

We could really run the gamut when it comes to branding. There are a million big pictures and small details to consider. So much so that we’re often frozen-intimidated as to how or where to start when we’re building a brand.

But, before we get into that, let’s back it up a bit.

  • Brands. What am I talking about?
  • Are you ready for the answer?
  • Anything. Anything and everything.  

Yes, anything and everything is a brand and can BE a brand. That startup venture where you’ve raised $100,000? Brand. That startup venture that’s raised zilch? Brand. That company that’s been around for 100 years? That idea you had on your morning run? Brand. You? Brand.

They’re all brands. Because they’re all things we want to be a part off of things and/or we want others to be a part of with us.

Which is why, when we’re talking about branding anything, it really comes down to these four components.

Language

Imagery

Experiences

Humans

When starting to build these or even build some thoughts about what they mean in the context of your idea, company, startup, you, it’s best to start with some quick questions. I call these elevator questions. Because, just like your elevator pitch, I want you to hear this question, and trust your gut; what’s your answer to these q’s in the time it takes you to ride the elevator to your destination. (Life hint: This is really about what your gut is telling you.)

1 Language

What keywords, phrases, taglines, copy do you want someone else to read, feel, experience when they read your website, sales brochures, or social media?

2 Imagery

What’s your photographic style? Airy, dream, soft, cozy? Bold and bright with sharp lines? This should be more about vibe – what do your brand’s pictures, graphics, fonts, images feel like?

3 Experiences

What’s it like to experience – be with, talk to, partner with – you and your brand? Is the experience personal and unique? Does it make someone else feel special? Is it easy and fun?

4 Humans

Who’s on your team and who are customers interacting with? Are your team members in-line with you and how you want to run this business? Are they responsible, reliable, fun, and easy to work with? Do they make your life easier?

An easy next step you can do between conference calls today: Take 30 minutes uninterrupted to think through these q’s or write down what might have occurred to you if you did, in fact, think these through on the elevator. Make some quick notes to yourself with answers to your q’s; also, don’t ever be afraid to talk through these q’s WITH your team. They might see things or experience things differently, and their two-cents can make this process more efficient – and more fun. (Who’s ever going to argue with that?)

Now, I want to harken back to something I mentioned maybe 30 seconds ago – what your gut is telling you. This is clutch. Because the day we start making decisions and building brands that contradict our gut instinct, we’re building something that’s not true or authentic. And people always want to be a part of something that’s true or authentic. People can smell that out, you know? You do; don’t you think your followers – or prospective followers – will, too?

Also, remember – branding is meant to be an inspiring conversation you look forward to; if it’s not, there might be something deeper going on in the business. And this just might be the time to think through that, too.

Toth + Fay recently launched an online academy – The School of Brand Confidence – that will walk you through branding basics – from copywriting to visual strategy to believing in yourself – to support your brand building. Learn more about it here.

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How did a blonde from Pittsburgh + a brunette from the Carolinas meet and create a business together? 🤔 Short+sweet version : Meg joined @hyggeclt the first week it opened back in November 2015 when it was literally just @garretttichy sitting at a card table. (Literally. 😂) Two years later, in walked Julia who wanted to see what the co working buzz was about. 🙃 In 2017, they teamed up to write about and photograph members of the Hygge community that year; now – they’ve written close to 90. When they reach 100, they think it’s fair to ask for a cake (@SuarezBakery, Garrett.) 👯‍♀️ After partnering together through different projects with their own clients and teaching four successful in person branding workshops, they decided to BRAND themselves and create @tothandfay. 💛 So needless to say, the first handshake and collaboration would’ve probably never happened if it wasn’t for @hyggeclt and for that they are grateful 💛

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You may also like: How to maximize your digital marketing budget in 2019

Meg Seitz
Contributor
toth shop, inc.
Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, a Charlotte-based agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She utilizes a unique skill set that is a fusion of her English major and MBA, brand strategist role and teaching experience, writing philosophy and hybrid thinking approach. As well, she serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University’s Vandiver Center for Career Development and Founding Partner of the educational platform and children’s book series, “Bea is for Business” designed to teach children ages 5-9 business principles.
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Meg Seitz
toth shop, inc.
Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, a Charlotte-based agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She utilizes a unique skill set that is a fusion of her English major and MBA, brand strategist role and teaching experience, writing philosophy and hybrid thinking approach. As well, she serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University’s Vandiver Center for Career Development and Founding Partner of the educational platform and children’s book series, “Bea is for Business” designed to teach children ages 5-9 business principles.

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.

Nominations Open for New Book to Highlight Top Players in Los Angeles’ Startup Scene

LA Startups - StartupGuide.com

Entrepreneurs, investors, colleges, accelerators, coworking spaces and experts can now be nominated to be featured in Startup Guide Los Angeles, the first-ever entrepreneurial handbook dedicated to Los Angeles’ startup scene. Based on traditional guidebooks that can be carried around everywhere, Startup Guide books help entrepreneurs navigate different startup hubs across the globe and are now in 20 different cities across the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, including London, New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Stockholm.

To ensure an accurate and trustworthy guide, the book is co-created with the local startup community. From Dec. 6 – 18, 2018, anyone in the community can contribute by nominating candidates they’d like to see in the book here.

After the nominations period, the local advisory board – consisting of key players in the local startup community – votes for the final selection so there is a balanced representation of industries and startup stories in the book.

Founded in 2014 by Sissel Hansen, Startup Guide is a creative content and publishing company that produces guidebooks and tools to help people turn their startup ideas into a reality. The idea behind the Startup Guide books originally came to Hansen when she moved from Copenhagen to Berlin to start a business and discovered how difficult it was to find useful information and local advice about the process. Despite being rejected by multiple investors, she bootstrapped the project and launched the first Startup Guide book in Berlin in 2014 – and it sold out in less than 48 hours.

For Startup Guide Los Angeles, Startup Guide has partnered with The L.A. Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, who will be the main project facilitator and supporter, while the main sponsor for the project is SAP Next-Gen, a global, purpose-driven innovation university, and community.

The Startup Guide Los Angeles book is set to be released in July 2019. To save 20% on the book before the launch date, pre-order it now.

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.

Uber Works Wants to Disrupt The On-demand Staffing Business

Uber Works Wants to Disrupt The On-demand Staffing Business

Uber doesn’t always have an easy time doing business. But instead of just relying on its rideshare platform, it’s diversifying its services to provide a lot more earning opportunities for the company and for its drivers. One of these initiatives is the new Uber Works, which the company is testing right now.

What’s Uber Works?

This is an on-demand staffing business, much like the original Uber template is an on-demand rideshare business. This service enables its client businesses to hire various workers for short-term duties. If there’s a special event or a corporate function then Uber Works allows these companies to hire waiters and security guards for the duration.

It’s still a new initiative that Uber is exploring, and it may not turn into a business at all. But it has been tested in LA, and now trials are being held for Uber Works in Chicago.

Other Uber Ideas

Uber Works isn’t the only new way for the company to earn income.

  • Uber Eats is perhaps the most notable new service offered by the company, as it provides its drivers with a new food-delivery service. It’s a service that’s now available in 250 cities all over the world, and it has managed to generate $6 billion in total bookings for the last year.
  • Uber has a trucking division called Uber Freight, which matches available truckers to companies that need its goods to be transported. This division now has a new service called Powerloop. This time, it rents out physical equipment like tractor trailers to the drivers who need them.
  • They’ve added bikes and electric scooters to the Uber apt this year.
  • They’re planning to add the option for all-electric short-range aircraft in the future.
  • Uber is also working on self-driving technology.

Uber as the Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

It’s no secret that Uber has been facing a lot of criticism for the last few years. Critics have long harped on how it denies its drivers benefits like a minimum wage and health benefits. Its global expansion has slowed down, and it has been disastrous in Russia and China. Even its research on self-driving technology has taken a beating in the public eye when one of their test cars had an accident that killed a pedestrian.

Yet the valuation for Uber has now grown to $70 billion. Some even think that it can reach a total value of $120 billion when it’s time for the company to go public. Those $120 billion valuations would be more than the combined company value total of the Big 3 automakers. To see just how Uber has grown, note that its supposed rival Lyft is also planning an initial public offering but experts believe that it will end up with just a valuation of $15 billion.

Much of the Uber renaissance is due to the diversification of its efforts. Uber Eats in itself is already worth $20 billion. It’s trying to do another Amazon path to success, and Amazon started with just books. Will Uber achieve the same level of success? Stay tuned!

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.
×
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.

PledgeLA to Boost Diversity and Inclusion in The Los Angeles Tech Community

PledgeLA to Boost Diversity and Inclusion in The Los Angeles Tech Community

As the tech sector in LA grows due to the saturation of the tech industry in the San Francisco area, the same problems in Silicon Valley are now coming up. There’s a growing tension between the upstarts of the tech industry and the regular folks in the community surrounding this IT boom.

According to critics, what will follow in LA will be what happened in San Francisco if there’s nothing done about it. Regular people and longtime residents will feel alienated and looked down upon. They will feel like they’re being forced out by the higher rents and costs of homes as well as the prices of regular consumer goods.

That’s why more than 80 entrepreneurs and tech investors are joining Mayor Eric Garcetti and the non-profit Annenberg Foundation to launch PledgeLA. This is the LA tech community initiative that seeks to avoid what happened in San Francisco and to the people there who felt disenfranchised by the growing tech boom.

PledgeLA Features

Features of the initiative include the following:

  • More opportunities will be provided for everyone, regardless of race, background, or gender. So even non-white women who grew up poor should have the same opportunities as the white guys who grew up rich.
  • Those who signed to the PledgeLA agreement will track civic participation and diversity data each year. That data will be made public so that people will know if a tech company is made up of exclusively white males from the Ivy Leagues and other top schools.
  • Startups and funds will report on the composition of their workforce noting various factors. This won’t be just noting age, gender, and race. It will also note socioeconomic origin, educational attainment, and even sexual orientation to see if there’s bias against hiring members of the LGBT community. Other factors will include the status in regards to disabilities, immigration, and military service veteran. Even the tenure at a firm will be noted.
  • The signatories also will come up with a proper code of conduct centered on diversity and inclusion, and diversity will be practiced in corporate hiring.

Good Business Sense

While many who signed PledgeLA did so out of a sense of moral and ethical rightness, it also makes good business sense to emphasize diversity on corporate hiring practices. A Diverse workgroup brings different points of views when it comes to making decisions. It helps with networking for sources of talent, and the diverse work group can help build a diverse consumer base as well.

LA has now become one of the top 5 US destinations for technology investment and it’s now one of the top tech hubs in the country. The top 100 tech companies in LA and Orange County has reported a 24% increase in employment within the last year.

There are a still a few notable holdouts to PledgeLA, however. Tesla and SpaceX have not yet signed on, and nor has Snap. But LA is an inherently diverse area, and such a diversity must be maintained in the tech workplace as well.

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.
×
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.