Create Your Next Product at MAKE IT IN LA

Create Your Next Product at MAKE IT IN LA

Lots of people come to LA to try to build a flourishing career, and now we have a group of ambitious people whose company name is the same as their goal. In fact, they want everyone to make it in LA, or at least they wish to help local businesses achieve a measure of success.

The way they wish to achieve this is partly with the use of the usual online tools. They offer inspirational features and expert advice, they broadcast podcasts on a wide range of business-related topics, and they come up with events that help drum up networking and partnership opportunities for various small businesses and large companies.

They list incentives and tools for which various businesses may qualify. These include the Locate LA tool that identifies the communities and properties that may suit your needs. Other incentives they point out include the Case Management Program, Industrial Development Bonds, the Utility Infrastructure Loan, California Competes for income tax credit and other tax credits, various programs that can help businesses become more sustainable, programs for workforce training, and various programs that can help facilitate international exports.

Basically, the Make It In LA group’s business is to get your business off the ground running successfully. They also help with factory tours to help your business find the best manufacturing facilities for your consumer items. The manufacturing structure in LA is, in fact, the biggest in the whole country, and the majority of them have excess capacity. These factories are looking for new customers. And Make It In LA can help new startups connect with the factories that can accommodate their needs.

It’s true that statistically, a significant number of startups fail. More than half fail after 5 years, and more than 70 % call it quits after 10 years. With the help of Make It In LA, your business may have a better chance of surviving the mean streets of the city.

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.

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.
×
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.

This Fried Chicken Delivery Service Is New But Its LA-Native Chef Is Legendary

This Fried Chicken Delivery Service Is New But Its LA-Native Chef Is Legendary

Have you heard great things about the new LA fried chicken delivery and pickup service called DFC Ghost Kitchen? If you have heard news about this setup, then chances are that you’re considering trying it out. Here are some cool facts you should know:

  • The “DFC” in the name stands for Dante Fried Chicken, and that’s because it was founded by the legendary LA chef Dante Gonzales.
  • This service’s headquarters is in the Hotel Normandie in Koreatown.
  • It began in late August of 2018 so it’s very new, and it can be found on food delivery apps from Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
  • They make deliveries in the neighborhoods of Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire, and East Hollywood. However, Dante plans to expand their delivery radius, through Grubhub, Caviar, and Postmates. You can also look forward to having them on Door Dash and Uber Eats.

  • If you’d rather pick up the food yourself because it’s on your way, you can place your order and then pick up the food at Cassell’s Hamburgers in the Hotel Normandie. You can place your order by sending an Instagram message to DFC Ghost Kitchen or by calling them at (323) 813-1424.
  • Aside from the obvious chicken, they also offer ribs with 15 spices, tomatillo collard greens, and mac n’ cheese with smoked pimento.
  • Many of these recipes used for DFC Ghost Kitchen are the versions of Dante based on his grandma’s cooking. His grandma grew in in New Orleans and she especially appreciated the cultures of Mexico and Guatemala. This helps explain why half the menu is fried chicken and meats roasted slowly, while a significant number of sides are vegan.
  • Dante calls his style of cooking not as soul food but as “Transatlantic African”. This is a combo of African, European, and Native American culture and cuisine. Dante wants to remain creative and thoughtful with his dish creations, to honor his grandma.
  • One of Dante’s most popular dishes here is the Sock-It-To-Me Fried Chicken Tenders. The strips he uses are coated in some special type of granola. Its ingredients include crusts and seeds he has found on his travels around the world, with unusual elements like Rice Krispies, Swedish crackers, and Cheerios cereals.

  • The menu also includes versions of Dante’s grandma’s coconut honey biscuits and pineapple shallot skillet rolls. It’s just that he has adjusted them somewhat to fit his own taste buds.
  • You can also try the fantastic smoked brisket, which is first coated in a chocolate cocoa powder dry rub along with 5 types of peppers. It’s somewhat like mole as a result. The smoking process lasts 6 hours, and then it’s braised in orange juice and stout.
  • Dante Gonzales started his career by throwing underground music, film, and fried chicken parties in his loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Partygoers included famous rappers, and he then launched a YouTube channel. This led to a New York food delivery service in 2009, which became popular when it was featured by the Cooking Chanel.

He raised $10,000 to set up a food truck in LA, and that led to a cookbook deal and culinary fame.

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.
×
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.