Today’s startup innovators come from about six hours south of Silicon Valley in Los Angeles. With about 200,000 small businesses, LA can also be considered an entrepreneurial epicenter – that’s nearly twice as many small businesses as can be found in any other region of the U.S.! As the entertainment capital of the world and home to a creative LGBTQ enclave, LA has a burgeoning startup scene attracting investors, incubators, and accelerators.
Heavily weighted towards Santa Monica – 35% of startups are headquartered in “Silicon Beach” – the city has produced some major successes. From Snapchat and Beats to Oculus Rift, Los Angeles became a prime location for the 2010 development of StartOut’s third national chapter.
On September 8, 2012, Jennifer Brown took the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts stage. Although she entered to strains of opera music, the classically trained opera singer was not there to sing. … READ MORE
People who live in cities have a lot of stuff – but not always enough space to store or park it all. That's why Bonnie Lai (who goes by "Bon") and her business partner Jonathan Gillon co-founded roost.com in March 2014. … READ MORE
25 March 2017
25 March 2017
Programming Board Chair
With a degree in Business Administration/Marketing, Ms. Sick has worked for anumber of well-funded startups in the B2B space as well as clients and projects inthe consumer and non-profit areas as well. She has run marketing departments andhas focused on growth and business development.
With a lot of hands-on startup experience, Sandra started mentoring companies inthe US and abroad. From 2012 to 2016, Sandra was living, working and involvedwith the startup community in Lisbon, Portugal. She mentored, coached and taughthundreds of startup in numerous 3-month accelerator programs and was anEntrepreneur in Residence at Beta-i in Lisbon. Wired recently wrote that ‘Lisbon isthe top startup hub in Europe’.
Ms. Sick continues to consult and mentors/advices startups who are faced withlaunching new products/services and working to build their momentum andgrowth.
National Board Vice Chair
Chris Fraley recently started evolve, a real estate investment company focused on capturing the premium associated with the evolution of mixed-use environments. Prior to starting evolve, Mr. Fraley was a Partner and national Head of Research for Rockwood Capital, where he worked for over 13 years. From 1999 through 2011, he was responsible for acquisitions and asset management on the East Coast, including sourcing transactions and negotiating joint venture partnerships.
Chris graduated from New York University and received a MBA from Yale. He currently serves of the Board of Directors of the Westside Urban Forum and is Secretary of the Board of Directors for GLAAD. Chris is also one of the co-founders of the Lesbian and Gay Real Estate Group (LGREG) and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Victor Self and their two daughters Coco and Kiki.
Damian is the CEO/Founder of REVRY a new LGBTQ digital content streaming service for Apple TV, Chromecast,
Roku, IOS, Android and The Web. Formerly the head of business development for North America for Make.tv, a German company specializing in cutting-edge streaming technology. Former instructor at YouTube Space LA/NYC.
David is President/CEO of Upper Diamond a media communications company specializing in branding, learning or cultural change initiatives and media production. Based in San Francisco and Los Angeles UpperDiamond.com’s client list includes many fortune 500 companies as well growing startups in emerging technologies. David and Upper Diamond enjoy working directly with start-ups and venture firms helping them design a cohesive marketing or launch strategy and then executing on the creative to get their story out.
David was also was co-founder of EntertainNet an Idealabs! incubated start-up whose funders included Steven Speilberg and was on the senior management team of The Ninth House Network the leading provider of e-learning business solutions. He has won multiple awards for his innovative work in the marketing, and e-learning space including Invision Best in Show, Cine Golden Eagle, and Cindy Gold. He received a BA from Vassar College, and studied at UCLA’ s Film and TV graduate school.
Nader is Head of Business Development at Josh.ai. Previously, he was managing partner at GenYrator and Vice President / Supervising Execution Trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Nader has an MBA from USC and a BS in Electrical Engineering from UT Austin.
Elizabeth Braman is the Senior Managing Direction at Realty Mogul responsible for
raising capital from institutional investors, family offices and registered advisors for
Realty Mogul’s suite of real estate opportunities. Elizabeth is a JD, MBA, CCIM, holds a
Series 7 and 63, and is an award-winning finance executive, with 15 years of experience
in commercial real estate lending, business development and sales.