805 Lunch at Five Threads Brewing Company

Last month’s lunch at Five Threads Brewing Company was great!  We had a few newbies, great beer and good pizza!  If you’re not already a member, sign up to our private lunch group HERE.

Next lunch will be held on June 17th.

Top Secret location to be messaged to paid members only!  😛

Check out these pics from last month:

805 Startups Demo Day Recap & Infographic


Hi All!

Thank you so much for being involved in the largest startup event to ever take place in Ventura County! The companies were great, we had an amazing turnout and the investors involved were top-notch. We couldn’t be happier with how it went. Stay tuned for more exciting events soon!

See the awesome pics Gary Livingston took below, followed by some tweets from the events.:

Really great event! The companies were amazing. Recap on 805startups.com soon! Pictures by the amazing Gary Livingston!

Posted by 805 Startups – Entrepreneurs, Techies and Investors in the 805 on Monday, February 22, 2016

That was way too long a post…especially because you probably got everything you needed to know from the infographic. Get back to work.

Announcing @805startups Demo Night Startups! #805demoday

We’re extremely excited to announce the amazing companies presenting at our Demo Night event on February 18th.  We’ve got a couple great companies from Israel, 5 based in the 805, and 3 from LA presenting to our panels of rockstar VCs.

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Rep’nUp (http://www.repnup.com)

Jerusalem, Israel

Rep’nUp offers a proprietary SaaS based predictive personality analytics solution for sharing economy platforms.

 modli ModLi (https://modli.co/)

Jerusalem, Israel

ModLi is a modest fashion marketplace with over 3000 individual items from over 80 boutiques from around the world.

 Ylixr_Logo_Full_Color Ylixr (ylixr.com)

Westlake Village, CA

Ylixr lets you find and stay connected with your favorite people in service to ensure the best experience for you.

 indieu_logo_large IndieU (www.IndieU.com)

Westlake Village, CA

IndieU is a music platform that connects unsigned musicians to colleges in order to help them grow a localized student fan base.

 comicblitz ComicBlitz (www.comicblitz.com)

Los Angeles, CA

ComicBlitz is the Netflix of digital comic books.

 purespectrum PURESPECTRUM (www.purespectrum.com)

Westlake Village, CA

PureSpectrum is the premium online sample marketplace that connects researchers and panels in a brand safe environment.

 rollocam Rollocam (Rollocam.com )

Los Angeles, CA

Rollocam mission is to design and build professional quality film making equipment that is highly portable.

 skyfallx SkyFallX (www.skyfallx.com)

Thousand Oaks, California and Nashville, Tennessee

SkyFallX improve safety and protect drone investment by using a SkyFallX parachute system.

 ContractWiser ContractWiser (www.contractwiser.com)

Venice, CA

ContractWiser is a legal intelligence tool that reduces the amount of time and money businesses spend on reviewing legal paperwork.

 estify Estify (estify.com)

Agoura Hills, CA

Estify solves problems related to data transfer between insurance carriers, independent appraisers, and collision centers.

Meet the @805startups Demo Night VC Judges!

We are super-excited and extremely lucky to be joined by this rockstar lineup of Venture Capitalists for our Demo Night.  Read about them below and RSVP NOW!

Each panel of judges will also be joined by a rep from Stradling and Montectito Bank & Trust, our top sponsors!

Matt McCall – Pritzker Group


Matthew McCall is a Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital and was formerly a Partner with DFJ Portage. McCall has been involved with investments in Analyte Health, AwesomenessTV (acquired by DreamWorks), Beachmint, BrightTag, Cognitive Concepts (acquired by Houghton Mifflin), Eved, EverDream (acquired by Dell), Feedburner (acquired by Google), FindTheBest, Imago Scientific (acquired by Ametek), Lefthand Networks (acquired by HP), Performics (acquired by Doubleclick/Google), Playdom (acquired by Disney), SMS-Assist, Siimpel (acquired by Tessera), SimpleTV and TicketsNow (acquired by Ticketmaster).

McCall has been honored on Crain’s annual “40 under 40” list of leading people under age 40 and their top Tech 25 list. He has been named as one of the Top 100 VCs in the U.S., a Media 100 and a Hollywood 100 Power Player. He has keynoted or been a panelist at over 100 conferences and events nationwide. He is the Founder & Trustee of the McCall Family Foundation, focused on encouraging social entrepreneurship and global human/girls’ rights. He has served on numerous regional high technology advisory boards. He is the author of a popular venture blog, www.VCConfidential.com.

Previous to 1995, McCall worked in the Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office, where he managed consulting and client teams on projects in the telecommunications, health-care and financial services industries. During and after college, McCall worked for Bankers Trust in Merchant Banking as well as at Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust.

McCall holds a B.A. in economics and history from Williams College and an M.B.A. with Honors from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He also holds a Master in Manufacturing Management from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering.

Mark Mullen – Double M Partners


Mark is the Founder and the largest investor in Double M Partners, LP I and II, both early stage venture capital funds with 60 total investors.  He is also Founder and the largest investor in Mull Capital, an evergreen fund that invests directly in startups and in other investment funds www.mullcapital.com.  All of the funds focus on investing in Internet, Media and Communications Infrastructure with primary focus on business to business solutions, software and technology.

Double M Fund I was formed in 2012 and holds 20 Investments in the US and Canada with notable exits to date, including Lettuce which sold to Intuit and Gradient X to SingTel.  Double M Fund II was formed in 2014 and holds 19 Investments in the US.  Mull Capital has made 20 investments since 1998 and has exited eight companies returning more than 8x invested capital to date, including MessageLabs which was sold to Symantec for $700 million, Clearwire (IPO) and Edgecast to Verizon for $400 million.  In his capacity at the Funds, Mark has held board seats at Kaleo Software, MomentFeed and MindClick and is a Board Advisor to ChowNow, Prevoty, Mover, Connectivity, DropPoint, Yoi Corp, Akanda and OpenDrives.

In 1993, Bill Daniels (Known as the Father of Cable TV in the US) hired Mark to build his international M&A and investment group.   He rose to partner at Daniels and was instrumental in its 2007 sale to RBC Capital Markets as one of Daniels’ senior bankers.  Between 1993 and 2010, he and his  team closed more than 100 M&A and private equity transactions ranging from more than $10 billion to less than $10 million advising clients such as Carlyle, Altice, Liberty Global, Providence Equity and Cinven to name a few.  This included deals in 17 countries in North America, Europe and Asia in a wide range of industries including Broadband and Cable TV, Mobile, Internet, Data and Telephony services, Digital Media and Satellite TV.

Upon retiring from RBC in 2010 as head of RBC Daniels’ European Media and Telecom investment banking group, Mark was appointed COO of the City of Los Angeles’ Economic Office and Senior Advisor to former Mayor Villaraigosa in efforts to streamline the government and utilize, manage and grow LA’s economic opportunities.  Mark oversaw several of the City’s assets including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the LA Convention Center.  Additionally he oversaw the Planning and Building & Safety Departments, the Office of Small Business Services and was also responsible for corporate business development for the City as a key liaison with the private sector.

Prior to joining Daniels, Mark worked from 1986-1990 in portfolio management and commercial banking with Janus Capital, Colorado National Bank and Sierra Capital, where he worked on debt financings and private and public equity placements.

Mark attended the University of Michigan (1982-84) and earned his degree in Business Administration cum laude from the University of Denver in 1986.  In 1992 he received an MBA in international business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Mark has lived and worked in San Francisco, Paris, London, Denver and New York City and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Richard Wolpert – Amplify, HelloTech and Accel Partners


A pioneer in the fields of technology, consumer digital media and entertainment for more than 25 years. Extensive experience as an executive, entrepreneur and as an investor.

Responsible for many “firsts” throughout his career including: conceiving of and teaching the first Macintosh Programming Class at Stanford University (CS 193C), the first multi-user address book for the Macintosh (TouchBase), the first kids internet subscription service (Disney’s Daily Blast), the first Tivo-like product for the Internet Radio (BitBop Tuner), the first legitimate music subscription service for the Internet (MusicNet), and the first legitimate online movie subscription service (Starz! On Demand). Successfully negotiated ground breaking deals with several of the major media companies whose content became the basis for many of these products

As an investor, managed personal investment fund, Chance Technologies (1995 to Present), served as an advisor to Accel Partners (2006 to Present), served as a partner at the Yucaipa Companies (1998 to 2000), and served as the Managing Director or the Mail Room Fund (2008 to 2010). Invested in more than 30 companies, a large percentage of which have had successful exits or continue on as successful companies, including: AdECN, AMG, AndroMedia, AudioMill, Data Sage, GameFly, GameSpy, Kongregate, Mob.ly, People Support, Smilebox, Sometrics, Three Rings, Scopely, PlayDek, and Universal Audio.

Peter Williams – ACE Portal


Peter Williams is Founder and CEO of ACE Portal (ACE), a leading transaction management platform for private placements of equity, debt and other securities.

Peter was named to the 2013 Investment News Power 20 – the 20 individuals around the globe expected to have the greatest impact on the financial advisor community in the coming year.

Previously, Peter was an investment banker at DLJ/Credit Suisse and CIBC, where he was involved in transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $15 billion for a diverse group of companies. He sits on the board of Legumex Walker Inc (TSX Ticker: LWP) an agriculture processing company he helped create as a principal.

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Buck Jordan – Canyon Creek Capital


Buck founded Canyon Creek Capital in 2010 and has over 10 years of experience in finance, media, consulting and M&A. The firm initially provided early stage advisory services to companies looking to expand market share, re-evaluate company strategy and raise capital but quickly moved on to deploying its first fund in 2011. Buck has become known for producing top of market due diligence and providing a tremendous amount of value for his portfolio companies. He is an advisor to several start-ups in the community, received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a former Army Captain and Blackhawk Pilot.


David Cremin – FrontierVC


David Cremin is a founder and Managing Director of Frontier, a Draper Network partner fund and early stage venture capital firm focused on west coast media and information services investments. Based in Los Angeles, he leads fund management, fundraising and portfolio management for Frontier. Prior to Frontier, he was a founding partner of Zone Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. Mr. Cremin has raised over $200 million in venture capital partnerships and helped lead investments in over sixty companies, including Divx Networks (NASDAQ:DIVX), and Clear Access, sold to Cisco in 2012. He previously served as Founder and CEO of Vis-à-Vis Entertainment, a music publishing and digital media company. He spent several years touring as a professional musician and recording artist for RCA Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records and EastWest Records. Mr. Cremin has taught business feasibility as an adjunct professor at UC Santa Barbara and California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo. He holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.


Top 10 Tips from @MontecitoBank’s @805startups Cyber-Security Event


We had a really great event with Montecito Bank & Trust last week.  You missed out if you weren’t there!  See the top 10 takeaways below.

  • Exploit kits (compromises occurring through infected websites) are by far the most common method used to deliver malware (ransomware, banking Trojans, etc.)
  • Ransomware is becoming the most common type of malware we see because it’s so easy to deliver and profit from. In addition, banking malware runs in the background on your machine that is standing ready to collect your online banking credentials the next time you log in. This scheme, called “account takeover”, allows the thieves to log into your online banking account on your behalf to transfer your hard-earned money out of your accounts.  Consider the case of the California escrow firm, Efficient Escrow Group, who was hacked in December 2012 and January 2013. A banking Trojan allowed hackers to remotely issue wires totaling $1.5 million to Russia and China on 3 separate occasions.
  • Phishing can also be used to collect your credentials.  Emails or pop-ups might appear to be coming from legitimate banking institutions, or even VISA or MasterCard.  Instead of clicking on the links embedded within emails or in pop-up windows, locate the websites and phone numbers yourself off of prior correspondence or dealings and go directly to the source yourself.  Consider downloading Trusteer, a solution we have partnered with IBM on to offer our clients that will warn you of potential malware running on your computer, or risks inherent with sites you might be visiting.  Download the tool at https://montecito.bank/trusteer or https://montecito.bank/trusteer-mac.
  • Montecito Bank & Trust us also protecting our customers through its new .bank domain at https://Montecito.bank.  The .bank domain is only open to banks that are verified by their regulator. Because the .bank domain is verified and authenticated, phishing, spoofing, internet scams and malicious emails that target bank customers should be reduced.  In addition, the .bank extension incorporates the latest security requirements and best practices to ensure that you are landing on our actual website and not being misdirected to malicious ones. It also requires email authentication & verification to mitigate spoofing, phishing, and other malicious activities propagated through emails.
  • User awareness is critical, be suspicious.  Stop and think before reacting to emails with links or requests like wire transfers, even if the email appears to be from someone you know.  Fraudsters deliberately create a sense of urgency. Consider signing up for public service announcements from the FBI to keep abreast of new internet crime scams at https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber.  More information about the types of scams being investigated by the FBI can be found here:  https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud .
  • Update your software regularly and use the vendor’s automatic software update features.  Especially tools used to connect to the internet (OS, browser, plugins like java flash and acrobat).
  • If you run a website update your platform regularly and consider hardening your CMS by restricting /admin or equivalent to trusted IP addresses only, enable 2 factor authentication on registrar account and DNS provider.  If possible use a WAF like and enable rules specific to your platform (e.g. Joomla or WordPress). Filter websites especially the unrated/uncategorized sites if possible.
  • If you accept credit or debit cards as payment for your services, contact your bank for an EMV-compliant terminal.  You may also want to ask for a “contactless” terminal to enable you to accept other types of tokenized payment methods. ApplePay, SamsungPay, Android pay, etc. are improvements in both convenience and security.  When you use them your credit card information is never shared with the merchant. A “token” is a special code associated with your account number.  Tokenization technology is unique in that they replace your account data with a unique number that is useless if stolen:  http://www.aba.com/Tools/Function/Technology/Documents/Tokenization-Infographic.pdf.
  • We are seeing another type of fraud on the rise, called “business email compromise” or “masquerading”.  This is a type of payment fraud that involves the compromise of legitimate e-mail accounts for the purpose of requesting an unauthorized wire transfer.  After an e-mail account is compromised, actors use the compromised account or a spoofed account to send wire transfer instructions. The funds are primarily sent to Asia, but funds have also been sent to other countries all over the world.   Visit https://montecito.bank to download our “Need to Know: CEO Wire Fraud” sheet now for additional tips on protecting your business against email fraud.
  • Finally, as tax season is now upon us, remain alert to IRS email or phone scams claiming you owe taxes.  Also watch for requests to add users to your QuickBooks accounts, even if the requests appear to be coming from your CPA or local banker.  Crooks could be masquerading as someone you know through a hacked email account to get access to your money or accounts.  Consider employing a two-factor authentication protocol for your company to verify requests for credentials or for transferring money.

Why @805startups get the best of LA, without being in LA.

Conejo_View_805_StartupsThe following article is an article that I wrote that was just published in the winter edition of the Conejo View.  Check it out and please share!

We live in a time, where geographic location means less and less to a business owner, especially in tech.  You can easily run an online, international business out of your house.  But even so, the perception is that if you aren’t launching your tech startup out of one of the worlds top tech hubs, it’s going to be an uphill battle, and you’re not going to be as successful.  Hiring engineers, designers, salespeople and other talent that have a core understanding of the industry will be tough.  Investors will be harder to come by, and getting the attention of a non-local investor will be difficult.

That might be the common perception, but it is very far from the truth.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both sides of this premise, and I could easily argue both of them, but there’s no need to, because we win no matter what.  Why?  Because we live in the 805.  We get the best of both worlds.

For the second year in a row, the tech community in Los Angeles, or Silicon Beach as they like to call it, has been ranked the third best startup ecosystem in the world.  The rankings are based on various criteria like access to capital, talent and of course, performance.  LA was only beat out by Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv.

One of my biggest pet peeves used to be when a great company from our area got lumped in as an LA based company.  It happens all the time.  For example, when Lynda.com recently sold to LinkedIn for $1.5 Billion Dollars, many reported it as “Los Angeles based Lynda.com sells…”  Not really that huge of a deal, but I find myself constantly defending this area to folks who feel they don’t have a choice but to relocate.  Most don’t even realize that many great startups call this area home, and many great success stories they have heard about were from this area.  Did you realize Lynda.com came out of Ojai and Carpinteria?  Did you realize that Estify based in Agoura Hills, Clutter whose founder is based in Westlake Village and Trackr from Santa Barbara are just 3 of many local up-and-coming companies that have raised millions of dollars from some of LA, Silicon Valley and New York’s most prominent Venture Capitalists?  They’re here, they’re kicking butt, and you can too.

We recently held an event with some of the area’s most well connected, well respected and most successful investors.  They collectively represented funds or groups worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  We talked about our local tech community and realized that our biggest problems are the same problems facing any startup community.  Then we discussed how to address them.  Talent was top of everyone’s list.  If we can’t hire engineers, we can’t scale or grow our tech companies.  We talked about (the lack of) engineering schools in the area, we talked about how we’re just not cool enough to attract the younger crowd and we also discussed the size of the talent pool.  But the truth is, the places that have the most engineers, also have the most demand for engineers and also have the most employee churn or turnover.  It’s why you see billboards in San Francisco advertising open positions at big companies.  We may not have as large a pool, but we also don’t need as many engineers, they cost less to hire (from a recruitment standpoint) and they stick with your company longer.  We also learned at the event that around half of the 250 folks in attendance were engineers that don’t commute, work at large organizations and that they were older on average than most expected.

What I learned from that event is not that we are lacking the talent or that engineering schools are a problem (although they could be an asset and I would love to see one at CLU and/or CSUCI), it’s that we need to build a culture around startups and build an awareness around the local startup community.  The engineers were already at the event, so they understand the potential for exponential growth that comes with startup success, but what they need to know is that if they quit their cushy job at a local large organization to join a startup, if it fails, there will be another one waiting for them around the bend.

Does it matter that we’re not in LA?  Not to outsiders who think we are in LA.  Does it matter to us?  Yes!  We get a better quality of life, more bang for our buck when it comes to real estate (for the most part) and a usable school system for our children.

The truth is, this conversation effects every one of our businesses.  The lines are blurred and some of the biggest “tech” startups are not what you would traditionally label tech.  They’re not all Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram.  They’re subscription razor blades, car services and fashion startups.  But to scale and grow your company in this day and age, you need to do it online.  805 Startups is the place to meet the folks who are doing it, and could help you do it too.

If you own a company, want to start a company, are a techie, have a child who’s a techie, want to meet a techie or are interested in the nerdy stuff we talk about at our events, come join us at 805STARTUPS.COM.

Cyber Security: Defense in Depth – FREE workshop from @montecitobank

montecito_logoWe’re extremely excited to announce that we’re hosting Montecito Bank & Trust, one of 805 Startups’ top supporters’ cyber security class led by Paul Abramson, their Director of Technology and Laurel Sykes, their Chief Risk Officer at the Cal Lutheran Center for Entrepreneurship in Westlake Village.  The class was created for proprietors, CEOs, CFOs, finance managers and IT Managers.

Join us at this FREE workshop to learn:

  • Lessons from real world stories of email compromises
  • Critical tips to aid in prevention and response
  • How to develop a layered security approach in your organization
  • How attackers spread malware, steal passwords and defraud businesses
— RSVP to Jamie at jperez@montecito.bank or on the 805 Startups Meetup group —

Feel free to share and post the official flyer below:


Event Recap – Meet the Associates from @AmplifyLA, @tenone10 & @KarlinVentures!

Hi All!

The event last week was amazing.  Tons of great info dispensed by our amazing panelists, Chris Olson from Amplify.LA, Arteen Arabshahi from Karlin Ventures and Austin Clements from TenOneTen Ventures.  One of the main focusses was what they liked and disliked from the startups / founders that reach out to them, and they were very open about it.

Some main points:

GET A WARM INTRO.  They said that they take warm intros 100x more seriously.  Find mutual connections and don’t be afraid to ask for an intro.

BE CONCISE.  Investors get TONS of emails.  If you want to get their attention, especially if the email is unsolicited, keep it short and to the point.  This way, you don’t waste their time or yours.  I’ve found the best way to get an answer from a busy person is to send super-short emails with a specific question that can be answered easily.

START A CONVERSATION.  Make it conversational.  Get to know the investors in the room and don’t just dive into a pre-prepared deck.  The investors are evaluating you, not just your startup.  Help them get to know you.

ASK FOR ADVICE.  “Ask for money, get advice.  Ask for advice, get money.”  Don’t come right in asking for cash (they know why you’re there!).  Pick the investor’s brain.  Ask good questions.  Just like in the previous point, get to know them.  Then, when appropriate, try and close the deal.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK.  Come prepared and know a bit about the investors you’re meeting.  It’s not hard to look up their website or AngelList profiles.  Do it.  You sound smart if you say something like, “you invested in HelloTech, so I thought you might be interested in our ‘on-demand’ startup that solves a similar problem for a market…”  You sound like a dumbass if you say something like, “do you invest in ‘on-demand’ startups?” to someone like Karlin Ventures who list 3 startups that have the words “on-demand” in their one-line descriptions on the portfolio section of their website.

Some tweets from the event:

Some Pics: