Cindy Rakowitz – Featured Member – May

Cindy is a great leader in the community that is active with her own charity, Fit 4 The Cause, and a consistent mentor at 805 Startups and other organizations.

Cindy’s background is in PR and disaster control. She developed the bulk of her skills while acting as top executive at Playboy Enterprises.

You can learn more about Cindy here:

We posed some interesting questions to Cindy and here are her responses:

How do you feel about finding a balance of personal and work life? Why do you feel this way? What do you do to achieve that goal?

Workaholics struggle with balance, but we remind ourselves that we work to live not live to work. I thought my newfound fitness addiction provided a balance opportunity from the crisis communications industry–and instead it became a philanthropic career when launching Fit 4 The Cause, Inc. This is the year that I’m going to find balance again through travelling and meeting some new groups of people.

How do you manage the many things you are worried about during you day?Seeking unbridled laughter.How do you manage expectations for yourself? Why is this important to do?

As a serial pleaser, I’m learning to set parameters. Burning out isn’t good for anyone.

How do you manage expectations from others? Why is this important to do?

I don’t struggle with honesty and full-disclosure. This way I don’t disappoint my peers.

How do you manage what is best for yourself versus what is best for the company? Why do you take this approach?

I always looked out for the greater good. Its in my DNA. Its a blessing and its most professional.

What do you feel is an acceptable number of hours for you to work? When would you make an exception to this? Why?

If you enjoy your work–your not counting the hours.

Do you/did you suffer from Impostor Syndrome? How do you manage this?

Its common to experience Imposter Syndrome when committing to public speaking or authoring a book. If you know yourself and thoroughly understand your area of expertise–you are inoculated against IS.

How important is your mental well being to your productivity and success? What do you do to support your mental health?

As a fitness professional, I promise that getting your heart rate up and challenging yourself through resistance training will make you feel invincible. Its especially gratifying when you workout with an awesome group of friends. This isn’t limited to a gym–it can be any sport!!!

How important is your physical well being to your productivity and success? What do you do to support your physical health?

I’m a master trainer! Duh!

How do you manage stress? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by stress? What was that experience like and how did you overcome it?

We all manage stress in our own ways. My favorite cross-training activity is enjoying Happy Hour with yummy tapas and a ginger martini or two.

How do you stay motivated? Have you ever felt burned out? What was that experience like and how did you overcome it?

I’m heading up our non-profit organization’s third gala this week. 
I probably shouldn’t be writing this in burn out mode. I’m managing this through getting plenty of rest and ensuring REM sleep.

How often do you celebrate your progress? What do you count as a progress worth celebrating? Why do you feel this is important to do?

In mid-life, the celebrations find you. Especially if you’ve accomplished extraordinary things.

Enjoy more with Cindy in this video from our January FEM event with Shawna Bigby Davis

Brad Weber – March Featured Member

Brad is an amazing mentor and member. He is always happy to hear what others are working on and offers up an near endless torrent of insight to the community.

Brad’s startup roots go back to the bubble years and he has some really great stories about the old wild west days of online tech. He has been involved in a variety of aspects of startups, but his passion is finding ways to help businesses grow.

Brad has recently been leveraging his experiences and insights to found charitable startups, innovating new ways to improve the care of those dealing with illness.

His current project, Avita Group, represents that.

We are extremely excited to also have the honor of Brad leading a workshop at our March 27th Innovation & Growth Fair. Brad will be helping educate the community on ways to raise money without relying upon VCs.

Be sure to visit the workshop or say hi to Brad at another future event.

SoCal IP – March Featured Member

SoCal IP is one of our longest and most supportive sponsors and group of members.

Jonathan Pearce and Mark Goldstein are staples at our VIP Lunches, Innovation & Growth Fairs, and a variety of our other events.

Their entire team is always looking for ways to contribute to 805 Startups and a variety of other great organizations across the entire region.

They aren’t just members or sponsors–they are our trusted mentors.

Every time we encounter them in the community they are eager to offer advice and help others find their way. That advice goes beyond their expert insights into intellectual property law, it spans anything someone needs help with. They might not have all the answers for those other topics, but they are happy to try to point others into the right direction.

We are excited to have SoCal IP join us again as sponsors in 2019 and we look forward to spending much more time together as we help the community grow, together.

Don’t be shy to reach out to them. Even if you’re not sure if your ready to use their services, it never hurts to ask for their advice to see if you’re taking care of your business and IP.

Urban Plates – March Featured Member

We were delighted to have Urban Plates sponsor our February VIP Lunch and host our amazing group.

Our good friend and 805 Startups supporter, Austin R. recently joined the Thousand Oaks location as their General Manager. Upon learning of this we immediately reached out and asked if Urban Plates would be interested in supporting our community. Of course, he was eager to host us.

Austin has not only proven to be a great supporter of 805 Startups, but of the entire community. While GM at in his previous employer he worked hard to establish programs to help our local charities and schools raise funds and connect to donors.

This was our first time at Urban Plates and it was a wonderful experience. The food was outstanding and fresh. The cafeteria style ordering is fun and quick. They have a great selection, all fresh and delicious! Oh, the blueberry lemonade is outta control!!! Dang, now I’m craving it.

We had a fantastic time hanging out on their patio where we got to enjoy some beautiful and relaxing chiller California winter weather.

We also got to learn about their great catering options. I ended up putting in a delivery order shortly after our lunch and they do a great job packaging and handling the food. I was really impressed, especially after spending so much time a co-founder for a on-demand food delivery startup.

Don’t be surprised to see some of our other future events featuring their great food.

If you have your own event or lunch that needs some food, be sure to head on over to

Be sure to stop in soon and ask to meet Austin so you can get to know a great member of your community.

Hopefully, this will be a recurring occurrence for future VIP Lunches!