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.

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.


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.

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:

Fireside Chat With Adam Draper Recap + Photo-booth Pics!

Quick update:  See press about the event in the local paper!

Hi All!

The fireside chat with Adam Draper from Boost.VC was great!  Thank you all so much for coming and participating.  Adam had some amazing advice and info for all startups and entrepreneurs, especially when it came to joining an accelerator, and we even got to talk a bit about bitcoin and virtual reality!


Some awesome tweets from the event:


Welcome @MontecitoBank & @StubbsAlderton to our amazing group of @805startups sponsors!!!

We’re less than 2 weeks away from the big event and I am super excited to announce that Montecito Bank & Trust, and Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP have come on board to sponsor us.


If you’re at all familiar with either of these groups, you know how lucky we are to have them on our team.  They’re both local, both very entrepreneur friendly, and they’re both obviously forward thinking.  😛

They’ll both have representatives at the event, but if you need a direct intro to either of them, let me know.

Investor Panelists at next @805startups

Hi Friends!

I’m super excited to announce the panelists that will be speaking at our September 3rd event.  I posted the honorees last night, and am starting to realize just how insanely great this event will be be.  An event like this has never happened in Ventura County, and you can tell how excited the community is by how many folks are planning on attending.  I feel honored myself that all these folks, the honorees and panelists are all getting involved and donating their time.

Tweet: Investor Panelists at next @805startups


Richard Wolpert – Amplify, HelloTech and Accel Partners

richardA 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.

Jim Andelman – Rincon Venture Partners


Jim is co-founder and Managing Partner of Rincon Venture Partners.   Jim is in his 15th year as a VC.

Previously, Jim led software investing at Broadview Capital Partners, a $250 million Bay Area expansion-stage VC firm.  Before BCP, Jim was a member of the Technology Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. There, he concentrated on equity private placements and IPOs for software companies.  Jim began his career with Symmetrix, a boutique strategy consulting firm founded by a Bain & Co. co-founder. Jim received his MBA with highest distinction (first in his class) from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and his BS in Economics (magna cum laude) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jim serves on the Boards of Directors of Campus Explorer, Conversion Logic, Keen IO, Mobcrush, Rainforest QA, Rentlytics, Steelhouse, TaxJar and Tradesy. He previously led investments in Burstly (acquired by Apple), DataPop (acquired by Criteo), Gradient X (acquired by Singtel), Cadforce (acquired by Neilsoft) and Packet Island (acquired by BroadSoft). In addition, he serves on the Boards of Directors of Friends of Yosemite Search and Rescue and the Los Angeles Venture Association, on the Advisory Board of the Douglas Family Preserve.

Dave Gross

davegrossIn his own words:  I am a serial entrepreneur, engineer, technologist, and investor in Internet Services (SaaS), Digital Marketing, Healthcare & Wellness, M2M/IoT/IoE, Additive Manufacturing, Spacecraft Hardware Systems, Hybrid Electric Vehicles & Energy Harvesting Technologies. I co-founded Motodyne, Fastclick, Persistence Partners and Connexity with multiple successful exits including an IPO. I am on sabbatical from an operating role, researching my next adventure…

Mike Panesis – CLU Center For Entrepreneurship and Tech Coast Angels

mikepanesisMr. Mike Panesis is the Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at California Lutheran University (CLU) in the USA. He comes to CLU from the Technology Management Program (TMP) at the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering, where he ran the University of California Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) highly successful New Venture Competition (NVC). While at UCSB, he also developed a mentor network for advising students, represented the TMP at community events, and innovated with the NVC to reflect best practices in the Santa Barbara start-up community. Additionally, Mike played a key role in creating the new start-up incubator for the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet.

Mike is Chairman of the Board of Governors of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest accredited angel investor group in the country and is head of the TCA’s Central Coast Investor Network.

Mike’s career spans a diverse range of industries and roles, including executive management, tech start-ups, information technology management and management consulting for companies like Semtech, Whitestone Research, DealerTrack, Church & Dwight, Deloitte & Touche and AT&T.

Mike holds a MBA degree in Marketing from Rutgers University in New Jersey and received his BS in Computer Science for Business from the DeVry Institute of Technology. He is on the Board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enterprise Forum of the Central Coast Chapter and Steering Committee of the Ventura County Greek Festival.

Community Leaders Being Honored at next @805startups

Hi, Friends!

I’m excited to announce the amazing community leaders we’re honoring at the next event.  See their info below and please support everything they do!  They are an impressive group of folks on all accounts, but also please remember that they are being honored because of their amazing work in OUR community.  For that reason, I included a link to each of their local groups they run.  Please join and support their groups!

Tweet: Community Leaders Being Honored at next @805startups

Honoree Bios:

Kyle Ashby – StartupSB

Kyle-Ashby-HeadshotKyle Ashby is an entrepreneur, community builder, startup advisor and avid explorer who never sits still.  The founder of Kaldera, an advisory firm that focuses on strategy, innovation, growth and community building, Kyle works with other entrepreneurs, startups, companies and organizations.  He is also the Co Founder of the Impact Hub Santa Barbara, a creative workspace for entrepreneurs making change (opening at the end of 2015), and the fire-starter behind StartupSB, a 1500+ member entrepreneurial network that connects central coast entrepreneurs, startups, investors and resources.  He also founded Travel in Central America, a company providing unique travel experiences (like baseball team tours) in Central America. He was part of the founding team of BrandLive (an interactive video platform) and Mobile Corporation.  He’s also worked in executive, marketing and project management roles with a number of multinational companies and technology startups.  As a Startup America Champion and Startup Weekend Global facilitator, Kyle has visited and interacted with 100’s of startup communities in the US and the World and has coordinated events from Australia to Aspen as well as all of the Startup Weekend Santa Barbara events.  Kyle has also taught classes in marketing, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Technology Management Program at the University of California and at Antioch University Santa Barbara.  He has an MBA from Babson College and undergraduate degrees in Film Studies and Geography from UC Santa Barbara.

Daniel Ball – Westlake Village Lean Startup Meetup

Daniel BallDaniel Ball is an expert in early-stage product development and strategic marketing, and teaches a variety of programs in the startup community including entrepreneurship at UCLA Extension and 3 years of running intensive programs for entrepreneurs in Santa Monica through the Startup Next organization.  Startup Next is a global, pre-accelerator program affiliated with Startup Weekend, Google for Entrepreneurs, and is now part of the Techstars global brand.  As the Los Angeles City Coordinator for Startup Next, he has personally worked with over 50 startups to develop their product or business ideas and help prepare them for pitching to investors or accelerator programs, bringing in mentors from the startup community.  He has an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a Bachelors of Science in Business from UC Berkeley.
His professional career outside of teaching includes 16 years of experience in the healthcare industry as a product manager and marketing manager, with focused expertise on early-stage product development, strategic marketing, and market research.  He is active in the startup community, runs Lean Startup Meetup groups, Startup Weekend events, and is currently with Techstars, the leading global accelerator program, as they partner with Disney to run the Disney Accelerator in Los Angeles for entertainment startups.
Vanessa Ting Anderson – Women STEM Entrepreneurs

Vanessa TingVanessa Ting is a former corporate executive and now an entrepreneur and leader in women’s venture development.

As a former Retail Buyer for Target Corporation and marketer for Neutrogena, Vanessa Ting now helps consumer brands strengthen their appeal to major retail buyers nationwide through two businesses, Buyerly.com and Retail Path. Over her career, she has brought dozens of products to market for brands such as Neutrogena, Listerine, Church & Dwight, as well as items sold at Target, Walmart, CVS, Kroger, and more.

Her companies are guided by her passion for cultivating women-led businesses. Her work in venture development advances women entrepreneurship by supplying resources and education to foster long-term growth, as well as to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. She leads women in STEM initiatives in Ventura County and is an advocate of the Conejo Valley startup ecosystem.

Vanessa holds a BA from University of Southern California and an MBA from Georgetown University. She has 16+ years of marketing and retail experience and now operates two companies – Retail Path, a retail consulting firm, and award-winningBuyerly, a B2B website that connects retail buyers and emerging consumer brands for product feedback and wholesale orders.

Sean Bhardwaj – Ventura Ventures
Sean HeadshotSean Bhardwaj is the Founder and CEO of Aspire 3 where he creates programs and partnerships between education, business, government, and community organizations to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. He is also the Executive Director at the Ventura Ventures Technology Center, a business incubator dedicated to growing technology based companies and jobs in Ventura.  Sean’s background is in Product Management and Market Development and is the Chair of the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County, and involved with the Ventura County Civic Alliance and the Youth Council of the Workforce Investment Board of Ventura County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on Global Marketing and Consumer Behavior from the University of Southern California.