Hello friend --
Come with us to ACCESS Sacramento!
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce hosts several advocacy trips annually – including those to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento – taking business and civic leaders like you to the nation and state capitals to share your perspective with top decision makers. This June 8-9, join us for ACCESS Sacramento, as part of the “Innovation & Technology” track, and help advocate on issues important to you and the wider Los Angeles tech community. Make sure you sign up by June 1 to ensure a spot!
Hot for learning
School’s almost out, but we’re turning up the heat on summer learning opportunities for Southland students. This week alone includes guest speaker sessions at Santa Monica College and Santa Monica and Venice high schools, and a company tour of Riot Games with Palisades Charter High School. We extend our gratitude to these folks, who have graciously volunteered their time!
How tech is helping L.A. small business
Large companies, with access to more resources, have historically had a greater advantage over small businesses. So what role can technology play in helping close the gap for small businesses to grow and prosper? As part of a May 4 panel hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, Sean Arian, the Chamber’s vice president of innovation and emerging technologies, helped guide the discussion along with representatives from other work solutions companies including Box, Thumbtack and Zenefits. The event was held in conjunction with National Small Business Week.
Over the hill, down in the Valley
The San Fernando Valley is a hotbed of startup talent? You’d better believe it. Last Saturday’s “Valley Emerging Tech & Startup Event” featured Larry Twersky, CEO of Timer Cap and 1800-snoring – two successful companies based in the Valley, and highlighted various resources available to Valley startups, including the Santa Clarita Business Incubator and the Small Business Development Center at the College of the Canyons. Twersky also shared with entrepreneurs his three keys to running a business (in this order): 1. Have a positive impact on the world, 2. Have fun, and 3. Make money. Thank you to our event partner OfficeSlice for hosting the group!
Going to the Cloud
Thinking of hosting your digital data on the cloud? If you’re currently using the cloud or considering the move, come to the Chamber’s next Tech Thursday workshop on May 26, featuring Dean Edouarde, group vice president of IT solutions firm U.G.M. Enterprises, to hear some advice on this critical component to the future of your startup. This event is open to Chamber members and Bixel Exchange clients. Sign up here.
The nationwide 24-hour coding event presented by StudentRND is almost here! This weekend, our friends at Hacker Fund will team with StudentRND to host CodeDay Los Angeles. Thanks to all of you who have signed up and contributed to the now-full roster of mentors. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor for a future Hacker Fund event, click here to apply!
Bixel Exchange ed-tech startup client Caseworx made out big as a top four finalist among more than 300 applicants in the Education Business Plan Competition & Conference in Philadelphia hosted by the Milken Family Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. The proud winners of the McGraw-Hill Education Prize won $20,000 as well as the interest of several higher-ed institutions looking to demo its interactive video-driven approach to experiential and case-based learning. Way to go, Caseworx!
Voters are lawmakers for a day
Suspended without pay or benefits? That’s what would happen to any California state legislator accused of wrongdoing, if ballot Proposition 50 passes. Under this suspension, they also wouldn’t be allowed to vote on bills or take other legislative actions, but it would leave affected districts without a voice in the Capitol. You can educate yourself further with startup client SeePolitical’s newest explainer video on Prop 50 here. Remember to head to the polls June 7 to cast your vote on this and other ballot measures.
…startup client Little Foodie Club, fresh baby food delivery company that’s the brainchild of Kerstin Kuhn, an international food writer and mother who has traveled and eaten her way around the world for more than 10 years. She and her co-founder and husband, Adam Fenn, officially launched their company last week.
As a mother and food writer, you bring a unique perspective to Little Foodie Club. Can you talk about your philosophy behind it?
Little Foodie Club is all about instilling a lifelong love and appreciation of healthy and delicious food in babies right from the start. We’re committed to the idea of palate-training, which basically means that by serving babies a wide variety of fresh, organic produce and food that is full of flavor, we can influence their neurophysiology to like these types of foods. On the flip side babies who are brought up on processed foods out of a jar are conditioned to like processed foods. There are so many moms who complain that their kids ate everything when they were babies but became fussy eaters as toddlers. But that’s because the vegetable purees they were given out of jars and pouches have no resemblance to real fresh vegetables. So when it’s time to start eating proper food these kids don’t like it because they’re conditioned not to like it. With Little Foodie Club we want to give parents who don’t have time or lack inspiration to cook for their babies the option to serve them healthy, fresh and delicious tasting food and feel good about what they’re eating.
What’s on the horizon for Little Foodie Club?
As a new business, the next few months will be about carving out our niche within the baby food market. We really want to build a community around Little Foodie Club by raising awareness around the importance of palate-training. It’s about more than selling baby food but starting a much bigger conversation about teaching our children healthy eating habits and how to have a positive relationship with food. In the future, I would love to write a Little Foodie Club book with tips and advice for parents as well as recipes.
How has Bixel Exchange helped your company reach this point?
It’s been incredibly useful to get hands-on, honest and unbiased advice from people who are experts in their fields and really know what they’re talking about. Getting that professional outside perspective on our business in areas where we lack expertise – like finance and honing our operations – has been invaluable. And knowing there’s someone we can go to when we need support makes a huge difference to our peace of mind.
What's the one piece of advice or wisdom you would share with other startup entrepreneurs?
Be really clear about your idea, what makes your product unique and sets you apart from your competitors. Focus on getting that core idea off the ground and don’t let others steer you in different directions. Advice is always great but sometimes it can dilute your idea if you’re trying to incorporate too many things.
Deliveries are now available in most central L.A. neighborhoods and will be expanding to Orange County and Manhattan Beach soon. Learn more about Little Foodie Club.
Until we sync again,