From the category archives:


LA Startup Email Newsletters and Events

by Ryan on December 25, 2012

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A reader recently asked me for advice on getting settled in LA and involved in early stage tech businesses.  He wanted a sort of “quick way” to get involved and network his way into the scene and find out the best opportunities, companies, entrepreneurs, and investors in the LA area.  I’ve prepared a list here for those who are ever seeking similar advice.

You’re going to have to get out there and do the networking yourself, but these resources are a good place to start.  Most of them can be subscribed to via email where you’ll get alerts about news and events worth exploring.  I tried to set the links to that you’ll be taken directly to the email sign up / calendar of events pages for convenience.

So without further adieu, if you’re new to LA and looking to get involved in early stage ventures / startups, here’s a list of good places to start your journey:

  1. Amplify.LA
  2. Coloft
  4. Dealmaker Media LA
  5. Founders Institute
  6. General Assembly LA
  7. LA Startup Digest
  8. LAUNCH Conference / Jason Calacanis
  9. Launchpad.LA
  10. LAVA (Los Angeles Venture Association)
  11. PandoMonthly LA Events
  12. Siemer & Associates Events
  13. SocalTECH
  14. Southern California Tech Central
  15. StartupsUncensored
  16. Technology Council of Southern California
  17. TechZulu

I know I’m missing quite a few, so please let me know in the comments here and I’ll add them.  Happy Holidays!


VIDEO: How to Make the Most of a Networking Event (shot for @docstoc video)

by Ryan on November 1, 2011

I recently sat down for a series of short videos as part of the docstoc videos’ expert speaker series. For those of you not familiar with docstoc, it’s the premier resource for small business with thousands of legal docs, videos, and other resources useful for any entrepreneur that starting / running a business.   Be sure to check them out.  Among other things, we use Docstoc to embed all legal docs (license agreement, terms of service, etc.) across each of our sites.  I’m a big fan of the service.

The expert series videos we created are around 1 to 2 minutes each, and cover a variety of topics from accounting basics to networking, to SEO. Above I’ve linked to one about networking, a topic that’s a personal favorite to me.  If you’re interested in watching them all, go here, or follow the links below to any one of the individual videos.  Enjoy!

Account Basics for New Businesses
Managing Accounts Receivable
Monthly Accounting Practices
Top 3 Accounting Mistakes Made by First Timers
3 First Time Tips for Starting a Company
4 Steps for SEO Keyword Research
How to Make the Most of a Networking Event
How to Control Search Results Around Your Name


Seek and Destroy: How to Make the Most of Conferences & Panels

by Ryan on November 5, 2010

power networking,conferences,panels,connections

This is post is part of a new series of planned posts on “Networking”.

As a startup founder, I try and attend only one “full day” conference per year (if you’re in tech, try TechCrunch Disrupt) and to attend networking events that occur only during the evenings, for no more that 2 hours at a time, and no more than one evening per month. Go into all events with a mission of who to “seek and destroy” – i.e. who at the event you have not met before, need to meet, and have and “ask” prepared for those that you will meet.  e.g. A good ask for an experienced auto industry exec might be ” would you mind intro-ing me to a few of the top auto-parts supplies for my new website which sells European tailpipes”.

IMPORTANT – When you’re at a conference or other networking event for that matter, try your best to avoid talking to people you already know or those that you can otherwise presume (even if you’re wrong) in the first one minute of meeting them will provide little to no value. Get in, connect with the folks you need to meet, and get out. Another general tip that works well for me is that I try and avoid, at all costs, having to sit in a room and be talked to by a panel or a speaker – i.e. for any event you go to, the impact is made in the connections.

Skip the lectures, presentations, panels, and pitches and go straight for the networking session.  Spend 1.5 hours at the network session at most, seek & destroy, and get out.   To avoid the time wasting panel discussions, you can even show up at the end of a panel just to approach the panelists.  If you absolutely must sit listen to someones speech / panel session, simply catch the online video version on your own time.

Lastly, bring tons of business cards and for everyone you talk to, even if it’s only for a brief minute, be sure to get their business card.  Stop at nothing until you get their contact info.  A conversation with someone at a networking event where you don’t get their contact info is like a wasted moment in the life of an entrepreneur.

In the next post in this series, I’ll provide a few tips on what to do with the business cards you collect.  Special thanks to Chris Seckler for encouraging me to publish this series.

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