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✨Diverse, Impact-Driven Founders Shine at Plug In South LA's Demo Day

dot.LA Weekly Update

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🔦 Spotlight

Plug In South LA, a Los Angeles accelerator program, hosted their 2023 Founder Showcase at Blackbird House in Culver City on Thursday night. Founders made their pitches and then participated in a short Q&A session with Plug In South LA’s founder Derek Smith. 🎬🚀🌟

Half of Plug In’s first national cohort, consisting of ten companies, are based in Los Angeles with the rest dispersed across the country from Washington D.C. to San Francisco. Diversity is the name of the game for this group of companies. Not only is Plug In South LA designed for under-represented founders the companies themselves span the gambit when it comes to sector with healthcare, social networking, marketplace startups and more.

Plug In South LA was founded by LA-native Derek Smith in 2014 because he noticed a significant lack of representation and opportunities for Black and Latinx communities in the growing tech industry in Los Angeles, particularly in South Los Angeles neighborhoods like Crenshaw, Leimert Park, and Inglewood. He wanted to bridge this gap and create a platform to empower underrepresented talent by providing networking, exposure, and support within the tech sector. According to its website, Plug In South LA’s accelerator is “designed for Black and LatinX founders who are focused on solving big problems in Healthcare, Fintech, Digital Media, Climate Control and Sustainability Efforts in historically marginalized communities.”

Scroll down to see more information and the full list of companies! 💻🌴🌇

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🤝 Venture Deals

LA Startups

  • Bold, a healthy aging platform, raised a $17M Series A led by Rethink Impact, with participation from Samsung Next and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health, Khosla Ventures, GingerBread Capital, and Primetime Partners. - learn more

  • Requirements management and digital thread platform, Prewitt Ridge, raised a $4.1M Seed Round led by Squadra Ventures, joined by Stage Venture Partners, Aurelia Foundry, Wonder Ventures, Haystack, Acequia, TechStars, GC&H and others. - learn more 

  • Morty, a platform to help people find local ‘IRL’ experiences and cultivate real world interactions between friends, raised a $2.2M Seed Round from prominent Los Angeles-based firms including Wedbush Ventures and Wonder Ventures. Initially only featuring escape rooms, Morty recently expanded into haunted attractions with plans to feature immpersive theater, speakeasies, location based VR and more!

  • Mavida Health, a maternal mental health platform, raise a $1.5M Pre-Seed Round. - learn more 

  • VideoAmp, a media measurement and optimization software company, raised a $150M Series G led by Vista Credit Partners. - learn more 

  • Strada, an AI-enabled cloud platform with tools for production and postproduction, raised a $1.9M Pre-Seed Round from some major Hollywood players among others. - learn more 

LA Funds

📅 LA Tech Calendar

Saturday, September 16th

  • Y3K Innovation Summit USC - A day filled with workshops, competitions, and opportunities to connect with industry leaders and fellow tech enthusiasts of all levels. The event is designed for anyone interested in exploring the future or entrepreneurship, social impact, and career development within the emerging tech industries including digital content creation, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain application, artificial intelligence, and e-gaming.

Wednesday, September 20th

  • Startup Cafe 🗽 - Meet and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals while enjoying a nice cup of coffee or going on a hike or both Wednesday morning in Venice.

  • The LA Business Show - Day 1 🗽 - Join hundreds of business experts and leaders for the first day of this business expo in Downtown Los Angeles built to equip, educate and encourage the small businesses and entrepreneurs with 300 exhibitors, 150 seminars and unmissable masterclasses.

Thursday, September 21st

  • The LA Business Show - Day 2 🗽 - Join hundreds of business experts and leaders for the second day of this business expo in Downtown Los Angeles built to equip, educate and encourage the small businesses and entrepreneurs with 300 exhibitors, 150 seminars and unmissable masterclasses.

Friday, September 22nd

  • LA Tech Wind-Down 🗽 - Join Startup Coil and The KINN Friday evening in Venice for an alternative to the mid-week happy hour for networking, chill vibes, and functional non-alcoholic libations.

Other events to add to the calendar

🗽 - Free

Have an awesome event coming up? Reach out to be featured on next week’s Newsletter!

📙 What We’re Reading

  • Disney’s recent deal with Charter Communications signals the growing challenges of transitioning from traditional TV to streaming. - read more

  • SpaceX's satellite internet division, Starlink, falls short of Elon Musk's ambitious 2015 projection and faces challenges expanding its subscriber base, especially in urban areas. - read more

  • 5 things to know about a potential strike against video game companies. - read more

🚀 Plug In South LA’s 2023 Cohort

See below for all 10 companies featured at Plug In South LA’s 2023 Demo Day.

HQ: Long Beach, CA CEO: Emily Woodman-Nance 

Sector: Healthcare

Description: At Their Side is a 24/7 healthcare status platform that enables healthcare providers to communicate with families, allowing staff to dedicate more time to providing care rather than being occupied with phones.

HQ: Atlanta, GA  CEO:  Aubrey Gibson 

Sector: Social Networking Platform

Description: MyVoluntier is a virtual civic engagement hub, akin to a 'LinkedIn for civic engagement,' centralizing community initiatives, events, resources, fundraising, and volunteers to inspire social connection and drive collective impact.

🍽️ Nutrible

HQ: St. Louis, MO CEO: Kwamane Liddell 

Sector: Healthcare

Description: Nutrible is a technology platform that provides virtual social service navigation and nutrition-centered chronic care management to vulnerable patients and communities.

💼 Peadbo

HQ: Washington, DC CEO: Keith Chaney 

Sector: B2B Software

Description: Peadbo (short for Personal Advisory Board) is a cloud-based platform that allows users to build and manage teams dedicated to their personal or professional growth and create recurring newsletters for their broader network of supporters and advisors.

HQ: Los Angeles, CA CEO: Talia Boone 

Sector: B2C

Description: Postal Petals®, an immersive floral and wellness startup, uses fresh cut flowers and do-it-yourself flower arranging to promote creative expression as a form of mindfulness and self-care.

HQ: San Francisco, CA CEO: Darren Black 

Sector: FinTech

Description: Prosperety Technologies Inc. is a fintech SaaS platform that helps small businesses succeed financially with: the right customers at a reasonable cost, unlimited access to no-fee, no-credit-check, no-revenue, capital from consumers and the ability to easily build and get business credit. All in the same place, on the same platform.

🏀 Subler 

HQ: Los Angeles, CA CEO: Carlos Rivera

Sector: Marketplace, Proptech

Description: Subler is a B2B/C SAAS marketplace that connects schools with communities, making it easy for event organizers to find and rent school spaces. Subler democratizes access to athletic and event spaces and simplifies the rental process by centralizing new leads, creating leases, and collecting rent — all in one place.

📳 SwayBrand

HQ: Los Angeles, CA CEO: Horace Flournoy 

Sector: Marketplace

Description: SwayBrand is a marketplace that connects brands with creators for on-location user-generated content. They aim to be the new studio for creators and help brands reach new audiences through authentic, personalized content.

HQ: Los Angeles, CA CEO: Matt J. 

Sector: Consumer Products

Description: The Crease Beast is an innovative shoe care brand that provides sneakerheads with effective products to preserve footwear aesthetics.

*The Crease Beast was not present at the Demo Day but is part of the 2023 cohort

🚗 Upward

HQ: New York, NY CEO: Osvaldo Rodriguez 

Sector: FinTech

Description: Upward helps 5M ride share drivers and delivery workers save at least $2,500 in taxes by automating the process of finding the largest possible deductions, so they pay less when it is time to file.

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Last Week’s Poll

Do you still pay for cable?

🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️ 📺 Yes (36%)

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