- 🎓💸 USC is spending big on research. Will it translate to more LA startups?
🎓💸 USC is spending big on research. Will it translate to more LA startups?
dot.LA Weekly Update
Happy Friday Los Angeles!
University of Southern California has long been known for big spending parents, but the university is now also attracting big investment in the form of research grants from agencies and institutions.
In 2023, USC’s annual research expenditures reached $1.04B, driven by federal grants supporting health protections for children against air pollution, quantum computing research, and stem cell research targeting kidney disease and Lou Gehrig's disease. USC President Carol Folt's initiatives, including the Frontiers of Computing initiative with a pledged $1 billion investment by 2030, have positioned the university among the top private research institutions in the United States. Noteworthy researchers, such as Paul Aisen and Massoud Pedram, have played crucial roles, with USC leading in computer and information sciences spending on the West Coast and ranking fifth nationally.
The National Institutes of Health is USC’s most significant source of research funding ($387 million), followed by the U.S. Department of Defense ($107 million) and the National Science Foundation ($72 million). The fourth largest in 2022 was pharmaceutical company Cognition Therapeutics ($21 million), followed by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state’s stem cell research agency ($11 million).
Image Source: USNews
The big question now is: will all of this funding translate to more founders, startups, and venture funding in Los Angeles? Time will tell, but as Silicon Valley emerged and grew around Stanford over the last few decades, hopefully our own Silicon Beach will continue to benefit from proximity to USC and LA’s other top Universities. ✌️📚🌴
🤝 Venture Deals
The Realest, a startup founded this year that operates a marketplace for sports memorabilia, raised a $4.6M seed round led by KB Partners and including BAM Ventures, NFX, Slow Ventures, and FLÜS Investment Group. - learn more
Act One Ventures, which focuses on investments in early stage companies involved in vertical SaaS, fintech, compliance, and ecommerce infrastructure, has raised a third fund of $73 million. The firm now has $148 million under management. - learn more
ReelCall, Inc., an entertainment technology company focused on powerful apps and platforms that help build and maintain the professional network of connections vital to career growth, is raising a $850K Pre-Seed Round. - learn more
If you’re a founder raising money in Los Angeles, give us a shout, and we’d love to include you in the newsletter!
✨ Featured Partner
The WeAreLATech 'Experience' Club is for individuals working in LA tech; you can work at a startup or seasoned tech company.
We're engineers, investors, founders, designers, growth marketers, app developers, product managers and more... who do in person activities together 1-2 times a month. The concept is based on the saying 'More business gets done at the bar than in a boardroom.' That said, there's no panels or mixers. We have enough of those.
WeAreLATech was created by me, Espree Devora, back in 2012. I consider myself to be "an artist of human connection". Each event is my piece of art.
Activities include horseback rides, clay pigeon shooting, hiking, Price is Right gameshow, rooftop cocktails, surfing, escape rooms, food tastings, go karts, luxury beach picnics, drone flying, and the list goes on. We've done 100s of Experiences. Some events are curated by industry and others by role. The goal is to save you time making quality connections. Maintaining a strong culture and keeping the gatherings small, connective and curated is top priority.
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📅 LA Tech Calendar
Saturday, January 20th
The Future of Gaming: Opportunities in Connected Ecosystems - Join gaming enthusiasts and hear from speakers touch on the three foundations shaping the next phase of gaming technology: game transactions, privacy and security; authorship, generative AI, and new IP models; and decentralization, distribution, and extended gameplay. After the panel discussion there will be audience Q&A along with networking afterward.
Wednesday, January 24th
The Female Funders Club - Join this monthly networking event Wednesday evening in Santa Monica and connect with other tech-oriented investors, wealth managers, asset managers and women who are interested in starting their tech investment journey.
Thursday, January 25th
Friday, January 26th
Pitch and Run LA: Friday Runs - Join Founders and VCs for Pitch and Run Fridays! 7:30am near 17th St & San Vincente for a ~3.5 mile loop at an easy-conversational pace. Pitch and Run is designed to help you connect with others on ideas, passions, and life while enjoying a casual run. They started with a focus on people in tech/startups, but are open to everyone.
Have an awesome event coming up? Reach out to be featured on next week’s Newsletter!
📙 What We’re Reading
Tune in to TenOneTen Partner Minnie Ingersoll’s conversation with Ivan Nikkhoo, Managing Partner of Navigate Ventures. From fleeing revolution at 14 to shaping the future of B2B SaaS investments, Ivan's journey is nothing short of inspirational. Uncover secrets to startup success and the art of building a vibrant venture community. - learn more
Silicon Valley Bank’s inaugural Innovation in Women's Health Report unveils an optimistic outlook for this undervalued and rapidly growing sector, despite broader VC challenges and obstacles within the space.. - learn more
Epic plans to contest Apple’s ‘bad-faith’ compliance with court ruling over App Store. - learn more