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VISIONARIES IN INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY Jesse Draper Chris Hollod Kelly Perdew David Waxman Jonathan Zweig




by Gil Elbaz, Factual


Visionaries of the Year

KOBE BRYANT + JEFF STIBEL Through their $100M venture fund, Bryant Stibel, the Laker legend and the renowned entrepreneur and investor are pursuing shared passions: a longing for knowledge, a thirst for success, and a necessity to build, create, and affect change


How Michael Blend & Chuck Ursini built the quietest tech behemoth by the beach and raised $270M


Golf in Augusta; Wine in Australia; Aston Martin & McLaren new releases; Niki Nakayama; Patek’s popup

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Features Winter 2018 – Vol. 10 No. 1 Innovation & Technology





54 JONATHAN ZWEIG was called to Cupertino in the mid-aughts for the App Store’s unveiling before designing nearly 20% of the App Store’s earliest games and apps. In the years since, he has a $350M exit and is back in the lab with AppOnboard

59 DAVID WAXMAN was a serial entrepreneur for much of his life – combining his love of music and computer engineering. Today, he is one of Los Angeles’ most pivotal investors, supporting the region’s continued growth at TenOneTen Ventures

44 BITCOIN’S EMERGENCE, ARRIVAL, AND STAYING POWER by Howard Marks, Founder & CEO, StartEngine

56 MICHAEL BLEND & CHUCK URSINI, met as executives at Demand Media, built one of Los Angeles’ premier adtech businesses, System1, and raised $270M in Summer 2017

62 KELLY PERDEW brings a lifetime of experiences in education, the military, and business to his VC fund Moonshots Capital, where he and his team continue to invest in veteran-founded businesses and the future of our country


68 64 66 TOC - Visionaries JESSE DRAPER is a fourth-generation venture capitalist who is determined to turn the tide in her support of a wildly overlooked group of leaders – female founders and CEOs who only receive a single-digit percentage of VC investment – through her fund, Halogen Ventures

KOBE BRYANT & JEFF STIBEL’s partnership was forged, according to Stibel, naturally out of the Los Angeles ecosystem. Investment partners for a handful of years now, Bryant and


Stibel are focusing their efforts, finding sectors ripe and entrepreneurs primed for disruption that they can support using their “Office of the Chairman” investment model.

CHRIS HOLLOD spent six years by Ron Burkle’s side, helping him run Yucaipa while managing a nearly $300M fund (A-Grade Investments with Burkle, Ashton Kutcher, and Guy Oseary). Recently stepping away from Yucaipa, Hollod has his sights set on a future of mentorship, investment, family, and a little fun


Rising to 40 stories at the edge of Beverly Hills and Century City, Ten Thousand features spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences with panoramic views spanning from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean and the Hollywood Hills. Over 75,000 square feet of amenities and hospitality-style services by a house staff of 80 combine to create an unprecedented residential experience.

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Crescent Heights is a registered trade mark for a group of companies and partnerships. Each particular Crescent Heights project is developed by a separate, single purpose entity that is solely responsible for that development, its obligations and liabilities. Ten Thousand is a registered trade mark that is owned by SM 10000 Property LLC, which is a separate single-purpose entity solely responsible for its obligations and liabilities. Amenities, features, and concierge services are subject to change without notice. Certain services and amenities may have fees associated with them. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of Equal Housing Opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.







22 Toys The non-essential essential gifts and gadgets

26 Style Dress the best this winter, no matter the coast you suit up on

24 Cigars A quartet of cigars worth experiencing in winter weather

28 Air A Visionary profile with Jet Edge CEO Bill Papariella, who discusses his company’s growth and plans for a 100-plane fleet by 2020



30 Land We head to nearby Las Vegas and hit the track with Cadillac at their driving experience center; plus new debuts from McLaren and Aston Martin

TOC - Departures

34 Water The new 76’ Riva Bahamas and a wholly customized Caribbean getaway


36 Buying Time Four timepieces whose diverse approaches to innovation are striking; plus a CSQ&A with Patek Philippe CEO Larry Pettinelli 36

46 2017’s Fastest Growing Companies 47 10 Largest New VC Funds by Ben Kuo, 48 Innovative Office The Bouqs’ fresh new space in the Marina

50 NextGen 10 Under-40 innovators, founders, leaders, disruptors, and dreamers diverse in age, industry, and interest. Together, the venture capitalists, e-Commerce mavens, VR titans, and Kombucha brewers represent the best of LA

Departments 14 Masthead 16 Editor’s Note 18 Contributors 111 C-Suite Advisory Index 135 The Network 144 Editorial Index 145 Advertiser Directory 146 C-Suite Quoted

125 Report: 2017 CSQ LA Visionaries Summit A round up of the day-long event at Montage Beverly Hills which featured discussions on raising venture capital, the impact of social entrepreneurship, TV’s new financial model, why it pays to be philanthropic, the necessity of a think tank, and fundraising pitches.


75 113

Our C-Suite Advisory roster tackles workplace happiness, LA’s fastest growing companies, augmented reality’s effect on social media, AI’s impact on financial models, and more



84 Scott M. Sachs, CPA CohnReznick LLP

76 Golf Getaway One of travel’s best kept secrets, we explore Champions Retreat in Augusta, Georgia – the 27-hole mecca designed by Nicklaus, Palmer, and Player that boasts world-class lodging, dining, and golf

86 Trent Brown Deloitte & Touche LLP 88 James Harwood CoAdvantage 90 Aramis Hernandez & Adam Bohn INC Technologies 92 Jim Freedman & Brandon Quartararo Intrepid Investment Bankers 94 Robert Dalie The Summa Group of Oppenheimer 96 Amir Vokshoor, MD 98 Marina Lang SoCal IP Law LLP 100 Michael Abraham & Jeffrey Stewart Definity First 102 Mike Schaffer Echo-Factory 104 Jennifer Hurless Go Be Social Media 106 Jack Turturici, Jr. & Michelle Turturici Equity Advisors 108 Shay Hughes Hughes Marino


79 New York Minute New culinary hot spots founded and operated by women

CULTURE & TASTE 80 C-Suite Retreats Don’t let its location – halfway around the world – fool you. South Australia, and Kangaroo Island specifically, boast everything a company looks for in a corporate retreat or top-executive incentives trip – dining, wine, adventure, lodging, art, and more


TOC - Advisory

114 Exhibits & Performances Rembrandt’s self-portrait has arrived at the Norton Simon Museum plus a few other choice exhibits around town 116 Proprietors’ Profile Kevin Khalili turned a passion for dining into a profession when he opened Coral Tree Cafe in 2002. Fifteen years later, he has three brands and properties open across the city and one of Brentwood’s best offerings – Baltaire 118 Fine Dining Some of LA’s finest plates of the moment are imported – whether from New York via Jean Georges, Bologna, or Tokyo – and worth a visit 121 CSQ&A We sat down with n/naka Owner and Chef Niki Nakayama to discuss her motivations, how she stays focused, and the importance of diversity in the kitchen 122 Business Lunch & Happy Hour Our picks for mid-day meetings and end-of-day-drinks from the Westside to West Hollywood 123 Required Reading This quarter’s books – from some of the world’s finest minds – explore murder, creativity through da Vinci’s eyes, and outside the box methods to jumpstart your startup


On the Cover Kobe Bryant & Jeff Stibel Photo Andrew Bernstein


Publisher & Editorial Director David L. Wurth CONTENT Managing Editor Matthew Seukunian Editor-at-Large Jason Dean Art Director Dima Kuzmichev Senior Editor Allison Dean Contributing Editors Ben Bloch Ryan Byers Brittany Fuisz Bryan McKrell Contributing Writers Gil Elbaz Jessica Ferguson Kirk Hawkins Subrina Hudson Benjamin Kuo Howard Marks David R. Weiss Photographers Andrew Bernstein Teira Lockhart Church Tim Hans Dave Suchanek Graphic Design & Illustrations Ashle Imbriale Maxim Zudilkin


C-Suite Advisors Adam Bohn Trent Brown Robert Dalie Jim Freedman James Harwood Aramis Hernandez Shay Hughes Jennifer Hurless Marina Lang Brandon Quartararo Scott M. Sachs Mike Schaffer Jack Turturici, Jr. Michele Turturici Dr. Amir Vokshoor



Account Managers Steve Bliman Norman Miller


Manager, Sales & Marketing Dana Santulli-Muhlgay


Special Thanks Stefanie Botelho Pete Delgrosso Eytan Elbaz Gabe Greenbaum Clark Landry Mark Stagen

C-SUITE MEDIA ADVISORY BOARD Larry Braun Diana Derycz-Kessler Jim Freedman Paul Kessler Steve Lehman Robin Richards James Segil Irv Zuckerman

Manager, Business Development Brent Ludlow Marketing Assistant Chris Coronel

OPERATIONS Manager, Operations & Finance Tiffany Weatherman Operations Consultant 1100 Media Accountant Stan Arutti Legal Scott Barlow Steven C. Sereboff Distribution Right-Way Distribution Interns Gabriela Capasso Francesca Tetangco

Advisors Editorial Events Reprints Subscriptions

CSQ / C-Suite Quarterly is published four times per year by C-SUITE MEDIA, INC. It is mailed to C-level executives, business owners, and ultra high-net-worth residential communities as well as distributed at upscale locations throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties by C-SUITE MEDIA, INC. PO Box 8696 Calabasas, CA 91372 818/225.8168 All rights reserved. CSQ, C-Suite Advisors, C-Suite Advisory, and C-Suite Quarterly are registered trademarks of C-SUITE MEDIA, INC. No articles, illustrations, photographs or any other editorial matter or advertisements herein may be reproduced without permission of copyright owner. C-Suite Quarterly and C-Suite Media, Inc. does not take responsibility for the claims provided herein. Printed in the U.S.A.


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Editor’s Note

Happy New Year. While I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea we are now 18 years removed from Y2K, we at CSQ have plenty to look forward to in the coming year. As we prepare to celebrate our 10th year of publishing, I am delighted in knowing this edition of the magazine – themed Innovation & Technology – honors and recognizes someone who has been a friend of the magazine for many of those years, Jeff Stibel, alongside his partner, Kobe Bryant. Jeff has been a confidant of mine and supporter of all we do and the same could be said for Kobe who has been a confidant and supporter of our community and this city. As many of you know – and for those of you who don’t – Jeff and Kobe have been business partners for a number of years now, only publicly announcing their business, Bryant Stibel, in August of 2016. In Kobe, Jeff found someone highly intelligent, remarkably strategic, and plenty hungry – there are no challenges too big for the Black Mamba. In Jeff, Kobe found someone who is empathic and understanding, wise, knowledgeable, and super plugged in. Within their Visionaries of the Year profile, Kobe jokes he has never met someone as connected and connective as Jeff.

Editor’s Note

Beyond Bryant Stibel, this edition is a turning point for us in many ways as we continue to lean heavily on the community we have built for insight and advice. A few members of our community pitched in this edition, lending support in suggesting the next class of CSQ Visionaries and NextGens. That, at the end of the day, is what CSQ is about and here for. We are the platform and conduit for the region’s affluent and influential men and women, leading industry and shaping the future of the city and beyond. In the pages to come you will learn the stories of Michael Blend and Chuck Ursini, System1; Jesse Draper, Halogen Ventures; Chris Hollod, Hollod Holdings; Kelly Perdew, Moonshots Capital; David Waxman, TenOneTen Ventures; and Jonathan Zweig, AppOnboard. Beyond these dynamic Visionary profiles we recognize and honor another NextGen 10 class – this one is comprised of 15 men and women, across industry, raising the bar, and pushing the envelope. Speaking of raising the bar and pushing the envelope, CSQ will be doing just that. This spring, we will launch CSQ in New York City, expanding into our second market and bridging the gap between the nation’s two largest markets – representing approximately 15% of the nation’s GDP. As we celebrate our past successes and accomplishments as well as learn from our failures, we look to the future, more ambitious and more excited than ever. With that said, I hope you enjoy the men and women within this edition and as their stories of success inspire you as they have us, feel free to reach out to myself and my team to discuss ways to support CSQ and the CSQ Community going forward.

David L. Wurth


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GIL ELBAZ is the founder and CEO of Factual, a location data company powering mobile marketing, digital consumer products and mobile apps, and real world analytics. Prior to Factual, Elbaz co-founded Applied Semantics Inc. (ASI), which developed AdSense. Google acquired ASI in 2003, and Elbaz stayed on to run Google Los Angeles. He is founder and chairman of The Common Crawl Foundation, a nonprofit with the goal of democratizing access to web information to enable greater innovation in research, business, and education. He serves on the board of the XPrize Foundation and is an active angel investor and partner in TenOneTen Ventures.

TIM HANS is a commercial and fine art photographer based in Pasadena, California. Tim captures the heart and essence of every person, object or brand he works with. He is able to harness charisma and energy through his lens and onto the pages of magazines, websites, books, and more. Tim has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena.

SUBRINA HUDSON is a freelance reporter based in Long Beach. The Los Angeles native was previously the staff reporter at The Real Deal, covering residential real estate. She also led the retail and advertising coverage at the Los Angeles Business Journal. She attended Boston University and earned her master’s degree in journalism from USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. Her work has appeared in Women’s Wear Daily, Marketplace from American Public Media, and Coast Magazine, among other publications.

Human Intelligence Should Not Be AI’s Holy Grail, p. 45

Jonathan Zweig, Kelly Perdew, Kevin Khalili Visionary Profiles, p. 54, p. 62, p. 116

David Waxman & Chris Hollod Visionary Profiles, p. 59, p. 66


HOWARD MARKS is the co-founder and CEO at StartEngine, the leader in online public offerings. Marks founded StartEngine with the mission of helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Marks was the founder and CEO of Acclaim Games, a publisher of online games now part of The Walt Disney Company. Before Acclaim, Marks was the co-founder of Activision Blizzard and Chairman of Activision Studios from 1991 until 1997. As co-founder, former Board Member, and Executive Vice-President of video game giant Activision, he and a partner took control in 1991 and turned the company into a $30B market cap video game industry leader. Marks is a member of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s technology council.

Bitcoin’s, Arrival, Emergence, and Staying Power, p. 44


DAVE SUCHANEK is a freelance media producer based in LA and Michigan. His diverse experience with music, film, and advertising inform a unique perspective that he brings to the table on any creative project. He is currently working on a short science fiction film that he plans to complete by the fall. Suchanek spends most of his free time enjoying good food, friends, traveling, camping, and making music.

Originally from New York, DAVID WEISS began his career in the cigar business in 1997, when he joined the Lone Wolf Cigar Company team. After stints working in investment banking and then corporate entertainment, retailing cigars was a transitional yet impactful shift. Retail, combined with an inexplicable love for cigars, made the opportunity one Weiss could not pass up and he bought the company in 2000 and expanded the retail Lone Wolf brand into a profitable operation with a retail boutique in Santa Monica, distribution company, e-commerce, and most recently, a full-service private smoking Lounge in West Los Angeles.

Chris Hollod Visionary Profile, p. 66

Consummate Connoisseur, p. 24

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Genesis Open Walk side by side WiTh GOlf’s biGGesT sTars Play 18 holes alongside the pro’s or walk the course during a competition round with the game’s greats. At no other sporting event can guests spend the day alongside the athletes. Entertain key clients and treat them to a round of golf at L.A.’s most iconic course. A day inside the ropes at the Genesis Open is an experience that will never be forgotten. Experience more at the Genesis Open. Visit for details or call 800.752.6736 to reserve your package.


22 Toys 24 Cigars 26 Style 28 Air 30 Land 34 Water 36 Buying Time 38 CSQ&A


Part 1

Desirables - Intro In an unprecedented move for a Swiss luxury timepiece brand, Patek Philippe (p. 38) built a 13,000-sq.-ft. popup museum in Midtown Manhattan last summer, housing hundreds of its most exquisite and expensive pieces. Among the notable watches on display was a piece owned by Joe DiMaggio and a quartz desk clock President John F. Kennedy kept in the Oval Office.



Whether at home, in the office or on the road, strive without compromise for these unique luxury items, embracing design, culture, and exclusivity.



The Non-essential Essentials 1.



Desirables - tech


















Take Your Business Travel to the Next Level

CSQ’s quarterly feature on the finer things, from exotic scotch to rare cigars. Up first, a fab foursome of cigars


Consummate Connoisseur

Curated by David R. Weiss, Owner, Lone Wolf Cigar Company

DIAMOND CROWN BLACK DIAMOND MARQUISE Dominican Republic A rich profile of brown sugar and cocoa, with increasing power as smoked. Cool burn and exceptional. Length 5 1/4” Size Robusto Wrapper Connecticut Sungrown Flavor Profile Full bodied with sweet and spicy overtones. $21—$24 ARTURO FUENTE XTRA VIEJO #77 SHARK Dominican Republic Deep, rich complexity with creamy sweetness. Only released for the holiday season.

Desirables - Cigars

Length 5 7/8” Size Torpedo Wrapper Maduro Flavor Profile Smooth with a little spice and an abundance of flavor. $17—$28

PADRON 1964 IMPERIAL NATURAL Nicaragua One of the greats, Padron is the grandfather of Nicaraguan cigars. Length 6” Size Toro Wrapper Natural Flavor Profile Medium to full bodied with earthy, leathery notes and complexity. $22—$25 DAVIDOFF WINSTON CHURCHILL LATE HOUR Dominican Republic A special cigar made with tobacco aged in fine single malt whiskey casks. Length 7” Size Churchill Wrapper Oscuro Flavor Profile Fuller bodied with unique complexity, slight spice, and robust flavor. $19—$23



Some dream. You deliver.

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2829 Townsgate Rd., Suite 215 Westlake Village, CA 91361 805-777-8375 Wells Fargo Private Bank provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the banking affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to non-affiliated companies of Wells Fargo & Company. Insurance products are available through insurance subsidiaries of Wells Fargo & Company and are underwritten by non-affiliated Insurance Companies. Not available in all states. © 2017 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. NMLSR ID 399801 IHA-5269701


Winter Wears

CANALI Navy Blue Wool and Cashmere Kei Blazer $1,750 | Canali Beverly Hills

BERLUTI Un Jour Mini Polished-Leather Briefcase $2,600 | Berluti Rodeo Drive

BRUNELLO CUCINELLI Single Breasted Blazer $4,095 | Brunello Cucinelli Beverly Hills



A.P.C. Summit Sweatshirt $425 | Nordstrom The Grove

Desirables - Style

Whether making an appearance in Los Angeles or New York City, pack and prep for the great (chilly) unknown by adding these foundational pieces and accessories to your closet and luggage

GUCCI Cambridge Felt Jacket with Crest $2,900 | Gucci Rodeo Drive

Desirables - Style

HUGO BOSS Windowpane Virgin Wool Sport Coat $645 | Santa Monica Place

MONCLER Sweatshirt $515 | Neiman Marcus Westfield Topanga

TOM FORD Austin Loafer $1,690 Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills




Bill Papariella is piloting Jet Edge—one of the world’s largest fully managed heavy jet fleets—to new heights


By Allison Dean



Hometown Pittsburgh Residence Encino Education Ohio University (B.A) Family Daughter, age 7 Business a Drink Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills Affiliations YPO, Beverly Hills Chapter

Founded 2007 # of Employees 500+ HQ Van Nuys, CA HQ Size 60,000 sq. ft. state of the art aviation facility Fleet Size 60+




Photos: Courtesy of IBP Media

Desirables - Air

Jet Edge CEO Bill Papariella knew from a very young age that his future lay in Los Angeles. “I knew I was going to do movies when I was ten, and move to LA,” he recalls. While his career trajectory would indeed take him from his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to LA, his greatest success would be in an industry other than film. In six years’ time, Papariella has propelled Jet Edge International, the private aviation firm he co-founded, from a modest, fourplane operation to an award-winning, top-tier company that manages a fleet of more than 60 private jets for an elite group of wealthy individual and Fortune 500 corporate jet aircraft owners. Papariella is the go-to guy for buying and selling aircraft in the United States and owners seeking a top-rated platform to operate their asset. “We put a signifcant amount of capital into our operational platform year over year in order to deliver a best in class eperience for our aircraft owners and soon to be aircraft owners,” he says. Discovering Hollywood

Papariella attended Essex Community College on a baseball scholarship, transferring to Ohio University and earning a degree in the mid ’90s. Post college his primary focus was to become a movie producer. He moved to Hollywood and, while working two jobs—Old Spaghetti Factory during the day and Jerry’s Famous Deli at night— scoured the Hollywood Film Directory, contacting every agent, producer, and/or director listed who might help him secure placement at a large agency or production company. Howard Baldwin of Baldwin Cohen Productions—the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins—gave him a shot. Papariella progressed from unpaid intern to senior VP of production. “It was the greatest job of all time,” he enthuses. “[I was] in my 20’s, packaging movies, selling scripts, traveling set to set, and meeting A-list talent,” he recalls. But after several years of working with Baldwin, Papariella decided to leave to do his own thing. He learned a humbling lesson when the phones stopped ringing very quickly upon his departure. Papariella soon launched, with $4M in funding from his current partner Richard Bard. An educational and consulting firm designed to help new writers surmount the challenges of breaking into Hollywood, offered to have scripts read by mid-level managers and creative executives on behalf of overwhelmed studios executives. Though an initial success, was met with union resistance and went out of business within four years.


Desirables - Air

Up in the Air

Around this time, Papariella received an intriguing job offer from Kenny Dichter at Marquis Jet. He initially declined but reconsidered,


joining the Marquis Jet team in June 2008. Papariella quickly emerged as a top salesperson. Far from an expert in the relatively new technologies used in jets, Papariella studied up so he could effectively sell the experience. He especially appreciates what he learned from Marquis Jet’s phenomenal sales infrastructure. Despite the effects of the recession, Papariella recalls 2008 as the best year of his life. “It proved a theory for me: If you truly hustle and call enough people, there’s still a lot of wea lth out there,” he says. Two years later, NetJets purchased Marquis Jet and Dichter was out as CEO. Papariella decided to resign and began looking at various companies to purchase. In August 2011, Papariella and Bard purchased Jet Edge International. At that time, the company operated four aircraft and was losing $1M annually. Utilizing his existing contacts to hire some of the best executives in the businessand capitalizing on the weaker aircraft firms in Van Nuys who couldn’t stay solvent during the recession, Papariella was able to generate a formidable fleet. The company reached profitability by September 2012. Today, Jet Edge International operates one of the largest fully managed heavy jet fleets in the world, with 60 plus aircraft. This includes super mid-sized planes (9-10 passengers) as well as ultra-long range and

large-cabin (13-15 passengers). Winning the Private Aviation Game

Papariella counts 20 billionaires on the Forbes list as clients. “We’re winning right now because we provide a best of the best operating platform, but we’re still entrepreneurial ... our sleeves are always rolled up,” he says. “I’m proud of that. It’s been our calling card.” In Papariella’s eyes, private jet ownership is the closest you can get to a time machine. “We’re selling an experience here,” he says. Flying privately rather than commercially saves time, which is of great value to the firm’s clientele, and ownership rather than charter can also be very financially beneficial. Papariella plans to scale and refine the company into the elite provider of aircraft management in the industry. He envisions continued but responsible growth as he nurtures an increasingly diverse fleet for Jet Edge International, which will allow him to attract top talent as well as provide jet owners with cost savings and customer service while staying abreast of digital innovations. But first and foremost, Papariella eyes an expansion in the skies. “My three-year goal for this company is to get to 100 planes managed by 2020 worldwide. With the amount of expense reduction we can produce at scale everyone wins,” he says. end



Cadillac Invites You to Start Your Engines

A quick flight by way of private jet, Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club is one of Las Vegas’ hidden gems, boasting world-class motorsport offerings for the thrill seeker in everyone By Brent Ludlow

There are few things in life that elicit the same reaction – nailing your first hole-in-one, popping a bottle of champagne after your first successful exit, or hearing your roadster exhaust crackle as you downshift onto Mulholland. Though these experiences are familiar to you, Las Vegas offers the same adrenaline rush, without the hard work. Located just 55 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club is home to the longest road course in North America – more than six miles of racetrack and over 50 unique configurations. Located on site is the Cadillac V-Performance Academy, an exclusive opportunity to get behind the wheel of the CTS-V and ATS-V on one of the nation’s most prized racetracks. Designed to assist V-Series owners with the mastering of their craft, the V-Performance Academy comes standard with the purchase of a V-Series vehicle. For non-owners, the two-day school can be purchased starting at $2,740. Whether a Cadillac owner or package purchaser, your time at Spring Mountain will come with meals from their on site culinary team as well as round trip transportation to and from the airport. While at Spring Mountain for the day (or weekend if you purchase the package), you will be treated to loft-style condominium suites as well as an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse, pool, racquetball court, and fitness facility.

Desirables - Land








395 Santa Monica Place #153 | Santa Monica CA. 90401 | 310-458-6900

MCLAREN 720S The newest iteration of the outgoing 650S, McLaren’s newest supercar promises aerodynamic superiority to its predecessor while weighing in at just over 2,800 pounds. Offering a more advanced design of the 650S, the McLaren 720S is packed with carbon fibre and is said to be nearly a completely new design from its predecessor. Top Speed 212 mph 0-60 2.9 secs Engine 4.0 litre V8 Transmission 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox Max Power 570 hp at 7,110 rpm Starting at $285,000


Learning and Evolving

A brand new model and an aesthetic upgrade to a classic, both of these sports cars boast luxury inside and out along with the ability to top out at 200 mph (or more)

Desitables - Land

ASTON MARTIN DB11 VOLANTE Announced in October 2017, the 2018 DB11 Volante is aesthetically identical to its coupe predecessor, with the noted exception of a new slide-off roof, which gives the Volante just the right amount of character. Top Speed 200 mph 0-60 4.1 secs Engine V8 Transmission ZF 8-speed gearbox Max Power 600 hp at 6,500 rpm Starting at $216,495




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This quarter’s boating roundup includes the newest debut from Riva and a two-leg trip from Van Nuys to the Caribbean


Water Wonderland

Desirables - Water

Custom Trips from Van Nuys to Ft. Lauderdale and the Caribbean Luxury yacht company Camper & Nicholsons has partnered with a global leader in charter, Air Pioneer, offering air and sea packages to a half-dozen destinations in the Caribbean. Departing from Teterboro, Chicago (Midway), and Van Nuys, the aviation leg of the trip can be customized (we’re talking fresh seafood, a variety of wines, and tropical cocktails), and upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale, one of three charter yachts transport guests to their desired destination for a one-week vacation, also customizable. The boating leg of the trip affords a 1:1 ratio of crew to guests.



2 Passengers 70-foot sailing yacht, pricing starts at $62,500 pp 8 to 10 Passengers 90-foot superyacht, pricing starts at $19,375 pp 115-foot superyacht, pricing starts at $22,500 pp

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Horlogerie innovation manifests itself in many different forms. From marketing and engineering to advances in materials and machining, the ability to display time continues to amaze. By Bryan McKrell

PARMIGIANI BUGATTI TYPE 390 Containing the world’s smallest ball bearings, the latest collaboration between the watchmaker from the Swiss valley of Val-de-Travers and the French-based automaker is another example of incredible innovation. Just like the engine from a racecar can be removed from the chassis to perform upgrades or modifications, so too can the movement of this watch be removed from the case. The power derived from the movement utilizes a “worm-screw” to connect the dials and the displays on the watch. A flying tourbillon is expertly positioned in a side display on the watch case, keeping the actual black openworked dial free of any clutter. With 302 components and a gold case thickness that exceeds 18 mm, the Bugatti 390 is certain to stand out on one’s wrist. David Orgell Beverly Hills Inquire for Pricing





Desirables - Buying Time

The award-winning inventors best known for their ground-breaking tourbillon creations have put forth their version of the Annual Perpetual calendar. Displaying no less than 10 complications on its face, which includes a fully visible inclined tourbillon, it also has three additional complications displayed on the rear of the watch case. At 570 components, this technological marvel is housed in a 43.5 mm white gold case that lets the room know that your time is precious. The symmetry between the visual tourbillon balance wheel and the calendar display allow the piece to perfectly balance the visualization of so many complications on the watch face.

U.N. continues to produce some of the most complicated and creative timepieces on the planet, pushing the boundaries of their previous creations. The newest Executive Moonstruck encompasses a world timer which can also track the phases of the moon and the ocean tides. Utilizing three rotating disks, the outer ring represents the sun. The middle disk shows the position of the moon, while the third disk displays the moon’s alternating phases. But combined with all of these complicated features, their engineers have made advancing and subtracting the hours on this watch as easy as simply pressing a button. Practicality is still the hallmark of superb technology.

The marketing minds at VC have teamed up with the powerhouse watch website Hodinkee to create a 36-piece limited edition timepiece. Only available through the Hodinkee website, the stainless-steel chronograph is the redesigned Cornes de Vache released nearly 60 years ago. Featuring very unique cow-horn lugs, along with a modern slate grey dial, the watch looks anything but vintage. The piece comes with three different straps, providing the sort of stylish versatility that allows the watch to be worn virtually anywhere. A full exhibition case back reveals one of the finest chronograph movements in the industry.

Westime Beverly Hills Starting at $670,000

Feldmar Watch Company Starting at $75,000

Vacheron Constantin Beverly Hills $45,000



Desirables - Buying Time

In summer 2017, Patek Philippe opened a one-of-akind luxury timepiece popup museum – Art of Watches Grand Exhibiition – at Cipriani 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan. For 11 days, Pettinelli and the Patek team put some of the brand’s finest wares on display for tens of thousands of visitors. On the occasion of its conclusion, CSQ sat down with Pettinelli to discuss his history with the brand, successful markets, and the reason for the popup.

Desirables - Buying Time / Patek


CSQ What is the first watch you ever bought or were given? Larry Pettinelli My father gave me a Timex when I graduated from high school. Later in life he gave me a few pocket watches his grandfather had given him and since then a timepiece, to me, has been about the story of the specific watch, regardless of the brand. CSQ When did you join Patek Philippe? LP I’ve been with Patek since 1988 and in 1989

we had our 150 year anniversary which allowed me an opportunity to own one of the 150-year limited edition pieces. CSQ What is your most successful market? LP The most successful single market country is

the U.S. Regionally, it’s Europe with Asia coming in right behind it. The markets are somewhat beholden to the inventory Mr. Philippe Stern allocates to them each year.

CSQ In the luxury timepiece space, has there been evolution or change in retail? LP There is. When I first started we had case displays and counted the length of the case and number of watches inside. We’ve made a concerted effort in the last 20 or 25 years to build



a consistent worldwide image, down to the lighting and wood. We want to create an environment that whether you’re in Dubai, London, or Beverly Hills, you will know it’s a Patek boutique. Beyond a consistent look and feel of a store, we have begun to work with specific retailers (Geary’s) to identify their best clients and offer them the opportunity to come to Geneva and tour our facilities. CSQ Talk to me about the Grand Exhibition. LP We typically focus our advertising and

marketing on a specific, targeted demographic and as a result we occasionally need to do something unique that moves the needle for the brand. The Grand Exhibition had been in London and Dubai prior and this was our opportunity to produce a branding event and try to create the next wave of customers and we did. Using Survey Monkey we found out that the highest percentage of attendees were ages 25-36. Beyond demographics, we wanted to make this an educational process where people who did not know much about watches and did not own watches were not alienated and we wanted to display some of our historic timepieces owned by Queen Victoria, Albert Einstein, Joe DiMaggio, and President Kennedy.

Photo: Daniel Dorsa


S I L L A W E H T R@


Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

Aurturo Sandoval

Lula Washington Dance Theatre

The Wallis

FEB 9, 2018 tz Stephen Schwar FEB 10, 2018 JAN 6, 2018 onic ng ha C Berlin Philharm Sarah / Stephen Hough Wind Quintet w & Julio Elizalde 29, 2018 18 FEB 14 – MAR JAN 11 - 13, 20 e Wallis n Broadway @ Th Lula Washingto Seth Rudetsky Dance Theatre 11, 2018 FEB 22 - MAR JAN 20, 2018 d Jackie Unveile Ory Shihor 11, 2018 18 20 , FEB 23 - MAR JAN 25 – 28 Vitebsk Weekend Flying Lovers of Sandoval Jazz MAR 15, 2018 FEB 1 – 3, 2018 Gunn ck la B is Nathan & Julie The House 11, 2018 FEB 23 - MAR FEB 8 – 11, 2018 Folk ns wildUp: Future Great Expectatio


Sarah Chang


310.746.4000 |

Official Airline Sponsor


MIKE JONES CEO, Science, Inc. ALEX KAZERANI Co-founder, EdgeCast Networks Inc.

CSQ Alumni Community of Visionaries in Innovation & Technology

FRANK ADDANTE Chairman & Founder, Rubicon Project

JOHN KEIB Former EVP & COO, Time Warner Cable

EILEEN BARTHOLOMEW Principal, Bessemer Alliance

MARC MERRILL Co-founder & Co-CEO, Riot Games

BRANDON BECK Co-founder, Riot Games

GARY MICHELSON Entrepreneur & Inventor

VIC BELONOGOFF CEO, Render Media ADAM BERNHARD Founder, Hautelook

Visionaries of the Year

AARON BRODER Co-founder & CEO, Evolve Media BRENT BUSHNELL CEO, Two Bit Circus SEAN CAFFEY Chairman, Replenish, Inc.

CHRIS DAVIS Co-founder & CEO, Loot Crate


CHUCK DAVIS Chairman & CEO, Prodege LLC

Innovation - Alumni

WALTER DELPH Partner, BCG Digital Ventures

ROB LLOYD CEO, Virgin Hyperloop One


MICHAEL DUBIN Founder & CEO, Dollar Shave Club DR. CHARLES ELACHI Director, JPL

PETER DIAMANDIS Founder & Executive Chairman, XPRIZE Foundation

ERIC GARCETTI Mayor of Los Angeles

SKY DAYTON Founder, Earthlink & Founder, Boingo


GIL ELBAZ Founder & CEO, Factual BRIAN FITZGERALD Co-founder & President, Evolve Media



NAJEEB GHAURI Chairman & CEO, Netsol Technologies

ADAM MILLER Co-founder, President, & CEO, Cornerstone OnDemand JASON NAZAR Founder & CEO, Comparably SCOTT PAINTER Founder & CEO, TrueCar, Inc. T.K. PILLAN Partner, Powerplant Ventures MARK RAMPOLLA Partner, Powerplant Ventures CARTER REUM Co-founder, M13 Company COURTNEY REUM Co-founder, M13 Company JAMES SEGIL Co-founder, EdgeCast Networks Inc. DANA SETTLE Co-founder & Partner, Greycroft Partners IAN SIEGEL Co-founder & CEO, ZipRecruiter MARK SUSTER Partner, Upfront Ventures


YU-CHONG TAI Professor, CalTech


HARRISON TANG Co-founder & CEO, Spokeo

EVA HO Founding Partner, Fika Ventures MARK HUMAYUN USC Roski Eye Institute


OPINION 44 Bitcoin vs Blockchain by Howard Marks 45 Human Intelligence & AI by Gil Elbaz LISTS 46 LA’s Fastest Growing Companies 47 Largest VC Funds 50 NextGen 10 PICTORIAL 48 Innovative Office VISIONARIES SECOND WIND 54 Jonathan Zweig, AppOnboard 56 Michael Blend & Chuck Ursini, System1 VENTURE CAPITAL 59 David Waxman, TenOneTen Ventures 62 Kelly Perdew, Moonshots Capital 64 Jesse Draper, Halogen Ventures 56 Chris Hollod, Hollod Holdings VISIONARIES OF THE YEAR 68 Kobe Bryant & Jeff Stibel, Bryant Stibel

Publicly announced in August 2016, Bryant Stibel is a $100M fund identifying niches in consumer trends first, finding entrepreneurs and businesses that fit into those niches second


Innovation & Technology

Part 2

Innovation - TOC



Briefings, Updates & Analysis


THE FINAL SPACEX LAUNCH OF 2017 LIGHTS UP THE LA SKY In December 2017, as most Angelenos and their out-of-town guests were preparing for the Christmas weekend, SpaceX, Elon Musk’s advanced rockets and spacecraft company, launched their final Falcon 9 of 2017, leaving the Southern California sky shining and sparkling. The Falcon 9 booster lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Air Force Base, carrying the latest batch of satellites for Iridium Communications. In June SpaceX made a similar trip, landing the Falcon 9 on a platform in the Pacific Ocean. This launch marked the end of 2017 for SpaceX, which has contracted to replace Iridium’s system with 75 new satellites.

TOYOTA’S FIRST NATURAL GAS POWER PLANT IN THE PORT LONG BEACH Toyota Motor North America, Inc. recently announced formal plans to build their first large-scale natural gas-powered plant to help support operations at the Port of Long Beach, the nation’s largest and busiest. Announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Tri-Gen facility will be housed at Toyota’s existing distribution center on Port of Long Beach property, where it will use natural gas to produce hydrogen, water, and electricity, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. Part of the auto manufacturers’ efforts to achieve zero emissions from its logistics operations by 2050, the plant projects enough power to serve the equivalent of 2,350 homes and the daily driving needs of 1,500 vehicles. Toyota projects the plant to open by 2020.

Innovation - Of Note


UBERAIR COMING TO LOS ANGELES BY 2020 Uber CPO Jeff Holden went on Bloomberg in November, announcing the company’s partnership with NASA on flying taxis, noting that Los Angeles will be one of the first testing grounds for the service. UberAir – taking off in 2020 – will be comprised of short flights of around 25 miles, transporting pas-



sengers in as-yet unbuilt electric aircrafts that will travel up to 200 mph. Holden noted that UberAir will be unlike Uber’s exclusive helicopter service, offering comparably affordable fares and rates while not directly competing with LA’s miserable traffic. By the Summer Olympics in 2028, Uber hopes to see “tens of thousands” of daily flights in Los Angeles, according to Curbed LA.


Innovation - Of Note 1. The Port of Long Beach, our nation’s largest and busiest

2. The SpaceX Falcon9 is nearly 230 feet tall and weights 600 tons 3. A rendering of the control station, where the Hyperloop will be managed 4. A tube awaits entry into the tube processing building, where they are painted and prepped

VIRGIN HYPERLOOP ONE SECURES $50M IN FUNDING AND A TITLE SPONSOR Formerly known as Hyperloop One, the DTLA-based rapid transit company bringing Elon Musk’s vision of a tube-based transportation system to life, the company helmed by CEO Rob Lloyd added Virgin to the beginning of their name in October, securing Richard Branson as their chairman. Two months later, on December 18, the company secured $50M in funding from Russia’s Caspian Venture Capital and DP World, a large port operator in Dubai. When ready, Russia and the Middle East are two of the leading geographical centers for the first commercial application. This $50M in funding comes on the heels of the company nearly running out of money, according to a CNBC report, and will likely result in some organizational restructuring.


SILICON VALLEY HEALTHCARE STARTUP, FORWARD, DEBUTS IN LOS ANGELES San Francisco-based healthcare startup Forward has expanded to Los Angeles, opening its first LA location in the Westfield Century City mall. Founded by former Google exec Adrian Aoun, Forward combines healthcare trends, proprietary and purpose-built medical devices, and Silicon Valley algorithms.


The skinny: A $149 monthly fee affords you unlimited access to their medical staff, baseline screening, blood and gene testing, wellness and nutrition counseling, and ongoing monitoring via wearable sensors.


If 2017 was the year of the Bitcoin, what does 2018 have in store? By Howard Marks, CEO, StartEngine

as a counter reaction to the 2007 financial crisis. His thesis: financial markets are corrupt and manipulated. His concept was strange and mostly ignored, except from a small community of computer scientists interested in cypher technologies – known as encryption. It’s worth pausing now to explain that Bitcoin does not physically exist. It is simply software that – on its own – has no value, like a search engine with no websites to crawl. The value arose (and still does arise) when someone installs software on their computer, becoming a node – a single distributor in an interconnected system of distributors. The reward for installing and running this software? Bitcoin. Though the value of Bitcoin was unclear in the beginning, its value grew with the distribution network. The other key innovation was the creation of the blockchain – a permanent recording of every Bitcoin transaction ever made. Think of the blockchain as a ledger that cannot be erased, modified, or hacked. Eight years after Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin, tens of thousands of miners – those who own the servers running the Bitcoin software – have collectively created the blockchain, recording every single bitcoin transaction that has ever been created. Since running the software on this network earns the miner Bitcoin, they are incentivized to simply never stop. On the other hand, any attempt to hack this vast network is foolish to say the least. The cost you would incur trying to convince thousands of servers to “cheat” is not worth it. You’re better off just being honest. Speaking of honesty, the financial industry is all about trust, going so far as to reject its bad apples (Bernie Madoff ). The problem, though, is that trust can be broken and investors can lose money. The flaws of the financial industry were not lost on these crypto anarchists who want to change the world for the better. As I am writing this article, a single Bitcoin is valued at more than $17,000, representing close to $300B in market capitalization. $300B for something that, ultimately, is just software being operated simultaneously by tens of thousands of computers – crazy. On the other hand, perhaps this is the new financial order. Take a small business owner in need of capital. They are in a bind. A bank will not lend without hard assets as a collateral and venture capitalists are only looking to invest in a certain “class” of people. So, what does our hypothetical business owner do? Look to the ICO, I say. With the invention of cryptocurrency came the arrival of ICOs – Initial Coin Offerings. This acronym, which purposely sounds a lot like IPO, simply asks the cryptocurrency crowd to invest their Bitcoin in exchange for a brand new crypto coin – sometimes called a token. In 2017, ICOs raised close to $3.5B. As we roll into 2018 with disruption ever at the forefront, one thing is certain. Today’s investors are faced with two tough choices – invest the traditional way (and deal with mistrust, corruption, etc.) or invest in the new wave of currency, cryptocurrency. Whichever they choose and whichever you choose, the digital and financial revolution is upon us. end


Bitcoin’s arrival, ascendance, and staying power Despite 2017’s headlines, news, and trends, 2017 should be looked back on as “The Year of Bitcoin.” You’re on notice, TIME. Just how did software make the splash it did? As Thanksgiving approached, I noticed that many conversations skipped over the divisiveness of politics and the broken NFL and lingered on Bitcoin; specifically, “How can I buy some?” Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a concept that has inspired millions to abandon cash in favor of virtual coins. In my humble opinion, it is the most important financial innovation since paper money was conceived. So how did we get there? In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin



Illustration by Maxim Zudilkin

Innovation - Marks


Human Intelligence Should Not Be AI’s Holy Grail

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence has begun to dominate news cycles, and it has captured the attention—and the imagination—of entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers alike. What’s not fascinating about self-driving, on-demand transportation, and robotic assistants in the home? As much as we talk about AI, many still wrongly compare artificial intelligence to human intelligence, suggesting that human intellect is the AI end goal. But it’s not. In fact, if 10 is the upper limit of intelligence, human intelligence is much closer to one than it is to 10.

Separating the signal from the noise in the quest to understand and define artificial intelligence By Gil Elbaz, Founder & CEO, Factual

no training data beyond direct “human” experience and mimics a human’s ability to observe and interact with the world just as a child would. It is fun to imagine coexisting with machines that are relatively indistinguishable from humans, but it is not a useful benchmark for understanding the trajectory of AI, and how it will impact most products and industries. Next-level impact during the coming decade will include domain-specific use cases that need reams of data and speedy algorithms. Domain-focused AI will disrupt entire industries and is already transforming advertising. For instance, each time an ad is served and not clicked, it is an extra data point to train the AI for future campaigns—a small opportunity for the system to learn, and more importantly, make new conclusions.

Innovation - Elbaz


Human Intelligence Is a Bar, Not “the” Bar

To many, the goal of AI is to create technology that can think like humans—but it’s oversimplifying to suggest that any human or AI intelligence can be rated on such a simple scale as “better” or “worse.” Some people excel at memorization, logic or emotional IQ, yet others thrive at the visual or auditory. Similarly, a form of AI may have strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, why have a goal of just matching humans when outdoing them is within reach? Think about all the dimensions where AI seems to have already surpassed human intellect. Can anyone you know translate a passage into any one of 300 languages within a fraction of a second, or instantly determine the optimal driving route to avoid all traffic? On many tasks, machines have already learned to outperform us. What Should We Expect From Artificial Intelligence?

Different types of AI are worth understanding. For instance, artificial general intelligence (AGI) requires

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Data and AI

Nearly every industry—from brick-and-mortar shopping and TV ads to mobile marketing and payments—is moving toward a digital reinvention that requires a massive amount of data, and so on. That’s exactly why I founded Factual—to power digital innovation with the highest-quality location data. And to build an engine for producing such data, we built our own AI, which is in turn fed by even more data from our partners—a terrific feedback loop. The effectiveness of our proprietary AI can’t be easily compared to a human scale because the capabilities derive meaning from processing trillions of data points. Many of the most promising applications of AI aren’t the ones that seem most like us, but rather, the ones that can do things we never even contemplated. end 45

Emerging Growth Across the Southland


A look at the Los Angeles based companies—public and private— present on the 2017 Deloitte Fast 500 list, recognized based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2013 to 2016

Another strong year for Los Angeles’ burgeoning tech space, 2017 was even stronger if you look north to Santa Barbara and south to Orange County. In the greater Los Angeles area, more than 20 companies made the Fast 500, exhibiting as much as 5,577% growth in Los Angeles and more than 13,000% growth up north in Santa Barbara. Los Angeles – combined with Santa Barbara and Irvine – represents nearly 10% of the North American list, demonstrating a continued ability to innovate and disrupt industries—from digital content to software and biotech to energy tech.


North America


Growth %










Ara Mahdessian





Santa Monica

Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Rob Emrich





Los Angeles

Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Daniel & Michael Broukhim1





Santa Monica


Jake Winebaum





Santa Monica


Robert Blatt





Los Angeles

Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Chris Miglino





Los Angeles

Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Clark Benson



Xencor, Inc.*



Biotechnology / Pharma

Bassil I. Dahiyat







Tony Knopp



TixTrack, Inc.


Santa Monica

Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Steven Sunshine







Sean MacNeill






Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Rustin Kretz





Santa Monica

Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Ophir Tanz1





Santa Monica


Ian Siegel1





Los Angeles

Digital Content / Media / Ent.

Bryan Perez





Los Angeles


Gil Elbaz2





Culver City


Patrick Soon-Shiong1



Rubicon Project*


Los Angeles


Frank Addante1





Woodland Hills


Therese Tucker1



EcoSense Lighting


Los Angeles

Energy Technology

Mark Reynoso



Second Sight



Medical Devices

Will McGuire



Innovation - By The Numbers







* Denotes publicly traded company 1 Previously featured in CSQ 2 Featured in this issue


10 Largest Venture Capital Funds of 2017 In the world of startups and venture capital, among the most important parts of the landscape is the availbility of funding to be invested into new companies. In recent years standout LA-based entrepreneurs and investors who have demonstrated continued success are turning the tide and in 2017, approximately $1.4B was raised across 16 Los Angeles-based funds. By Benjamin F. Kuo, Founder, SOCALTECH LLC (

In what might signal a great coming year in startups, 2017 was a huge fundraising year for venture capital firms, with an upsurge in new investments and new firms, approximately $1.4B raised across 16 funds. Below is a list of all of the 10 largest (by way of funds raised) new LA area venture capital funds announced in the last year or so or who have made their first investments in 2017, as well as details on the firms, including investment managers, styles, and activity.

Upfront Ventures Fund Size $400M (Fund VI) Managing Partners Yves Sisteron, Mark Suster Partners Greg Bettinelli, Kobie Fuller, Kara Nortman, Kevin Zhang Investment Interests Seed or A-Round investments with a median check size of $2.8M Portfolio Companies 90+ including FabFitFun, Factual

Pontifax AgTech Fund Fund Size $130M Managing Directors Ben Belldegrun, Phil Erlanger Investment Interests Revenue-generating businesses with proven technologies that improve the productivity, sustainability and efficiency of the agriculture supply chain

Okapi Ventures Fund Size $60M (Okapi Ventures III) Managing Directors Marc Averitt, Sharon Stevenson, Jeff Bocan, John Waller Investment Interests Seed and early-stage companies in the technology and healthcare IT sectors and has also invested in medical device and medical diagnostic startups Notable Portfolio Companies BabyList, CrowdStrike

Innovation - By The Numbers Greycroft Ventures Fund Size $250M LA Partners Dana Settle, Mark Terbeek, Dylan Pearce, Paul Bricault, Jon Goldman Investment Interests Consumer Internet, eCommerce, enterprise software, cloud computing, fintech, adtech Portfolio Companies 120+ including Plated, Scopely Arrowroot Capital Fund Size $177M growth fund (Arrowroot Capital II, L.P.) Managing Partner Matthew Safaii Investment Interests Enterprise software companies. The company says it makes investments of between $5M to $25M in companies, and is looking to fill the “funding gap” between early stage venture capital and larger traditional growth equity firms looking to make larger investments Notable Portfolio Companies hookit, ICIX CSQ WINTER 2018

Bryant Stibel Fund Size $100M Managing Directors Jeff Stibel, Kobe Bryant Investment Interests Focus on the convergence of technology, media and data (TMD), as well as in industries such as sports and wellness Notable Portfolio Companies FocusMotion, Scopely Core Innovation Capital Fund Size $100M Managing Directors Arjan Schutte, Kathleen Utecht Investment Interests Fintech Notable Portfolio Companies Mosaic, NerdWallet Wavemaker Ventures Fund Size $66M (Southeast Asia Investment Fund) Limited Partners Temasek Holdings, Tim Draper, World Bank’s International Finance Corp. Investment Interests Business-to-business investments, software, the cloud, hardware, and other similar areas Portfolio Companies 250+ including ShipHawk, StyleHaul

Akatsuki Entertainment Fund Fund Size $50M Managing Director Tomoya Ogawa Investment Interests Augmented reality startups Fika Ventures Fund Size $40M Managing Directors Eva Ho, Tx Zhuo Investment Interests Data, artificial intelligence-enabled technologies, and automation being applied to enterprise software, financial services, marketplace, and digital health Notable Portfolio Companies Bowery, PolicyGenius


Nearly one year after a $24M investment round in January 2017, The Bouqs Co. decided to celebrate its fifth anniversary with a move into seaside digs in Marina del Rey. Planning to further disrupt the $18B floral industry, The Bouqs Co. co-founders John Tabis and Juan Pablo Montúfar built a space that would reflect the company’s personality.


Innovation - Office





Industry E-Commerce Location Marina del Rey Move In November 2017 Architect Wolcott Interiors Hillcrest Décor Employees 60 Noted Features Natural foliage can be found throughout the space – which encompasses several lounges, full kitchen with ample beer and wine, patio, and outdoor music space. The office also houses a flower studio where employees can familiarize themselves with the product firsthand.

Photos: Courtesy of The Bouqs Co.





“Moving into our new headquarters is a watershed moment. We have a vibrant, creative, and dynamic team and we really needed space that enabled creativity and collaboration … it was important in the design process to create a space that reflects our brand, aesthetic, and culture...”

Innovation - Office

John Tabis, Co-founder & CEO, The Bouqs Co.



1. The office’s front lounge 2. The marketing lounge 3. The Venice Conference Room 4. The “all hands’ space 5. The back lounge 6. Cold brew on draft 7. A lounge and in the rear, a conference room 7 CSQ WINTER 2018



ChowNow, SpaceX, Tala App I Can’t Live Without Captio In the Morning Try to read (a book, not an article) Before Bed Mindless social media 2018 Become a trained counselor for the Crisis Text Line

Age 29; 28 Residence Santa Monica; Venice Education Emory University (B.A.), Wharton M.B.A.; Cornell University (B.A.), Wharton M.B.A. Industry Retail e-Commerce Company HQ Santa Monica Founded 2017 $ Raised $620K. Currently seeking seed funding. Awards & Honors Forbes 30 Under 30 Finalist, Uber Pitch Finalist, Rent the Runway Project Entrepreneur, Wharton Innovation Fund, Wharton Startup Competition Finalists On LA Tech “The community. The level of support we’ve seen from other founders and investors has been inspiring.” - Jane Advice “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.” (Jane); “Be authentic.” (Jenna) Mentors Joanna Coles, Adam Grant, Patrick Fitzgerald, Hope Taitz (Jane); Joanna Coles (Jenna) Local Companies Admired Coolhaus, Flex Company, Lumi, Lunya, Parachute Home, Reformation” App I Can’t Live Without Spotify (Jane); Apple Podcast app (Jenna) In the Morning “Check emails and the news” (Jane); “Quartz, theSkimm, coffee” (Jenna) Before Bed “I typically read a book or watch an episode of TV to free my mind from the day.” (Jane); “Set six alarms, 5 minutes apart. I’m not great at jumping out of bed.” (Jenna) 2018 “Sell lots of bras and empower more women while exploring more of Los Angeles.” (Jane); “Focus more on self care.” (Jenna)


Innovation - NextGen PRINCIPAL, FOUNDING MEMBER FIKA VENTURES A seed fund dedicated to serving entrepreneurs who are building enduring solutions to solve deep systemic problems Age 26 Residence West Hollywood Education University of Arizona Industry Venture capital Company HQ West LA Founded 2016 Awards & Honors Forbes 30 Under 30, U of A Young Alumni Professional Achievement Award Advice Climb the mountain to see the world, not so the world can see you. // Only the paranoid survive. Success Being true to myself Mentors Many Local Companies Admired




CO-FOUNDERS & CO-CEOS HARPER WILDE The Warby Parker for bras—order online, try on at home, keep what you want, return the rest

CO-FOUNDER & CEO UPLOAD Multi-faceted company focused on accelerating the growth of the AR/VR industry Age 27 Residence Marina del Rey Industry VR, AR, AI Company HQ Marina del Rey Founded 2014 $ Raised $7M Awards & Honors Forbes 30 Under 30 On LA Tech I’m excited about the convergence of technology, art, and business. Advice Treat everyone you meet as though they could be a friend for life. Success Happiness, freedom, and the ability to help others Local Companies Admired Kernel App I Can’t Live Without Tilt Brush In the Morning Make my bed,


With each turning of the page (calendar and magazine alike), the community of NextGen leaders we honor, recognize, and bring together grows. In welcoming the 2018 class to the community, we gain 15(!) new dynamic investors, founders, disruptors, and dreamers. This year’s class is diverse in age (26 to 39), industry (venture capital and Kombucha, e-Commerce and coworking real estate), and 2018 goals (from “sell more bras” to “launch the first VR, AR, & AI educational platform”). Though they are diverse in many ways, they are very much the same as well – together, these 15 individuals from 10 companies represent the bright future of Los Angeles we, collectively, are excited about – a cleareyed, full-hearted belief that they can, and will, shape the future for the better.

stay off email Before Bed Full mental recap of the day 2018 Launch first-generation Upload spatial learning platform (combing VR, AR, and AI)


background start companies based on their expertise and passion, not just market size or trends. Advice Define yourself by how fast you learn. The skills that got you to this milestone won’t be the ones you need to accomplish the next one. Success Making something people need Mentor My co-founder, Stephan. Together we’ve been building things for nearly a decade. Our greatest accomplishment is our friendship. Local Companies Admired FabFitFun, Figs, Parachute Home App I Can’t Live Without Tilt Apple Activity In the Morning Hug it out with my rescue pup, make pour over coffee, head to work from my airstream trailer near DTLA. Before Bed Read more than 50 pages in a novel (usually a classic) to unwind. I’ve read “Gone with the Wind” three times. 2018 Make it easier than ever before to launch and scale an e-commerce company by solving a historically hairy element of that journey – packaging.


Innovation - NextGen

CO-FOUNDER & CEO , LUMI The one stop shop for e-commerce brands packaging, from custom boxes to envelopes and rubber stamps

1/2 CSQ WINTER 2018

Age 30 Education Art Center College of Design Residence Downtown LA Industry Packaging Company HQ Vernon Founded 2015 $ Raised $12M Awards & Honors Y Combinator (Winner 2015) On LA Tech Diversity excites me. Seeing founders of every

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER NEUEHOUSE A private community of professionals and entrepreneurs with dedicated workspaces, thought-provoking events, and personalized services Age 39 Residence Hancock Park Education Birmingham University, BPP Law School Industry Coworking; events Founded 2013 $ Raised $25M Awards & Honors Forbes Best 2017, SJ Berwin Scholar (2006), Chambers Young Lawyers to Watch (2009) On LA Tech I’m excited about seeing VR integrated into live venues. Success Being great at what you love doing and inspiring others Local Companies Admired CAA, Flywheel, Groundwork,


NG 10 Kairos Society, Platform LA, Rapha, Sunset Tower, Trois Mec App I Can’t Live Without Twitter In the Morning Coffee! Before Bed Read The Times of London 2018 Take NeueHouse to three new cities, exercise, be a good husband and father.


Founded 2015 $ Raised $15.5M Advice If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time. Success Having the freedom to pursue a passion, surrounded by those you love, inspiring others to do the same along the way. Mentors My husband, who has pushed me every step of my career. Local Companies Admired Hawke Media, LOOM, Parachute Home, Revolve, SpaceX, Wonder App I Can’t Live Without Classpass In the Morning Kiss my newborn son, say good morning to my husband, then check email 2018 Build one of the most meaningful health companies that has an impact on women everywhere

CO-FOUNDER & CEO; CO-FOUNDER & CTO TOOT APP Instant homework help from expert tutors via text message Ages 26 Residence Century City; Santa Monica Education LMU; Bahåi Institute for Higher Education Industry Education technology Company HQ Santa Monica Founded 2015 $ Raised $750K Awards & Honors Forbes 30 Under 30, LABJ 20 in their 20s, TechWeek 100 On LA Tech As an LA native, I’m biased, but this city is diverse, full of opportunity, and creatives. Investors seem to be more and more interested in finding out what’s going on here. (Sophia) Advice “Keep one foot out of your comfort zone” (Shakib) Success “Balance” (Sophia); “Happiness” (Shakib) Mentors Sabrina Kay (Sophia); Mike Jones (Shakib) Local Companies Admired Dollar Shave Club, FabFitFun, Riot Games, SpaceX, Tesla App I Can’t Live Without Homework Helper (by Toot!) In the Morning Work out Before Bed “Gratitude” (Sophia); “Plan the next day” (Shakib)


Innovation - NextGen

SOPHIA PARSA & SHAKIB ZABIHIAN FOUNDING TEAM, VP RITUAL A vitamin company committed to creating the purest, most effective vitamin formulations while sharing every ingredient, source, and scientist that made their vitamin a reality Age 28 Residence Venice Education USC Industry Consumer goods; e-Commerce Company HQ Culver City



CO-FOUNDERS, CSO, CEO, COO HEALTH-ADE KOMBUCHA High-quality glass-bottle fermented kombucha Age 33; 36; 34 Residence Downtown Los Angeles; Mar Vista Education UCSD, USC


Marshall; Georgetown (B.S.), Tufts (M.S. & M.P.H.); Berklee College of Music Industry CPG Beverages Company HQ Torrance Founded 2012 On LA Tech My answer isn’t pertinent to tech but is pertinent to what we do … I am excited about the growth of real food in Los Angeles. It’s a fantastic time in our city if you’re interested in authentic food. (Justin) Advice “Now That I Know Better, I Do Better” - Maya Angelou (Vanessa) Success Providing a great quality of life for me, my family and friends, and employees while giving back to the community. (Vanessa) Mentors Tom First and Rohan Oza (Daina); Rich Mendelson (Justin) Local Companies Admired Califia, Carbon38, Hedley & Bennett, Juice Served Here, TOMs, True Food (Daina) App I Can’t Live Without Sonos, Spotify (Daina); Waze (Justin) In the Morning “Say good morning to my dog and – of course – scratch his belly.” (Vanessa); “Coffee.” (Daina and Justin) Before Bed “Wikipedia a historical topic or person.” (Vanessa); “Kiss my husband.” (Daina) 2018 “Professionally, break out from the pack. Personally, complete a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder.” (Vanessa); “Growth!” (Justin)


Local Companies Admired Cypress Creek Renewables, Greenspire, Inspire Energy, Sweetgreen App I Can’t Live Without Wave (Swell’s software platform) In the Morning Kapalabhati breathing and a cold shower. Before Bed Reading for pleasure. 2018 Build out the largest residential virtual power plant in the world.

Innovation - NextGen

2/2 CSQ WINTER 2018

MANAGING PARTNERS SWELL ENERGY The world’s first off-grid energy plan, starting at just $1 a day Ages 32 Residence Venice Education Duke (B.A.), UCLA (J.D.) Industry Clean energy Company HQ Palms Founded 2014 $ Raised $3.8M On LA Tech The tight community of people who are paving their own paths outside of the Northern California tech space Advice No greater prize in life than to work hard at work worth doing Success Leaving things much better than you found them Mentors Charlie Jones, Patrick Maloney, Jon Neman, Nate Ru, Nic Jammet, Nelson and Chris Rising



Age 29 Residence Brentwood Education USC Industry Internet Company HQ Santa Monica Founded 2014 Awards & Honors 50 LA Female Founders You Should Know (Built in LA) On LA Tech It’s refreshing to see how many young, talented women are breaking down barriers as they enter the tech scene. Advice Hire a diverse team to bring different perspectives and ways of thinking to the table. Success Creating challenging work for myself, adding value to the companies I work with, giving back to my community, raising a kind and confident daughter. Mentors My father, Robin Richards Local Companies Admired CareerArc, H Code Media, Headspace App I Can’t Live Without TinyBeans (Instagram for baby photos) In the Morning Exercise (most days) and coffee Before Bed Unwind, unplug, and talk about the day with my husband. 2018 Grow my Product & Operations consulting business. Find a kid-centric philanthropic cause to support.

The first growth-focused marketing platform that accelerates growth by automating marketing and eliminating the need for dedicated marketing resources




From finding an Atari in the dumpster at age 7 to a $350M exit 30 years later, Jonathan Zweig’s ever-present passion for learning and leading brought him out of retirement and today AppOnboard – his second company – is an industry leader in mobile gaming and apps By Kirk Hawkins




Age 39 Residence Brentwood Education UCLA Wrist Movado Garage Porsche Business Over a Drink Baltaire Travel Jerusalem First Time Technology Changed Your Life Finding an Atari abandoned in the trash at age 7 Success Seeing others grow Mentors Octavio Herrera, Will Kassoy, Randy Saaf, my father

Founded 2008 $ Raised $6.6M Employees (at time of exit) 120 $ Value of Exit $350M in June 2014


APPONBOARD HQ Santa Monica Employees 34 Founded 2016 $ Raised $4M Core Competency Mobile Software Mission Help app developers make their


Like a lot of kids growing up in the Boston, Mass., suburb of Dedham, Jonathan Zweig was drawn to sports (specifically basketball, soccer, and tennis). Though a natural passion of his youth, the court and pitch were not the extent of his interests. Always fascinated with technology, Zweig’s early experiences with computing were limited to his frequent visits to the Boston Computer Museum, where his father would often take him. Everything changed when he was seven years old. While walking home from a basketball game, Zweig spotted an Atari video computer system, keyboard, and book about BASIC computer programming in a dumpster. “From that point on, I was always infatuated with this idea that you could type something into a computer and it would do something and if you changed a little part of what you typed, it would do something different. That just fascinated me,” Zweig says. At one point, he took on a newspaper delivery route so he could replace that vintage Atari system with an original Apple Macintosh computer, with

Photo: Tim Hans

Innovation - Zweig

the help of his parents. In the years to come, Zweig would absorb one computer programming book after another, ultimately securing an out-of-state student spot in UCLA’s Computer Science program. Early in his freshman studies, the self professed “average student” started to have second thoughts about being able to create computer games for a living. “I needed to spend a lot of time playing catch up. I remember in my first quarter thinking, ‘Man, am I even at the right place?’” But Zweig’s fascination with the language of database programming and a little nudging from his parents prevented him from giving up and leaving. He’s glad he stayed.

After five years as a software engineer for the UCLA radiology department, Apple released the first iPhone in 2007 and Zweig sensed an opportunity, launching a company called Jirbo. Jirbo created simple games that worked on the first Safari internet browser that came on the iPhone. Those games were so popular that Jirbo’s website quickly reached more than 300,000 unique users. Apple took notice, summoning Zweig to their headquarters in Cupertino with a simple request. Apple wanted Zweig to convert Jirbo’s Web-based games to native apps as part of the App Store’s expected arrival. Zweig scrambled to hire original programmers and make as many different types of games as they could, launching 14 of the first 100 games ever on the iPhone’s App Store in 2008. Jirbo ended up making more than 200 apps for global brands such as ESPN, Sony Music, Universal, and Kaplan Test Prep. As other, larger competitors began to crowd the App Store, Jirbo was faced with the challenge of finding a way to make money from the apps instead of just giving them away for free. Zweig envisioned a business that would run full-screen video promotional advertisements within the games, and launched AdColony with just one engineer. Six years and a 120 employees later, AdColony – the largest independent mobile advertising platform in the world – sold to Opera for $350M. At 37 years old, 30 years after discovering that Atari in the dumpster, Zweig retired. Zweig traveled to all corners of the globe: Bali, Singapore, England, and Italy. But Israel, specifically Jerusalem, was his favorite destination and the source of the beginning of some much-needed soul searching. “You start to think, ‘There is something bigger than me and my career.’ ” Just 18 months into his retirement, Zweig got restless. “There has to be something more to life than doing whatever you want,” Zweig says. “I was at a point where I was like, ‘What am I gonna do with my life?’” Conversations with family and friends, and the memoir Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, got him thinking. “What it all kept coming back to was this concept that you can be on the field of life if you want to, or you can be a spectator.” He yearned to be a part of something again. Zweig returned to the U.S. and attend-

ed gaming and app developer conferences across the country, eventually launching another company called AppOnboard in 2016. AppOnboard is focused on monetization through download-less app technology and playable ads with patent-pending fraud protection. The company was built on the revolutionary – but not new – idea of the demo. Zweig’s technology afforded users a chance to play a game, outside of the App Store, prior to downloading it. “It takes away all the churn of people downloading a game having never played it and deleting it fairly soon after. Not only is it more cost effective, the user ends up becoming a more high-quality user,” Zweig says. Back in Los Angeles for a couple of years now, Zweig is enjoying the perks of the city he has called home for nearly two decades. He frequents Bandera in Brentwood, enjoys a juice from Kreation, and still plays tennis several times a week. In the office, it’s no games (pun intended) and all business. He’s rapidly building the AppOnboard team (now 40 strong) and creating the same type of familial environment he had at AdColony and missed while crisscrossing the globe. This time around, he’s injecting powerful lessons into his work: “Most companies die of indigestion and not starvation,” he says. “They try to do too much. The companies I have been part of, found success when they were laser focused on one thing.” Beyond the nine-figure exit, Zweig feels he has learned and grown since his AdColony days. “You’re always learning as a leader. Otherwise you’re not a leader. You have to be learning every day. Hopefully, I’m a lot more patient.” An unexpected benefit of being a second-term entrepreneur is accomplishment. He’s checked the box next to his original goals, and now enjoys getting out of the way, empowering his team and those around him. “I love to see somebody come into the organization and grow as a leader and as a person,” he says. The future he envisions for himself, for AppOnboard, and Los Angeles tech economy and culture could be much bigger than anything he’s ever experienced. Zweig is appreciative, to say the least. If not for a curious gaze into a Boston dumpster decades ago, this adventure may have never happened. end

Innovation - Zweig




Age 50 Residence Santa Monica Education Duke (Double B.A.), Univ. of Chicago (J.D.) Family Wife and two children Wrist Nothing since cell phones came out Garage Mini Cooper


Michael Blend and Chuck Ursini founded System1, the sleeping giant by the beach, quietly amassing one of the best computer engineer and data scientist teams in the country, and raising $270M in the summer of 2017


By Matthew Seukunian


CHUCK URSINI Business Over a Drink The Gaslite for karaoke Travel Kauai First Time Technology Changed Your Life Coding on a Radio Shack TRS-80 Success When everyone does better Mentors My father, Stanley Blend, and Emmet Stephenson

Age 42 Residence Manhattan Beach Education Wash. St. (B.A.), USC (M.B.A.) Family Two daughters Wrist Bracelet from my daughters— I don’t wear a watch

Garage BMW Business Over a Drink Gjelina Travel Deer Valley, UT Success Satisfaction in the effort put into something Mentor Michael Blend

Founded 2013 HQ Venice Employees 170 Fundraising History $30M (2015); $270M (2017) Core Competency Using technology and science to identify and

unlock consumer intent Notable Partners Google, Bing, Verizon Mission Build the bestin-class technology platform for identifying and unlocking consumer intent and have a fun time doing it

Photos: Teira Lockhart

Innovation - Ursini + Blend




On a not-so-nondescript corner of Venice Beach (I’m talking about the roundabout at Main Street and Windward Avenue) sits a two-story office building that—apart from the eclectic Venice Beach murals—likely goes unnoticed by the scooter-riding, skateboard-kicking, Lyft-riding passersby. Within said office building lies the Silicon Beach behemoth you’ve never heard of, System1—an industry-leading Internet technology company that works with the world’s largest search engines to enhance their businesses by unlocking what System1 calls “latent intent.” If I’m correct and you have indeed never heard of the company, that’s fine with System1 co-founders Michael Blend (President) and Chuck Ursini (CEO). Blend and Ursini, along with their 170 employees, have kept their heads down and mouths shut since founding System1 in 2013. Today it stands as one of the city’s most proficient and successful technology companies with an upward trajectory that would make any shareholder giddy. For the time being, however, System1 has no public shareholders and that’s also not a problem for Blend or Ursini. “We have a lot of options in our future,” Blend states. “If we go public it would be more as a financing event but it is not a goal in and of itself …. our goal is to keep growing the business ... frankly we’re big enough now to be a public company and have chosen not to be.”

and moved to Seattle to work at Amazon. While Ursini built equity in professional experiences at Amazon, Blend was developing a knack for invention, founding and running internet-based companies in San Francisco for 15 years. “I’ve only had a ‘real job’ for six months of my life,” he recalls. “I have been starting companies since I was 25 years old.” His first was an ergonomic keyboard company – Hotkeys – he started in 1996. A combination of hardware and software, it won Internet Product of the Year in its category in 1997. Several startups later, Blend would again be at the helm of a company he also named Hotkeys—he apparently really liked the name—a domain name adtech company that he sold to Demand Media in 2006 at the same time Demand acquired eNom, a domain name registrar company. These acquisitions would ultimately introduce Ursini and Blend, both of whom were in Seattle running Demand Media’s domain business together. The duo would ultimately shift their focus, moving to Los Angeles, where they would play a pivotal role in Demand Media’s media business, supporting the company’s efforts as it prepared to go public. Demand Media went public with a market cap of more than $1B in January 2011. “Taking a company public is exciting … it was pretty fantastic to actually ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange,” Blend notes. Ursini adds, “Leading up to it we had been at Demand for a few years and spent so much time chasing that goal … when you get to it, there is a little bit of a let down.” While both recognize the exciting opportunity an IPO represents, they also point out the cliches that accompany it, from added infrastructure to determination of decision-making (short-term calls dictated by the market, for example). As they paint this picture for me, I can’t help but imagine that those experiences color their canvas today, informing the decisions they make as they grow System1.

the house annoying my wife.” Luckily for his wife, Ursini—recently departed from Demand to pursue an idea of his own—brought said idea (System1) to Blend. “Our philosophy,” Blend explains, “is that someone may want a product or service but has not yet done a formal search … we call that latent intent, intent that has not yet been demonstrated … we identify that in consumers based on a large variety of proprietary data.” “In our business,” Blend adds, “if we can gather as much data as possible, give it off to our engineers and data scientists, and then manage the two effectively, the business can quickly scale.” They launched the company with no financial backing beyond their own in 2013 at 21 Market Street down the street from our aforementioned roundabout. “We had about 10 people crammed into 500 square feet subletting from Stack Commerce,” Ursini remembers. Today, System1 has grown from 10 to 170 and from 500 square feet to their own building. How did they scale so efficiently and effectively? The short answer: culture. The longer answer: System1’s CTO and Co-founder John Fries. Fries had been at Google prior to System1 where he worked on projects like “related” and “recommended” content on YouTube. “I met him [Fries] while at Demand and when he came on board, we put him in charge of building the best engineering organization he could and we told him we would handle the business operations, getting us to profitability,” Ursini says. The pair continue to credit Fries throughout our conversation, with Blend adding that Fries “handpicked something like the first 30 people we hired, refusing to lower the bar.” The result? One of the best teams—led by some of the best managers—in the nation, according to Ursini. “Our chief data scientist is maybe the best in Los Angeles … he went to MIT with John [Fries] … we gave them carte blanche to scale how they wanted and we had ultimate faith in them given their high standards.”

Innovation - Ursini + Blend

Coming Together

Well before System1’s inception, Blend and Ursini experienced successes separate from one another. Blend grew up in Texas (Ursini likes to remind people Blend was a Texas State Math Champion as an adolescent) before going to Duke, where he double majored, and then the University of Chicago for his J.D. Ursini meanwhile grew up in Southern California before attending Washington State, returning to Los Angeles after his undergraduate studies to work in finance. “I was trading bonds and working West Coast hours but bonds start trading before the market … it just was not what I wanted to do,” Ursini recalls. As fate would have it, he was destined for bigger and better things. He went to USC, earned his MBA, developed an interest in technology, CSQ WINTER 2018

All Systems Go

After Demand Media’s successful IPO, having not expected or planned to be at the company for as long as he had been, Blend left and spent the next few months “hanging around

Scaling Up

Blessed with past successes professionally (and financially as a result) and now in possession of 57

Photo: The building that houses System1 in Venice Beach, CA

a crack team of engineers and data scientists, System1 took flight. They raised $30M from Raine (a PE firm they had previous dealings with while at Demand) in July 2015 and then made a series of successful acquisitions, including Bellevue, WA-based InfoSpace. In the summer of 2017, continuing to grow and scale the business without traditional venture capital investment, they raised $270M from private equity firm Court Square Capital, buying out their previous investors in the process. “I think a lot of people view raising a VC round of funding as an achievement,” Blend says. “What’s really an achievement is building a successful business.” While they were able to launch, grow, and sustain the business with their own funding thanks to their previous successes, it also doesn’t hurt that the two work so well together. Ursini is CEO and leader of the company, overseeing product and business operations while Blend, President, focuses on corporate development and M&A. “Our roles and relationship have evolved over the years … but since we’ve worked together for so long they can be interchangeable so if we have to step up and swap roles, we can,” Ursini says. Blend adds, “Investors think they get two people for the price of one.” Looking Forward

Today, the System1 machine is well oiled and running smoothly, something that is not lost on the pair, who admit nothing is ever as easy

as it seems. “Culturally, we celebrate successes,” Ursini says, pausing to add, “we’re in the infancy of the company based on what we want to achieve and how we want to grow … we know there will be bumps.” While the bumps may be unavoidable, Blend and Ursini certainly won’t be unprepared. Ursini, reflecting on the growth of Los Angeles’ tech landscape and System1 notes, “markets change … Snap didn’t exist four years ago, Instagram was hardly popular … what is important is that we have a thesis about what we’re doing and building from a product perspective.” Blend, confidently reiterating this vision for the future, says, “Our vision is unwavering.” With a clear vision, (possibly) Los Angeles’ best engineering team, and the financially backing of a firm with several billion dollars on their balance sheet, the view is not just unwavering but bright for Blend and Ursini. Both mention the importance of geography and family on their happiness. Ursini spends as much time with his daughters as he can, while noting how much he enjoys team dinners on Abbot Kinney. Blend, meanwhile, admits to loving Santa Monica more than anywhere else he ever goes for business. For now, in between Ursini’s trips to Deer Valley and Blend’s visits to the nearest karaoke bar (karaoke is a Blend family affair), the pair will keep chugging along, unlocking consumer latent intent, building a company culture, and enjoying their modicum of privacy. end






Following a series of successful launches early in his career (including Firefly, acquired by Microsoft, and PeoplePC, acquired by Earthlink), David Waxman has gone from pitching businesses to investing in them in what he hopes will be his last role By Subrina Hudson

Innovation - Waxman


“They had a mainframe with teletypes and early microcomputers,” Waxman recalls. “I got to see and play with all this new technology. That’s how I first learned how to program computers and got really interested in it.” The exposure certainly helped build the foundation of what would become a career as a serial entrepreneur launching technology companies including Spot Runner Inc., PeoplePC Inc., and Firefly Network, Inc. Now, as the managing partner of TenOneTen, Waxman has settled into a different type of role—one allowing him to mentor and invest in the plethora of startups flooding Los Angeles and beyond. “Today, people are moving from all over the world to build their companies [here],” Waxman says. “When we started it was somewhere in the middle. We could see this hap-

Photos: Tim Hans

If you had asked ten-year-old David Waxman to pick his favorite hangout spot, he would’ve quickly told you the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, Calif. The co-founder of Los Angeles-based venture firm TenOneTen Ventures admits the science museum was also one of the few places he could walk to from his home. “It’s in the Berkeley Hills, and there’s not much else up there,” he says. “I started hanging out in the science museum, which I think had a pretty big impact on me.” Waxman volunteered at Lawrence Hall from an early age, doing everything from changing rat cages to helping visitors navigate the science center, which is linked to the University of California, Berkeley. Volunteering also gave him access to a piece of technology the average American was just starting to access in the late 1970s—a computer.



pening and we felt we had a great position in the market with our operational experience and our tech experience.” Green Light

TenOneTen, named after LA’s 10 and 110 freeways, was launched in 2014 by Waxman and co-founder Gil Elbaz, founder and chief executive of LA-based data company Factual. Elbaz was also the co-founder of ad tech company Applied Semantics, Inc., which Google acquired in 2003 for $102M. The venture capital firm launched at a time when LA’s startup scene was gaining momentum as a hub of tech talent with heavy-hitters such as Dollar Shave Club, The Honest Co., and Snap Inc. (which caused a stir when it turned down a $3B buyout from Facebook the previous year). While Waxman said its entry into the market was tough, it was a challenge he was ready to tackle. “Fund one added a whole layer of learning [on] how to become a fund manager, which is different than just investing. There’s a lot to learn and a steep learning curve. We’ve grown since then.” Running a venture capital fund means focusing less on hype and more on providing returns, according to Waxman. “If you’re talking about pensions or folks with their own fiduciary duties they’re not allowed to geek out,” he says. “They have to worry about returns. This is very much a part of a bigger financial strategy so it’s a little less of an emotional decision.” It’s why the firm pays particular attention to startups whose team displays tenacity. Waxman, who has experienced his own failures, said those displaying a drive to climb over the inevitable obstacles arouse the most interest from TenOneTen. “We’re not shopping for friends, but we want to respect and believe in them because we’re following them essentially into battle,” he says. Companies in TenOneTen’s arsenal include LA-based developer of a marketing analytics platform Conversion Logic, the Palo Alto delivery-app Curbside, and Santa Monica-based drone intelligence company AirMap.

Strong Byte

Waxman’s eye for spotting potential investments is from more than twenty years as a tech entrepreneur and self-proclaimed computer geek and music lover. While his high school friends earned a few dollars per hour delivering pizza, he worked as a programmer for a Berkeley software company earning five times as much. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in computer music, he jetted off to Paris to teach at the Institute for Research Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM). One day, MIT Media Lab professor Tod Machover came to visit the institute and was impressed with Waxman’s work, including a public sound installation he put together at the time. “He said, ‘Why don’t you come to MIT?’” Waxman recalls. “I said no. I was an idiot.” He quickly changed his mind and snagged a spot in the competitive Media Lab program and, ultimately, launching his path to building startups. During his last semester, Waxman was seated on a flight next to Nick Grouf, who was finishing his last semester at Harvard Business School. “We realized we were at the same New Year’s Eve party, and we had friends in common,” he says. “Nick really wanted to start a company. It’s almost cliché now—Harvard Business School kid wants MIT kid—but back then it was pretty unusual.” The pair launched Firefly Network, Inc., a provider of personalization software, with some of Waxman and Grouf ’s colleagues in 1995. Three years later, Microsoft Corp. acquired the tech company for an undisclosed sum. In 1999, Waxman and Grouf launched their second company, PeoplePC, which offered a personal computer bundled with Internet service for a monthly fee. It shifted from a direct-to-consumer business after automaker Ford wanted to strike a deal worth $380M to offer PeoplePC’s service to its employees. “We were only 20 people so it was pretty intense,” Waxman says. PeoplePC went on to work with Delta Airlines, New York Times, and Universal Studios Hollywood. The company went public in 2000, and the partners sold the firm to EarthLink in 2002.

Innovation - Waxman



Age 49 Residence Hancock Park Family Wife, three daughters, and an urban zoo On Wrist IWC Pilot Mark XVI Business Over a Drink Montage Beverly Hills Travel Backpacking in the High Sierras First Time Technology Changed Your Life Teletype Trek at the Lawrence Hall of Science, 1978 Success Successful portfolio companies. Mentor David Wessel (creative contrarian and UC Berkeley professor until his death)

HQ West Holly wood, CA Employees 4 Founded 2013 Partners David Waxman, Gil Elbaz $ Value of Fund $65M over 3 funds # of Portfolio Companies ~50 Specialty Big Data, Team Building, Hyper- growth Trends Excited to Invest In Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Disruption of big unsexy industries




Innovation - Waxman

Lesson Learned way to learn,” Waxman observes. “It’s highly But success can also be met with failure as overrated. I did learn a lot but man, that was evidenced by the partners’ third company, a very expensive lesson. It was just incredibly Spot Runner, a television advertising startup painful for everybody involved.” founded in 2004. The company quickly rose to It was then that Waxman decided to take the top, raising an estimated $100M by 2008 a break. He was spending his time consulting while growing to 500 employees. and serving as an angel investor, which helped However, a year later it was running on prime him for the launch of TenOneTen. empty. The startup laid off more than 200 Now, Waxman deems the flurry of activity employees and was facing a lawsuit by adver- in LA’s tech scene and the growing number of tising giant and investor WPP. The case was talented engineers calling the area home enlater dismissed and the co-founders sold off couraging, both personally and professionally. the company’s assets. “I think the world is catching on to LA,” he says. “Failure is often talked about as a great “And I’m hoping this is the last job I ever have.” end





Moonshots Capital Co-founder and Managing General Partner Kelly Perdew is helping entrepreneurs with military backgrounds reach their goals By Allison Dean

American businessman and angel investor turned VC Kelly Perdew first entered the public eye as the winner of The Apprentice: Season 2. Today, his reputation is built on the LA technology investment scene. A Southern boy at heart who spent most of his childhood in Kentucky and Florida, Perdew is now ensconced in a Southern California lifestyle near the beach that includes launching and investing in early-stage technology ventures. From earning his degree at the United States Military Academy at West Point to his newest role as co-founder and Managing General Partner of Moonshots Capital–which specializes in funding startups helmed by military veterans–Perdew is eager to give back to the Los Angeles community he calls home by helping young entrepreneurs succeed. The oldest of five brothers, he attended high school in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he played sports and worked at McDonalds during the summers. Appointed to West Point by former Vice President Dick Cheney, Perdew became the first in his family to go into the military. Three of his four brothers would follow in his footsteps – one Army and two Navy. Upon graduation, he became a military intelligence officer. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army, Perdew completed both Airborne and Ranger training and was stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey, California.

Innovation - Perdew

Perdew attended business and law school at UCLA after completing his military service, earning his J.D. and M.B.A. in 1996. As he interacted with more and more bright people during this time, lightbulbs began to go on, leading him to anticipate an entrepreneurial future. As a summer intern with the Century City law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Perdew had an epiphany while working on the documentation for a large business acquisition deal at the printers. He decided he wanted to be an owner of the successful firm involved in such negotiations, not merely a legal service provider. Perdew learned a hard lesson when he launched his first startup, ImageTel International, in 1994 during his fourth year of law school. He raised $500K from family and friends to fund the company, but his credit card debt quickly approached $80K in the process. 62


Photos: Tim Hans

An Emerging Entrepreneur

KELLY PERDEW Age 50 Residence Mar Vista Education West Point (B.S.); UCLA (M.B.A. & J.D.) Family Wife and 3 children Wrist Whoop! heart monitor Garage Tesla Business Over a Drink Rose Café, Maxwell’s, Katsuya Travel Fiji, Cabo, or fly-

fishing in the Rockies First Time Technology Changed Your Life Can I mention two? The 1993 Motorola Flip Phone is how I ran biz dev for my first startup. Then, in 2009, IVF gave us our beautiful twins. Success Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” Mentors Luis Villalobos (founded Tech Coast Angels) and Steve Wynn (former CEO of Adidas)

MOONSHOTS CAPITAL HQ Marina Del Rey and Austin, TX # of Employees 5 Founded 2014 Syndicates; 2017 Fund 1 Partners Kelly Perdew and Craig Cummings $ Value of Fund $40M (Fund 1) # of Portfolio Companies 32 Syndicates (Bitium acquired by GOOG; Harvest acquired


by AMZN) and 3 VC (ThreatCare, Shep, and New Knowledge). More announcing soon… Specialty Automotive, Mobility, Cyber, Fintech, and early stage companybuilding Trends Excited to Invest In Leadership is our primary focus and we look closely at every deal where a military veteran is on the team

Year Started 2004 First Company Invested In TrueCar Total Companies Invested In 71 companies – 36 companies via Angel Investments, 32 companies via syndicate lead, and 3 companies via VC fund $ Invested Angel: $1.3M; Syndicate Lead: $10.5M; VC: $40M Fund

Innovation - Perdew To get out of debt, he worked for a couple years with Deloitte Consulting, then dove right into a new startup, eTeamz, which he in turn sold three years later to Active Networks. “I’ve been building companies, investing in companies, basically since 1994 here in Los Angeles,” he says. When Perdew read Richard Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant, he was inspired to begin investing (both his time and money) in other entrepreneurs, knowing that he would need to diversify to attain the returns he sought. To date, Perdew has invested in more than 70 companies—as an angel, as a syndicate lead angel and, now, through his committed VC fund. The Winning Apprentice

After being encouraged to audition for the second season of The Apprentice in 2004, Perdew won the contest and moved to New York to work in Donald Trump’s offices for 14 months. During this time, he studied up on real estate and the media, writing the book Take Command: 10 Leadership Principles I Learned in the Military and Put to Work for Donald Trump. Perdew came back to LA and continued CSQ WINTER 2018

to invest in early stage technology as an angel. One of his first angel checks was for ZAG, Scott Painter’s company, which became TrueCar. “One of the fascinating things about being an investor…is that you’re absolutely going to see some great deals, and you’re absolutely going to invest in some things that don’t work out, but that’s part of the excitement around early stage,” Perdew says. He has invested in and worked with industry-leading companies in various capacities, including TrueCar, Pandora, Linkedin, RideScout,, Scopely, Bitium, DuMont Project– which has been a passion for the past decade– and many more. One of the LA-based companies Perdew wrote the first check into, Bitium, was purchased by Google in October 2017. Perdew professes great empathy for entrepreneurs and strives to impart his lessons learned to young, aggressive, knowledgeable, savvy entrepreneurs. “Having now served in so many board capacities, continuing to be an operator myself— ten companies I’ve either founded or been a team member of, two learning experiences, five exits, and three companies still operating profitably—there’s so much I’ve learned from dumb luck combined with experience,” he says.

Shooting for the Moon

Perdew and his Austin, Tex.–based investment partner Craig Cummings, also a West Point alum, formed Moonshots Capital in 2014. An investment syndicate 430 investors strong, it has deployed nearly $11M to date. After determining that the military is the only organization that consistently funds leadership development, the two decided to prioritize investing in startups led by military veteran entrepreneurs. More than 70% of their projects are associated with military veterans, who are increasingly undertaking early stage technology ventures. “We understand and lean in more when one of the co-founders of a venture needing funding is a military veteran,” he says. And because these leaders are vetted and share a common vernacular that facilitates trust and communication, he adds, “It’s easy to determine whether I want them in my foxhole or not.” As Moonshots Capital launches as a venture fund, buzz is already building, with more than 100 deals coming through monthly. With plenty of ammunition for new targets for investing, Perdew is poised for orbital success. end




The fourth-generation venture capitalist is leaning all the way in, combating the gender stereotypes and biases in venture capital that see only 4% of funding given to companies with female founders By Jessica Ferguson

As a fourth-generation legacy of iconic venture capitalists, Jesse Draper has had a front-row seat at the investing table since childhood. From great-grandfather General William Henry Draper Jr., to her father, Tim Draper, her access to some of the greatest minds and mentors is nothing to scoff at. But beyond the strategies, successes, and skill sets she’s seen at that proverbial table, one thing remained evident: a lack of women at that table. Draper, an enthusiastic force to be reckoned with, has made it her mission to not only invest solely in female-founded companies, but to steward the message to women that there is a real place for them in the worlds of finance, technology, and innovation – a truth she has learned herself. Draper, 33, is a wife, soon-tobe mother of two, and founding partner of Halogen Ventures – a successful LA-based fund with 25 companies in its growing portfolio.

Innovation - Draper

Becoming The Valley Girl

Having organically accrued the kind of business acumen and investing insights that would make any budding venture capitalist appropriately confident, Draper simply didn’t know there was a place for her in finance while growing up. Instead, she followed the lead of her successful aunt, an actress, and went into entertainment. There, she could look to many females for inspiration and feel comfortable in her pursuit of success. But she was a Draper, after all, with an inherited bone for business. In 2009, after a successful run on a popular Nickelodeon sitcom, she decided to leverage her unique strengths to create her own show, The Valley Girl Show – for which she negotiated widespread distribution, received critical acclaim, and instituted a rite of passage for entrepreneurs of every caliber and vertical. A few of the hundreds of guests she’s interviewed include Jessica Alba, Ron Conway, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Sheryl Sandberg. While she reflects on the show’s tone as “sort of silly, light-hearted, and approachable,” it was also one of the first interview series ded64


JESSE DRAPER Age 33 Residence Los Angeles Education UCLA Family Husband, son, dog Archie (like the comic books), and a second baby on the way Wrist Hair tie Garage My husband’s putting green and my Wonder Woman boots Business Over a Drink Farmshop, Coral Tree

Café, Esther’s Wine Bar, anywhere I can get a margarita when I am not pregnant Travel Destination Domestically – Fire Island (any excuse to go to Hawaii I will take); Internationally – Singapore. When Did Tech Change Your Life When my dad gave my brother and I an Apple 2 computer and a baseball bat, instructing us

to take it apart when I was 9. He then told us to put it back together which obviously didn’t go as well as taking it apart. For those fathers of daughters out there, this was fun for me too, don’t just give us the princess shit. Success Remaining happy and passionate about what I am doing. Billion dollar women in my portfolio would be icing on the cake


Mentors Family first: My husband, my parents, my brothers, my aunt Polly. Outside of the family: Cindy Whitehead, Sonja Perkins, Gretchen Robinson, Kristin George, Katharine Hordo, Lyndsey Hoehn, and all of my entrepreneurs and LPs

icated solely to talking about technology and entrepreneurs. She used it as a platform to not only make Silicon Valley more relatable, visible, and fun, but to prove the fact that it can, in fact, be pink. Raising the Fund

Through the show, Draper was able to blend two of her areas of expertise—investing and media—to propel women forward in two ways: emboldening their public presence and funding female-founded companies ahead of their male-led counterparts. She believes there is no shortage of talent, vision, or tenacity among the female founder population; there has just been a historically dry wellspring of investment dollars for them. To help remedy this imbalance, she had to first raise the fund for Halogen Ventures, which she recalls as “brutal.” Her approach to meeting with investors was aligned with her approach to every ordinary task – be as efficient and effective as possible. While reviewing new ventures, she says, “[The investor] should know right away. If they’re not in after three meetings, they’re probably not going to invest, and you might as well move on.” Also, according to her experience, having a targeted area of interest can seriously improve your pitch, even while seeking co-investors or mentors. “At Halogen, we focus on early stage funding for female-founded consumer tech, 100% of the time,” she says. “I think it is really important to have a strategic focus and be able to defend that.” Through this specific lens, Draper has been able to identify and help fund some of Los Angeles’ most stand-out startup success stories, including Carbon38, Flex Company, HopSkipDrive, Laurel & Wolf, and Sugarfina.

HQ Santa Monica Founded 2016 # of Portfolio Companies 30 including Carbon38, Flex Company, HopSkipDrive, Laurel & Wolf, Sugarfina Specialty Female-founded consumer technology at the seed stage.

Trends Excited About E-commerce, Healthcare tech, Government tech, Marketplaces, Media, Blockchain

betting on this? They raise half as much money, and they double the returns,” she says. “But I also didn’t have those women [in entrepreneurship and investing] to look up to.” Draper’s goal is to grow Halogen to be a billion-dollar fund capable of breeding the next generation of female billionaires, change makers, and mentors for future generations to learn from. The women she’s personally grown to admire, consult with, and consider mentors are many of her peers. “Cindy Whitehead, who sold the first female sex drug [Addyi, often referred to as ‘female viagra’] for $1.5B and is now investing the majority of that into female-run companies, is a personal role model of mine,” says Draper. “She’s someone I work with regularly. We’re on the phone daily and we review deals together. We both come to the table with different perspectives. She’s just someone I really admire.” She also lists Sonja Perkins of Menlo Ventures, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and, of course, her family, as trusted advisors and mentors. “When I bet on these companies, I feel like I’m betting on dreams. But I learn so much from my founders, too,” she says, mentioning that Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean of Werk are people she is constantly learning from. Among the many lessons she’s learned from these influences, she emphasizes the importance of remaining humble, leading with integrity, maintaining vision, and never assuming you’re the smartest person in the room. “I don’t think any venture capitalist or investor can claim to be an expert. You have to be a bit of a generalist, and always learning.” Beyond her focus on female founders, Draper has another unique practice that’s a bit unorthodox for Silicon Valley. “I do believe in education, but I don’t always bet on the MBA,” she says. “I love the people who have a chip on their shoulder, who are trying to prove something, who have come up with some new idea out of necessity. They’re solving a problem that they’ve experienced. That’s something I’m passionate about investing in.” end

- Draper

Betting on Women

With only 4% of venture funding going toward female-run companies, Halogen’s focus is both practical and personal. “We focus on the consumer, and 80% of household purchasing decisions are made by women. Why wouldn’t we be CSQ WINTER 2018




Age 35 Residence West Hollywood Education Vanderbilt On Wrist Rolex GMT Business Over a Drink I prefer to host meetings in my back­ yard, but if I have to go out, the Soho House is always great Travel Italian Riviera

VC HISTORY Experience 8 years Previous Notable Partners Ron Burkle, Asht­ on Kutcher, Guy Oseary, and D.A. Wallach $ Value of Funds Managed At the height of my career, I oversaw roughly $300M # of Deals Done I’ve done more than 150 deals and currently oversee a portfolio of approximately 100 companies, including Uber, Airbnb, Houzz,

Venture capitalist Chris Hollod—the former right-hand man to Ron Burkle—steps out on his own, forging a fresh path By Subrina Hudson

CHRIS HOLLOD FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER, HOLLOD HOLDINGS First Time Tech Changed Your Life The first time I down­ loaded a song on Napster. It was the most magical thing I’d ever seen Success Waking up every morning with total freedom to do whatever you please Mentors Ron Burkle and Ashton Kutcher

Spotify, Flexport, Warby Parker, Memphis Meats, 8i, Ember, and Thrive Market. Trends Excited to Invest In AI, consumer­ facing bio­tech, new disruptive consumer brands, anything with a health/wellness component Personal Investments Sweetgreen, Blue Bottle Coffee, Pressed Juicery, Matchabar, Dirty Lemon, Know Foods, Elysium Health, Planet, Hyper­ loop, and Emulate

Innovation - Hollod

Cooking, reading, hiking and taking a meeting by his backyard pool is the new normal for venture capitalist Chris Hollod. The 35-year-old spent eight years as billionaire Ron Burkle’s right-hand man but walked away from the glitz and glamour to shift his focus to angel investing and more importantly, to be his own boss. “We’ve done over 150 deals together and overseen and started two VC funds with various compelling individuals,” says Hollod. “But I was like ‘Ron, I’ve got to take a break.’” Hollod joined Burkle’s private equity firm The Yucaipa Companies in 2009 and quickly moved up the ranks to manage the billionaire’s personal angel investments, serving as managing partner of venture capital funds A-Grade and Inevitable Ventures. While Hollod no longer works for Yucaipa, he is still involved at both venture capital funds. He also founded his own investment company, Hollod Holdings, with his brother Andrew, 66


Photo: Dave Suchanek



which focuses on early-stage companies. It might seem like a big gamble to leave the offices of Yucaipa and the side of Burkle but Hollod said it’s been the best decision he’s ever made. “I wake up with a new sense of purpose and freedom,” he says. “I’m meeting a young entrepreneur by my pool every day and I just want to help them.” The investor spent nearly 12 years in finance while pushing through a number of setbacks that happened back-to-back, from the death of his mother to getting laid off from his job to a breakup. Those life-changing events helped shape Hollod’s approach to his personal and professional life, which he shares in his upcoming book Big Fish, Big Pond. He added that although his mother is no longer with him, her strength and positive outlook on life continue to serve as a guiding compass and inspiration. “The only way for you to know my mother is through your interactions with me, and I want to be damn sure you have a very positive interaction,” Hollod says. Georgia on His Mind

Hollod grew up in a suburb just north of Atlanta. While his younger brother won “Homecoming King” and “Best Personality” in high school, Hollod was much more introverted and excelled at academics and soccer. He looked at Ivy League schools but decided to attend Vanderbilt University. It was close to home and small enough to allow him to be a “big fish.” After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in economics, he knew he wanted to go into investment banking but didn’t want to experience the Wall Street horror stories and culture. Hollod decided to join a two-year investment banking program at Wachovia in Charlotte, N.C. He dabbled in a number of products from debt, equity, mergers and acquisitions to IPOs. In a rare feat, he was promoted to an associate during his third year. Life was great for Hollod. He would walk to work from his townhome, visit all the restaurants and nightclubs with friends, and things were progressing well with his girlfriend. But in 2007, his mother lost her two-year battle with cancer at age 53. He was then laid off from Wachovia following the market crash in 2008 and broke up with his longtime girlfriend. “Within roughly 18 months, I lost my mom, lost my job, lost my girlfriend,” Hollod says. “My brain said to move back to Atlanta because that was the safest bet, but my gut said otherwise. I said, ‘You know, let me not rush into anything,’ and that’s when I booked a one-way flight to Los Angeles.” He split his time couch-surfing for about a month between Los Angeles and San Diego, where two of his good friends lived. Hollod fell in love with Southern California’s laid-back lifestyle and hacked a plan to aggres-

sively network his way into a finance gig. He reached out to former classmates and colleagues until finally reconnecting with an old acquaintance from Vanderbilt. She worked for Yucaipa and passed along his resume. Within a month, he was hired and drove his 10-year-old car from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Lifting Off in La-La Land

The job at Yucaipa was the break Hollod needed following a tough 18 months. He was determined to stand out and succeed. “I was beating on people’s doors trying to get on deals,” he recalls. “My first deal was a bottled water company called AQUAhydrate, a startup water company co-founded by Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg.” The deal not only introduced Hollod to the world of venture capital, but also jump started a new passion. His excitement and drive didn’t go unnoticed. By 2010, Hollod was overseeing Burkle’s newly formed investment fund A-Grade with actor Ashton Kutcher and talent manager Guy Oseary. The firm backed companies including Airbnb, Houzz, Spotify, Uber, and Warby Parker. “It was the convergence of so many different trends—mobile, social, e-commerce,” he says. “We were helping these startups and having a lot of fun doing it. In our heyday, we were doing a deal a week.” In addition to overseeing A-Grade, Hollod began managing Burkle’s personal angel investments. He also started traveling with Burkle fulltime, starting in 2011. He then became a co-founder and partner of Burkle’s new fund, Inevitable Ventures, with musician and investor D.A. Wallach. Instead of looking at the next hot mobile app, which they felt was an overly saturated market, the firm wanted to look at startups in industries like healthcare and virtual reality. Its portfolio includes 8i, Memphis Meats, and Thrive Market. Hollod credits Burkle, whom he calls a mentor, for introducing him to the venture capital world. “I owe a tremendous amount to Ron,” he says. “He taught me so much and introduced me to so many amazing new things. I joke with my dad that I lived the life of a billionaire for six years as I traveled around with Ron on private planes and yachts.”

he knows he wants to help startups in the health and wellness space grow their business and learn from their mistakes. Hollod credits his own mistake—failing to personally invest in online mattress company Casper (now valued at more than $1B)—as a factor driving him toward angel investing. A close friend from his Wachovia days called out of the blue asking if he’d meet Philip Krim, co-founder and chief executive of Casper. At the time, Hollod was still new to LA and hadn’t sourced many deals for A-Grade. He immediately jumped on the opportunity to personally invest in the Seed round for a company he felt would be huge. “I told it to my friends, and everyone hated it,” he says. “They’re like, ‘What an infrequent purchase. How often do you buy mattresses?’ I regrettably let my friends and advisors talk me out of it.” As a silver lining, A-Grade did eventually invest in Casper during its Series A round, but looking back, Hollod said he should’ve trusted his initial gut instinct. “That investment changed my life, but I could’ve got in personally in the Seed round,” he explains. “That’s my benchmark with future deals—if I have that feeling I had with Casper, I’m putting my own money in and standing behind the deal no matter what people say.” end

Innovation - Hollod


A New Path Ventured

The past dozen years have been a whirlwind of success, including failure and loss, and Hollod realized this year that it was time to forge his own path. “I’m at that point where it’s time to figure things out on my own, build a family, and enjoy the work I’ve done over the last 12 years,” he says. It’s been two months since Hollod left Yucaipa and he says it’s been great having the opportunity to read more—particularly on philosophy—and cook. While he’s still hashing out his exact plans,


Innovation - Bryant + Stibel


Words by Jason Dean

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel have joined forces to lead a $100M investment fund focused on elevating the venture capital game in Los Angeles

Changing the Playing Field

Innovation - Bryant + Stibel

Kobe Bryant & Jeff Stibel CSQ WINTER 2018


Innovation - Bryant + Stibel

WE’RE NOT COMPETING FOR DEALS. WE HAVE WAY TOO MUCH RESPECT FOR WHAT INVESTORS DO TO THINK THAT’S WHERE WE ADD VALUE. Kobe Bryant did not become a household name by waiting around for an opportunity. He made it happen by elevating himself from his peers, not only with exceptional ability but also with a premium blend of intense drive and singular determination. Bryant embodied the “Black Mamba” persona he created during his 20 years on the basketball court: Strike quickly, often, and with pinpoint accuracy. At 17, Bryant was the youngest guard ever selected in the NBA draft when the Charlotte Hornets selected him with the No. 13 overall pick and struck a deal to send him to the Lakers. Bryant’s parents had to cosign his first contract, with the Philadelphia native playing in his first professional game less than three months after turning 18. The rest, as they say, is history. Given his reputation for studied preparation, it should come as no surprise that Bryant was strategizing the next chapter of his 70


professional career long before he unlaced his sneakers for the final time. Jeff Stibel was a wunderkind of a different sort, but his ascension to business success has been similarly impressive. A brain scientist with entrepreneurial tendencies, Stibel dropped out of grad school to launch his first company,, partnering with a group that included professors from Brown, MIT, and Princeton. A succession of visionary ventures followed, and at 32, Stibel stood as one of the youngest CEOs of a publicly traded company while leading, an early provider of Web services to small- and mid-sized businesses. Stibel was getting used to being ahead of the curve. (“We would identify broad trends, build assets, and wait,” he says of his early formula for success.) In 2010, Stibel formed Dun & Bradstreet Credibility, building the brand into a modern

tech cousin of the storied parent brand, until the two companies merged in 2015. Stibel has stayed on as vice chairman. Working the Ecosystem

So, how did Jeff Stibel and Kobe Bryant find each other? You can chalk it up to the fertile LA ecosystem. “I reached out to Jeff to initiate the conversation,” confirms Bryant, “and he asked me what I was interested in doing. I told him I wasn’t exactly sure but that I knew I had a desire to learn more about this side of the business world.” Bryant figured he had just a couple years of basketball left in his body, and Stibel was eyeing a shift from CEO to investor. “We were both in transition,” Stibel says. The pair met for a handful of lunches and dinners, originally thinking they would learn together rather than work together. The more


this model, this reputation, and this track record.” The company has nine partners, with Stibel and Bryant each playing pivotal roles. Stibel is the operational strategist, and Bryant’s responsibilities center on storytelling, culture, and team building. Says Bryant: “Jeff is the master of connectivity. He’s able to connect people, companies and ambitions together in a way I’ve never thought pos sible. My passion is helping businesses creati ve ly tell their story and find their brand truth.” Another partner, Pete Delgrosso was a co-founder of Simpli and has known Stibel since their middle school days. In all, the partners at Bryant Stibel have worked together across public and private companies, some for more than two decades.

The Office of the Chairman

That longevity, and what it brings to the equation, is a unique characteristic among investors and VCs, as far as Stibel is concerned. “We don’t know anyone else that’s pursuing this model, and for good reason,” he says. “They can’t.” The model that others can’t emulate, Stibel says, is the Office of the Chairman platform, integrating access to the Bryant Stibel management team for the purpose of improving a company’s chances for scalable success. There is no competition factor with other venture and private equity firms, Stibel says. The firm prefers to take a patient, long-term approach, with the understanding that “the road to success is paved with the bricks of failure.” “We … align ourselves with management and the board to try to push a business forward,” Stibel explains, adding that he and his

Stibel got to know Bryant, the more impressed he became. “I was blown away by his intellect, his strategic ability to build team culture.” “We started quietly—very quietly—working together,” Stibel says. “It was very natural. That’s one of the powers of this LA ecosystem. Magical things happen here.” Bryant Stibel made its first VC investment in 2013. “Despite Kobe’s profile ... he’s a very understated individual,” Stibel points out. “So it was easy to say, ‘Let’s keep this under the radar. Let’s let the work speak for itself, and let’s let our entrepreneurs and CEOs take center stage.’” The experience of both investing and leading companies inspired a recalibration of priorities. “[It] shifted our thinking from ‘How to be an angel investor’ to ‘How can you actually be active and involved and add real value over time and also receive real value in return?’”

Innovation - Bryant + Stibel

Making It Official

On August 22, 2016, Stibel and Bryant rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, publicly announcing their new company, Bryant Stibel, and its forward-thinking agenda: to partner with growth-oriented businesses in the technology, media, and data industries. Originally, the firm made a conscious decision to invest exclusively in Los Angeles– based companies. The scope has since broadened to include companies based anywhere in the world. “We ... continue to invest in great LA companies, but we are very much global,” Stibel says. Among the local startups in the Bryant Stibel portfolio are LegalZoom, Scopely, RingDNA, and FocusMotion. Investments outside the LA region include Dell Technologies, Players Tribune, VIPKID Custom Ink, and House Canary. “Kobe and our team have been together for five-plus years now,” Stibel says, with infectious enthusiasm. “We just never announced. We stayed under the radar and quietly built CSQ WINTER 2018


“I really started thinking seriously about investments toward the end of my career,” Bryant says. In 2013, Bryant made his first investment, in sports drink BodyArmor. His passion for the game of shrewd venture capital investing grew from there. In 2014, Bryant launched Kobe Inc. to manage his brand and independent investments. “I started to see the passion and dedication from entrepreneurs. I related to it because it’s how I approached the game every day,” Bryant says. “I also knew that when my basketball career was over, I’d be in the same position as them, looking to start a business and new career.” Bryant’s graceful exit from the game was punctuated by Dear Basketball, a six-minute animated film based on a poem he wrote about his lifelong love for the game as he was preparing to retire. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, the work is a precious piece of storytelling with Bryant addressing his muse from his earliest boyhood memories. The film was produced at Bryant’s Granity Studios in Costa Mesa and is complemented by vibrant, hand-drawn sketch animation by Glen Keane (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin) and a sweeping orchestral score from none other than John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, many others). “Storytelling is at the epicenter of everything,” Bryant says. “It’s how we learn about the past to inform our future.” Engaging narratives, whether in sports, entertainment, or business, compel us to think, feel, and act. “It’s how we best retain information that helps us become better people. It’s how we communicate our position to

team strive to create a bridge between leadership, board members, and investors. It’s that bridge of communication—the open sharing of ideas and information—that Stibel cites as a form of support that he would have greatly appreciated while running his previous companies. John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom since 2007, understands the value that Stibel Bryant brought to the table when it came on as an investor in 2014. “The Office of the Chairman model is old school with a twist,” he says, the “twist” being a cross-functional team of senior executives with behind-the-scenes experience at multiple companies. Another aspect that differs from traditional investors is perceived exclusivity. “We’re not competing for deals,” Stibel says. “We have way too much respect for what investors do to think that’s where we add value.” The value, Stibel says, is in the “Office of the Chairman” concept. “It sets us apart. It’s innovative.” 72


Stibel has become astute at identifying broad trends in their infancy. The next step— and the key to the entrepreneurial puzzle, he says—is finding the best people within categories who can disrupt those trends. “I am focused on teams,” Stibel says. “It’s literally that simple.” Dear Basketball

The career of a professional athlete is fueled by daily battles that fit neatly in the W or L column. In basketball, success is predicated on the fluid teamwork of a group of individuals operating as a cohesive unit. The measure of success grows in scale, from individual victories and championships to dynasties that dominate an era and, over time, can equate a brand with a standard of excellence. Sports analogies relating to the struggle to get to the top translate well to the boardroom. Similarly, with his sharp instincts and team-motivating abilities, Bryant’s transition from star athlete to star investor was a natural pivot.


Photos: Courtesy of Brytant Stibel, NYSE

Innovation - Bryant + Stibel


partners, customers, or fans,” Bryant adds. “I’m always interested in entrepreneurs who share that passion and make it a core tactic in their overall business strategy.”


Synapse Chat

Olympic Gold Medals

5 NBA Championships

17 Age when drafted by the Charlotte Hornets

18 NBA All-Star selections

20 Seasons in the NBA (most all-time with one team)

60 Points Bryant scored in his final game (4/13/16)

Most points Bryant scored in a game (1/22/06)

33,643 Career points scored (3rd all-time)

$824K Total merchandise sales for Kobe-related gear on 12/18/17, the day the Lakers retired Bryant’s uniform Nos. 8 and 24

$680M* Earnings during Bryant’s career from salary and endorsements


Asked how he sees the Bryant Stibel partnership developing into the future, Bryant offers a response that is perfectly aligned with his competitive playoff-grind mentality. “Just keeping our heads down, keeping focused on helping our current portfolio companies thrive,” he says. “We’ll continue to find the right companies to support.” After winning five NBA championships in two decades of pushing his body to its limit and playing his heart out for the city, Bryant, who will turn 40 in August, has no reservations about walking away from the game of basketball. But he will be a Laker for life. On Dec. 18, the Lakers held a ceremony at the STAPLES Center to retire Bryant’s Nos. 8 and 24, each of which he wore for 10 seasons. That evening when Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson introduced Bryant to the crowd as “the greatest to ever wear the purple and gold,” Bryant’s star power was on full display as he basked in the glow of his well-deserved accolades. On a franchise of many stars, in a city teeming with celestial bodies, Bryant has grown comfortably into an icon. “I’ll always be connected to the Lakers organization and they know I’m here to support them anytime they want,” Bryant says. “I have my plate full with Bryant Stibel and building my studio business ... but I’m never too busy to mentor the guys or share my opinion about the team, if asked.” In extending his legacy beyond the two jerseys that are now hanging in the rafters alongside those of other Laker greats, the Black Mamba struck again less than a week after the dedication ceremony. Bryant’s persona will live on via the team uniforms he has designed for the Lakers’ new Nike “City” jerseys. The black snakeskin-styled garb will debut in select games in 2018. As far as Stibel is concerned, helping to build companies is the best game in town. “For me, this is fun,” he says of the daily grind spent maximizing opportunities. “Some people like golf. This is what I love. I come in each day and it’s dynamic, it’s different, and I’m learning.” As the team at Bryant Stibel pursues its strategic initiatives while contributing to the bustling LA ecosystem, there are sure to be failures. It is the championship-caliber teams, however, that aggregate lessons from previous failures to summon that something extra and win when they absolutely need to. Sports analogy or not, it’s a winning formula that both Bryant and Stibel have called upon plenty of times in their respective careers. Don’t expect them to stop now; they’re just getting started. end

Innovation - Bryant + Stibel


* via Forbes

Stibel, for his part, remains tethered to the principles of his academic roots as he drives the business forward. A master tactician with a gung-ho spirit that is engaging and affable, Stibel enjoys being fascinated by how humans think and how we make connections. He has written two books, Wired for Thought and Breakpoint, which deftly address the similarities in the pathways of the human brain and the Internet and what that portends for society. Stibel does a scholarly job of applying the concept from the very literal phenomena of neurons firing in a lab and expanding it to the microcosm of commerce. “Business has just always been a bigger scientific playground to doing experimenting, to test, to build and learn and grow,” Stibel says. Just as every experiment does not yield successful results, not every investment will yield a favorable return. Rather than avoid his failures, Stibel embraces them as necessary in the process of achieving desired results—or, indeed, greatness. He’s even penned a “Profiles in Failure” series that has appeared in these pages and elsewhere, describing the professional misfires of Warren Buffett, Michael Jordan, and others who eventually reached extraordinary levels of success. The takeaway is this: Every person who has achieved greatness has failed miserably, and repeatedly, at some point in their lives. In essence, your eventual success is only as great as the number of times you have failed. “The question I ask myself and my team most often is, ‘Are we failing enough and in the right ways?’” Stibel says. Stibel believes conditions are primed for LA to emerge as the top market for technology and investing. He cites the advantage of employee loyalty, which leads to the forging of real relationships. “In the early days, LA was in a perilous position,” Stibel admits. There was a lack of venture capital originating from Los Angeles, he says. “Companies would get to a critical mass, then get bought by a Silicon Valley company or VC, and then they would end up moving.” Survey the region today, however, and the landscape is populated by solid companies with entrepreneurial aces guiding them. Stibel drops a few names— Walter Driver (Scopely), Brian Lee (Honest Co.), Joanna McFarland (HopSkipDrive), Adam Miller (Cornerstone OnDemand), Evan Spiegel (Snap Inc.), John Suh (LegalZoom)—as some of the dynamic leaders who are making LA a prime destination for entrepreneurs in developing technologies.

Shifting the Narrative




76 Golf Getaway 79 New York Minute 80 C-Suite Retreats


Part 3

Destination - TOC The brainchild of golf legends Player, Nicklaus, and Palmer, Champions Retreat (p. 76)—a threecourse, 27-hole mecca birthed from a foundation of nearly 12,000 pristine acres of Georgia Pines— is a mere 15 miles from Augusta National Golf Club.



Just 15 miles from Augusta National, Champions Retreat—the threecourse, 27-hole idyllic golf haven designed by Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and the late Arnold Palmer—is one of the American South’s hidden gems and best destinations during The Masters By Ryan Byers


Golf’s Master Plan

Warmer temperatures, longer days, the changing colors of the trees, and blooming flowers. To most, these characteristically mark the beginning of spring. However, to golf enthusiasts this all means one thing: The Masters is just around the corner. As Jim Nantz reminds us each April, “It’s a tradition unlike any other.” The Super Bowl of golf, the Masters is the first PGA Major of the year and is widely recognized as the most prestigious. Rich in history, the tournament started in 1934 and takes place annually at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Traveling to Augusta to experience the Masters firsthand is more than likely high atop every sports fan’s bucket list. It is impossible not to think of Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus when talking about the history of the Masters. Known as the Big 3, this troika of men collaborated to create the idyllic golf destination, less than 15 miles from the grounds of Augusta National. As the story goes, in 1999 Player used the Masters Champions dinner to recruit the all-time Masters winner with 6 Green Jackets, Nicklaus, and 4-time winner Palmer, to help create the one-of-a-kind Champions Retreat. The Big 3 got together, each designing nine holes whose culmination is a spectacular—and exclusive—golf haven. Appropriately named The Bluff, The Island, and The Creek, the

27 holes are housed on 365 acres of previously untouched land that houses Georgia pines and wetlands nestled along the Savannah River. In discussing Champions Retreat, Nicklaus once said, “Most people work all their life to retire and play golf while I played golf all my life to retire and work.” The majority of said work is, of course, golf course design. The Golden Bear transferred his competitive nature from player to designer where he implements a philosophy of enhancing the natural environment around the course. He did just that when laying out The Bluff. As with many of his designs, The Bluff course offers ample risk versus reward, featuring uphill and downhill shots with the perfect balance of right-to-left and left-to right shot making holes. The short par-4 6th will stick in your head well after your time on the links. The hole has a severe change in downhill elevation from the tee to the fairway and is surrounded by magnificent Georgia pines and a creek that runs along the entire right side and through the front of the green. As for the work of Player, it’s safe to say he takes his designs seriously. Gary Player Design has been a global leader in golf course design since the early 1980s with a portfolio of nearly 400 projects in 38 countries on five continents. The Black Knight didn’t disappoint, designing the most difficult of the three courses.

Destination - Golf Getaway

1 76



Destination - Golf Getaway

1. On approach at Champions Retreat 2. The Champions Retreat clubhouse 3. The epic par 4, 9th hole on the Creek course 4. A bird’s eye view of Champions Retreat’s clubhouse and cottages


The opening four holes weave through a wetlands area that comes into play often, serving as a natural hazard on multiple shots. Coming through these first four holes anywhere around even par deserves deserves recognition via a pat on the back and double back in the clubhouse. After the wetlands, you will find the course challenging but fair. When approaching the par-4 9th tee box, pause and reach for your camera not your club. The dramatic dogleg is defined by a lake along the right side of the fairway leading all the way up to the putting surface while the left is lined with magnificent cottages. Palmer is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the history of sport. Known as The King, Palmer was always one of the game’s most popular stars and is considered a trailblazer in part because of his charm and gracious personality. Last year at Augusta National there was a somber moment on Thursday morning. An annual tradition, the Big 3 announce the start

of the weekend by each hitting an opening tee shot. In 2017, the Big 3 was a Proud 2 as Palmer passed in September 2016. I found Palmer’s nine holes – The Island – the most picturesque at Champions Retreat. These nine had about as much character as The King himself. Situated with the Savannah River on one side and the Little River on the other, the Island Course is lush with preserved Georgia pines. It is a manageable 3,316 yard, par 36 course and, just like the other courses, has bent grass greens and perfectly manicured playing conditions. When reaching the par-3 6th, pull out your driver. With about a 250-yard carry you are able to hit the ball from Georgia over the Savannah River into South Carolina. While the courses are the story, Champions Retreat is more than just golf; it is as luxe as any country club community out there. Set in the charming Georgian landscape, the magnificent clubhouse is surrounded by well-appointed guest cottages. These living quarters range from four to eight bedrooms and offer a 77


Destination - Golf Getaway

comfortable, rustic feel. With large open floor plans, the cottages are decorated with designer furniture and feature vaulted ceilings, stateof-the-art appliances, and expansive windows that allow you to enjoy the sweeping golf course and surrounding landscape views. The cottages all have expansive porches and decks that are extremely welcoming with fire pits, fireplaces, and rocking chairs. What’s the South without a sturdy rocking chair? Dining at Champions Retreat also does not disappoint. The club recently welcomed Augusta native Jeremy Miller as their new executive chef. Miller’s culinary experience is impressive to say the least. He has worked at notable establishments such as Jean Georges in Trump International Hotel Manhattan, Napa Valley’s French Laundry, Atlanta’s Bluepointe, and STK. Miller and his team use the freshest local ingredients, with a farm-to-table attitude, resulting in Southern flavors with new flair. Hal Rowland serves as the club’s very own pit master, preparing some of the finest smoked barbecue around. Beyond the BBQ, Rowland uses his grandmother’s recipes to make a variety of pastries—from raspberry shortbreads to good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies. Masters Week 2016 marked the grand opening of The Barn, a facility about which the Champions Retreat team is especially proud. 78


Champions Retreat

Founded 2005 Designers Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player Holes 27 Memorable Hole #6 Bluff course Par 4, 340 yards Challenging Hole #1 Creek course Par4, 471 yards Season to Visit Spring, specifically Masters Week Can’t Miss Meal Tomahawk pork chop at the Grille House

The Barn is a 10,000-sq.-foot banquet space that, from the outside, looks like a chic barn. The inside boasts Southern charm with rough sawn pine walls, rustic dining tables, chic chandeliers, and a grand fireplace that together produce a one-of-a-kind banquet experience. In addition to the main banquet space, The Barn also includes a private dining room as well as a green room lounge, making the space suitable for large corporate events or weddings. While Champions Retreat is an exclusive private country club for 51 weeks of the year, it is that 52nd week that should have your attention. Masters week, the club opens its doors to the public. With a cottage rental, you and your guests will be treated like members for the week. Beyond hospitality and customer service, your week will be spent masquerading around the grounds taking in parties, live entertainment, family-style barbeques, and bottle service. Lest we forget to mention it, the driving range is lit up in the evening. In addition to the myriad activities and events planned by the staff, you can customize your time to include golf and private dinners while taking advantage of the complimentary shuttles to the Masters tournament. Looking for a little adrenaline rush? Charter a helicopter to Augusta National.

New York Minute

A pair of can’t-miss restaurants—perfect for winter in the city—are brought to life on the plate and in the room by strong female leaders. By Brittany Fuisz

VIA CAROTA West Village


This rustic West Village gastroteca is the restaurant we all wish we had on our block. Reclaimed wooden floors and cabinets overflowing with heirloom china are part of the charm, as are the other diners, sipping on aperol spritz at 1 pm on a Tuesday. But the real draw is the food, which honors markets and farms, season to season. On a cool fall afternoon, this meant starting with their complimentary olives and diving into the Verza salad: cabbage, toasted farro, pumpkin, and speck. The grilled octopus with olive pesto followed and, finally, a hazelnut semifreddo that reminds you just how great food in New York can be.

Destination - NY Minute Los Angeles native and TechTable co-founder Camilla Marcus brings her mindfulness and creativity to this SoHo restaurant, which is meant to blur the lines between restaurant and home. Accidentally vegetarian and decidedly wholesome, this all-day dining destination draws inspiration from Los Angeles in the 1960s. Locally sourced, reclaimed wood finishes, and custom furniture pieces create an intimate yet playful environment for guests


to enjoy dishes like the naturally gluten-free Malibu Waffle with buckwheat, vanilla crème fraîche, and inna blackberry jam or Sunset Grains with wild hive farm grains, almond butter, maitake mushrooms, cake, and chili oil. Do not miss the “sweet nothings,” which include a chocolate cashew pudding with dates and cocoa corn nut crumble or the Four & Twenty Blackbirds custom pie for west~bourne with apples and fior di latte gelato.


Well suited for corporate retreats and incentive trips, South Australia and Kangaroo Island boast world-class vineyards, lodging, and one-of-akind animal-driven adventures


Exploring One of Australia’s Best DownUnder Escapes

By Ben Bloch

For executive travelers and groups, South Australia is full of unique, unforgettable experiences. Recently named one of the great wine capitals of the world (along with Bordeaux, Napa Valley, and Mendoza), South Australia also boasts exquisite cuisine, beautiful beaches, and opportunities to witness exotic wildlife in its natural habitat on Kangaroo Island. To get to South Australia without fueling up the Bombardier Global 6000, take Air New Zealand, a recent Top Airline of the World award winner from Condé Nast, from Los Angeles to Auckland (a mere 12-hour flight) and then fly into Adelaide, Australia (another 4 hours). Though faced with 16 hours in the air, Air New Zealand takes the stress out of the trip and adds comfort, winning the Condé Nast award thanks to a first-class-quality entertainment system at every seat, business class lie-flat seats, and spacious premium economy sections.

dens, parks, and plants native to the region. At The Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Chef Paul Baker shapes the menu daily, incorporating the finest in local Australian produce, fresh vegetables, and herbs harvested from the gardens. Other dining experiences not to be missed by your team include the ultra-social 2KW Bar & Restaurant, with an open rooftop bar and stunning views of the city, and Press Food & Wine Restaurant, where Head Chef Andrew Davies dishes out gourmet pasta and seafood. Penfolds Magill Estate, just a 15-minute drive from the city, is absolutely worth the trip. Established in 1844, the estate is nestled within the foothills of the city and offers breathtaking vineyard views. Penfolds features tastings, tours, high-quality cuisine, and vintage wine collections in the magnificently-envisioned cellar, including former Chief Winemaker’s personal collection of Grange.

Southern Hemisphere Hospitality Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia and the fifth most populous on the continent. Roughly an hour from many of Australia’s finest attractions – acclaimed wine region, renowned outback, and stunning coastlines – the boutique city is a great place to hold executive retreats and meetings. Adelaide has many elegant, yet reasonably priced, lodging options and well-received restaurants. The Mayfair Hotel, located in the heart of Adelaide, is a beautifully renovated Romanesque-style heritage building. The Mayflower restaurant and bar on the lower level offers a gourmet breakfast with a mix of healthy and gluttonous options for business travelers. The hotel also features Hennessy, a chic indoor-outdoor rooftop bar. Across the street from Rundle Mall, members of your team can walk to restaurants, bars, and cultural attractions – notably the South Australian Museum. Ten minutes by foot from The Mayfair Hotel is The Botanical Garden of South Australia, featuring beautifully landscaped gar-

Just a Short Hop Away A mere 30-minute flight from Adelaide is the exotic Kangaroo Island, a sanctuary for wildlife with rugged and breathtaking terrain from beaches to bushland. Home to koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, fur seals, sea lions, echidnas (the Southern Hemisphere’s porcupine), and much more, the island is occasionally compared by some to the Galapagos Islands. Southern Ocean Lodge is a world-class, all-inclusive resort and spa that elicits the feeling that you are now in the middle of a Daniel Craig James Bond film. With only 21 suites, the resort and staff host no more than 46 guests at a time – making it the perfect getaway for you and the team. The finite number of rooms and guests on property affords the staff the ability to provide world-class hospitality and personalized service. The architecture of this resort is nothing short of spectacular. One story and accented with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, you are treated to landscape views of the bushland on one side and sweeping cliff-side ocean views on the other. Rooms are impec-

cably designed and the property’s views and amenities are more well-appointed than most luxury vacation villas. The resort features premium all-inclusive beverages and dining, including a wine cellar room housing some of the best regional wine and champagne. Executive Chef Asher Blackford’s menu features sustainable produce-to-plate selections such as local queen snapper, rolled pork shoulder, and desserts made with Ki Lavender or Ligurian honey. Tour guides take small groups and individual guests on personalized trips to explore the island and experience the wildlife up close. These tours are often followed by champagne, wine, hot tea, and snacks. Finder’s Chase National Park is one of Australia’s largest parks, covering 74,000 hectares of untouched bushland full of kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies. Couple the wildlife with the scenic ocean views and nearby rock formations and you’ve got yourself a moment fitting of the “shot on an iPhone” slogan. On my trip, I was on a guided tour and managed to observe a field full of kangaroos, lingering long enough to catch a little boxing. Outside of the ring, I was lucky enough to observe koalas in their natural environment while also visiting Seal Bay, seeing (from a safe distance, of course) Australia’s third-largest colony of sea lions. Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island lives up to its reputation, offering a lavish five-star getaway alongside truly unique opportunities for executives. The property and its programs are worthy of top incentive trips and higher-end executive retreats. It is also well suited for executives who wish to take their family to a location that is both relaxing and filled with educational, fun adventure. Speaking from experience, though it took a while to get there, it was far more difficult to leave. South Australia may not be as wellknown as Sydney or Melbourne, but this hidden gem is the corporate treat or incentive trip destination your peers have not yet discovered. end

Destination - Going Global



1. Southern Ocean Lodge, on Kangaroo Island, is truly a one-of-a-kind lodging experience, offering you access to nearly 2,000 miles of wildlife


2. Native to Australia, the Koala Bear

Destination - Going Global



C-Suite Advisors The C-Suite Advisory are the most sought after community of thought leaders and best in class trusted advisors to the C-Suite, business owner, and entrepreneur. Comprised of the best of the best in eight industries, and multiple fields, these tenured C-Suite Advisors have been engaged to share their insights and experiences on topics helpful to both business and life.

For more information on becoming a C-Suite Advisor, e-mail





CONSULTING Human Resources





SCOTT M. SACHS, CPA Office Managing Partner—Los Angeles CohnReznick LLP

JAMES HARWOOD, MBA, SPHR VP, California Division CoAdvantage

ACCOUNTING Emerging Growth

CONSULTING Information Technology





TRENT BROWN Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP

ARAMIS RAMIREZ & ADAM BOHN AR: Founder & President, AB: CTO & EVP INC Technologies

FINANCE Investment Banking

LEGAL Intellectual Property

MARKETING Social Media







JIM FREEDMAN & BRANDON QUARTARARO JF: Chairman & Managing Director; BQ: SVP Intrepid Investment Bankers

MARINA LANG Partner SoCal IP Law Group LLP

JENNIFER HURLESS Founder & CCS Go Be Social Media

FINANCE Wealth Management

MARKETING Digital Agency

REAL ESTATE Residential

CSA - TOC 100




ROBERT DALIE Executive Director, Investments The Summa Group


JACK TURTURICI, JR. & MICHELLE TURTURICI JT: Founder & Managing Partner, MT: Partner Equity Advisors Real Estate Services

HEALTH & WELLNESS Neuroscience

MARKETING Digital Agency

REAL ESTATE Tenant Representation







AMIR VOKSHOOR, MD Spine Surgery Subsection Chief Providence St. John’s Health Center

MIKE SCHAFFER Founder & CEO Echo-Factory

SHAY HUGHES President & COO Hughes Marino






SCOTT M. SACHS, CPA Office Managing Partner – Los Angeles Executive Board Member CohnReznick LLP Los Angeles, CA



Mr. Sachs’ career includes significant experience in both initial and secondary public offerings, debt and equity financing, and acquisition and divestiture analysis. He is actively involved in such organizations as the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, the Los Angeles Jewish Home, the Girl Scout Council, The Entrepreneurship Institute, and Junior Achievement. Sachs is also a member of the Ernst & Young LLP Alumni Association of Southern California board of directors. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Sachs is a member of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Public Accountants.

PHONE 818/205.2609 EMAIL WEBSITE ADDRESS 1900 Avenue of the Stars 28th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90067



By 2020, 70% of IT is projected to be in the cloud. Where will yours be?



Financial data. Operational data. Competitive data. Data collected through websites and email marketing campaigns. Some estimates suggest that the volume of business data worldwide nearly doubles every year. And this influx of data is putting unprecedented strain on IT departments as they look to store and manage data while protecting its security. When companies then try to make use of this data, now being generated through a host of new technologies, they are pressed to keep up. And the people charged with accessing, interpreting, and making business decisions based on this data are especially challenged.

distinct cost and accessibility advantages for my company versus maintaining the data on existing servers? 2. Will the cloud make it easier for my employees to locate and collaborate with the data they use daily? 3. Is my data storage currently meeting industry compliance and industry specific regulations? 4. Does my staff continually update and/or create different versions of documents and would the cloud improve their collaboration with the prospect of data anytime, anywhere, any device?

The Cloud and Dark Data

Enter the cloud. While they may not be aware of it, most people are accessing the cloud in one way or another during an average day. While many businesses are deciding how they can best utilize the cloud, others are already transitioning their ongoing data storage needs from physical servers to the cloud. And why not? The cloud can significantly reduce the cost and complexity of managing data while also giving companies greater security and a better option for recovery should some type of disaster or another incident occur. But every company has very specific needs when managing and accessing their data. And while the cloud may, indeed, be the best solution for them, moving every byte of data to the cloud is generally a waste of money. That’s because much of the data that companies collect and maintain is not being used. This unused data is commonly referred to as “dark data.” Gartner Inc. further defines dark data as “information assets that organizations collect, process, and store during their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes.” Asking Questions, Assessing Skills

So, which data should your company put in the cloud for ready access and which can be archived or used in another manner, such as data mining? And what do you do with all that dark data that resides within your systems? Consider conducting an assessment with your IT team and others who regularly access and use company data. This first step in the process is determining whether the cloud is right for you by asking questions like: 1. Will moving my data to the cloud provide


If the answers to these questions ultimately lead you to the cloud, you’ll then have to address another issue. Does your IT department have the capability to effectively manage and mine data from the cloud? Often, the answer to this is “no.” In the cloud computing world, two critical skills are needed. One is the cloud strategist who is responsible for driving the vision of your company’s network on the internet, building connectivity among various internal and external systems, and deploying new cloud-based applications when the time is right. The other is the storage/data governance specialist who oversees the processes and procedures for collecting, sharing, protecting, cleaning, and securing data assets. It would also primarily fall on the data governance specialist to tackle your company’s dark data problem.

CSA - Sachs

sets – cloud strategist and/or data governance specialist – to your IT team. 4. Implement new standards and procedures to reduce your risk should your data become breached. 5. Meet with several cloud solutions providers to assess the infrastructure, platform, and applications that will best serve your needs – today and as your requirements expand in the future. Looking Ahead

In its Roundup of Cloud Computing Forecasts, 2017, Forbes predicts that more than 50% of IT spending will be cloud-based in 2018 and, by 2020, the cloud will garner up to 70% of all software, services, and technology spending. This is not surprising. As companies large and small seek greater agility and empowerment of increasingly mobile work forces, the cloud offers them distinct benefits in managing and disseminating data. But the cloud is not perfect and may have disadvantages for certain businesses. In considering your transition to the cloud, follow a strategic, methodical approach that may, at first, involve moving only certain types of data to the cloud or looking at only a few cloud-based applications. Proceed with caution but, without question, consider the cloud and how it might improve your data storage and access needs moving forward. end

Transitioning to the Cloud

Once you have determined that the cloud is right for your company, it’s time to develop and implement a process for migrating your data to the cloud. In doing this, it often makes sense for your IT team to hire a cloud solutions consultant to guide your transition. However, here are a few steps in the process that your company should consider: 1. Conduct a data assessment that begins with scanning a small portion of your data to get an idea of the overall makeup of this data. Chances are, you’ll uncover quite a bit of dark data during this assessment step. 2. Remove redundant, obsolete, and trivial data from your systems (eliminate your dark data). 3. Design and implement a formal data management/data governance program for the cloud. This may include adding those new skill



TRENT BROWN Partner Deloitte & Touche LLP Los Angeles, CA

Trent Brown has extensive experience in public accounting with a focus on emerging growth companies, SEC filers, and IPOs. His clients include large, well-established multinational public companies as well as smaller technology companies. Brown’s experience serving clients with complex technical accounting issues has given him valuable insight into issue identification and resolution, and in understanding the considerations unique to such companies. Throughout his career, Brown has provided services in connection with many equity/debt public and private offerings (i.e., IPOs, leveraged buyouts, and bond offerings). He also has been involved in helping to resolve many accounting and SEC compliance issues. Brown serves as a concurring review partner on a number of Deloitte’s public and private clients as well as an instructor for Deloitte technical training courses. He is also passionate about attracting and developing talent, serving as a guest speaker on campus at CSUN. Outside Deloitte, Brown spends much of his spare time with his wife and four children, and he is an avid volleyball player. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from USC.





LOS ANGELES’ STRONG REPRESENTATION—AND REPUTATION—WITHIN THE DELOITTE FAST 500 Placing 38 companies on the Deloitte Fast CSA - Brown 500 in 2017, Los Angeles’ staying power as a national leader is unquestioned



The Los Angeles area continues to be a breeding ground for innovation and technological breakthroughs. The greater LA area was once again well-represented on Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 500 list, which celebrates the tech, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies that achieve the greatest revenue growth from 2013-2016, placing the third most companies on the list with 38. Nine of those companies have showed real staying power after also being recognized on the 2016 list. Making the list is getting more and more difficult each year—the winners had a median growth rate of 380 percent, and 135 percent was the minimum threshold among this year’s winners. As is the case nationwide, software companies dominated, with 53 percent of the region’s winners coming from that sector. However, LA differentiated itself with 20 percent of its winners coming from the digital content/ media/entertainment industry—well above the national average. Emerging growth companies are a bright spot for the local economy. They are pacesetters in innovation, helping overhaul the rules of business and expanding consumer choices and experiences. And they’re accomplishing these numbers at a remarkable pace. Stimulating and maintaining growth has become increasingly difficult in an environment and at a time in which challenges emerge and evolve at a more rapid pace than ever before. In this context, it is only more impressive what this year’s winners have been able to accomplish. These immensely successful companies are bending the perception of what “innovation” means. For so many of this year’s winners, innovation doesn’t necessarily manifest itself as a new invention or cutting-edge technology. It can also be about using ingenuity to break industry norms and to take existing assets and knowledge to create something ground-breaking and new. Many of these companies are living examples that you can prosper by taking calculated risks, encouraging experimentation and enthusiastically accepting change. This year’s results also showed some exciting trends for where the technology industry is going—not just in LA, but elsewhere. Innovators are finding new ways to integrate the Internet of Things (IoT). Many software developers are bringing the IoT to large-scale manufacturing, using it and the cloud to take

CSA - Brown

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.


problems from virtual assembly floors and suggest instant repairs on the assembly line. This is occurring in tandem with a surge in connected devices—some 20 billion by the year 2020—that are creating new channels for data. This year’s winners included numerous companies that specialize in data storage, analysis, and sharing. Also, the cloud is helping fast-growing companies manage ever-growing mountains of data. The cloud makes it easier for organizations to integrate the solutions to existing applications and infrastructure. Look for fastgrowth companies to take advantage of cloud innovations in new areas of consumer interactions. This year’s Fast 500 list includes winners offering cloud services and consumer software. Additionally, many companies are capitalizing on the growth of social media and the way we consume and interact with products, businesses and other people to fuel their own growth. The average person will spend about five years on social media over the course of a lifetime. Many successful companies are banking on some of those days, weeks and months to build stronger connections with their customers. Our tweets, Facebook likes and other ways advertisers track us online are all contributing to enhanced “social listening.” In a recent Deloitte survey of private companies, 26 percent said they use social listening to monitor and understand customer sentiment, the biggest increase in the social media category. Social listening could transform the way businesses and consumers interact with each other. In terms of culture, a few shared characteristics also stand out when meeting with leaders from the area’s fastest growing companies. They were incredibly passionate about their work and their organizations, and they sought creative results by promoting cognitive diversity in their work environment. These leaders don’t let “no,” or “nobody’s done that before,” serve as excuses to not try something new or different. Instead they approach solving a problem by asking, “Why hasn’t it been done before?” and seek bold solutions. This year’s Fast 500 results show that Los Angeles can be a hub for innovation and an important part of the overall technology landscape in North America. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, who are leading the way for the LA area and inspiring the next generation of innovators. end





James Harwood has more than 20 years of experience as an HR executive and consultant working with such Fortune 500 companies as Intel Corporation and Tektronix, Inc., as well as multiple nonprofit corporations and small businesses. In addition to overseeing HR administration departments including payroll, benefits, workers compensation, and more, Harwood has an extensive background in human resources management, employment law, and organizational development. He enjoys helping organizations enhance overall employee satisfaction and worker productivity and consults on leadership practices, management development, employee satisfaction, and performance management. Harwood is the founder and president of Total HR Management, which recently sold to CoAdvantage, a company providing strategic and administrative HR management solutions with an exclusive focus on the small business market.

PHONE 818/248.0049 EMAIL WEBSITE LOCATION 2626 Foothill Blvd. Suite 220 La Crescenta, CA 91214



CSA - Harwood

Technological innovations are helping human resources outsource (HRO) companies improve service options while optimizing client employee productivity



Technology advances cannot be ignored in the 21st century. This reality is a lesson that should be embraced by managers in all industries. From the informed perspective of a professional employer organization, the technological shifts are positive only if implemented. If such cutting-edge changes are ignored, it can be detrimental to almost any business in virtually any industry. If a competitor takes advantage of new technological options before you, you will find yourself behind the curve. In the modern business world, falling even a step behind a top competitor can mean setbacks in relation to a company’s profit margin and overall productivity. Rather than reacting to HR technological innovations after they happen and become normative service options, capable HR professionals need to take a proactive approach. Working with clients to help them overcome fear of new technologies and ensuring a smooth transition phase once the advanced service options are accepted is critical. It’s not enough to merely overcome the initial resistance. If the implementation phase rankles the employee base and raises resentment within a client company, then a positive innovation devolves into a problematic thorn.

perfect sense right off the bat, while others may demand more hand-holding and positive reassurance. Ultimately, the amount of initial effort required to create buy-in of a technological advance will not be nearly as significant as the long-term impact on the company’s bottom line. Technology advances, however, do require keeping employees informed about the changes that are happening. In the coming year, there will need to be continued focus on technology skills development. Although such skill development sometimes requires training from an external educational provider, this is not always the case. More often than not, companies are taking advantage of the resources within their walls. Through the institution of company intranets for in-house training, transparent forums can connect employees with expertise to employees in need of guidance. A crucial role of HR is ensuring that employees are aware of and tuned into a company’s latest technological advances. Companies also need to take advantage of online education and learning software. Indeed, a lasting part of the Internet revolution has been a remarkable expansion in easy access to online learning options. Employee skill sets can be revamped and their understanding of new technologies optimized through digital training, online video demonstrations, and learning management software (LMS). From SkyPrep to SkillPort, the LMS options now available on the web are diverse, offering both interactive and passive educational services. If a company’s technological platform has been revised, such LMS options can help keep employees up to speed.

CSA - Harwood

Embracing New Technology

Technology advances should never be forced upon a company. Nobody has ever found success by trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Rather, innovations need to be presented as HR service options in a concise fashion. Rather than focusing on the why, a good demonstration highlights what a new technology does and how it will support the business of a specific client. However, not every advance being offered needs to be detailed in the exact same way. Some technology advances are intuitive and make sense to the vast majority of business owners with very little explanation. In contrast, others feel alien and demand a careful walkthrough to make employees comfortable with what may seem like a radical change. The key to introducing any new technology in a business environment is to overcome initial resistance by fostering understanding and security. The HR technology advances that will be trending in 2018 and beyond will include both types of innovations. Some will make


Advancing HR Via Technology

Given the rise in artificial intelligence service options for any human resources provider, keeping a client company’s employees on pace is an essential requirement. From the use of organizational bots to manage information resources to chatbots for interviewing potential job candidates, technological advances are changing the face of how business is getting done. Organizational bots fueled by artificial intelligence are being used more and more to manage the vast amounts of paperwork that go hand-in-circuit with job candidate tracking, talent acquisition, and benefits administration. Many companies receive hundreds if not

thousands of resumes for each job opening. In the past, it sometimes took an entire team to manage all of this paperwork. Even today, when most of that information is virtual in the form of emails and a variety of PDF or document attachments, such a flood of information can bog down almost any department. Organizational bots can help execute these tasks with impressive speed and precision, archiving and storing thousands upon thousands of HR documents. Within a company, chatbots can help to automate time-consuming tasks such as asking interview questions, scheduling meetings, or even finding matching passive candidates on social networks. Artificial intelligence speeds up the recruitment and selection process. Virtual personal assistants, chatbots are not subject to human error and do not take sick days. If the initial design is precise, an AI chatbot will do its job as programmed 100% of the time. If a company is faced with a flood of potential job candidates, questions required for an initial interview can be detailed, and chatbots can be programmed to handle the video interviewing. Such questions will elicit specific yes/ no or multiple choice answers in an initial interview. Once compiled, the AI technology can analyze the interview data. With the results of these initial interviews measured against a paradigm of ideal responses that reflect the specific needs of an organization, candidates that do not fit in with the acceptable model can be easily weeded out. From artificial intelligence to tech skills development, HR technology advances cannot be ignored in the 21st century. Many people look at new technologies and think, “It’s such a headache to have to learn something new when I’ve finally become comfortable with what’s already in place.” Such a perspective on technology, however, is painfully outdated and, in fact, always has been. By taking advantage of the latest updates and cutting-edge technologies, a company is gaining an edge over competitors and making life easier from both a short- and a long-term perspective. end




Founder & President


INC Technologies Burbank, CA

THE ENDLESS FIGHT AGAINST CYBERSECURITY THIEVES Measures you CSA - Hernandez can take to better insulate yourself and your company against the expected increase in cybersecurity breaches

Aramis Hernandez is the founder and president of INC Technologies, an award-winning Los Angeles-based IT firm that provides a wide level of managed information technology, computer networking services, implementation of commercial and home security systems, and audio/video installations. As president, Hernandez is responsible for overseeing all its divisions, implementing and managing onsite and virtual IT services to its clients, which include mid-sized companies and high net worth clients: celebrities, top athletes, and C-Suite executives. Adam Bohn is CTO & EVP for INC Technologies. With more than 20 years of experience in all areas of managed IT, Bohn acts as the “Virtual CIO� for businesses and organizations by overseeing their business processes, services, and other areas of information technology. As vCIO, he is able to provide the benefits of an in-house CIO without the expense of a full-time employee; as their technical advisor, Bohn works hand-in-hand with IT teams and web development companies to implement successful projects.

PHONE 310/910.9044 EMAIL WEBSITE ADDRESS 1212 South Victory Blvd. Burbank, CA 91502






It’s a well-known fact that cybersecurity spending is at its highest level ever in every level of government, banking, health care, and manufacturing, with billions of dollars being spent on building impenetrable solutions. But it seems that, just as quickly as new security solutions are developed, new, previously unknown threats occur, always keeping our industry scurrying for a fast cure. In 2016, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and CyberScout issued a joint report revealing that a record high of 1,093 incidents occurred in the United States alone. This was a 40% increase from the previous year as breaches included: insider theft; hacking, skimming, and phishing; data on the move; accidental email or internet exposure; subcontractor, third party and business associate exposure; employee error, negligence, improper disposal and loss; and finally, physical theft. The losses, worldwide, cost companies $500B a year, despite increases in spending on IT security. In March 2017, IDC predicted spending of $81.7B, worldwide, on security hardware, software and monitoring services—an 8.2% increase over last year. However, we believe those numbers to be very conservative as several major breaches have occurred since the time of the report, including those affecting Equifax and Uber. In addition to the publicized breaches, there are daily privately managed breaches. Because these situations are never made public, we lack the data that would allow us to continually learn and eliminate the security holes that breed them. In other cases, it’s impossible to sweep problems under the rug, such as when Apple recently updated its operating system and modified its software so it would not require a password to log onto the system. This was an obvious programming bug that should have prevented the update from being issued—but even with their safeguards in place, it was missed. For companies to be successful in protecting their customers’ financial information, they need to be willing to spend more of their budget on IT security. This may include device and software vulnerability assessments, managed security services, user behavior analytics, and UTM hardware. We are often asked by clients whether their company can get away with implementing only a few of these preventative measures,

rather than a comprehensive set of solutions. Even though technically you can run without most recommended measures, our response remains the same: “The reality is that the more layers of security you have in place, the more complicated it will be to penetrate.” We would never advise anyone to scale down on their security. Instead, we suggest installing protective layers that complement each other. These don’t necessarily have to be outlandish products, but they should be blended correctly to address day-to-day operations. Among the plethora of solutions and advice, we have provided a few baseline recommendations to minimize risk on either a business or personal level, including actualization, insulation, password management, and security procedures. Actualize your security solutions and hire an IT firm with a strong understanding of cybersecurity that can provide constant asset management and monitoring. Requiring relentless vigilance over your environment is a necessity and offers the best peace of mind. Insu late your data by uti lizing privatized cloud or loca l storage systems. These solutions w i l l prov ide oversight on all incoming and outgoing information. They also eliminate public access and minimize risk from external sources. Using one password across various sites or services is no longer feasible. Password management is a critical component, especially when dealing with various staff or agents. A password management system allows you to maintain control and log activity for all passwords issued to the users in your business or personal life. Although primarily used in enterprise environments, security procedures can be highly effective for any organization or individual. Create a written process that establishes the necessary steps to address password policies, recovery, failsafe systems, and contact information for your trusted advisors who would be involved in a scenario where a breach or attempted breach has occurred. Fifteen years ago, a firewall and an antivirus application were sufficient protection. Today, with the level of general security vulnerabilities, it requires much more. It’s not that we have a lack of solutions but rather, a lack of implementation and proactivity. end

CSA - Hernandez






Founding Partner & Chairman


Senior VP, Head of Digital Media

Intrepid Investment Bankers Los Angeles, CA

CSA - Freedman Jim Freedman is a Founding Partner and Chairman of Intrepid Investment Bankers, a specialty investment bank that provides M&A, capital raising, and strategic advisory services to middle-market companies across various industry sectors. He has more than 35 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience and is an expert on the financial aspects of corporate strategy. Brandon Quartararo is a Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Media at Intrepid. With more than a decade of experience, he is focused on originating and executing mergers and acquisitions and raising capital across the digital media sector with specific expertise spanning the content, media and entertainment, digital marketing, loyalty, and agency sectors.

PHONE 310/478.9000 EMAIL WEBSITE ADDRESS 11755 Wilshire Blvd. 22nd Floor Los Angeles, CA 90025



Understanding why organic businesses without substantial outside capital often have better business fundamentals and greater exit opportunities



Across the digital media and technology vertical, companies are constantly raising capital to expand and grow their brands. Whether you turn to TechCrunch, Recode, or other industry publications, it seems that unless you are raising a substantial amount of capital or are on your Series E investment, your company is not growing at a pace to attract the attention of potential acquirers. Recently, however, there has been a strong appetite from both corporate and financial acquirers to seek out and buy businesses that have been bootstrapped or never raised an outside round of capital. So what is driving this trend? Platform Piggybacking to Scale

As the growth of technology-enabled companies continues to disrupt established incumbents, newer businesses have been fortunate to benefit from several trends enabling them to take advantage of network effects and grow quicker without the substantial capital investments that had been unavailable to earlier companies. We have seen substantial network effects occurring in the eCommerce and media sectors, where companies have been able to leverage the platforms of Amazon, Google, and Facebook to create scale with no outside investment. These eCommerce savvy businesses utilize their infrastructure and digital expertise to monetize at a much earlier stage, while not having to invest the significant capital typically needed by traditional businesses to build the infrastructure required to get a business to scale. We recently advised two businesses which took advantage of the scale provided by larger digital platforms to grow without taking substantial capital from outside parties. Both companies created successful brands and utilized various platforms to scale their growth parabolically in a capital efficient manner. Rapidly-growing direct-to-consumer deodorant brand Native used Facebook as a primary customer acquisition engine, generating substantial ROI on each dollar spent, a strong driver for Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) acquisition thesis. We knew that the Native story and brand would generate strong excitement and acquirer interest while allowing P&G to broaden its existing portfolio of personal care brands, such as Secret, Old Spice, and Gillette by capitalizing on the direct-to-consumer and better-for-you positioning of the Native brand.

Bear Down Brands, a rapidly-growing developer and marketer of branded home, health, and wellness products, piggybacked on Amazon’s global fulfillment footprint to grow their business into a top 10 Amazon seller account within five years of launching their Pure Enrichment and Bentgo brands before partnering with a consumer product-focused private equity firm. These are but a few examples of companies that decided to invest in their brands and marketing instead of overhead and infrastructure to realize significant growth substantial outcomes for their shareholders. Had they raised millions of dollars from outside venture or growth equity firms, their outcomes could have been very different as it may have limited the interest of select groups and may have altered the timing and trajectory of an exit. The Benefits of Bootstrapping

Many entrepreneurs find that raising capital is a rite of passage and bragging right, but the process can often be distracting and time-consuming - and may not necessarily create the expected upside value that many hope will come from adding significant cash to the coffers. While we understand many disruptive business models are near impossible to scale without investment (i.e., electric vehicle charging networks or other capital-intensive projects), we have found that organic businesses without substantial outside capital often have better business fundamentals and greater exit opportunities for the founders in the long run. Some sample characteristics of companies that often generate significant acquirer interest include capital efficiency and cash flow generation; natural, organic growth driven by innovative business models; gritty teams with a strong management bench; and developed information systems and internal financial controls.

CSA - Freedman


many of these industry stalwarts to look at potential deals outside their normal strike zone with a particular focus on founder-owned, bootstrapped businesses. Two recent examples of these trends include account-based marketing company Madison Logic’s acquisition by Clarion Capital Partners, which allows Madison to expand its data-driven product development efforts to a number of new verticals and geographic areas; and ICV Partners’ investment in LeadingResponse, a client acquisition and lead generation specialist that has approximately $70M in annual revenue. Digital Businesses Are Created to Sell

Early on in my career, a wise advisor told me that all digital media businesses were created to sell, not to become family legacies. With that in mind, creating a strong exit opportunity requires the right mix of financial strength, a solid management team and, most importantly, a wide audience of potential acquirers with the goal of creating a heated competitive deal environment. Having the proper business fundamentals and a broad addressable market makes a business attractive to potential acquirers. Balancing this smart fundamental-driven approach to company building will result in a positive outcome for shareholders over time and present ultimate optionality in the long run. end

Creating Additional Optionality

Historically, digital media businesses had not been an area of focus for many traditional private equity and financial acquirers. However, over the past 24 months, there has been a sea of change in activity as traditional players increasingly look outside their comfort zone, driven by challenges in their usual sectors of focus, including retail, apparel, and traditional consumer products. The lack of growth, channel disruption and increased risk have forced



ROBERT DALIE, CFP® Executive Director - Investments The Summa Group of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Los Angeles, CA



the pros and cons of AI’s growing role in the finances that run our lives CSA - Dalle

In his role at The Summa Group, Robert Dalie is in charge of wealth planning capabilities, one of the core pillars the group is founded on. Dalie’s specific expertise and experience lend themselves to entrepreneurs, senior executives, fiduciaries, and founders who have recently experienced or are about to experience a life-changing financial event. This proficiency has allowed him to play an integral role within the core advisory teams that deal with pre- and post-liquidity events. He has developed a reputation for specialized work with sudden wealth from inheritance, divorce, stock sales, estate planning, and closely held business sales. To effectively offer this depth of service and experience, his practice is limited to a select group of individuals and families for whom he can have the maximum impact. Forbes, Barron’s, and Research Magazine have recognized The Summa Group in their annual advisor rankings as a top wealth management team. Dallie has been a central part of The Summa Group since its founding in 2003.




The topic of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for some time now. We’re beginning to hear a lot more about it as many industries have begun to spend resources on it in a serious way. Looking back the past few years, two experiments in particular stand out as being the catalysts for the renewed interest in AI or smart machines. First, IBM’s Watson supercomputer won against two of Jeopardy’s greatest champions. More recently, Google’s AlphaGo program handily beat the world Go (a complicated board game originated in China) champion. Of course, many big fi rms are jumping into developing self-driving cars (where AI is a must) – Tesla, Uber, Google, and even China’s Baidu among them. What Watson and AlphaGo were able to achieve is nothing short of amazing. Without the machine’s ability to learn, what they did would have been impossible. The general consensus view has been that technology in the next-so-many years is going to automate a lot of mundane tasks that are currently being done by humans, even in the areas of medicine, law, and investment management. Many professional knowledge workers aren’t too worried that machines will be re-



placing them anytime soon as many believe they will still be needed to do the complex thinking. Unfortunately, a number of recent studies have shown that most human beings tend to perform suboptimally even in those complex-thinking areas. According to Professor Ed Hess of the University of Virginia, to compete and add value in the age of smart machines, most of us will need to take our cognitive skills to a much higher level. Let’s examine the potential impact of AI on the investment management industry, in particular. Technology (algorithms, more specifically) is nothing new to the investment industry; most hedge fund shops and trading systems have benefited from it (speed and accuracy have been the key). AI is the next natural phase, using machines with the ability to learn and adapt. First, let us examine the pros and cons of AI. Pros

CSA - Dalle

1. With AI, the chances of errors are almost zero on routine, rules-based tasks 2. Emotions that often hinder rational thinking for a human being are not a hindrance for AI 3. Smart machines can crunch vast amounts of data very efficiently and continuously Cons

1. The cost to program and maintain AI is very high, at least at the present time 2. Smart machines lack the so-called emotional intelligence and intuition of humans – these human attributes have been shown to play an important role in certain situations 3. With the heavy application of AI, humans may become overly dependent on machines, diminishing mental capacities

1 Integrity Research Associates 2 Future Progress in Artificial Intelligence: A Survey of Expert Opinion


Already, some very large AI systems are deployed by well-known hedge funds to capitalize on the latest advances in deep learning. Renaissance Technologies is a prime example. One of its hedge funds is being co-managed by Peter Brown and Bob Mercer, who developed natural language recognition programs at IBM. There are others, including Bridgewater Associates, Two Sigma, BlackRock, and Goldman Sachs, that have begun to deploy a lot of resources revamping their AI-driven systems.1 With advances in technology, certain investment-related jobs (that were once handled by humans) are beginning to disappear.

For example, traditional junior analyst tasks, such as financial statement analysis or industry trend analysis, can now be done by AI in real time, at a fraction of the cost. According to David Kedmey, CEO of EidoSearch, the legacy financial analyst position, which sifts through SEC filings and press releases, is already disappearing. It’s not all bad news. In this environment of increasing automation, people with certain types of skills and knowledge are likely to become more valuable. For example, data scientists will be in high demand to devise the algorithms that will fuel future AIs. In addition, according to John Rubino, a financial writer, we’ll be needing more “hand holders.” For a vast majority of institutional investors, investment performance isn’t as important as being able to easily understand the underlying investment strategy. Hence, investment management firms will likely need more articulate and empathetic people (hand holders) to work with investors, which probably can’t be automated. In many ways, AI still has a long way to go in terms of matching human intelligence. According to an Oxford University poll of AI experts, full AI (machines reaching human level intelligence) has a 50% probability of being reached by 2050, escalating to 90% probability by 2075.2 I don’t believe we need to worry about smart machines replacing every one of us, whether it is in the investment management industry or elsewhere. The most probable scenario is it will be more of a collaborative environment between machines and humans. Humans are simply not as good as machines when it comes to certain tasks – crunching/analyzing vast sums of data with accuracy and speed, for example. Furthermore, most human beings have what psychologists call cognitive biases – a systematic error in thinking that affects our judgment or decision-making skills. Smart machines shouldn’t have these cognitive biases, at least in theory. As we look ahead, those investment management firms that are best able to incorporate many key aspects of AI could dominate the industry. It’s not an accident that firms such as BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan are beginning to put serious resources into revamping their AI-based systems. end





AMIR VOKSHOOR, MD Spine Surgery Subsection Chief, Providence St. John’s Founder, Institute of Neuroinnovation Santa Monica, CA

Dr. Amir Vokshoor is a board certified neurosurgeon specializing in microscopic cranial and spine surgery. He continues to advance the field of neurosurgery through numerous presentations and contributions, including surgical treatment of disc disease, spinal stenosis and brain recovery optimization. Using a minimally invasive approach and leading technology patients experience a truly personalized approach. Dr. Vokshoor champions a comprehensive and integrative approach to neurological well-being. He is the founder of the Institute of Neuro Innovation, a nonprofit organization uniting research, technological innovation and neuroscience education in order to optimize wellness and expedite recovery from traumatic brain and spinal injury.

PHONE 800/899.0101 EMAIL WEBSITE LOCATION 2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 760W Santa Monica, CA 90404



Debunking a crucial field of health and science as society moves forward with technological advances CSA - Vokshoor including AR & VR Whether you’re concentrating on your golf swing, enjoying a cup of coffee or daydreaming about a favorite vacation spot, your brain is hard at work, timing everything to the milliseconds, to make the experience a smooth narrative and register the important bullet points in your memory banks. And it does this seamlessly throughout different stages of life, as we create our signature thoughts, stylistic movements, and degrees of athletic performance. The key components here are timing and energy management. As a neurosurgeon, I have come across many miraculous stories of patients recovering from insults to the brain or spine. Recovery is always challenging, and regaining control and function even from the most seemingly minor injury, such as a bulging disc, requires diligent rehabilitation, incredible patience, and optimal mental focus. Our nervous system’s ability to energize and direct our body into action or stillness is a key ingredient in this healing process. Our brain’s ability to modulate and manage



this narrative can enhance (or sabotage) our recovery, everyday performance, relationships, and ultimately, life experience. I have personally seen successful outcomes from brain or spine surgeries, depending as much on each patient’s nervous system’s ability to heal as on the precision and technical proficiency of the surgeon. I have also witnessed neurologic devastation in the setting of irreversible trauma, tumor or dementia. As the individual expression of “self ” unravels from within, our nervous system loses its grip and directional ‘timing’ on this narrative. The brain, our unique window to the world, is finally giving up some of its longest held secrets, the map of its networks which control our thoughts and time our actions, as well as our energy expenditure which is specifically targeted in conditions such as chronic stress and trauma. Repair mechanisms within our nervous system which decay with chronic insults are being elucidated, including inflammatory signaling between the gut, the hormonal balance, and the supporting brain cells called the glia. The brain processes information at incredible speeds (1016 Hz. processing power), filtering energy delivered by the bloodstream and other “cognitive” means to produce the cohesive narrative we call reality with impeccable timing, all while spending less than the voltage of an extremely weak light bulb and weighing only around 3 pounds! We are enthralled that we can finally look deeper at our internal map and devote some effort to the health of this marvelous organ. But the brain is not just another organ, you may say; its structure evolves and grows to become the literal and unique expression of OURSELVES, and so brain health is not simply akin to hearth health or kidney health! And you would be correct. But unless we can gain better insight into the physiologic and molecular workings of a healthy brain, we will not be able to gain perspective on this complex timing and energy expense to optimize its performance. A few discoveries on the horizon that make our understanding of the inner workings of the brain much deeper are:

immersive technology and meditation. Major epidemics that concern brain health are already impacting every one of us: Post-traumatic stress, depression, addiction, and dementia are plaguing our society increasingly. These unique conditions target the brain specifically, leading to perceptual abnormalities and cognitive and memory impairment. Since reasoning can also be impaired, there is a significant loss of hope associated with these conditions which leads to additional stress and ultimately depression. One in six Americans above 65 years of age will be afflicted by AD by 2020. One in five veterans suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and this may be under-reported. Epidemiology of non-combatant traumatic brain injury is also staggering, with one death every five minutes attributed to brain trauma. It took almost 100 years for us to be convinced of the value of exercise physiology and physical fitness. Hopefully it won’t take another century to see the value of cognitive fitness. In the hyperconnected world of the internet of all things, the most critical paradigm shift will be in the way we recondition our brains to adapt (and evolve). Optimal brain function in the modern world requires a balanced nutrition and exercise program but also a dedicated restorative practice in a sustained habitual way. Many people are conditioned to use harmful chemicals or other stimuli to gain relaxation and increase their social connection. In fact, use of chemical means of enhancing or deepening the conscious experience and connection is a pervasive and ancient practice, but it may cause more harm than good as evidenced by the social epidemic of drugs and alcohol abuse. Through immersive cognitive training with better technology as well as deep meditative experiences, we will be able to overcome long-term effects of trauma or ‘suboptimal’ or harmful cognitive conditioning. Reaching deeper levels of conscious experience is possible by making the cognitive exercises part of our daily habits, making us more purposeful and connected while expanding the possibilities within the hidden abilities of the nervous system. These types of exercises can help us feel happier and more connected. Of course, this is a skill that needs practice just like any form of physical exercise. Indeed there are direct neural stimulation methods that are targeting athletes to enhance their exercises

CSA - Vokshoor

1. Precise sequencing of circulating mRNA levels in the bloodstream 2. Hormonal and other physiological influences of the gut microbiome on brain inflammation and even emotions 3. Cognitive training and enhancement using


reward by Neural Priming through direct electrical stimulation, a technique called tCDS. Just like sleep hygiene is so important to our health and overall body function, neural priming and restorative practices can increase our ability to reach beyond our immediate limits and preconditioning. Exploring these deeper connections has traditionally been the realm of religion and spirituality. Real-time neuroscience is, however, closing in fast as the only measurable way we can reproduce and sustain our results and remain free of the past dogma, diving even deeper into the universe of possibilities. Different practices of mindfulness meditation, breathing methods, immersive VR, AR, and even direct electrical and magnetic stimulation are undergoing rigorous testing and fine tuning. Indeed many physicians— such as myself and others at a few major universities such as UCSF, UCLA, and USC— have created brain mapping and treatment centers using a variety of immersion and stimulation methods. In the very near future, increased cognitive reserve through therapeutic stimulation and immersive VR or AR assisted mindful practices will enhance brain performance including memory, reasoning, and even processing speed as we age. To create a balanced lifestyle around this concept, we need the right amount of cognitive immersion and stimulation. The speed at which we process information has changed drastically through technology, and this causes stress leading to cognitive fatigue. Indeed our physiological coping mechanisms (the hormones required for the fight or flight response) and our ‘cognitive reserve’ will continue to be challenged by the exponential rise in computational processing and artificial intelligence. Curation of mental and emotional stimuli through the explosion of neuro-technology will allow us to pierce better into the elusive nature of our brains and nervous system as a whole. In a way the same technology that has caused our “brain problems” has also brought complex diagnostic and therapeutic tools for brain health at the consumer level. I believe the future of neurosurgery will be transformative and thru innovative neuroscientific research into the realm of cognitive immersion, we will overcome the societal epidemics that are plaguing humanity. end





How can companies doing business globally protect their most important asset– their brand? CSA - Lang

Marina Lang graduated with honors from USC and Duke Law and has since focused her practice on intellectual property. She is an active member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and a Partner at SoCal IP Law Group LLP, an intellectual property law firm headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif. She provides litigation, patent, trademark, copyright, counseling, licensing, domain name, anti-counterfeiting, unfair competition, and due diligence services to clients worldwide. Lang personally represents public sector, startup, private, nonprofit, and individual clients in various fields such as computer software, automotive, health care, biotechnology, retail, restaurant, food and beverage services, entertainment, music, publishing, fashion, cosmetics, finance, agriculture, metalworking, commercial building and construction, sports equipment, and medical devices.

PHONE 805/267.2261 WEBSITE EMAIL ADDRESS 310 N. Westlake Blvd. Suite 120 Westlake Village, CA 91362



A company’s brand is the one form of intellectual property that, if maintained, never expires. Illegitimate traders, in all industries, are taking advantage of today’s global expansion at the same pace as legitimate brand owners, creating an urgency for business to secure brand protection in all their major markets. Various international treaties have emerged modernizing, digitizing, and streamlining the legal practice of securing global brand protection. Due to these growing efficiencies, a few of which are elaborated upon below, I can manage vast global trademark portfolios for clients from the desk of my California office. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) manages several international treaties. Related to brand protection is the Madrid Union, which has 100 member countries and counting. Th is comprises approximately 80% of international trade. The European Union, Norway, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Ukraine, India, Mexico, and many Arab countries are notable members. Indonesia and Thailand are some of the newest members. Absentees include Canada, Hong Kong, and several South American countries. Though the Madrid system has been around for some time (comprised of the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International

QUOTE: GONE ARE THE DAYS OF PAPER APPLICATIONS, HIRING LAWYERS IN EACH TERRITORY TO PREPARE AND FILE SAID FORMS, AND PAYING TRANSLATION FEES. THE MADRID SYSTEM HAS ALSO SIMPLIFIED TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP, EVEN FOR ENTIRE TRADEMARK PORTFOLIOS. 1. The domain was registered primarily for the purpose of selling it to the complainant or a competitor for more than the documented out-of-pocket expenses related to the name; 2. The domain was registered to prevent the mark owner from using it, provided that the registrant has engaged in a pattern of such registration; 3. The domain was registered primarily to disrupt the business of a competitor; 4. By using the domain, the registrant has intentionally attempted to attract users for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion as to source or affiliation. After a UDRP Complaint is filed, the domain may automatically get suspended. In most of my cases, the respondent defaults by failing to even respond to the complaint, no doubt because registration of the domain was, indeed, in bad faith. When this happens, respondent’s default is viewed as an admission of fault and eventually the domain is cancelled and transferred to my firm or my client. Finally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has become more effective with its digital system of recordation. The brand must be registered as a trademark first, but then the brand owner can register their mark online with the Intellectual Property e-Recordation (IPRR) system. This online system allows brand owners to electronically record their trademark with CPB, eliminating the archaic method of paper applications and supporting documents. Registration certificates and sample images of how the brand is used on products can be directly uploaded to the site. Once this information is uploaded and recorded, CBP can utilize it to seize imported goods that violate trademark and other intellectual property rights. The modernized system allows the brand owner to easily upload samples of what legitimate imported goods should look like, using videos and photos. They can also upload training guides to educate CBP personnel on what to look for within imported goods. Brand owners can also update their file as their products develop and directly report specific shipments and parties. Modern strategies to better protect brands across the globe will only continue to grow, and to the extent not already engaged, I look forward to utilizing the latest developments and technology in my own practice. end

Long Term Care



One of Southern California's largest insurance brokers


A ‘near’ flawless strategy for providing for costs of care

CSA - Lang

Lump Sum & 10 Pay Option Everything Guaranteed! Cost of Living Adjustment A+, $250 Billion Carrier

Contact me to have a “different” conversation about Long Term Care strategies.

Martin Levy, CLU/RHU 818.377.7260 inqui CA Ca.Lic. Lic #0635793 0C24367

Registration of Marks of 1891 and the Madrid Protocol of 1989), it underwent serious modernization in the last decade. For example, brand owners can now use a single digital form to apply for protection in any member country. It allows for a single application, in one language, with one set of fees. Gone are the days of paper applications, hiring lawyers in each territory to prepare and file said forms, and paying translation fees. The Madrid system has also simplified transfer of ownership, even for entire trademark portfolios. Often a compelling force behind business acquisitions is the seller’s brand and associated goodwill. An assignment to a new owner can be done with a single form sent to WIPO. Up-and-coming modern features of the Madrid system include an online search tool for pending and existing trademarks. Right now, there is a beta version of the “Madrid Monitor.” The goal of this new search engine is to give attorneys, and the public, real-time status of any international application. To be sure, my practice would benefit from the ability to conduct a global “google” search of marks and their related pseudonyms, logos, and word-combinations. Having visibility of internationally registered marks helps attorneys craft a more effective strategy for clients. This includes a discussion of the risks of their international application and the costs of overcoming potential refusals, as well as providing more accurate budgeting prior to foreign filing. I want to know which brands may block my client’s application and the identity of the companies behind them. Is this company a senior user, and if so, are they potentially defunct or the brand no longer in use? Are their profits suffering to such a degree that my client might easily acquire them or move to set aside their aged marks? Global market transparency allows for better overall business strategy. Domain names also encompass a company’s brands. An infringing domain name can be taken down via the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (often referred to as the “UDRP”). Many now have financial interests in new gTLDs, which unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, have created a rise in cybersquatting (i.e., .XYZ, and .EMAIL). The key to prevailing in these types of actions is showing that the disputed domain name is being used in bad faith. Paragraph 4(b) of the Policy lists four circumstances as evidence of bad faith:

70% of Americans will need some type of


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Definity First Santa Monica, CA

Using Amazon Go – the CSA -AI-driven Abraham convenience + Stewart store of the future – as the barometer for AI’s role in the marketplace and our daily lives

Jeffrey Stewart is the Chief Marketing Off icer at DefinityFirst, a global branding, digital marketing & technology agency. Stewart has provided strategic marketing expertise to companies ranging from Fortune 50 brands to early-stage startups. He brings a lifelong passion for building companies that tap into the ever-changing digital frontier. With more than 15 years of digital marketing, investment banking, and entrepreneurial experience, Stewart has been at the forefront of new technologies and digital transformations across industries. He cultivates an active presence in the community including advisory work with Sports Spectacular, which links world-class athletes and innovative medical research to advance healthier futures for all. Michael Abraham is the Chief Creative Officer at DefinityFirst, a global branding, digital marketing & technology agency. Abraham is a digital and branding innovator with 15+ years of experience; he ensures the firm’s position on the progressive edge of interactive landscapes through the development of next-generation solutions for clients. Abraham has collaborated with over 500 companies globally and advised more than 200 startups.

PHONE 424/248.3971 EMAIL WEBSITE ADDRESS 312 Arizona Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90401



More than the technological leap required to achieve full integration in our day-to-day lives, the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) have captured our imagination for the future. We have discussed our excitement for greater efficiency, faster turnarounds, more detailed, data-driven strategies, and bolder consumer relations systems. But, we must remember the coin has two sides. We have also discussed our fears for debilitating job losses, unqualified talent pools, countless looming uncertainties, and the disappearance of industries on which workers, families, and local economies are reliant.

Nonetheless, individual decisions will not stop technological progress and exploitation of its potential. Executives across industries recognize the great potential of artificial intelligence and are drawing the framework for the inevitable automated system integration. The history of automation is riddled with sweet victories and sour defeats. No doubt, Amazon’s fully artificially intelligent convenience store, Amazon Go, has taken a long stride forward for AI’s integration into the consumer ecosystem. Amazon’s efforts to streamline the consumer experience, resembling that of online shopping, are blurring the lines between



brick-and-mortar shopping and the digital marketplace, marking the first established attempt at offline automation. Yet for every Amazon Go situation, there is a counter situation, which can stray from functional to greatly dysfunctional in less than 24 hours. The point? Despite our constant failure, we keep trying. While Amazon’s automated Go store technology is nearing its public opening, we must wonder how rapidly we will see an automated transition. In which industries are the effects of automation most likely to be felt? And what will our world look like should an automated system become the norm for consumer interaction? Replacement of Routine Action

What did you do when you woke up this morning? Check your email, the news, or the weather? What about yesterday? Or the day before? In the face of adding variety as the spice of life, we are creatures of habit—comfortable with routine and inherently resistant to change. The human tendency for status quo is constantly being challenged by the ambition of innovators. When technology challenges the status quo, the bold embrace it while the wary resist. In the history of automated operations, sweet victories are undertaken by bold early adopters who are both conscious of potential failure and hungry for breakthrough success. In a survey by The Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review, executives across industries revealed their stance on AI integration currently in place and for the future. Executives looking to use AI to extend the length and breadth of their firm’s operations regard efficiency and returns as the biggest questions when deciding if it’s a prudent investment. If artificial intelligence is capable of reducing human error in routine operations and producing output at higher speeds, why would that opportunity not be utilized? According to the survey, a significant portion of respondents identified artificial intelligence as a strategic opportunity. The report’s data reveals: “Most respondents believe that AI will benefit their organization, such as through new business or reduced costs; 84% believe Al will allow their organization to obtain or sustain a competitive advantage. Three in four managers think AI will allow them to move into new businesses.”

Unfortunately, the same potential for expansion and diversification of business operations that excites managers and executives is offset by uncertainty at the employee level. We take for granted where we exist on the human timeline. Education has largely remained static, only using new technologies for learning classic concepts. In this environment, how do we, as a society, move forward? The adoption of automated systems has expanded the corporate understanding of consumer behavior and progressed the training of new hires. The potential for expansion and diversification is a representation of our world moving forward. Nevertheless, analysts do not anticipate artificial intelligence taking a firm grasp on the consumer ecosystem for some time. AI’s Depth and Path of Adoption

Scholarly work on organizational theory and practice widely shows that corporate culture comes from the top down. In the BCG/MITS survey, clear paths to AI integration require distinct business cases in need of automated solutions and leaders in support of integrating artificially intelligent initiatives. Corporate cultures that prioritize growing the potential for new hires talented in data collection, dissection, and recommendation are most likely to adopt AI capabilities to their operations. In the future, as the next wave of technological capabilities emerges, it will be these early adopters that grab hold of the opportunity, thus creating our future sweet victories. The advantage? Artificial intelligence is still in its infancy. We have not yet explored its vast potential across industries. Industry leaders in data collection and automation are rolling out their first attempts at automated integration. The barriers to adopting automated systems are shorter than they may appear. We live in a digitally determined ecosystem. Our data represents our routines, and artificial intelligence is an aid to those routines, not the interference of them. Time will tell how the automation revolution will take shape, but being part of that movement makes today’s industry leaders the next great shapers of our society. If the true sign of intelligence is imagination, surely our capacity to harness our own technological inventions to progress our lives and match our vision for the world can happen. end

CSA - Abraham + Stewart




MIKE SCHAFFER Founder & CEO Echo-Factory Pasadena, CA


SEPARATING THE BRILLIANT FROM THE BULL**** IN AD TECH How I learned to value ROI when making purchasing decisions, even in the ad tech space members

CSA - Schaffer Mike is founder and CEO at Echo-Factory, a Digital Agency headquartered in Pasadena, California. Echo-Factory works with a range of clients, including established companies like FujiFilm, MagLite, and Audi USA, as well as startups and local companies that are investing in rapid growth. The agency has been awarded many times for its work, including two “Best in Show” ADDY® awards. Today, Mike’s primary role is as a marketing consultant and brand strategist.

Phone 626/993.3770 Email Website Location 36 W. Colorado Blvd. Suite #200 Pasadena, CA 91105



Hi. My name is Michael Schaffer, and I’m an ad-techoholic. Every week, I come across about 10 new advertising technologies that are going to “transform the face of marketing.” New platforms that peer into consumers’ minds and behaviors and phones and computers, and promise to use the power of AI or the cloud or “proprietary algorithms” or a troupe of well-trained chimpanzees to turn that data into sales for your brand. Amazing! And I want to believe the claims made by every single one. Ad tech is exciting. It’s cool. It’s shiny and new! At its best, it introduces your brand to new customers at the very moment they’re ready to make a decision about buying your product. At its worst? It can be a colossal waste of money. Lucky for me, I employ a team of very smart people whose job it is to use these platforms. And when I get excited about some new piece of advertising tech, I can email them about it. They’ll send me back respons-

es like, “It’ll never work because XYZ …” or, “We already use ABC platform that does the same thing, better.” Or even (very occasionally), “Huh, that does look pretty cool. We should check it out.” So, assuming you don’t employ a team of ad tech experts, how can you separate the brilliant from the bull**** when it comes to new ad tech? The simple answer is ROI. Understand your ROI on any platform, and you can effectively evaluate it against any other platform, or any other place you could be spending your advertising dollars. Th is is, of course, a big departure from traditional advertising. Back in the dark days of radio advertising, the success of many campaigns was evaluated on the condition of: “Did the client hear their own ad during their commute?” Television, print, and outdoor can come with the same problem. Even big, smart national brands have to deal with this today. A while back, I was reading a case study on Old Spice’s brilliant “The man your man



could smell like” commercials that launched in 2011. They were an unequivocal hit with consumers, and the big winner at that year’s advertising awards. But when a campaign manager got asked how much they bumped the needle in terms of actually selling body wash, his response was more or less, “We have no idea.” Sales rose around the campaign, but there was no way to confidently attribute that rise to the campaign, or to one of the several other traditional campaigns the company was running at the same time. Digital ads should solve this problem. With digital, you should be able to track the source of every sale or lead. You should know the last action that a consumer took before they converted, and any digital advertising they encountered along the path to the sale. I say “should” because that’s certainly not

always the case. In the past year, our agency has taken over several accounts that had the ability to calculate their ROI on digital, but either weren’t, or weren’t paying any attention to the numbers. In one case, we came in and found that a service provider was paying more than $1,000 per customer acquisition on Facebook – in an industry where each customer was spending less than $50 on their first visit. In another case, we were asked to jump in on a campaign that had spent more than $100,000 in the last six months, and delivered less than 10 total conversions. Those 10 conversions were worth about $1,000 in total. In both cases, the companies knew something wasn’t working right, but until we calculated their ROI, they weren’t sure what was wrong. So, the key thing that’ll help you sepa-

rate the brilliant from the bull**** in ad tech is ROI. How much do you pay to acquire a customer from Google search ads? Display ads? Facebook ads? Instagram? What about sponsored content? And what about the fancy new ad platform you just heard about? Once you understand how much you’re spending to acquire customers on every platform, it’s easy to test any new ad tech that comes along. Just put the shiny new technology against your existing channels. If the new ad technology demonstrates that you can spend less and sell more, it’s worth investing in. If not, you can thank your knowledge of your ROI for saving you time, frustration, and money. Once you’re familiar with your ideal ROI, you can let the new ad technologies keep rolling in – all you have to do is pick the winner. end

CSA - Schaffer

YOU PRIDE YOURSELF ON BEING INNOVATIVE. SHOULDN’T YOUR PARTNERS TOO? We believe a bank should be more than a place to deposit your money or secure a loan. At Commercial Bank of California, our clients play an important role in building the bank that they want. And in turn, they are empowered to achieve their dreams. This is a bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.

Contact us today to learn about how you can build a banking partner of your own.

Commercial Bank of California.indd 1


12/28/17 1:00 PM





Exploring key takeaways from Facebook’s November 2017 conference CSA - Hurless

With more than 10 years’ experience in online marketing, brand management, digital strategies, social media, content marketing, search engine optimization, social media training, and reputation management, Jennifer Hurless has lent her expertise to a variety of national and Los Angeles–based companies. These include businesses focused on food/wine/spirit, real estate, beauty/skin care, entertainment, fashion, hospitality, retail, and travel as well as sports and nonprofit organizations. You can follow Hurless everywhere online, including Twitter (@jennhurless), Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and any other new platform that has launched since this was written.

PHONE 888/603.5528 EMAIL WEBSITE ADDRESS 28914 Roadside Drive #204 Agoura Hills, CA 91301



If you haven’t experienced the technology of Augmented Reality (AR) yet, it’s only a matter of time. In the past few years, the conversations regarding both AR and Virtual Reality (VR) have become almost mainstream in the technology space. They are similar, yet very different. With AR, virtual and real-life objects are seamlessly blended together in your existing environment with the use of a headset or other technology, like a smartphone. Used with a headset, VR places you in an environment created by the developer. In AR, you can see a dolphin swimming in a glass on the desk in front of you. In VR, you can be on a boat in the middle of the ocean watching dolphins swim around you. Google’s controversial Glass project was the genesis of public awareness of AR, but it never took off for the mainstream. A pair of apps—Snapchat and Niantic’s Pokemon Go— truly brought AR to the forefront. Snapchat introduced fi lters allowing fun objects to be superimposed on a user’s face or in the user’s environment, while Pokemon Go took small characters like Pikachu and Charizard from the Gameboy into your backyard, and encouraged people to virtually capture them.



These were the first apps to truly use AR to reach a broad audience, but they will not be the last. These apps proved AR could be accepted by the masses and find space in our daily lives.

timately alter the way social media is utilized, especially for advertisers. Companies will be forced to use AR to market their products to stay competitive in their given industry, because it substantially differentiates them from companies using standard advertising. The ability to make moving 3D models of products appear in the world of your targeted audience is significantly more impactful than the traditional 2D ad. Amazon is currently doing this by allowing users to virtually project products they may want to buy directly into their homes and offices to assist the purchasing decision. This new technology, which presents limitless potential to “wow” audiences, will only become stronger with time. With an already incredibly large user base, social media apps will compete to be the first to fully incorporate AR and AR advertising for their customers.

AR and Social Media

The relationship between AR and social media is evolving at a rapid pace. Since the inception of social media with apps like Instagram and Twitter, it has flipped the world of marketing upside down and grown exponentially. Nearly all companies, regardless of size, use social media today to promote their products and services to large audiences. These social media apps have grown so large that they are able to develop and incorporate new technologies such as AR to keep their users engaged. As AR technology gets better, it will become so mainstream it will ul-

AR was a huge ta lk ing point at last month’s Facebook conference, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We are going to make the camera the first augmented reality platform.” Facebook’s AR strategy will include its Camera Effects Platform, its AR Studio, and Frame Studio. Facebook has even recently announced an intention to integrate AR functionality into its popular Messenger app. Also, Snapchat has launched a desktop program, called Lens Studio, to let users design their very own AR filters. The competition to define and dominate the AR space is heating up, as AR on social media begins to find itself. There is little doubt that AR will change our relationship with our social media apps and significantly alter the way we use our devices. end

CSA - Hurless

SoCal IP.indd 1


11/14/17 3:05 PM




Founder & Managing Partner


Equity Advisors Real Estate Services Los Angeles, CA


USE INNOVATION TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE WORK FOR YOU Utilizing the 1031 tax deferred exchange to build your wealth

CSA - Turturici + Turtirici

Jack Turturici, Jr. is founder and managing partner of Equity Advisors Real Estate Services. Mr. Turturici is a third-generation real estate executive who has sold high-end residential properties from Beverly Hills to Malibu and Hidden Hills to Camarillo for more than 20 years. He began his career in the 1990s working residential real estate sales with Fred Sands in the Pacific Palisades and since then has worked for national firms such as Prudential Realty and Sperry Van Ness. In 2015, Turturici teamed with partners and formed Equity Advisors. Michele Turturici, Jack’s wife, is a partner at the company. Combined they have more than 40 years of real estate experience and over $450M in recently completed transactions. The Turturicis are proud parents of daughter Mia, a student at Our Lady of Malibu School where Jack sits on the board of directors. Equity Advisors donates a percentage of all income to A Walk On Water – an organization that uses surfing as therapy for special needs children and adults.

PHONE 310/291.1517 WEBSITE EMAIL ADDRESS 2945 Townsgate Rd. Ste 200 Westlake Village, CA 91361



What do all three of the following deals have in common?

1. Our client purchased their home in 1965 for $73,500 and sold it through Equity Advisors for $6,350,000 in 2017. 2. Our client purchased their home in 1986 for $725,000 and sold it through Equity Advisors for $3,725,000 in 2017. 3. Our client sold their rental home and purchased NNN and multifamily investment properties through Equity Advisors totaling $8,129,000 in 2017. If you answered that Equity Advisors handled all of these transactions in 2017, you would be correct. However, the more interesting commonality is that all of these deals had a 1031 tax deferred exchange as a catalyst to make them happen. For those of you not entirely sure of what a 1031 tax deferred exchange is, I’ll summarize. The IRS created the 1031 to accommodate those clients that want to sell one investment property and buy another. When this sale and purchase of investment properties is done following a set of guidelines outlined by the IRS, the result is that there is no tax due at the time of the sale of the relinquished property (downleg) and the purchase of the replacement property (upleg). Mind you, this does not mean there is no tax due; rather, it is deferred. How-



ever, even if you sell the upleg property at some point in the future, as long as you buy another replacement property, the tax continues to be deferred indefinitely. The power of the 1031 tax deferred exchange is significant. In the three deals cited at the beginning of this article, there are literally millions of dollars that would have been owed to the IRS. Instead, those millions of dollars are now at work for our clients, earning them hundreds of thousands of dollars in income annually. In the first example above, our clients purchased multifamily properties that generate a $400,000-plus stream of cash flow on an annual basis. I won’t bore you here with example after example of how this has changed our clients’ lives. However, when we say, “Our clients are happy. So, we are happy,” this is one of the reasons why. My House Is Not an Investment…or Is It?

An investment property, by definition, is one that generates cash flow, not depletes it. Your house has probably actually been a significant drain of your cash flow for years, correct? Mortgage payments, taxes, repairs/improvements, etc. Thankfully, it probably has appreciated, but how do we “flip the switch” and make your house work for you instead of the other way around? The first step to your house becoming an investment property is we rent it out for you. Although there is no clear-cut answer on how long you need to rent out your home for it to be considered an “investment property,” most CPAs and attorneys agree that at least one year should suffice. Does it sound like a hassle to rent out your home? Perhaps. Does it sound nauseating to write a check to Uncle Sam for six or seven figures? Definitely! Let’s work through a quick hypothetical of how one home sale may look with a “standard” sale versus a “1031” sale. Assume we sell your home for $2M. (For the sake of this example we will assume you have no debt on the home.) You purchased your home 20 years ago and your basis (what you paid) is $500,000. You get a tax exemption of $250,000 if you are single and $500,000 if married, assuming you have lived in the home in two of the last five years. (At the time of this writing nobody knows if the new tax plan will affect these exemptions.) Assume you get the married $500,000 exemption along with

the exemption of your basis of $500,000. You net $1,875,000 (after expenses such as commissions, closing costs, etc.) less your $1M in exemptions. So, capital gains tax is due on the other $875,000 at roughly 35% (25% federal and 10% state). You get to write a check to the IRS for $306,250! Now, let’s handle this transaction with a 1031 exchange. First, we need to rent the house out for at least a year. Let’s say that generates $5,000 per month in rent. Most of our clients will simply rent another home for themselves for the same (or less) amount of rent. It’s a bit of “trading money” for a year, but it will pay off in the long run. So, now the home has been rented for the appropriate amount of time and we sell the home for $2M. Minus expenses, you now have $1.875M to invest into an upleg. The replacement/upleg property can be any kind of investment real estate including: apartment buildings, retail/NNN deal, office buildings, industrial property, etc. Let’s say Equity Advisors helps you find a NNN deal backed by a strong national retailer with a 15 year lease. The deal is purchased for a 5% capitalization rate (meaning rate of return excluding any debt service.) Thus, the $1.875M property will generate a 5% return or roughly $93,750 per year in cash flow after expenses. Consequently, the standard sale required you writing a check for $306,250 to the IRS. In the 1031 scenario, you are receiving a check for $93,750 per year (and probably increasing every couple years) for the next 15 years and your entire $1.875M is intact and invested in the replacement property.

CSA - Turturici + Turtirici


Your Situation

In conclusion, every client has different needs. Sometimes a standard sale, where the client pays the tax due and walks away with the balance of the proceeds, is the best scenario for the client and their family. For instance, often our clients are selling their house to use the proceeds to buy another home. The 1031 exchange is just one option that we can utilize to help serve clients as needed. We welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss any questions you may have relating to the sale or purchase of a home. At Equity Advisors, we pride ourselves on handling every transaction with an uncompromising commitment to excellence and attention to detail. end





Shay Hughes is president and COO of Hughes Marino, a nationally recognized commercial real estate firm committed to only representing tenants in their lease and purchase transactions. Hughes manages the end-to-end operations of the firm and plays a key role in all aspects of business strategy, human resources, marketing, and client relations. She has been instrumental in shaping Hughes Marino’s culture, spearheading the development of the company’s ten core values, and investing great time and energy into building a world-class team of professionals who are not only at the top of their game in business, but also treat one another like family.

PHONE 310/277.3211 213/689.3211 EMAIL WEBSITE ADDRESS 11150 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 850 Los Angeles, CA 90025 555 West Fifth Street 35th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90013



Two suggestions to ‘WOW’ your team members CSA - Hughes

In today’s business climate, the competition for top talent is extremely high. While companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their strategy to attract the cream of the crop, the art of retention and happiness of those employees can often be overlooked. Th is is a giant missed opportunity in the business world, especially when practices to improve employee satisfaction can be easily implemented. According to a Gallup poll, the results were unanimous: employees recognized for a job well done were more productive and much happier in the workplace. At Hughes Marino, we are proud to say that we practice recognition and appreciation on a daily basis. The practices of appreciation and recognition are innate, easy to achieve, and have the potential to dramatically affect the outcome of success for any business leader, as well as team member, in a company. As President and COO of Hughes Marino, I have had the pleasure to watch each and every one of our team members thrive, and almost every moment of growth was nurtured and encouraged by appreciation and recognition. We based our company on the principle that our people are our most important asset. With that mindset, we made our team’s hap-



piness and success one of our top priorities, beginning with each team member’s first day at our company, where we have received tremendous amounts of positive feedback. On their first day, our goal is to have our new team members feel appreciated in every way possible, and also to experience the gratitude we feel as we welcome them into our family. They are greeted with a full-blown welcome, beginning with a bagel party meet-and-greet in the morning, an extensive orientation with our talent engagement team, and a fun goody bag packed with Hughes Marino gear (for themselves and significant others), books by Hughes Marino business coach Mike Robbins, notebooks, and inspirational quote cards. Last but not least, team members are gifted with WOW cards—five beautifully designed cards wrapped neatly with a bow. While Jason (Chairman & CEO) and I always make a point to recognize a team member whenever possible, we made a conscious decision to take the concept one step further. We aimed to empower each team member with the ability to honor their peers for going above and beyond—with no rules or restrictions. We came up with an idea that has taken on a life of its own in our WOW cards, acting as the perfect tool to encourage an abundance of recognition and appreciation at our company. Each worth $50, everyone is given five WOW cards a year to recognize one another for selfless acts during our team meetings. A team member could be recognized for taking charge during a challenging project, organizing a fun event, or even for a random act of kindness displayed outside of our company— the possibilities are endless for the amount of WOW-worthy moments that touch the hearts of our teammates. The distribution of these cards has grown to become one of our favorite elements of every team meeting, and is the perfect opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation toward each other in front of peers. Throughout the years, WOW cards have been presented for helping strangers on the street in a time of need, for taking on projects or tasks and producing incredible results, and for amazing collaboration—the list goes on and on. We have witnessed many happy tears in the uplifting process, and the outpouring of gratitude and positivity inspires each and every one of us.

CSA - Hughes


Jason and I, along with our team, have personally observed the effects of public recognition for each other. Many times, it isn’t about the monetary reward (although that is nice, too!). It has more to do with the verbal reinforcement of appreciation and gratitude we show toward one another, which has a contagious effect to inspire more moments and opportunities to go above and beyond. It has done wonders to help shape our culture into the loving and supportive atmosphere that it is today. Another way we have taken charge to encourage a culture of appreciation? We ensure our team members are taken care of like family. We provide weekly groceries, a team gym for workouts, fun activities throughout the week, and extra time off around the holidays. We appreciate our team, and by taking care of them, we have found that they take care of us right back. Where are the opportunities for appreciation and recognition in your company? Maybe a special lunch with your team members that went above and beyond? Or maybe it’s a group email congratulating a team member on a job well done. Find your WOW, and practice it on a regular basis. The more your company practices recognition and appreciation for employees, the more success you will see knocking on your door. end



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C-Suite Advisors Index




Trent Brown Partner Deloitte & Touche LLP 213/688.6532

Robert Dalie Executive Director – Investments The Summa Group of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc 310/446.7501

Bryce Eddy Tolman & Wiker Insurance

Jim Freedman Founding Partner & Managing Director Intrepid Investment Bankers 310/478.9000

Lars Rathje Lockton Companies

Harry Galstian Direct Tax Relief Scott M. Sachs, CPA Office Managing Partner – Los Angeles & Executive Board Member CohnReznick LLP 818/205.2609 CONSULTING Brian Barry Dale Carnegie Adam Bohn CTO & EVP INC Technologies 310/910.9044 Brian Frankel Frankel Consulting Group James Harwood VP, California Division CoAdvantage 800/975.5128 Aramis Hernandez Founder & President INC Technologies 310/910.9044 John Lockhart People Media Worldwide Kevin Parikh Avasant


Alan Hopkins Manchester Financial

Martin Levy Corporate Strategies

Gregory Stephens Tolman and Wiker Insurance LEGAL

CSA - Index

Larry Schnaid UBS Financial Services

Larry Braun Sheppard Mullin

Rich Schuette Avalan LLC

Marina Lang Partner SoCal IP Law Group LLP 805/267.2261

Brandon Quartararo Senior VP, Head of Digital Media Intrepid Investment Bankers Brian Werdesheim The Summa Group HEALTH & WELLNESS Carol A. Polevoi, LMFT, CBS, CPC Counseling Resource Center Amir Vokshoor MD FAANS Spine Surgery Subsection Chief Providence St. John’s 310/574.0400

Stacy D. Phillips Blank Rome LLP Steven C. Sereboff SoCal IP Law Group LLP Alex Voxman Latham & Watkins MARKETING Michael Abraham Chief Creative Officer DefinityFirst 424/248.3971 Jennifer Hurless Founder & CCS Go Be Social Media 888/603.5528

Mike Schaffer Founder & CEO Echo-Factory 626/993.3370 Jeffrey Stewart Chief Marketing Officer DefinityFirst 424/248.3971 REAL ESTATE Jason Hughes Hughes Marino Shay Hughes President & COO Hughes Marino 310/277.3211 213/689.3211 Mike Packman Principal Keystone National Properties 516/375.0590 Brian A. Sidman Principal Keystone National Properties 305/697.1031 Jack Turturici, Jr. Founder & Managing Partner Equity Advisors 310/291.1517 Michelle Turturici Partner Equity Advisors 310/291.1517 for Elite members who appear in print


The BGCMLA provides youth with high yield programs, such as STEM to prepare them for the future. These innovative programs create critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators. Invest in a Great Future today!

Boys & Girls Clubs

114 Exhibits & Performances 116 Proprietors’ Profile 118 Fine Dining 121 CSQ&A 122 Business Lunch & Happy Hour 123 Required Reading

Culture & Taste

Part 4

Culture & Taste - TOC Culinary newcomer Rossoblu (p. 118) continues to stand out in the city’s crowded dining scene behind Chef Steve Samson’s Bologna-inspired menu



AROUND TOWN Other exhibits of note this season


Exhibits & Performances With Los Angeles in the presence of a legend until March 5, 2018, we set the stage and let him shine this quarter

Tattoo: An Exhibition Through April 18, 2018 Natural History Museum Njideka Akunyili Crosby On View January 8, 2018 MOCA Hammer Projects: Sam Falls Through April 28, 2018 Hammer Museum The High Art of Riding Low Through July 2018 Petersen Automotive Museum Robert Polidori: 20 Photographs of the Getty Museum, 1997 Through May 6, 2018 The Getty Museum

Culture & Taste - Of Note

Rembrandt ‘Self-Portrait at the Age of 34’ The Greatest Dutch Master is spotted in Los Angeles, captivating and astounding visitors to the Norton Simon Museum Norton Simon Museum Through March 5, 2018 The long awaited arrival of one of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s most striking self portraits has finally arrived on U.S. soil, in Pasadena specifically. Completed in 1640, Rembrandt had entered



into his middle ages, evident in the affluence, self-confidence, and wisdom that he exudes in this depiction of himself. He has exited his youthful self-examination period and entered a new decade burdened with strife. The 1630s were marred with many deaths in Rembrandt’s family, which is showcased in the newly formed frown lines in his somber face and steady, melancholic gaze. Yet the many misfortunes in his life did not hinder his outstandingly successful public career. No doubt one of Rembrandt’s favorite models was

himself, exemplified in the nearly 100 renderings of his portrait in paintings, etchings, and drawings. The newly attained self portrait is added to the already magnificent Museum’s 17th Century gallery and accompanied by Simon’s previous collection of Rembrandt including the Portrait of a Bearded Man with a Wide-Brimmed Hat (1633) and Portrait of a Boy (1655-60). It is part of a loan exchange program between the Norton Simon Museum and The National Gallery, London that was established earlier this year.


@Bal t ai r eLA

/Bal t ai r e

@Bal t ai r e

11647SanVi cent eBl vd. LosAngel es,CA 90049 424. 273. 1660|BALTAI RE. COM

KEVIN KHALILI CEO, Alliance Hospitality Group Age 49 Residence West Hollywood Education SFSU (B.A.), UWLA (J.D.) Family Wife, daughter Wrist OMEGA Speedmaster Garage Audi A6 Business Over a Drink Baltaire Travel Paris Success Determining what you like to do, and then doing it for a living Mentors My parents Alliance Hospitality Group Founded 2002 Employees 380 Properties Coral Tree Café (3), Comoncy (5), Red Room Food & Wine Bar, Baltaire Up Next Comoncy Sherman Oaks (2018), Baltaire Phoenix (2018) Partners Robert Niksefat, Steven Yari, Shawn Yari Mission Provide excellent food and unforgettable service to our customers across all our brands, whether the customer is grabbing a healthy lunch at Coral Tree Café or indulging with their friends and family at Baltaire.

PROPRIETOR’S PROFILE A Los Angeles native, Kevin Khalili and his business partners are responsible for Los Angeles culinary staple Coral Tree Cafe as well as Comoncy and Baltaire – a brand they are preparing to take across the nation By Matthew Seukunian

The famous revolutionary, statesman, and – in honor of this edition of CSQ – innovator Benjamin Franklin famously said only two things in life were certain – death and taxes. For Kevin Khalili, Los Angeles-native, resident, and under-the-radar hospitality maven, he hopes that the customer experience at any of his properties is also a certainty, a fantastic certainty. Khalili and his business partners are the proprietor’s of all three locations of Coral Tree Café, all five locations of Comoncy (two of which are in Phoenix), The Red Room Food & Wine Bar, and bonafide Brentwood gem – Baltaire. Across their properties and state lines, Khalili’s Alliance Hospitality Group employs nearly 400, all of whom Khalili admits he still learns from day in and day out. Iranian-American, his story is one familiar to fellow Angelenos. He grew up in Beverly Hills where he attended middle school and high school before beginning his formal education at Santa Monica College. Khalili ultimately went north to San Francisco where he would complete his undergraduate degree, before returning to Los Angeles for law school and opening his own practice.




In 2000, the self-professed breakfast connoisseur, along with his two best friends (and now business partners) felt the Los Angeles dining scene was missing something. “Together we felt the scene was just lacking … something simple … a breakfast and lunch place where people could not only find honest food and great service, but also hang out, sit, read, work, and be comfortable,” Khalili recalls. Khalili and his partner’s feelings manifested and turned into desire – though the real estate search was anything but quick, it was effective. In November 2002, Khalili and his partners opened the first Coral Tree Café – now a Los Angeles staple – on San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood. Though a simple side gig at first, Khalili and his partners – one of whom owns and operates real estate and hotels, and the other investment banking – quickly realized they had struck gold and had an opportunity to further build, creating something special in the process. “Though we had a management staff at the first Coral Tree, we eventually realized the special opportunity we had … if we wanted to grow and expand … with each partner owning and operating

Photos: Tim Hans & Alliance Hospitality Group

Culture & Taste - Proprietor’s Profile

1. A sampling of Coral Tree Cafe’s offerings 2. No (Baltaire) steakhouse is complete without a little lobster 3. Or bread pudding 4. Baltaire’s vibrant and energetic dining room

other businesses, one of us was going to have to be all in and serve as CEO,” Khalili says. “I like people, I like hospitality, my fondest memories growing up involved restaurants … so I wound up my law practice and commit, not knowing much about how to run a restaurant operation.” Khalili spent much of our time together remembering the simpler times in his life – being young, eating out with friends and indulging in wine as well as the quieter meals on Sunday mornings alone, with a book, and a good meal. This nostalgic passion rang true to me as we sat in Baltaire’s private dining room but it also rang true 15 years prior when he dove all the way in. Khalili took restaurant management night classes at UCLA, reading every book, news story, and magazine article he could find on the subject. Passionate and now well-versed, one Coral Tree Café turned into two (Encino) and then three (Beverly Hills) and a second brand – Comoncy – sprouted out of a similarly necessity to Coral Tree. Khalili and his partners knew their city and their market, creating a second concept well tailored for surrounding businesses, and the community as a whole, to enjoy. With a booming California Casual business, fate would intervene, providing Khalili and his team their greatest challenge and opportunity yet. When the Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood (adjacent to their original Coral Tree Café) was preparing to close, Alliance Hospitality Group knew there was an opportunity to seize. The former Cheesecake space is now home to Baltaire – Brentwood’s best dining experience and one of LA’s most secret. A world class steakhouse that serves its neighborhood and the city like Peter Luger’s serves Williamsburg – with excellence and ease. Baltaire’s opening marked Alliance’s arrival. Since it opened the team has expanded Comoncy

into Arizona and is looking at taking Baltaire on the road, eyeing Phoenix, Dallas, and – of course – New York City. “It’s exciting … but certainly challenging,” Khalili admits. A challenge is certainly something he and his team are up for. Their methodical expansion and growth has been no accident, but the result of passion fused with hard work. “I always tell our management and staff, ‘the restaurant industry is the hardest but also the easiest … this is the only business where the customer shows up, with money, and doesn’t ask for anything you’re not expecting, – excellent service and a great meal” Khalili says so matter of factly I can’t help but chuckle. “You know what they will ask and you have the answer … you just have to deliver.” It is the delivery – everything from aesthetic and service to the meal itself – that Khalili notes as, not surprisingly, the most important thing he and his team do. “We want our customers to have the best experience so we push our team to be passionate about their craft, and they in turn push each other toward delivering the best that we can offer as a restaurant,” he adds. “We’re only as good as our last meal … you might have a fantastic meal with us but the next time you come in, the entire experience needs to be the exact same if not better.” While Khalili and his team continue to dish out salads, sandwiches, wraps, and steaks with excellence, he keeps busy professionally planning his expansion and personally with his wife and daughter, the former his hosting partner when they entertain at home. She cooks, he admits, and he opens (and drinks) the wine. In between home and work, Khalili still finds time to read but often harkens back to Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” which he says inspires him to eat and drink around town, making sure those that do so at an Alliance Hospitality Group property do so blissfully.

Culture & Taste - Proprietor’s Profile






Some of Los Angeles’ finest meals are being dished out and served up thanks to world-renowned chefs who are importing tips and tricks to elevate cuisine from Bologna to Tokyo By Brittany Fuisz


Worldly Winter Dining

Sushi Ginza Onodera West Hollywood Counter only sushi bar with can’t miss omakase menu Chef Yohei Matsuki Counter only sushi bar with one of the city’s finest omakase menus Serious sushi has arrived in La Cienega by way of New York and Tokyo. Ginza Onodera just celebrated its one-year anniversary and is hitting its stride. This is not your everyday sushi restaurant, yet it was clear that many diners, on a recent Saturday night, were in fact regulars. The omakase menu starts at $300 per person and requires advance reservations for a 6:00 pm or 8:30 pm seating. The intimate restaurant has bar seats only, so every diner gets front row seats to Chef Yohei Mitsuki’s art. And what an art it is! Each fish

is sourced directly from Tokyo Tsukiji fish market and f lown in twice a week. Fresh wasabi, house-pickled ginger, and exquisite knife cuts are on display, and special attention is given to each item on the menu, from the miso soup to their house-made dipping sauces. Every detail is accounted for, be it the counter—fashioned from a 200-year-old Cypress tree from Mie prefecture in Japan—or the stunning Edo-Kiriko crystal sake glasses. Watch in awe as Mitsuki uses the Honyaki Maguro Bocho or “tuna sword” to slice through the most magnificent piece of tuna you’ll find outside of Tokyo. While you are likely to experience new and rare items, such as a hokkaido crab and its roe, the simple pieces of tuna are what really illustrate the essence of Ginza Onodera.



Culture & Taste - Fine Dining Chef Scott Conant Restaurateur Stephane Bombet and Chef Scott Conant have partnered to bring Angelenos elevated Italian fare complete with a gorgeous dining space in The Ponte. Lovers of Conant’s cuisine will revel in seeing classics like the eggplant caponata, pasta al pomodoro—arguably the best spaghetti in LA—and the braised short ribs with roasted root vegetables and spaetzle. Entrees are equally exciting and are making the most of the season. Farro-crusted halibut is served with kabocha squash puree, black trumpet mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and hazelnuts. Plus, all this exquisite food is served under a spectacular tree and the night sky. 1



The Ponte: Courtesy of Dustin Downing // Jean Georges: Courtesy of Ballantines PR

The Ponte Mid City Elevated Italian Fare

1. Recently awarded a Michelin Star for their NYC location, the West Hollywood Sushi Ginza Onodera is sure to shakeup the city’s sushi scene 2. The margherita pizza 3. The Porcini Mezze Rigatoni with housemade sausage 4. Located within the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Jean Georges’ California debut offers indoor and outdoor seating along with a private room that accommodates up to 25 guests 5. Roasted Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with glazed carrots and a miso mustard sauce 6. Ahi Tuna Tartare with crushed avocado, radish, and ginger dressing


Culture & Taste - Fine Dining



Jean Georges Beverly Hills New York City’s renowned French takes over one of Los Angeles’ hottest hotels Chef Steve Benjamin People who’ve spent time in New York are familiar with the fame of Jean Georges. He’s opened dozens of restaurants but seemed to be holding out for LA until the perfect opportunity came along. That opportunity came in the newly opened Waldorf Astoria in BeverCSQ WINTER 2018

ly Hills. Jean Georges has a formal affair downstairs in the glamorous main dining room. Start with the famous ahi tuna tartare with crushed avocado, radish, and ginger dressing or crispy sushi with sea trout, chipotle emulsion, and mint. Mains range from several simply cooked proteins to more elaborate dishes like the Icelandic salmon with quinoa, coconut, carrot, and poppy seed or Parmesan-crusted organic chicken with lemon and escarole. Head to the rooftop for more casual cuisine with the best view in Beverly Hills. 119

1. Rossoblu’s dining room features a wall-to-wall street art mural by artists CYRCLE 2. Despite strong Bologna roots, Rossblu skips the pizza course in favor of more hearty options like roasted suckling pig 3. Rossoblu boasts one of the cities finest meat boards with the salumi is made in-house and breads baked daily


Rossoblu Downtown Los Angeles Spotlighting Northern Italy’s most rustic and refined flavors Chef Steve Samson Samson brings a piece of Bologna to Downtown Los Angeles with Rossoblu, the industrial Italian 120




eatery that features handmade pastas and an extensive in-house butchery and salumi program. Start out with a glass of lambrusco, a festive, unique sparkling red that is not often featured on wine lists. Valbruna eggplant is a must order. Paper-thin eggplant is layered with a tomato sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano, and fresh basil leaves to create the lightest—and perhaps the best—eggplant Par-

mesan you’ll ever encounter. The pappardelle with sausage ragu is another great dish, combining broccoli and ricotta crema over wide homemade noodles. Whole grilled orata is fantastic and their “contorni” or roasted veggies are by no means an afterthought. Cocktails are unabashedly strong and pair well with the rich food and vibrant atmosphere.

Rossoblu: Courtesy of Ed Anderson

Culture & Taste - Fine Dining

Despite being one of Los Angeles’ most well-known and critically adored Japanese restaurants, n/naka owner and chef Niki Nakayama fervently maintains the passion and innovation behind the presentation of “modern kaiseki” – a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner and personalized menu that resulted in a Season 1 episode on Netflix’s Chef ’s Table By Ben Bloch


1. n/naka’s Modern Kaiseki tasting menu is comprised of 13 courses 2. One of LA’s most intimate and exclusive restaurants, n/naka is only open four nights a week and takes reservations up to three months in advance




CSQ How have things changed since your ap-

NN I’ve been fortunate and achieved success

pearance on Chef ’s Table? Niki Nakayama Being on Chef ’s Table has been wonderful … people are more aware of what kaiseki is and have a better understanding of what we are trying to convey at n/naka. Professionally, this understanding brings a level of validity to our work … personally, the sense of connection we’ve established with viewers has been amazing. CSQ Talk to us about when – and why – you began personalizing your menu for each customer. Why is this important to you? NN The idea behind personalizing the experience sprouts from our menu, which is a tasting menu. I am already asking guests to somewhat give up by not having choice. I find the element of surprise keeps the meal fun. I want to offer that feeling to repeat guests. CSQ Diversity, you could argue, has never been more important – across industry. With that in mind, talk about the adversity you faced rising to your position here and now.

in a male-dominated industry. The most noted obstacle I faced was simply not being taken seriously, whether it was a product of my gender or not looking like your prototypical chef. On the other hand, there have been many subtle obstacles that I’ve chosen not to interpret as the result of being a woman but rather the natural obstacles one faces in the workplace. Unless it’s very obvious, I feel it’s best not to attribute anything to my gender, making it less defeating.

CSQ What more can be done to inspire young women to follow in your footsteps and continue to break the “glass ceiling?” NN My advice to women would be this: When facing adversity or a noted setback, use the difficult experience as fuel to reach your ultimate goal. Do everything in your power to take a negative and turn it into a positive … make the situation better by examining how that setback or roadblock can ultimately help you grow. end


New brands and established names continue to sprout up across the city, offering delightful decisions for lunch with a colleague and client or drinks after work


Deals & Dishes



CLEO West Hollywood

RUBY’S Downtown Santa Monica

CAL MARE Beverly Center

INK.WELL West Hollywood

VIBE One of SBE’s finest brands’ third location is now open on busy 3rd Street at the base of the Orlando Hotel. BITE The new Cleo dishes out the same Mediterranean you’ve come to expect, offerings a large selection of shared plates, mezze, and kebabs. Come prepared to share.

VIBE A New York City staple— with locations in SoHo and Murray Hill—since 2003 recently opened in the heart of Santa Monica. BITE Ruby’s boasts Australian heritage and culinary influences, serving up seasonal and regionally inspired dishes with fresh product—the salads, pastas, and burgers are delish. Feeling healthy? Get the Coogee (no meat) Burger.

HAPPY HOUR 4:00 - 6:00p daily VIBE San Francisco Chef Adam Sobel and Michael Mina have opened an upscale eatery focusing on coastal Italian seafood and handmade pasta on the ground level of the Beverly Center. BITE & SIP Cal Mare’s bartenders will be pouring negronis, aperol spritz, and a discounted selection of wines and beers—not to mention a $4 Peroni—alongside a hearty selection of shared plates, spotlighting duck, roasted vegetables, cheeses, and fish.

HAPPY HOUR 6:00 - 7:00p daily VIBE Michael Voltaggio’s new(ish) property is larger and more pronounced, giving the Top Chef room to keep playing the hits while experimenting with the new stuff. BITE & SIP Voltaggio’s Burger & Beer special pairs the $21 burger with one of six beers on tap ($7$10), serving both for $20.

Culture & Taste







Exploring a collection of books that highlight three incredibly intelligent people in different ways, describing what makes them tick and how they are successful


Dedicated Passages

Leonardo da Vinci Walter Isaacson Simon & Schuster 624 pages

PLOT Walter Isaacson is famous for writing biographies of influential giants of their respectives eras (e.g., Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin). It is only fitting that he would delve into one of the most versatile of creative geniuses in history. Isaacson investigates the character traits and habits that made up Leonardo da Vinci’s genius.

Shortcut Your Startup Carter & Courtney Reum Gallery / Jeter Publishing 256 pages

PLOT The Reums—former Goldman Sachs investment bankers and venture capitalists—take the guesswork out of entrepreneurship and company growth, both aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs a practical playbook chock full oh unconventional yet accessible advice for maximizing your business venture. MEAT The Reums have years of experience in the field—from investing in over 130 companies, including Lyft, Pinterest, Warby Parker, and ClassPass to driving the success of their own liquor brand, VEEV Spirits.

MEAT The book is a chronological examination of both da Vinci’s life and the notable works of art he has created. From da Vinci’s early years as an artist investigating and contemplating nature, to later delving into the sciences, Isaacson is the perfect tour guide to da Vinci’s colorful life.

TWIST The book is jampacked with intimate and personal anecdotes and real-life advice the Reums experienced on the field of business. In the end, they outline ten key “Startup Switchups” such as “Get into the Trenches” and “Obsessively Take Advantage of Your Unfair Advantages.”

Culture & Taste - Required Reading TWIST While Leonardo da Vinci is one of history’s most creative geniuses, Walter Isaacson does a great job in making him relatable to the reader by listing his various character traits and faults as a person.

The Man From the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery Bill James & Rachel McCarthy James Scribner First Edition 480 pages

PLOT In this work of nonfiction, noted baseball statistician and writer Bill James seeks out justice with the help of his daugh-


ter, Rachel McCarthy James. One century after the trail has gone cold, the pair investigates on their own, unraveling yarns of clues and dissecting details of various unsolved murders that occurred throughout the country. MEAT A series of murders happen in between 1909-1912, involving a man wielding an axe slaughtering innocent people. Bill uses his mathematical statistician approach to his investigation by going through newspaper records and modern profiling techniques, leading to Rachel’s eventual conclusion on who she believes the murderer is.

TWIST Electricity, high-speed transportation, and literacy were not as common then as they were today. Bill and Rachel go to each location to unravel the mystery, taking matters in their own hands as they figure out the corrupt judicial system practices. Not for the faint of heart, this book goes into great detail on the twisted murders that happened.


OUR EXPERIENCE BRINGS YOU IN. OUR PEOPLE BRING YOU BACK. Since 1942, our accountants have counseled medium- and small-sized businesses with the best in accounting, tax and financial advisory. Today, we focus on the same goals: meeting our clients’ needs and exceeding their expectations.

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VS Report - Intro

Produced by Kirk Hawkins






CSQ thanks all of this year’s sponsors and partners, without whom this event would not be possible





VS Report - Sponsors MODERATOR





Capital Raise Profile Ravi Sawnhey Co-founder, LoanGifting Founded 2014 Funding History $120K (Founders); $200K (Seed-1), $700K (Seed-3) Seeking $10M Series A over 15 months

“Everyone that we talk to wants some type of student debt relief. They are looking for any type of relief they can find. Anything extra they can do. We are here to help them.”

Company Summary

LoanGifting was created for today’s youth— full of ambition and unlimited potential— and those determined to help them realize a debt-free and productive life. Company Mission

To provide a single point of contact for every-thing having to do with student debt.

In co-founding LoanGifting, Ravi Sawnhey brought more than 25 years of creative experience to the table, uniquely positioned as someone who had gotten their hands dirty in all aspects of design – physical and digital. Founded in 2013, LoanGifting now has 100,000 members and recently signed long-term contracts with what Sawnhey describes as ““major major players.” Beyond his disruption of the student loan and student debt space, Sawnhey has built a career as a partner more than an advisor or consultant to brands and products across industry. With each partnership and on each step of the journey, he applies his proprietary design method (taught at higher education institutions like USC and Harvard) – psycho-aesthetics. It’s this outside the box approach to a problem and the product being built to fix said problem that has suited Ravi so well for decades in design. Sawnhey and his team attract clients and partners because of their methodology. “This methodology has led to a track record of diverse disruptions across markets … we are able to look into people’s heads and hearts and we take things from ideation through to execution,” Sawnhey notes. As he is doing at LoanGifting – which recently brought on a CEO, Daniel Toomey, allowing Sawnhey to transition to a seat on the company’s board – Sawnhey turns ideas into success, no matter where he looks. “Everywhere we look we are able to identify needs and opportunities for innovation ... this has been something we’ve been doing under the radar for decades now as we’ve stayed busy.”

VS Report - LoanGifting



Capital Raise Profile NICK DESAI Co-founder & CEO, Heal Founded 2014 Industry Healthcare Funding History Series A, $23M (October 2016) Series B, $14.6M (November 2016)

CSQ What were you both doing prior to Heal? What was the impetus behind the company? Nick Desai Renee (my wife and co-founder) is a private practice physician, has been chief of medicine at two hospitals, and has taught medicine at UCLA and I’m a serial technology entrepreneur who built three venture funded companies prior to Heal. The impetus behind Heal came in August of 2014. It was a Friday afternoon and we couldn’t get a hold of our then seven-month old son’s pediatrician. In describing the symptoms to the back up pediatrician, he said it was serious, so we went to the ER where we waited for hours. When we finally saw a doctor they were so inexperienced they did not even know how to take pediatric blood pressure. We started talking about better ways for people to receive medical care. On one hand, we knew doctors were finally using medical records and EMRs for billing but on the other hand there was an acute shortage of quali-

“It’s not because it’s convenient for you and it’s a low cost alternative that delivers high quality medicine, what makes Heal great, we think, is Heal is better health care.”

Company Summary

ty primary care as a way to help keep people healthy instead of people rushing to the ER. My background as an engineer leading technology companies and Renee as a physician and thought leader made us the ultimate duo to start a company like Heal.

to 8:00pm PST. As we grow, Renee and I spend more and more time on leadership, inspiring the team, setting a strategic direction, providing input and guidance, and ultimately letting our management team guide and direct the day-to-day operations of the company.

CSQ How have your roles at Heal evolved and grown since inception? ND As CEO, my number one priority is always raising money. We’re an investor funded company and raising capital is critical to the success of the company. We’ve had the very good fortune of raising over $50M from top quality investors. Beyond that our roles have changed since the company has grown so quickly. In our first year we did as many house calls as we did last week. Between our medical corporation and our regular C corporation we employee almost 150 people across three different time zones and are serving house calls from 5:00am

Heal delivers doctor house calls on demand or on schedule throughout California, Washington DC and Northern Virginia. Customers can get a highly-qualified licensed doctor come to their home, office, or hotel between 8:00am and 8:00pm 7 days aweek and 365 days a year Mission

To make healthcare more personal, accessible, affordable, and relationship-based through on-demand doctor house calls.

CSQ Where do you see the future of the company and the healthcare space? ND The vision for Heal is to become the first national brand in healthcare that has a quality and positive brand association in the minds of consumers. There is no national healthcare provider at the moment. Healthcare provisioning is done state by state and locally. For the healthcare industry as a whole, I want to see it transform, taking primary care back to where it needs to be and into the future. I want to see consumers’ relationships with their doctors shift to a relationship where the doctor is an integrated part of the consumer’s family and their health, supporting them and keeping them living healthy and not just alive. You need to spend more time living and less time trying to be healthy. Heal’s role with the consumer is simple. We want to be one of their three most important relationships outside of their immediate family. We live in a country where 50 percent of our healthcare dollars go to hospitals. Hospitals are great at treating your heart attack but not so good at teaching you to eat better so you don’t have a heart attack in the first place. We want to reduce emergencies and improve quality of life, using and leveraging technology in increasingly innovative ways to deliver a higher quality of care with less hassle and at less cost.

VS Report - Heal

Notable Investors

Thomas Tull, Paul Jacobs, Fidelity Capital, Breyer Capital, Lionel Richie, Jeb Bush Notable Board Members

Jamie McCourt, Secretary Ray Mabus, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Thomas Tull, Michael Wortsman, Dr. Drew Pinsky (Advisory Board)




Capital Raise Profiles

“Alcohol service is the single greatest revenue driver for the service and hospitality industries, but, bartenders are killing profits.”

“You are your mind. Anything that harms your mind changes who you are. Our mission is to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

“I believe that conscious capitalism is the best way to change things. I don’t believe we can do this alone with just nonprofits. I think having the best minds, the brightest minds, the biggest minds, has to come from the capitalist part of our society because it’s the most aggressive, the most assertive, and the most successful way we achieve anything.”

DR. LEO PETROSSIAN Co-founder & CEO, Neural Analytics Founded 2013 Funding $36.4M Seeking $15M Series B Company Summary

Neural Analytics is addressing the global traumatic brain injury epidemic through data science.

VS Report - Primal Group Notable Innovation and Disruption

DYLAN PURCELL-LOWE Co-founder & CEO, Somabar Founded 2014 Funding $1.865M Seeking $5M Series A Company Summary

Somabar is the world’s first app controlled robotic bartender created for the home kitchen. With its consumer friendly design you can easily make cocktails in 5 seconds from a menu of 300+ drinks. It’s the Keurig for alcohol. Notable Innovation and Disruption

Using an app, Somabar Co-Founder and CEO Dylan Purcell-Lowe says the automated machine can dispense a drink from a menu of 300 cocktails in less than 2 minutes. Purcell-Lowe says beta tests in restaurants and bars have reported a 30% sales increase, 400% reduced labor costs and only cost $99 per month to rent.


Neural Analytics Co-Founder & CEO Dr. Leo Petrossian says the U.S. Army has awarded his company a $10M grant to create a rapid and accurate means of assessing the health of a brain condition in the field. Traumatic injuries are one of the largest expenses for the armed services. Neural Analytics has also created a triage instrument for emergency rooms and ambulances that determines if someone has suffered a stroke.

ANTHONY ARCHER Chairman & CEO, Primal Group Mission Evolving a Sustainable Future Founded 2010 Funding Series A— 31.25M ($21.25M from Founders) Notable Investor Memberof the Bacardi family Company Summary

The Primal Group of Companies is dedicated to establishing itself as a lead organization, driving change to create a more tenable future for our planet by ensuring; environment protection, social responsibility and value-creation, for generations to come. By focusing on the Primal needs of man, our aim is to generate a positive global impact alongside financial success. Notable Innovation and Disruption

Primal Group grows a tree that contains 200 biochemicals that have multiple uses including pesticides, fertilizers, and applications in the form of animal food additives, and beauty and pharmaceutical products.



Funding, Growing, Exiting Sponsored by Deloitte

MODERATOR Trent Brown Partner, Deloitte

“It took 9 months of networking and learning and figuring out the process of raising money. I found out, more than anything, that it was a lot like dating. When you met the right one, you knew it very quickly.” John Tabis

“Understand what your biggest problems are and finding investors who have done it for a long time is key because they understand the challenges if they are fascinated with the company.” Chris Davis

PANELISTS Chris Davis Co-founder & CEO, Loot Crate Chuck Davis Chairman & CEO, Prodege, LLC Dr. Renee Dua Co-founder, Heal John Tabis Co-founder & CEO, The Bouqs

VS Report - Funding “Without a great idea, you aren’t going to get any capital. The first conversation should be, ‘What problem are you trying to solve?’ Dr. Renee Dua Panel Summary

2018 Takeaways

Los Angeles is now a launch pad of startups on the West Coast. And with $4.2B invested by venture capitalists in 2016, startup executives say if the company has the right profile, they can find investors to make significant longterm investments in this unique environment that is expected to grow even more in the years to come. It takes solving problems, finding investors, and settling into the City of Angels, to succeed in this increasingly crowded space.

Venture capital groups are pumping billions of dollars into Los Angeles because the city has a strong business ecosystem that is facilitating the success of startups.



USC and UCLA, two major ports, and great weather are all key ingredients that will continue to stimulate growth in 2018. LA’s environment for financial and intellectual capital is part of the magic that makes the tight-knit startup community so special.


Disruptive Digital Media Sponsored by Thompson Coburn LLP

“It’s your job to physically catch them, get them to stop and you really have to deliver amazing visuals and a great story in the next 45 or 60 seconds and keep them as long as you can and then release them.” Eytan Elbaz

MODERATOR Mark Levinson Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP PANELISTS Rick Eiserman CEO, Engine North America & Trailer Park Eytan Elbaz Co-founder & Chairman, Render Media Larry Fitzgibbon, Co-founder & CEO, Tastemade Keith Richman President & CEO, Defy Media


TV’s New Deal: The Power of Streaming

2018 Takeaways

Any content creator can engage a platform by putting up content. That content, however, must reflect the platform, and it must come from a deeper relationship and a deeper understanding of where it is being released. Whether Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, younger audiences are used to choice and will engage if the content is compelling, authentic, and relevant. Successful content creators in 2018 will have to take more risks than traditional media. But, those risks could mean significant gains.

“It’s become a very VS Report - chaMedia

Presented by ICM Partners

MODERATOR Chris Silberman Founding Managing Partner, ICM Partners PANELISTS Ted Chervin Co-managing Partner, ICM Partners Katie O’Connell Marsh CEO, Platform One Media Michael Gendler Partner, Gendler & Kelly Andy Howard Partner, Shamrock Capital Advisors


Panel Summary

The traditional media model of content production, that represents the biggest names and shows in our culture, is being disrupted by digital media. As a result, the quality of the content and the consumer experience is improving, largely because high-quality content is now tailored to niche interests and not broad populations. This has created new opportunities for advertising and for brands to tell their stories in engaging ways.

otic marketplace. Chaos is opportunity. If you’re a good navigator and a good strategist you can utilize that chaos to your advantage.” Ted Chervin

Panel Summary

From unlimited buffet to à la carte. For Hollywood storytellers and artists in the middle of a television renaissance, there’s tremendous opportunity to be creative and plenty of places to do it. With 450 TV series available to viewers just last year on the broadcast networks, cable networks, Netflix, Hulu, Apple, and other streaming services, many of those stories more easily churn profits and turn a hit with a fraction of the audience that used to be needed.

2018 Takeaways

Average TV viewing has dropped 11% for everyone and 40% for millenials. As the Nielsen ratings system continues to struggle, expect Netflix and other streaming services to keep audience measurement confidential. There is no barrier to entry. Anyone can be a screenwriter or producer and release their content in 200 countries the push of a button.



Time For a New Paradigm in The Arts Sponsored by The Music Center

MODERATOR Jorn Weisbrodt Advisor, The Music Center PANELISTS Rachel Fine Managing Director, The Wallis Joanne Heyler Founding Director, The Broad Beth Morrison Founder, Beth Morrison Productions


Social Impact Entrepreneurship

MODERATOR Rachel Levin, President, Fundamental, Inc. PANELISTS David Angelo Founder & CEO, David&Goliath Anthony Archer Chairman & CEO, Primal Group Hillary Newman Sr. Director, Business Development, Omaze Rachel Sumekh Founder & CEO, Swipe Out Hunger



“My ideal institution is one that doesn’t operate out of fear, but operates out of a commitment to artists that are living today that are driving the art forms forward.” Beth Morrison

Panel Summary

2018 Takeaways

From social media to shopping malls, art is now a more integral part of our lives, especially in Los Angeles. Local institutions are seeing younger and more diverse audiences flocking to their exhibits and events. And those institutions are reimagining how to engage the conversation and make it even more accessible. Whether it be a new bar at The Wallis or a new way to present opera at The Hollywood Bowl, panelists agree it’s important to support artists who are willing to take risks.

Because art enthusiasts are digesting and experiencing culture in so many different ways, there are new opportunities for institutions to create innovative and interactive social experiences that can increase engagement via social media. As a result, educational opportunities are more palatable for all ages and backgrounds and have created a unique environment that will flourish in Los Angeles as long as artists are allowed freedom and authenticity.

“You have to understand and VS Report - Arts challenge your philosophy and you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and be brave enough to own your truth in order for it to work.” Anthony Archer

Panel Summary

2018 Takeaways

In a world where bake sales no longer solve problems, entrepreneurs need great ideas and the strength and grit to carry them to the finish line. The era of the cold hearted capitalist is dead. Whether nonprofit or for-profit, brands succeed in this new environment when they are authentic. Success in business cannot be achieved without demonstrating that there’s something bigger in all of us that’s capable of doing more, and making the world a better place.

Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk is one of the many entrepreneurs who will remain in the spotlight in 2018. Consumers are paying attention to honesty and authenticity and are holding more power than ever before. They are now holding brands accountable. If you don’t do good business with a purpose, you won’t do business at all.


Melanie Lundquist: Why My $50M Donation Is Priceless

Melanie Lundquist, Philanthropist & Founding Donor, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools


“I view access to quality education and health care as basic human and civil rights. It is about equality.”


Ten years ago, Melanie Lundquist helped create the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. At an additional cost of $675 per year per student, the partnership has doubled graduation rates from 36% to more than 81% and achieved gains in English, language arts, and math at the 18 campuses and 600,000 kids that are a focus of the Partnership in the lowest ranking 5-10% of schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. By establishing leadership, excellent teaching instruction, and engagement with parents in communities like Boyle Heights, South LA, and Watts, Lundquist says the Partnership proves that transformational work

2018 Takeaways

If the Partnership for LA Schools can uplift the second-largest district in the United States, its methods can districts across the country. The Partnership’s success illustrates how philanthropy can address systemic change and contribute to stronger communities. Philanthropists must commit to giving more, giving sooner, and giving smarter in 2018.

“We have echo chambers VS Report - Keynote

The Berggruen Institute: LA’s $500M Think Tank MODERATOR Frances Anderton, Host, KCRW

PANELISTS Nicolas Berggruen, Founder & Chairman, The Berggruen Institute Craig Calhoun, President, The Berggruen Institute


from philanthropies like hers can be done at scale and can be financially sustainable for all students.

and polarized groups that don’t seem to talk enough to each other. We are very concerned because this puts the whole project of democracy at risk.” Craig Calhoun


2018 Takeaways

While the Nobel Prize rewards peace, economics, physics and literature, it doesn’t award ideas. For the last two years, The Berggruen Institute has changed that. Hundreds of applications were limited to dozens of nominations that were considered by a nine-member jury. Since 2016, the Institute has awarded two $1M prizes to philosophers. Founder and Chairman Nicolas Berggruen hopes it sends a message that philosophy matters.

From ethical principles to trust and technology, The Berggruen Institute says it works with top thinkers to identify new ideas that shape who we are as humans and where we are going. The Institute seeks to take abstract concepts and apply them in practical terms. In the coming months, they hope to explore issues involving relations between Russia and the United States and China. They also hope to explore the relationship between technology and polarization.


Two Bit Circus

136 2017 CSQ Spirit of the Community Awards 140 Powershares QQQ Championship 141 Family Chateaux Summit 142 My Yacht Group Event

Visionary of the Year Nicolas Berggruen was honored on the rooftop of Montage Beverly Hills along with Kay Buck, Rachel Fine, Joanne Heyler, David Angelo, Father Greg Boyle, and Melanie Lundquist who donated $500,000 to Father Boyle’s organization – Homeboy Industries.


The Network

Part 6

The Network - TOC





2017 Spirit of the Community Award Winner Nicolas Berggruen Founder & Chairman, The Berggruen Institute David Angelo Founder & Chairman, David&Goliath

Immediately following the conclusion of the CSQ 2017 Los Angeles Visionaries Summit, CSQ hosted its 2017 Spirit of the Community Awards, honoring Visionary of the Year in Philanthropy, Art, & Culture Nicolas Berggruen, Founder, The Berggruen Institute. Berggruen graciously accepted his award on the rooftop of Montage Beverly Hills, overlooking Los Angeles—the city he chose to raise his family and build his eponymously named $500M institute. Another noted honoree was Philanthropist Melanie Lundquist who—along with her husband Richard— has donated nearly $200M to myriad causes across the southland, heavily emphasizing education and healthcare—two things she considers basic human and civil rights. On the roof that evening, with Richard by her side, Lundquist presented Homeboy Industries CEO Thomas J. Vozzo with a $500,000 check in recognition of the work Vozzo, CSQ Visionary Homeboy Industries Founder Father Gregory Boyle (also honored that evening), and all the homeboys and homegirls are doing. The other Visionaries to receive awards were David Angelo, Founder & Chairman, David&Goliath; Kay Buck, CEO, CAST; Rachel Fine, Managing Director, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts; Joanne Heyler, Founding Executive Director, The Broad; as well as CSQ’s 2017 Philanthropy, Art, & Culture NextGen 10. The evening’s sponsors and brand partners were Avion, Choura, EY, Guarachi Wine Partners, House of Carbonadi, Peroni, The Macallan, and Two Bit Circus.

Father Gregory Boyle Founder, Homeboy Industries Kay Buck CEO, CAST Rachel Fine Managing Director, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Joanne Heyler Founding Executive Director, The Broad Melanie Lundquist Philanthropist & Founding Donor, The Partnership for LA Schools

The Network - SOC



ALSO HONORED: CSQ’s 2017 NextGen 10 in Philanthropy, Art, & Culture: Eddie Cota, Ryan Cummins, Lennon Flowers, Helen Leung, Judith Martinez, Matthew Manos, Kaitlin Mogentale, Chelsea Neman, Maria Nguyen, Matt Pohlson, Elizabeth Timme, JJ Owen







The Network - SOC 7



1 Mitchel Zelinger, guest, Scott Porter 2 Lisa Bochner, Stacy D. Phillips 3 Kay Buck 4 Rachel Fine 5 Thomas J. Vozzo 6 Rachel S. Moore, Beth Morrison, Valentine Gelman, Jonathan Vaughn, Cindy McHale, Bonnie Goodman 7 Matthew Seukunian, Joanne Heyler 8 David Wurth, Nicolas Berggruen 9 Melanie Lundquist, Homeboys from Homeboy Idustries






The Network - SOC 5



1 Anahid Shahrik, Kristin Knape 2 Jeffrey Buss, Brian Sidman 3 Kaitlin Mogentale, Karen E. Pointer, Calvin Lyons 4 Entertainment courtesy of The Music Center 5 Brand Partner The Macallan 6 Brand Partners Guarachi Wine Partners and Peroni




SPONSORS AND PARTNERS Avion Choura EY Guarachi Wine Partners House of Carbonadi Peroni The Macallan Two Bit Circus 1


The Network - SOC 3



PHOTOGRAPHY Zach Lipp 1 John Wolf, Indya Talbot 2 Guest, Rachel Decker Sadowski, Tom Leach 3 Richard and Melanie Lundquist, Thomas J. Vozzo, Homeboys 4 Mackenzie Todd, Guest 5 Lennon Flowers, JJ Owen, Matthew Seukunian, Florencia Di Sarli, Clarisa Valdez


EVENT CONTACT Matthew Seukunian


POWERSHARES QQQ CHAMPIONSHIP October 23-29, 2017 Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, CA

Event Charity Partners Sherwood Cares Foundation and The First Tee of Los Angeles



Notable Players Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bernhard Langer (2017 Champion), Scott McCarron, Colin Montgomerie, Corey Pavin, Tom Pernice, Jr. (2016 Champion), Kenny Perry Event Highlights PSQQQ Championship is the second of three Playoff events in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup. The top 54 players in the Charles Schwab Cup standings qualified for the PowerShares QQQ Championship. Following the PowerShares QQQ Championship, the top 36 players in the standings moved on to qualify for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Wes Short Jr. was the only player to start outside the top-36 and move into the top-36 and earn a spot in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. 2017 was just the second year the PowerShares QQQ Championship was hosted. World Golf Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer defeated Miguel Angel Jimenez on the second playoff hole at the PowerShares QQQ Championship with a 25-foot birdie putt to win back-to-back Schwab Cup Playoffs events.

The Network - Powershares

Notable Sponsors and Partners (2017) Anheuser Busch, CBC Credit Union, Cologuard, Dole, Grey Goose, FedEx, PowerShares QQQ by Invesco (Title Sponsor), Queensland Tourism, United Rentals




PHOTOGRAPHY Ryan Young EVENT CONTACT Phil Bough, Executive Director, PowerShares QQQ Championship MEDIA CONTACT Laura Vescovi, Manager, Communications, PGA Tour



5 1 Miguel Angel Jimenez 2 Bernhard Langer 3 Scott McCarron 4 Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bernhard Langer, Caddy Terry Holt (shaking hands after Bernhard won the playoff) 5 Miguel Angel Jimenez, Terry Holt

FAMILY CHATEAUX SUMMIT September 12-13, 2017 Sherwood Country Club and Westlake Village Four Seasons

Organization Family Chateaux & Family Chateaux Consulting


Notable Attendees 140 Guests representing 250+ investors and 75+ family office principals and CIOs along with domestic and foreign family offices and investor groups ($50M to $1B+) Event Highlights The invite only event was a two-day curated, interactive, forum for family office entrepreneurs, sophisticated investors, and a select group of advisors that service the community. Guests heard from leading family office investors, operators, and luminaries on topics such as direct and co-investing strategies. After a full day of interaction at Sherwood Country Club, Family Chateaux Consulting hosted the evening festivities at Villa Sogno, a beautiful Estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Zuma Beach. A new theme – philanthropy – was discussed on a pane, led by Nick Tedesco, former advisor to Bill and Melinda Gates, who was instrumental in helping set up the “Giving Pledge.” Twila True, a panelist and principal of True Enterprises a local family office and tribe member, played a pivotal role in the two day event. . Family Chateaux Consulting hosted a BBQ and Pow Wow celebrating the spirit of the great Sioux Nation, and held a private and live auction raising over $30K for True Sioux Hope – Twila’s foundation.

The Network - Family Chateaux 331



PHOTOGRAPHY Marina Milosevic EVENT CONTACT Tami Marciano Founder, Family Chateaux & Principal, Family Chateaux Consulting Kristina Walsh Founder BBC Consulting & Principal, Family Chateaux Consulting


4 1 Tami Marciano, Nicholas Tedesco, Greg Suess, Twila True, Vandana Tilak 2 Twila True, Tami Marciano, Kristina Walsh with tribal members 3 Lee Hausner, Elaine Barsoom, Mark Simon 4 Villa Sogno in Malibu, CA


MY YACHT GROUP LOS ANGELES CHARITY RECEPTION October 14, 2017 Aboard M/Y Leight Star, Burton W. Chace Park, Marina del Rey 1


Notable attendees F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, Howard Leight Event highlights Raising awareness and funds for The Blue Angels Foundation Notable sponsors and partners Vontobel, Karma Automotive, Surf Air, AXR Winery, Perrier-Jouët, Enchanted Rock Vodka

The Network - My Yacht 3








1 Andreas Knopfel 2 M/Y Leight Star sun deck and jacuzzi 3 Nico Hulkenberg (left), guests, Nicholas Frankl (right) 4 Karma Revero 5 Nicholas Frankl (middle), guests 6 Laura Lachman (right), guests 7 155’ M/Y Leight Star


Matthew Gavin

We partner with brands to disrupt the global marketplace and innovate the future.

Global Event Marketing & Management


INDEX PEOPLE Arabshahi, Arteen Baldwin, Howard Bard, Richard Benjamin, Steve Blackford, Asher Blend, Michael Branson, Richard Bryant, Kobe Burkle, Ron Coles, Joanna Combs, Sean Conant, Scott Davies, Andrew Delgrosso, Peter Dew, Vanessa Dichter, Kenny Draper, Jesse Driver, Walter First, Tom Fisher, Jane Fitzgerald, Patrick Freeman, Taylor Fries, John Genet, Jesse Goss, Jon Grant, Adam Hayes, Lauren Hemingway, Ernest Herrera, Octavio Holden, Jeff Hollod, Chris Isaacson, Walter James, Bill Jammet, Nic Johnson, Magic “Earvin” Jones, Charlie Jones, Mike Kassoy, Will Kay, Sabrina Keane, Glen Kerner, Jenna Khalili, Kevin Knight, Phil Kutcher, Ashton Lee, Brian Lloyd, Rob McFarland, Joanna Madoff, Bernie Maloney, Patrick Marcus, Camilla Matsuki, Yohei McCarthy James, Rachel Mendelson, Rich Meyer, Andrew Miller, Adam Musk, Elon Nakamoto, Satoshi Nakayama, Niki Neman, Jon Nicklaus, Jack Niksefat, Robert Oseary, Guy Oza, Rohan P. Witte Palmer, Arnold Papariella, Bill Parsa, Sophia Perdew, Kelly Pettinelli, Larry Player, Gary Reum, Carter


50 29 29 119 80 56 43 68 66 53 67 118 80 69 52 29 64 73 53 50 53 50 57 51 51 53 52 117 54 42 66 123 123 53 73 53 52 54 52 71 50 116 55 66 73 43 73 44 53 79 118 123 53 53 73 42 44 121 53 76 116 66 53 48 76 28 52 62 38 76 123

Reum, Courtney Richards Timmer, Taylor Richards, Robin Rising, Chris Rising, Matt Rising, Nelson Ru, Nate Saaf, Randy Samson, Steve Spiegel, Evan Stephenson, Emmet Stibel, Jeff Suh, John Tabis, John Taitz, Hope Trout, Daina Trout, Justin Ursini, Chuck Villalobos, Luis Wahlberg, Mark Wallach, D.A. Waxman, David Wessel, David Williams, John Wynn, Steve Yari, Shawn Yari, Steven Zabihian, Shakib Zweig, Jonathan

123 53 53 53 53 53 53 54 120 73 56 68 71 48 53 52 52 56 63 67 66 59 59 71 63 116 116 52 54

Court Square Capital Custom Ink Davidoff Dell Technologies Diamond Crown Dollar Shave Club DP World Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Ermenegildo Zegna ESPN Factual Fika Ventures Firefly Flex Company Focus Motion Forbes Forward Geary’s Google Greubel Forsey Greycroft Ventures Gucci Halogen Ventures Harper Wilde Harvest Health-Ade Kombucha Hillcrest Décor Hollod Holdings HopSkipDrive Hotkeys House Canary Hugo Boss ink.well Jaeger-LeCoultre Jean Georges Jet Edge Jirbo Kaplan Test Prep Klipsch Capitol Records Kreation LA Auto Show Laurel & Wolf LegalZoom Lumi Marquis Jets McLaren MIT Media Lab Moncler Moonshots Capital Movada n/naka NASA NBA NetJets Neuehouse NFL Norton Sim on Museum Okapi Ventures Opera Padron Parmigiani Patek Philippe Patient Pop PeoplePC Pittsburgh Penguins Pontifax AgTech Fund Porsche Raine Red Room Food & Wine Bar RingDNA Ritual

57 70 24 70 24 60 43 69 22 55 45 47, 50 59 65 70 29 43 38 50, 56 36 47 27 64 50 63 52 48 66 65 57 70 27 122 22 119 28 55 55 22 55 42 65 70 51 29 32 60 27 62 54 121 42 69 29 51 44 114 47 55 24 36 38 53 59 29 47 54 57 116 70 52

CSQ - Edit Index


A-Grade Investments A.P.C. AdColony Air Pioneer Airbnb Akatsuki Entertainment Fund Alliance Hospitality Group Applied Semantics AppOnboard Arrowroot Capital Arturo Fuente Aston Martin Augusta National Avionics Azio Baltaire Berluti Bing Bitium Brunello Cucinelli Bryant Stibel Bugatti Cadillac Cal Mare Camper & Nicholson Canali Carbon38 Casper Caspian Venture Capital Champions Retreat Cipriani Cleo CNBC Comoncy Coral Tree Cafe Core Innovation Capital

66 26 54 34 67 47 116 60 54 47 24 32 76 22 22 116 26 56 63 26 47, 69 36 30 122 34 26 65 67 43 76 38 122 43 116 116 47

Riva 34 Rolex 66 Rossoblu 120 Ruby’s 122 Scopely 70 Simpli 69 Snap, Inc. 57, 60 Sony Music 55 Soundcloud 67 Southern Ocean Lodge 80 SpaceX 42 Spotify 67 Spring Mountain Motor Resort 30 Stack Commerce 57 StartEngine 44 29 Sugarfina 65 Sushi Ginza Onodera 118 Swell Energy 53 System1 56 TenOneTen Ventures 59 The Bouqs Co. 48 The Honest Co. 60 The Mayfair Hotel 80 The Players Tribune 70 The Ponte 118 TIME 44 Timex 38 Titeg 53 Tom Ford 27 Toot App 52 Toyota 42 Uber 42, 67 Ulysse Nardin 36 Universal 55 Upfront Ventures 47 Upload 50 Vacheron Constantin 36 Van Nuys Airport 29 Vanderhall 22 Verizon 56 Via Carota 79 Virgin Hyperloop One 43 Wachovia 67 Warby Parker 67 47 Wavemaker Ventures 69 West~Bourne 79 Wolcott 48 Yucaipa 66


Commercial Bank of California

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines


Baltaire Restaurant

Corporate Strategies

Hughes Marino

Two Bit Circus Foundation

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro LA

Equity Advisors

Karma Automotive

The Wallis

Burgess Yachts

Ernst & Young

Matthew Gavin Enterprises

Wells Fargo Private Bank

City National Bank

Eton Santa Monica

Santa Anita Park

Clay Lacy Aviation

Genesis Open

SoCal IP Law Group LLP

CohnReznick LLP


Ten Thousand Santa Monica

CSQ - Ad Index

with Views

Hilton - San Diego.indd 1


1/2/18 5:54 PM





Within 18 months I lost my mom, lost my job, lost my girlfriend ... my gut said ‘move back to Atlanta’ but I said ‘You know, let me not rush into anything’ and that’s when I booked a oneway flight to Los Angeles.

Business has just always been a bigger scientific playground to doing experimenting, to test, to build and learn and grow ... just as every experiement does not yield successful results, not every investment will yield a favorable return.

I love the people who have a chip on their shoulder, who are trying to prove something, who have come up with some new idea out of necessity. They’re solving a problem that they’ve experienced.

Chris Hollod

Jeff Stibel

Jesse Draper




We’re not shopping for friends but we want to respect them [our entrepreneurs and founders] because we’re following them essentially into battle.

Most companies die of indigestion and not starvation ... the companies I have been part of found success when they were laser focused on one thing.

Jeff [Stibel] is the master of connectivity. He’s able to connect people, companies, and ambitions together in a way I’ve never thought possible.

David Waxman

Jonathan Zweig

Kobe Bryant




Markets change ... Snap didn’t exist four years ago, Instagram was hardly popular ... what is important is that we have a thesis about what we’re doing and building.

One of the fascinating things about being an investor ... is that you’re absolutely going to see some great deals, and you’re absolutely going to invest in some things that don’t work out, but that’s part of the excitement.

If we can gather as much data as possible, give it off to our engineers and data scientsits, and then manage the two effectively, the business can quickly scale.

Chuck Ursini

Kelly Perdew

Michael Blend


CSQ - Quoted

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CSQ Q1 2018 - Innovation & Technology