LA's New Women's Soccer Club Includes a Star-Studded Roster of Mostly Female Founders

Leslie Ignacio

Leslie Ignacio is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is a recent California State University, Northridge graduate and previously worked for El Nuevo Sol, Telemundo and NBC and was named a Chips Quinn Scholar in 2019. As a bilingual journalist, she focuses on covering diversity in news. She's a Los Angeles native who enjoys trips to Disneyland in her free time.

LA's New Women's Soccer Club Includes a Star-Studded Roster of Mostly Female Founders

Los Angeles will be home to a new professional women's soccer team in the spring of 2022.

Actress and activist Natalie Portman, venture capitalist Kara Nortman, gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian are the forces behind "Angel City," the stand-in title they've given the nascent women's soccer club.

"We took this as an opportunity to listen, talk to players, union reps, presidents and owners to develop a totally new playbook of how to build a professional sports team where mission and capital, entertainment and sport, were equally important," said founder Kara Nortman in a press release.


Angel City: Welcome to the Beginning

The team will choose a name later this year, but already fans are cheering the prospect of a majority women-founded women's soccer team.

"As someone who spends hours kicking around a football with my two-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front row seat to this revolution," said founding investor Alexis Ohanian.

Celebrities including Serena Williams and daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.; actors Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria; late night talk show host Lilly Singh; former U.S. Women's National Team players and many others have joined in on the investment to bring equal access to sports.

Angel City has also partnered up with the LA84 Foundation and supports the Play Equity Fund, a nonprofit committed to making sure every kid across Los Angeles has the opportunity to experience the power of sports.

"In 2014, we established the Play Equity Fund, the only nonprofit focused on Play Equity as a social justice issue. The Play Equity Fund is committed to driving access to sports for underserved communities, including communities of color, girls, the physically challenged and developmentally disabled. We couldn't be more excited to partner with this incredible group of women upon the launch of their new undertaking. They are dedicated to making a positive impact for those who need it most," said Renata Simril, president and CEO of the LA84 Foundation.

"Together, we aim to build not only a winning team on the field, but also to develop a passionately loyal fan base. We also hope to make a substantive impact on our community, committing to extending access to sports for young people in Los Angeles through our relationship with the LA84 Foundation. Sports are such a joyful way to bring people together, and this has the power to make tangible change for female athletes both in our community and in the professional sphere," said Portman.

Teams like the Los Angeles Football Club and L.A. Galaxy have already proven that Los Angeles is home to a large number of soccer fans. The introduction of a women's soccer team will allow young girls to have role models in a local professional team, L.A.'s mayor wrote in a statement.

"Today, I'm very proud to welcome the Angel City women's soccer team to the best sports town in America, and when they take the field in 2022, a generation of young girls and women from our community will be able to see themselves playing at the highest level of their sport."

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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The Big Ten's $8B Mega Media Deal Kicks Off a New Era in Sports Streaming

Lon Harris
Lon Harris is a contributor to dot.LA. His work has also appeared on ScreenJunkies, RottenTomatoes and Inside Streaming.
The Big Ten's $8B Mega Media Deal Kicks Off a New Era in Sports Streaming
Photo by Sean Pierce on Unsplash

Hot on the heels of the shock announcement that both UCLA and USC will be exiting the Pac-12 and joining the Big Ten athletic conference, a fleet of big money media and broadcasting deals have been set.

It’s no secret that access to the lucrative Southern California ad market was a big part of the rationale behind bringing in Los Angeles’ two largest college athletic programs in the fold. With the addition of USC and UCLA, the Big Ten now has teams playing in New York, Chicago and L.A.: all three of the nation’s top media markets. (Further expansions have already been hinted at as well.)

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