LA Venture: How WorkLife Ventures Founder Brianne Kimmel Became a Top Angel Investor

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Brianne Kimmel

How do angel investors get in front of companies prior to investing? Brianne Kimmel, founder of WorkLife Ventures, might know a way or two.

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Kimmel discusses her work as an investor — how she gets into rounds, how she established herself as a top angel investor and then transitioned into a fund manager and her thoughts on work and life.


"I highly encourage people to build a list of companies that you would love to work with because founders really appreciate when you become very excited about their product and when you make that next step of finding ways to be helpful," Kimmel says.

Business Insider recently named Kimmel as a "top angel investor everyone should know," and for good reason. Kimmel is an early investor in companies like Hopin, Pipe, Webflow, Tandem and many others.

Kimmel tells L.A. Venture that her road to launching a venture capital firm did not come without obstacles. Traditional VCs and others discouraged her from trying to start her own fund.

"I had talked to a number of traditional VC firms. And many of them were like, 'this isn't going to happen. Like, you can go get your MBA and you could probably come in as an associate. But I think what you're trying to do is like a pretty big career leap'," she said.

But she launched her own firm, anyway. She adds that it has been a lot of "hard work and a lot of learning and educating myself on evenings and weekends."

Kimmel shares insight on the Gen Z communities she's a part of and talks about how they are choosing jobs based on their values and how companies are adapting.

Kimmel is a believer in product-led growth and that bottom up software-as-a-service is replacing the past enterprise sales notion of steak dinners and the like. She also believes that the tools available today empower everyone to be an entrepreneur and says that is the future of work.

dot.LA Audience Engagement Editor Luis Gomez contributed to this post.

Want to hear more of L.A. Venture? Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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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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Behind Her Empire: AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy On Redefining Success and Embracing Identity

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

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