Coronavirus Updates: Milken Conference Postponed Again, L.A. County Hits Grim New Record

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.


  • Los Angeles heads into week after largest one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths
  • Milken Global Conference postponed again
  • Skip grocery shopping this week, L.A. health officials warn as they prepare for onslaught

    Officials urge residents to skip shopping this week as deaths climb to 147, cases to 6,300 

    Bracing for a wave of coronavirus cases, Los Angeles county health officials asked people to skip shopping this week. The plea case as the fast-moving COVID-19 claimed another 15 people, bringing total deaths to 147 in the county. So far county health officials have logged 6,360 cases of COVID-19 with 420 new ones reported on Monday.

    "We will see many more cases over the next few weeks," said Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director during a daily press conference. "If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether. if you can arrange for medications and groceries to be delivered, this would be the week to put this in place. "

    Ferrer also said she's encouraging grocery stores and pharmacies to offer free delivery services for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions because they have such a high risk of dying from COVID-19

    She urged the elderly and those at high risk to not go out except for medical appointments. "There is a lot of virus circulating in our community and you are not safe if you go out," she said.

    Ferrer said last week that she expected new cases to jump to about 1,000 a day in the coming weeks.

    Milken Global Conference postponed again

    The Milken Institute announced Monday it was again pushing back the 2020 Milken Institute Global Conference, to October 12-15, 2020.

    It is another indication of how rapidly circumstances have changed over the last few weeks. Less than a month ago, Milken said the conference would be moved to July. It was originally scheduled to take place in May.

    The gathering, which attracts 4,000 attendees from more than 70 countries to Beverly Hills, normally takes over the entire Beverly Hilton – from the same massive ballroom where the Golden Globes are held to dozens of smaller rooms.

    Had it been held in July, the conference would likely have to have been more spread out. Milken staff were exploring different sites in Los Angeles since it was not clear how much of the Hilton was already booked. But with the event pushed back to October, the event can now once again take over the hotel.

    Of course, it remains very much an open question whether large scale events can take place at all by October. But Milken would be loath to cancel its Global Conference since it is a major source of the nonprofit's annual revenue.

    "The global crisis demonstrates the need for individuals, organizations, and nations to bridge divides and work together to find solutions to—and be better prepared for—economic and health challenges like those we are facing now and in years to come," Michael Klowden, CEO of the Milken Institute, said in a statement.

    Los Angeles heads into week after largest one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths

    Los Angeles County hit a grim new record over the weekend after 28 deaths were reported on Saturday from the novel coronavirus, the largest one-day increase since the outbreak slammed California. This will likely be front-and-center when California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hold respective briefings later Monday,

    As of Sunday, there were 15 additional deaths and 683 new cases -- bringing the county's totals to 132 deaths and 5,950 cases. "We have some very difficult days ahead and now is the time for all of us to redouble our physical distancing efforts and look after our neighbors, friends, and families who may be at the highest risk for serious illness from COVID-19," Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said in a statement.

    Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


    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.

    Read moreShow less

    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.

    Read moreShow less

    The Los Angeles Kings Embraced the Metaverse, and the NHL Is Ready to Follow

    Steve Huff
    Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
    An screenshot from Tetavi's metaverse
    Courtesy of Youtube

    Fans attending the Stanley Cup playoff at Arena in May 2022 might have noticed that the Los Angeles Kings went the extra mile with in-arena videos. Vibrant, 3D images of players plus Kings mascot Bailey the Lion flashed across the massive screens, impressive products of the team’s collaboration with Israeli “deep tech” startup, Tetavi. However, the excitement of the games might have obscured the significance of those videos—they marked the first time an NHL team used volumetric technology to record player footage.

    Read moreShow less