Day Two of the dot.LA Summit Features Bill Gurley, GOAT Group and the Inaugural Startup Awards

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

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Silicon Valley's top dealmaker Bill Gurley will keynote the second day of dot.LA's inaugural conference at 9 a.m., followed by two tracks of panels focused on L.A.'s growing startup and tech scene. dot.LA will also announce the winners of its first Startup Awards celebrating the region's most innovative people and companies.

Watch all the panels at the dot.LA Summit website. There's still time to sign up for the conference here.


The event will showcase the people, technology and ideas that shape how we live and have defined dot.LA's coverage since it launched in January. The organization was founded by former Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff and dot.LA's CEO Sam Adams with the goal of shining a light on Los Angeles' burgeoning and diverse tech scene.

Kevin Mayer, the former head of TikTok had been scheduled for the event's keynote speaker, but cancelled on the advice of his lawyers shortly before the summit. TikTok, owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, is embroiled in a battle with the Trump administration that seeks to shut it down.

Sarah Harden, CEO of Hello Sunshine and Liz Jenkins, CFO will open up the summit on Tuesday with a discussion about how small celebrity-driven production companies are transforming the traditional Hollywood machine and adding diversity.

Other speakers include the electronic music duo The Chainsmokers who founded venture fund Mantis, Headspace CEO Rich Pierson. Blavity founder and CEO Morgan DeBaun, Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman, Suma Wealth co-founder and CEO Beatriz Acevedo and Jesse Jacobs, co-founder and partner of The Chernin Group.

dot.LA will hold its pitch competition finale for early-stage startups at the end of the first day of the Summit. More than 100 companies with a product and less than $1 million in hand competed to get in the final stage. The pitches will be judged by Anna Barber, Managing Director of Techstars Los Angeles, and Rascoff, who most recently helped establish Supernova Partners Acquisition Company. The winner will receive special access to Amazon Web Services, Fenwick, Full Stack Finance and Carta.

The full summit schedule can be found at dot.LA.

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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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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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Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Liquid Death May Just Be The 'Fastest Growing Non-Alcoholic Beverage Of All Time'
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When Santa Monica-based Liquid Death launched with funding from neighboring venture capital firm Science Inc. in 2018, the Los Angeles startup world – and everyone else – had nothing but jokes. But with the company’s latest $700 million valuation, it appears the joke is on the rest of us.

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