Everlaunch Wins dot.LA's Startup Pitch Competition

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Everlaunch Wins dot.LA's Startup Pitch Competition
Photo by Joshua Ruano

A startup that offers gamified how-to guides for aspiring entrepreneurs was declared the winner of the second annual dot.LA pitch competition on Thursday in Santa Monica.


"My mission is to 'Pinky and the Brain' all of the currently available resources," said Everlaunch CEO Michelle Heng, referring to a cartoon where the main character was obsessed with taking over the world. Heng's service sets out to build a community for entrepreneurs and bring together essential business resources in a single hub.

Heng was selected as the night's winner by the competition's three judges — Boba Guys founder and investor Andrew Chau, Worklife VC founder Brianne Kimmel, and Plug and Play Ventures investor Kiswana Browne.

Everlaunch debuted in May to offer a "roadmap" for the "business-building process." Current partners include GoDaddy, Squarespace and 99designs. "The days of endless googling are over," a tagline for the service reads.

"I'm just excited to do the work and be an ally in order to build the future, and to help people of color build generational wealth," said Heng, speaking before attendees of the dot.LA Summit.

"And don't forget to bet on black women," she added.

The pitch-off also featured Rent-a-Romper and Reeplayer. All three startups are Southern California-based, have raised less than $1 million to date in outside funding and were nominated for the competition by dot.LA readers.

Rent-a-Romper offers a monthly subscription to clothing for babies and toddlers. "We are changing children's fashion by providing parents a curated wardrobe that grows with their child," said CEO Lauren Gregor.

Reeplayer provides a $99-per-month subscription that aims to help coaches and young soccer players capture game footage. Reeplayer's software and 4K camera system, which goes on a tripod and records from the sideline, are both included in the monthly fee. "Down the line we want to bridge the gap between athletes and recruiters," said founder Orhan Ajredinovski.

Crewtify, a livestreaming platform for concerts, won last year's dot.LA pitch competition.

Watch the full 2021 event here:

dot.LA Summit: Startup Pitch Competitionwww.youtube.com

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Snap Mandates Employees Work From the Office Four Days a Week

Nat Rubio-Licht
Nat Rubio-Licht is a freelance reporter with dot.LA. They previously worked at Protocol writing the Source Code newsletter and at the L.A. Business Journal covering tech and aerospace. They can be reached at nat@dot.la.
Snap logo and hq
Photo by rblfmr/ Shutterstock

Snap is the latest major tech company to bring the hammer down on remote work: CEO Evan Spiegel told employees this week that they will be expected to work from the office 80% of the time starting in February.

Per the announcement, the Santa Monica-based company’s full-time workers will be required to work from the office four or more days per week, though off-site client meetings would count towards their in-office time. This policy, which Spiegel dubbed “default together,” applies to employees in all 30 of the company's global offices, and the company is working on an exceptions process for those that wish to continue working remotely. Snap’s abrupt change follows other major tech firms, including Apple, which began its hybrid policy requiring employees to be in the office at least three days per week in September, and Twitter, which axed remote work completely after Elon Musk’s takeover (though he did temporarily close offices amid a slew of resignations in mid-November).

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nat@dot.la

What Tesla's Trucking Feat Means for Natural Gas Vehicles in California

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

What Tesla's Trucking Feat Means for Natural Gas Vehicles in California
Image from Tesla

Last month, when dot.LA toured the Hexagon Purus facility in Ontario, California, multiple employees bemoaned the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) ruling on renewable natural gas (RNG) as a hindrance to decarbonizing trucking-haul trucking. They argued that keeping RNG classified as a “near-zero emission” fuel prevented companies using financial incentives like the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which, as the name suggests, is only available to true zero-emission trucks. The effect, they said, was that the agency was missing an opportunity to accelerate the state’s transition away from diesel.

But over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the EV company’s battery powered class 8 semi-truck had completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded (to the tune of 81,000 lbs). It now appears CARB’s refusal to classify renewable natural gas (RNG) as a zero-emission fuel source was ultimately the right decision.

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