LA Venture Podcast: Phil Sanderson Thinks Gaming Is In Its Golden Age

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.
LA Venture Podcast: Phil Sanderson Thinks Gaming Is In Its Golden Age

On this week's L.A. Venture podcast, we meet Phil Sanderson — one of the founders and managing director of the venture capital firm Griffin Gaming Partners. Griffin is a $250 million fund investing in the global expansion of gaming, and is based in Santa Monica.

Sanderson has been investing in some of the most innovative gaming entrepreneurs for the last 23 years — including Discord, Thriller, Pandora and Phoenix Labs. Griffin invests in early and late stage, infrastructure and content companies in the gaming industry worldwide.


At Griffin, Sanderson is partnered with Peter Levin, who led digital initiatives at Lionsgate. The two are exploring the relationship between Hollywood and the gaming industry, especially with the recent boom of digital collectibles in the form of NFTs.

Sanderson says gaming is "at the forefront of a lot of innovation." He likes to deal in extremes, and structures his life around the principles of setting goals, having a great team, and being flexible and adaptable and having fun.

In this episode, hear how Sanderson views the future of gaming, why he thinks the gaming industry is in its golden age, what it's like working with top innovators, why he disagrees with the idea gaming is hit-driven, and how he manages to run 240-mile ultramarathons in his free time.

"I think it's becoming what I call 'the new enterprise software'. There's just so many exits."

Phil Sanderson is one of the founders and the managing director of Griffin Gaming Partners.

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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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GrayMatter Is Building Industrial Robots To Take Over the Jobs Humans Hate

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.

​GrayMatter robotics working
Andria Moore courtesy of GrayMatter

GrayMatter Robotics, a startup based in Gardena (and definitely not a “Breaking Bad” reference, the founders assure us) is looking to disrupt the industrial finishing and sanding industry by programming robotic arms with artificial intelligence software to automate this labor.

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