Watch: Working From Home Challenges and Strategies to Succeed

Annie Burford

Annie Burford is dot.LA's director of events. She's an event marketing pro with over ten years of experience producing innovative corporate events, activations and summits for tech startups to Fortune 500 companies. Annie has produced over 200 programs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City working most recently for a China-based investment bank heading the CEC Capital Tech & Media Summit, formally the Siemer Summit.

Watch: Working From Home Challenges and Strategies to Succeed

Join us this Thursday, April 30 at 11:00 am PST for the kick-off of dot.LA Convenes, a speaker series devoted to empowering women in tech in partnership with PledgeLA.

With so many challenges unique to women in this new work-from-home reality, we seek to foster an honest dialogue around these obstacles and discuss specific strategies to combat them.

Women in Tech: Working From Home Challenges & Strategies to

About the Speakers

Morgan DeBaun is the CEO and Founder of Blavity Inc.

​Morgan DeBaun, CEO / Founder of Blavity Inc.

Blavity Inc. is the leading news company and media brand for Black millennials and Gen Z in the U.S. reaching over 30M millennials a month, surpassing the digital traffic of many legacy black media brands. Since launching Blavity in 2014, the brand has quickly grown to be a strong voice for viral culture, social commentary and a platform for young creators to showcase their work.

Starting her career in Silicon Valley, Morgan graduated with an B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. Morgan has been widely quoted as an innovator and media entrepreneur in top tier consumer and business publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, NPR, TechCrunch and many more.

In addition to leading Blavity Inc., Morgan angel invests and advises entrepreneurs on how to launch their ideas, innovate and grow their businesses through her WorkSmart Program.

Joanna McFarland, CEO, President and Co-Founder of HopSkipDrive

Joanna McFarland, CEO, President and Co-Founder of HopSkipDrive

Joanna McFarland is the CEO and Cofounder of HopSkipDrive, the innovator in youth transportation. HopSkipDrive is a ride service that helps families and schools get kids where they need to go safely and dependably with a network of more than 7,000 highly vetted CareDrivers. HopSkipDrive currently serves 18 markets in 8 states plus Washington DC, and works with over 200 schools and districts as well as thousands of families every day. Before co-founding HopSkipDrive in 2014, Joanna spent 15 years in product management, building and scaling businesses for top technology, including WeddingChannel, Green Dot, and In addition, Joanna spent the first part of her career in investment banking and private equity. Joanna has an MBA from Stanford University and a BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her two boys.

Beatriz Acevedo is the president of Acevedo Foundation and the co-founder of L.A. Collab SUMA Wealth.

Beatriz Acevedo, President, Acevedo Foundation; Co-founder, LA Collab;  Co-founder, SUMA Wealth

Beatriz Acevedo is a leading inspirational voice and Latina entrepreneur in the United States. She has dedicated her career to empower and open doors for the next generation of Latinx leaders.

Beatriz started her career in media at a young age, first on radio and later on television. Her work earned her three Emmy's, one MTV music award, and a media correspondent award, among many others.

Most recently, she became a tech media entrepreneur as the Co-founder and President of mitú, the leading digital media brand for young Latinos in the U.S. The mentorship initiatives that she created through her Accelerator Program, have also provided invaluable access to young Latino storytellers.

Beatriz is a passionate and sought after speaker who enjoys discussions around diversity as good business, female leadership, and the economic impact of Latinos in America. She sits on numerous boards and is an advisor on Mayor Eric Garcetti's tech council as well as on Annenberg's foundation tech initiative, PledgeLA. She recently co-founded LA Collab, a Hollywood initiative to double Latino representation in Hollywood in front and behind the camera by 2030.

Beatriz is the President of her family's foundation "Fundación Acevedo." For the past 30 years, the Foundation has provided scholarships for students who lack the financial means to pursue higher education.

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Good News Piles Up for VinFast

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Slate grey Vinfast car

VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle startup with headquarters in Singapore and Los Angeles, is gathering serious momentum in the United States. In the last 7 days the company has announced a partnership with Taiwan-based solid state battery company ProLogium, opened 6 stores in California, and secured $1.2 billion in incentives for a manufacturing plant in North Carolina.

The partnership with ProLogium comes in the form of a memorandum of understanding, and an investment from the EV hopeful valued in the “tens of millions” of dollars. The memo outlines a business structure that gives VinFast priority to purchase ProLogium’s solid state battery packs and ancillary technology.

ProLogium will produce the solid-state batteries in one of its Asian manufacturing facilities, and—if all goes well—the batteries could be available in VinFast electric vehicles by 2023. A successful partnership could put VinFast on pace to be the first EV manufacturer with solid state battery tech in their cars.

The battery’s technical specifications have not been released —but solid-state technology offers myriad advantages over traditional lithium-ion architecture. Benefits include faster charging, better thermal properties, and potentially higher range. If the company can deliver on a 2023 timeline, they may be the first to market, ahead of hopefuls such as QuantumScape, Solid Power, and Mullen. The race is on. Stay tuned.

VinFast opened six stores this week in California, with locations in Santa Monica, San Mateo, La Jolla, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and the Bay Area. The showrooms are stocked with the company’s first two EV’s, the VF 8 and VF 9. Why the numbers start at 8 is anyone’s guess, but the VF 8 is a 5-seat AWD SUV with an expected range of just over 300 miles and a price tag starting at $40,700. The VF 9 is a full-sized SUV with 3 rows of seating, a max range of 369 miles, and a base price of $55,500.

VinFast showrooms will also likely serve as a forum for the company to explain its confusing battery leasing program. Yes, in addition to the sticker prices listed above, buyers will need to lease the battery packs for their cars. As Forbes reported:

The basic plan comes in at $35 a month for the VF 8 and $44 for the VF 9. Motorists will get up to 310 miles of free use each month. Motorists who go above that will pay an additional 11 cents per mile for the VF 8 and 15 cents with the VF 9. An alternate, all-you-can-drive plan will run $110 a month for the VF 8 and $160 for the VF 9.

VinFast’s good week was capped by the announcement that the company had secured $1.2 billion in incentives from the state of North Carolina to build a factory in Chatham County — the largest economic incentive package in state history. VinFast is planning for the plant to cover 2,000 acres, allowing for production of up to 150,000 vehicles per year. Construction is scheduled to start before the end of 2022 and production may come online as early as July 2024.

Feds Investigate Tesla Crash that Killed Retired California Couple

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.
Interior view of Tesla car

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Lompoc, CA retirees Mary Lou Seelandt, 66, and her husband, Karl Seelandt, 67. The couple died July 6 at a Florida rest stop after their 2015 Tesla plowed into the rear of a parked semi.

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