Jeff Stibel Pens An Emotional Farewell to Kobe Bryant: 'A Founding Visionary'

Joe Bel Bruno
Joe Bel Bruno is dot.LA's editor in chief, overseeing newsroom operations and the organization's editorial team. He joins after serving as managing editor of Variety magazine and as senior leadership in spots at the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. He's a veteran journalist that loves breaking big stories, living back in L.A., a good burrito and his dog Gladys — not necessarily in that order.
Jeff Stibel Pens An Emotional Farewell to Kobe Bryant: 'A Founding Visionary'

Most of America knew Kobe Bryant as an NBA superstar, a shooting guard who led the Los Angeles Lakers to countless championships. Jeff Stibel knew him off the court.

In an emotional Instagram message, Stibel broke his silence and lamented about "what was ahead" for Bryant. The duo struck up a friendship, and later a venture capital firm baring their names, as Bryant was plotting his retirement from professional sports. Venture capital — and just being an entrepreneur — was the hoop star's second act.


"My dear friend, this isn't possible. We both knew what was ahead and it was so special," Stibel wrote on Instagram. "The next chapter in the decades to come were going to change everything. People keep talking about what you did, but all I keep thinking about was what was ahead."

The Bryant Stibel website late Thursday changed over to a black-and-white photo of Bryant.

Alongside, a written ode to its co-founder: "Kobe Bryant was more than a founding partner at Bryant Stibel. He was a founding visionary who quickly became an accomplished entrepreneur and investor."

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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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