Who Took Home the Prize at This Year’s dot.LA Award Ceremony?

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.

Who Took Home the Prize at This Year’s dot.LA Award Ceremony?

Giorgio Trovato

The 2022 dot.LA Summit closed on Friday afternoon with an award ceremony on the main stage. Each 2022 dot.LA Startup Award winner will receive a free membership to WeWork's All Access tier for three months for three team members..


Best Rising Startup

​Winner: Jadu

Jadu is building an augmented reality game world with a twist. Known as the mirrorverse, the AR gambit juxtaposes virtual game elements over top of real world landscapes. The items and the content within the mirrorverse are NFTs owned by the community. The award was accepted by Isaiah Chavous, who reminded the audience, “The app comes out next month.”

The nominees:

  • Jadu
  • Ettitude
  • Afterparty
  • Kurvana
  • Dr. Squatch Soap Co

Social Equity Award

Winner: WeeCare

WeeCare is the largest childcare network in the United States. It provides access to high-quality childcare for all families, supports childcare providers in operating sustainable businesses through a technology-based marketplace, and helps employers of all sizes offer their employees childcare benefits. Parents use WeeCare to find, tour, and enroll with the perfect care provider. Jessica Chang, CEO and Co-Founder, accepted the award. “We’re all about our mission of making childcare accessible for all,” she said.

The nominees:

  • WeeCare
  • Sola Impact
  • SpectrumAi
  • ERI
  • Marker Learning

​Rising Entre​preneur

Winner: Malte Kramer, Founder & CEO of Luxury Presence

Luxury Presence is a website design company specifically for the real estate industry. In addition to creating beautiful websites, Luxury Presence also offers backend insights and analytics designed to help brokers and agents grow their business.

The nominees:

  • Malte Kramer, Founder & CEO of Luxury Presence
  • Connor Ellison, CEO & Founder, POGR
  • Michael Le, Co-Founder, Joystick
  • Jonathan Gray, Founder & CEO, Encore
  • Lindsey McLean, Co-Founder & CEO, HomeLister

​​Pivot of the Year

Winner: CRATE Modular, Inc.

CRATE Modular makes modular prefab housing that reduces cost, time, and carbon footprint compared to traditional construction. The company specializes in multifamily housing, educational facilities, commercial and hospitality spaces. CRATE Modular also offers pre-made designs or buyers can configure their own arrangement of modules to suit their specific needs.

The nominees:

  • CRATE Modular, Inc.
  • Jeeny
  • SteadyMD
  • Regard
  • Community

Startup of the Year

Winner: Whatnot

Whatnot is an online auction platform. From action figures to NFTs, if it’s collectible, you can probably find someone selling it on Whatnot. Founded in 2019, the company has already secured nearly a half a billion dollars in funding and shows no signs of slowing down. And now, with the recent introduction of their live auction service, users can livestream themselves as they hawk their goods. “We’re really excited to continue to build Whatnot and built it in LA,” said Grant LaFontaine, Co-Founder of Whatnot.

The nominees:

  • Whatnot
  • Boulevard
  • Liquid Death
  • EVgo
  • Genies

​Entrepreneur of the Year

​Winner: Evette Ellis Co-Founder & Chief Workforce Officer at ChargerHelp!

ChargerHelp! is an electric vehicle charging maintenance and operations company. As the nation seeks to electrify its transportation by the middle of the next decade, infrastructure remains a major roadblock as charging stations are frequently offline or working below capacity. ChargerHelp! aims to bring those systems back online with its teams of skilled technicians and better monitoring that pinpoints problems quickly and efficiently. As a Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE), and a nationally and state-certified Woman Minority- Owned Business Enterprise (WMBE), ChargerHelp! is bringing the “reliability as a service” model to the forefront of an industry that has traditionally skewed white and male.

The nominees:

  • Evette Ellis Co-Founder & Chief Workforce Officer at ChargerHelp!
  • Jessica Chang, CEO & Co-Founder, WeeCare
  • Katherine Power, CEO & Investor, Merit Beauty, VERSED
  • Mike DeGiorgio, CEO & Founder, CREXI

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


🤝 Venture Deals

LA Companies

  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

LA Venture Funds


Download the dot.LA App

😊🚘 Rivian's $5 Billion Lifeline

🔦 Spotlight

Volkswagen announced on Tuesday a significant investment of up to $5 billion in Rivian, a struggling electric truck manufacturer known for its vehicles' distinctive smiley-face design reminiscent of Volkswagen's iconic Beetle. This partnership marks a unique collaboration between the world's second-largest automaker and a startup grappling with profitability challenges akin to those faced by Tesla. Volkswagen's infusion of $1 billion initially, potentially rising to $5 billion pending regulatory approval, underscores its strategic pivot towards enhancing its electric vehicle (EV) software capabilities, an area where analysts believe the company has lagged.

For Rivian, which has received acclaim for its electric trucks and SUVs but struggles with production ramp-up and financial losses, the investment offers crucial financial backing. The company plans to utilize Volkswagen's expertise in manufacturing, leveraging the German automaker's annual production of nearly 10 million vehicles. This alliance aims to bolster Rivian's efforts to launch new models like the R2 midsize SUV and complete its Georgia factory, paused earlier this year to conserve funds. Rivian's stock surged upwards of 40% following the announcement, reflecting investor optimism in the company's future prospects.

Despite their differing corporate cultures—Volkswagen's traditional, structured approach contrasted with Rivian's agile tech startup ethos—the CEOs of both companies expressed mutual admiration and shared goals during the partnership announcement. The collaboration is expected to yield EV software solutions benefiting Volkswagen's various brands, potentially including Audi and Porsche, while allowing Rivian to maintain its brand identity and separate vehicle marketing strategies. This strategic partnership between Volkswagen and Rivian not only promises to revolutionize the electric vehicle market but also highlights the potential for collaboration between established automakers and innovative startups in Southern California, where Rivian is based. Here’s to hoping these smiling cars will balance out some of the inevitable LA road rage.

🤝 Venture Deals

LA Companies

  • HeyGen, a startup that allows users to generate videos with AI-created avatars that can lip-sync to provided audio, making it easier for businesses to create engaging video content, raised a $60M Funding Round at a $500M post-money valuation. The deal was led by Benchmark, with Conviction, Thrive Capital, and Bond Capital also stepping up. - learn more
  • Pomerium, a startup that provides a secure access platform that dynamically verifies user identities to ensure authorized access to applications and services, raised a $13.8M Series A round led by Benchmark and including previous investors Bain Capital, Haystack, and SNR. - learn more
  • Etched, a maker of transformer-specialized AI chips, raised a $120M Funding Round. - learn more
  • Rocketlane, a customer onboarding platform, raised a $24M Series B co-led by 8VC, Matrix Partners India, and Nexus Venture Partners. - learn more
  • Sift, a developer of unified observability solutions for hardware sensor data, raised a $17.5M Series A led by GV. - learn more
  • LOST iN, a travel media brand, raised a $4M Seed Round led by MaC Venture Capital. - learn more

LA Venture Funds


Download the dot.LA App

RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
Trending