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 winner of the 2022 dot.LA Start Up Award received a one-hundred percent (100%) discount off WeWork All Access membership fees for three (3) months for three (3) individuals, subject to the WeWork All Access Terms and Conditions.


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 an online portal that helps connect parents and caregivers with local child care options. Daycare providers can get certified and sign up on the platform and parents can filter and browse through nearby providers. WeeCare handles enrollment, payment processing, and other managerial tasks to help providers spend less time running their business and more time with the kids. 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

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dot.LA Summit: The Shopping Revolution Is Coming to Virtual Reality

Ilana Gordon
Ilana Gordon is an entertainment, culture, and tech writer originally from Connecticut. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
dot.LA Summit: The Shopping Revolution Is Coming to Virtual Reality
Photo by David Ruano

Ecommerce trends were top of mind during Friday’s “Revolutionizing Online Marketplaces” panel. Moderated by Grace Kangdani from Bank of America and sponsored by Zoolatech, the freewheeling discussion bounced from live streaming and social selling to data privacy, to determining the tipping point where market research crosses the line from constructive into “creepy.”

Featured panelists included Roman Kaplun (co-founder and CEO of Zoolatech), Dan Dan Li (founder and CEO of Popshop Live), and Montre Moore (co-founder and CEO of AMP Beauty LA). Talk centered around how far the industry has come in the last few years, and where it might be headed next.

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SparkToro Co-Founder Rand Fishkin on ‘Chill’ Work and the Problem With VC

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

SparkToro Co-Founder Rand Fishkin on ‘Chill’ Work and the Problem With VC
Image courtesy of SparkToro

On this episode of Office Hours, SparkToro founder Rand Fishkin talks about how he turned his fascination with SEO and his gift for teaching into a thriving company, his model of “chill work” and his critique of venture capital.

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dot.LA Summit: John Suh’s Advice to Startups Raising Funding, 'Embrace the Cold Call'

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.

dot.LA Summit: John Suh’s Advice to Startups Raising Funding, 'Embrace the Cold Call'
Image by David Ruano/ dot.LA

John Suh’s lengthy career spinning startups into billion-dollar companies began with a cold call to an investor he was hoping would back his startup. The off-the-cuff reachout ended up being a key step in Suh’s journey to running a billion-dollar company in LegalZoom.

Prior to LegalZoom, Suh tried to build a startup for fashion companies to manage inventory, called Wardrobe.com. He told Yung that one of his first contacts was Harvard Business School professor and chairman of Fung Group Victor Fung, who he called on a whim.

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