Here's What to Expect at LA Tech Week 2023

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Here's What to Expect at LA Tech Week 2023
Evan Xie

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Los Angeles Tech Week returns for another year this June, and the packed slate of events ranges from lavish parties in Beverly Hills mansions to karaoke with venture capitalists.

This year, the festivities will be held from June 5-11. In addition to a16z, local investors including M13, Clocktower Technology Ventures, MaC Ventures, Science Inc. and Fika Ventures are all slated to attend or host their own networking or pitching events.

The weeklong event is bookended by other similar tech weeks in two prominent tech cities, San Francisco and New York. In total, there’s more than 100 events scheduled throughout the week, and attendees have to register for each individual activity. Here’s a selection of events that’ll take place during LA Tech Week 2023.

Black and Brown VCs and Founders Brunch: BLCK VC and LatinxVC, two groups created to promote and advance work done by people of color in the venture investing community, will host a meetup with “brunch-inspired” food and drinks in West Hollywood. The event promises the opportunity to network with a wide variety of industry professionals, from space technology to consumer packaged goods. It’ll take place Monday, June 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Proptech Meetup and Pacaso Open House: Spencer Rascoff, founder of Zillow and property broker startup Pacaso (and our very own dot.LA), will host a meetup with property technology founders and enthusiasts at a Pacaso home in Malibu, just off the PCH. The event will be held June 5 from 1-3 p.m. Register for the event address.

Techstars Aerospace and Defense Mixer: NASA’s Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S. Space Force and Techstars are hosting a networking and happy hour event at Techstars’ office in Culver City during tech week. The event will bring together both federal and startup players in the space tech space, and also include information for aerospace tech founders who might be interested in applying to be a part of Techstars’ space accelerator program. This takes place Tuesday, June 6 from 2-6 p.m.

Investor Oasis by the Beach: Local venture capital outfit TenOneTen Ventures is partnering with neighboring Nomadic Ventures and San Francisco-based Marcy Venture Partners to host a beachside happy hour for local investors and founders at Venice Beach on Tuesday. The event will take place at sunset, from 5-8pm on June 6.

UCLA Anderson Elevating Voices: A Pitch Competition & Networking Opportunity: Among the handful of university-sponsored events at LA Tech Week this year is this pitch competition sponsored by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. The competition is open to any startups who have raised less than $500,000, don’t have a graduate business degree or have sold less than $20,000 last year. The top winner will receive a cash prize and access to UCLA’s incubator at the Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Scheduled for 6-9 p.m. on June 6 at Sip & Sonder in Inglewood.

Female Founders: Planning. Pivoting. Profiting: This pithily-named event is sponsored by New York University’s LA campus and will feature a panel of several female founders discussing how they’ve started and managed their businesses. It’ll be moderated by NYU adjunct professor Shivani Honwad, Esq. and take place from 2-4 p.m. on June 6.

Supercharge LA: In partnership with Pledge LA, dot.LA will be hosting an evening of live music, food, drinks and guest speakers (including Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler) on Wednesday, June 7 from 6-10 p.m. The event will take place at the 3rd St. Promenade at 1212 Santa Monica, and promises to bring together hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors, all eager to discuss the tech and startup ecosystem in LA. Register for our paid event here.

First Republic Bank Clubhouse: Got questions about First Republic Bank’s recent collapse? This may (or may not) be the time to field them. First Republic is hosting a “casual” midday lunch networking event featuring beverages and bratwurst in Venice on Wednesday, June 7 from 1-4 p.m.

a16z & Stonks: Gaming & Entertainment Demo Day Hosted by Google: Google’s Venice headquarters at 340 Main St. will host a demo day on Wednesday, where six startup founders in the gaming and entertainment industries will pitch their products to an audience of investors and press. Founders looking to be part of the pitch lineup can register here. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 7.

Aerospace Meets Climate Tech: A number of founders and investors in the aerospace and climate industries will converge in Hawthorne not far from SpaceX’s headquarters to discuss innovation in the climate technology industry during tech week. It’ll include electric speedboat company Arc Boats, LowerCarbon Capital, and former Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of LA Lauren Faber O’Connor, to name a few. The event will be held Thursday, June 8 from 5-8 p.m.

Gen AI Virtual Worlds Hackathon: This event actually takes place over multiple days; Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, June 9 and running through June 11. The hackathon encourages developers to use artificial intelligence tools to create “immersive virtual worlds” corresponding to this year’s theme of “heroes and villains,” with the chance to win a combined $10,000 worth of prizes. It’ll be held at Loyola Marymount University’s Playa Vista campus all three days; Attendees can apply to register here.

Sports in LA: Investing, Founding and Growing: Join sponsor Athlete Strategies and its CEO Anthony Baldini for an event discussing LA’s sports and technology ecosystem at the 3rd Street Promenade on Friday. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 9.

Rooftop Angel City FC Watch Party and Innovator Panel, with Carta: One of the few tech week events scheduled over the weekend, San Francisco-based startup Carta is hosting a watch party for local women’s pro soccer team Angel City FC at Venice’s Neuhouse on Saturday. In attendance will be Angel City FC’s vice president of strategy Kari Fleischauer and several other investors and founders. The event will be held from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on June 10.

Registration information and a full list of LA Tech Week events can be found here.

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Creandum’s Carl Fritjofsson on the Differences Between the Startup Ecosystem in Europe and the U.S.

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Carl Fritjofsson
Carl Fritjofsson

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Creandum General Partner Carl Fritjofsson talks about his venture journey, why Generative-AI represents an opportunity to rethink products from the ground up, and why Q4 2023 and Q1 2024 could be "pretty bloody" for startups.

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AI Is Rapidly Advancing, but the Question Is, Can We Keep Up?

Lon Harris
Lon Harris is a contributor to dot.LA. His work has also appeared on ScreenJunkies, RottenTomatoes and Inside Streaming.
AI Is Rapidly Advancing, but the Question Is, Can We Keep Up?
Evan Xie

One way to measure just how white-hot AI development has become: the world is running out of the advanced graphics chips necessary to power AI programs. While Intel central processing units were once the most sought-after industry leaders, advanced graphics chips like Nvidia’s are designed to run multiple computations simultaneously, a baseline necessity for many AI models.

An early version of ChatGPT required around 10,000 graphics chips to run. By some estimates, newer updates require 3-5 times that amount of processing power. As a result of this skyrocketing demand, shares of Nvidia have jumped 165% so far this year.

Building on this momentum, this week, Nvidia revealed a line-up of new AI-related projects including an Israeli supercomputer project and a platform utilizing AI to help video game developers. For smaller companies and startups, however, getting access to the vital underlying technology that powers AI development is already becoming less about meritocracy and more about “who you know.” According to the Wall Street Journal, Elon Musk scooped up a valuable share of server space from Oracle this year before anyone else got a crack at it for his new OpenAI rival, X.AI.

The massive demand for Nvidia-style chips has also created a lucrative secondary market, where smaller companies and startups are often outbid by larger and more established rivals. One startup founder compares the fevered crush of the current chip marketplace to toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic. For those companies that don’t get access to the most powerful chips or enough server space in the cloud, often the only remaining option is to simplify their AI models, so they can run more efficiently.

Beyond just the design of new AI products, we’re also at a key moment for users and consumers, who are still figuring out what sorts of applications are ideal for AI and which ones are less effective, or potentially even unethical or dangerous. There’s now mounting evidence that the hype around some of these AI tools is reaching a lot further than the warnings about its drawbacks.

JP Morgan Chase is training a new AI chatbot to help customers choose financial securities and stocks, known as IndexGPT. For now, they insist that it’s purely supplemental, designed to advise and not replace money managers, but it may just be a matter of time before job losses begin to hit financial planners along with everyone else.

A lawyer in New York just this week was busted by a judge for using ChatGPT as part of his background research. When questioned by the judge, lawyer Peter LoDuco revealed that he’d farmed out some research to a colleague, Steven A. Schwartz, who had consulted with ChatGPT on the case. Schwartz was apparently unaware that the AI chatbot was able to lie – transcripts even show him questioning ChatGPT’s responses and the bot assuring him that these were, in fact, real cases and citations.

New research by Marucie Jakesch, a doctoral student from Cornell University, suggests that even users who are more aware than Schwartz about how AI works and its limitations may still be impacted in subtle and subconscious ways by its output.

Not to mention, according to data from, high school and college students already – on the whole – prefer utilizing ChatGPT for help with schoolwork over a human tutor. The survey also notes that advanced students tend to report getting more out of using ChatGPT-type programs than beginners, likely because they have more baseline knowledge and can construct better and more informative prompts.

But therein lies the big drawback to using ChatGPT and other AI tools for education. At least so far, they’re reliant on the end user writing good prompts and having some sense about how to organize a lesson plan for themselves. Human tutors, on the other hand, have a lot of personal experience in these kinds of areas. Someone who instructs others in foreign languages professionally probably has a good inherent sense of when you need to focus on expanding your vocabulary vs. drilling certain kinds of verb and tense conjugations. They’ve helped many other students prepare for tests, quizzes, and real-world challenges, while computer software can only guess at what kinds of scenarios its proteges will face.

A recent Forbes editorial by academic Thomas Davenport suggests that, while AI is getting all the hype right now, other forms of computing or machine learning are still going to be more effective for a lot of basic tasks. From a marketing perspective in 2023, it’s helpful for a tech company to throw the “AI” brand around, but it’s not magically going to be the answer for every problem.

Davenport points to a similar (if smaller) whirlwind of excitement around IBM’s “Watson” in the early 2010s, when it was famously able to take out human “Jeopardy!’ champions. It turns out, Watson was a general knowledge engine, really best suited for jobs like playing “Jeopardy.” But after the software gained celebrity status, people tried to use it for all sorts of advanced applications, like designing cancer drugs or providing investment advice. Today, few people turn to Watson for these kinds of solutions. It’s just the wrong tool for the job. In that same way, Davenport suggests that generative AI is in danger of being misapplied.

While the industry and end users both race to solve the AI puzzle in real time, governments are also feeling pressure to step in and potentially regulate the AI industry. This is much easier said than done, though, as politicians face the same kinds of questions and uncertainty as everyone else.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been calling for governments to begin regulating AI, but just this week, he suggested that the company might pull out of the European Union entirely if the regulations were too onerous. Specifically, Altman worries that attempts to narrow what kinds of data can be used to train AI systems – specifically blocking copyrighted material – might well prove impossible. “If we can comply, we will, and if we can’t, we’ll cease operating,” Altman told Time. “We will try, but there are technical limits to what’s possible.” (Altman has already started walking this threat back, suggesting he has no immediate plans to exit the EU.)

In the US, The White House has been working on a “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights,” but it’s non-binding, just a collection of largely vague suggestions. It’s one thing to agree “consumers shouldn’t face discrimination from an algorithm” and “everyone should be protected from abusive data practices and have agency over how their data is used.” But enforcement is an entirely different animal. A lot of these issues already exist in tech, and are much larger than AI, and the US government already doesn’t do much about them.

Additionally, it’s possible AI regulations won’t work well at all if they aren’t global. Even if you set some policies and get an entire nation’s government to agree, how to set similar worldwide protocols? What if US and Europe agree but India doesn’t? Everyone around the world accesses roughly the same internet, so without any kind of international standard, it’s going to be much harder for individual nations to enforce specific rules. As with so many other AI developments, there’s inherent danger in patchwork regulations; it could allow some companies, or regions, or players to move forward while others are unfairly or ineffectively stymied or held back.

The same kinds of socio-economic concerns around AI that we have nationally – some sectors of the work force left behind, the wealthiest and most established players coming in to the new market with massive advantages, the rapid spread of misinformation – are all, in actuality, global concerns. Just as the hegemony of Microsoft and Google threaten the ability of new players to enter the AI space, the West’s early dominance of AI tech threatens to push out companies and innovations from emerging markets like Southeast Asia, Subsaharan Africa, and Central America. Left unfettered, AI could potentially deepen social, economic, and digital divisions both within and between all of these societies.

Undaunted, some governments aren’t waiting around for these tools to develop any further before they start attempting to regulate them. New York City has already set up some rules about how AI can be used during the hiring process while will take effect in July. The law requires any company using AI software in hiring to notify candidates that it’s being used, and to have independent auditors check the system annually for bias.

This sort of piecemeal figure-it-out-as-we-go approach is probably what’s going to be necessary, at least short-term, as AI development shows zero signs of slowing down or stopping any time soon. Though there’s some disagreement among experts, most analysts agree with Wharton professor and economist Jeremy Siegel, who told CNBC this week that AI is not yet a bubble. He pointed to the Nvidia earnings as a sign the market remains healthy and not overly frothy. So, at least for now, the feverish excitement around AI is not going to burst like a late ‘90s startup stock. The world needs to prepare as if this technology is going to be with us for a while.

Rivian CEO Teases R2, New Features in Instagram AMA

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.

Rivian CEO Teases R2, New Features in Instagram AMA

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe took to Instagram last weekend to answer questions from the public about his company and its future. Topics covered included new colors, sustainability, production ramp, new products and features. Speaking of which, viewers also got a first look at the company’s much-anticipated R2 platform, albeit made of clay and covered by a sheet, but hey, that’s…something. If you don’t want to watch the whole 33 minute video, which is now also on Youtube, we’ve got the highlights for you.

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