Catch Up With This Week's Startup News With Our Video Recap

Lots happened in the L.A. tech and startup community this week as the city continues to reopen. In a rundown of the top headlines, dot.LA Chief Host and Correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key stories:

  • Diversity in Tech: New Series on Diversity in Venture Capital, Roundtable with Leaders from Upfront Ventures & Snap Inc.
  • ChowNow Seizes the Moment as Food Delivery Apps Struggle
  • Mobile Storytelling App Whatifi Focuses on Choose-Your-Own Adventure Content
  • dot.LA Dives In: CEO & Founder of Struct Club, Amira Polack, Discusses Taking her Fitness Startup Direct-To-Consumer


    Weekly Recap: Diversity in Tech, Mobile App Whatifi Redefines Storytelling & Food Delivery Apps Boom www.youtube.com

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    Twenty years ago today Lt. Gen. Susan Helms arrived at the International Space Station where she would go on to carry out a historic mission.

    During a five-month stint at the station, she emerged to take a spacewalk with fellow astronaut Jim Voss that spanned nearly nine hours, breaking world records for both the longest spacewalk ever and the longest completed by a woman.

    Since then, she's been on another mission to inspire a new generation of aerospace pioneers and help them build their own legacy.

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    On this week's episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Taj Eldridge talks about his newly-launched $250 million fund, Include Ventures aimed at Black and Brown founders and investors. The fund is part of VC Include, a platform that aims to accelerate investment into women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous and LGBTQ people.

    "Some of the founders I talked to have said they don't want to get funding just because they're Black, said Taj. "And my thing is, well, I've seen the opposite side of it. I've seen not getting money because I'm Black. So, you know, right now, let's just move things forward."

    Taj is passionate about reducing the wealth gap through Black and Brown ownership and continuing the work he does with Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), where he's the senior director for investment.

    "Don't invest in clean tech just because it is a moralistic issue or its future-proofing," he said. "As we've seen in what's happening in Texas now with the grid and everything else, It's a public health issue. It's an economic issue. It's a social issue."

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    A 24-year-old unemployed college graduate frustrated by the tedious process of finding his grandmother a vaccine appointment created a new site to make it easier.

    Find My Vax LA translates appointment information to any language, searches for open slots by zip code and on Friday released a Twitter bot that alerts followers of availability.

    Andrew Friedman was hit with the same idea software engineers across the country have chased since public officials started distributing the COVID-19 shot.

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