LA Tech Moves: Universal Hydrogen Has a New Slate of Execs; UTA Gets a New VP of Ventures

Molly Wright

Molly Wright is an intern for dot.LA. She previously edited the London School of Economics' student newspaper in the United Kingdom, interned for The Hollywood Reporter and was the blogging editor for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

LA Tech Moves: Universal Hydrogen Has a New Slate of Execs; UTA Gets a New VP of Ventures

Moves, our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.LA). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.


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Marketing automation platform Phonexa has hired Jeff Schaffer as chief operating officer. Schaffer previously served as vice president of ecommerce consulting firm FountainheadME.

HR software company Trusaic has hired Dianne Seo as chief financial officer. Seo was most recently CFO of Ohana Pacific Bank in Honolulu.

Aerospace startup Universal Hydrogen has appointed Jørn Rosenlund, Anna Goranson and Adam Metzger to the roles of chief operating officer, vice president of people, and interim chief financial officer, respectively. Rosenlund joins from Nel Hydrogen, Goranson arrives from Airspace and Metzger was previously at BNP Paribas.

Fitness company LIT Method has hired Mike Abramson as chief strategy officer. Abramson was previously chief operating officer and chief revenue officer for Xponential Fitness Inc.

Plant-based drink company Koia has appointed keto lifestyle expert and influencer Thomas DeLaueras chief keto officer.

United Talent Agency has named Paul Yoo as its senior vice president of ventures. Yoo was previously a partner at Transom Consulting Group and M&A Services.

Oscar “Oz” Lang and Ben Sullinshave joined VIZIO as the electronics company’s vice president of product management and vice president of product engineering, respectively. Lang joins from Adobe and Sullins from SpotX.

Robert Choihas joined Caprice Capital Partners as vice president. Choi was previously a senior associate at Breakwater Management.

Krystina Nguyen has joined fintech payroll platform Gig Wage as vice president of marketing, according to LinkedIn. Nguyen previously was head of marketing at Tapcheck.

James Washington has joined JUMP Global Technology Advisors as managing director of business development. Washington, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and is currently the president of the NFL Alumni Association of Southern California. He is also president of nonprofit organization Shelter 37.

mollywright@dot.la

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Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

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.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

So, what does this mean for tech workers in LA County?

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samsonamore@dot.la

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

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.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

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