LA Venture: Crosscut's Rick Smith on How He Came to Venture Capital

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Rick Smith and Minnie Ingersoll

Rick Smith is a pillar in the L.A. tech community. He is the co-founder of Crosscut Ventures and a founding member of the PledgeLA program in Los Angeles.

Most recently, he joined the LA Venture podcast to share some of his early experiences as a venture capitalist and what's next for him and Crosscut.


Smith grew up in Decatur, Illinois, and went on to attend Harvard Law School where he earned his law degree. As an attorney, Smith ended up working with another major figure in Los Angeles: Eli Broad, the philanthropist whose name is well cemented in L.A. history. Smith was responsible for bringing Broad's company SunAmerica into venture investing.

"I was not on the investing side. And I wrote this memo and so if we do one, we should do 10. It's gonna be risky, all this stuff. And I was basically just reading Wired Magazine. I mean, I did not know anything about tech. I didn't know anything about venture capital." Smith said.

Later, Smith joined Palomar Ventures where he met Brian Garrett, who then became the co-founder of Crosscut Ventures. The two raised a $5 million fund for their venture just before the 2008 stock market crash.

In the rest of this episode, Smith talks further about investing out of Crosscut Fund V, building out the fund's scout program where scouts each get $200,000 to invest, and his own personal growth.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

INDIEV Teams Up With Foxconn To Launch Electric SUVs

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.

INDIEV Teams Up With Foxconn To Launch Electric SUVs
Photo Courtesy of IndiEV

INDIEV, a startup based in Vernon, announced this week it will partner with Taiwanese tech conglomerate Foxconn to build its first prototypes of its upcoming electric SUV, nicknamed the INDI One.

The debut makes it the seventh consumer electric vehicle company to enter Los Angeles’s crowded cohort of green carmakers.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending