LA Venture: MCT's Shane Kelly on How Technology Is Changing Entertainment and Investing

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+, 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.
LA Venture: MCT's Shane Kelly on How Technology Is Changing Entertainment and Investing

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, media tech expert Shane Kelly comes on to talk about the business of financing feature films and tech startups.

Kelly has financed over 20 feature films and invested in over 20 tech startups, many of them at the center of the tech and entertainment industries. Over the course of his career, Kelly has focused on investing in the future of the media industry with his primary investment fund MCT.

"MCT was formed, to not only be able to invest capital into the new pipelines for content that have emerged with streaming as well as traditional [viewing] -- but also now with the disruption that's happened from COVID," he said.

Kelly said he's seen media innovation evolve from smaller ventures and introduce different ways of thinking across the entertainment sphere. One of Kelly's investments is a pair of headphones that can detect brain signals to determine how focused the user is on a particular song. Kelly said the device can also allow users to skip songs or call someone with their mind.

Kelly also talked about his commitment to bringing more Black and Latinx people into the industry through his work with Pharrell Williams' Black Ambition Prize, which awards anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million to fund ideas and companies.

"Black Ambition Prize started out kind of as a competition, right? To bring together Black and Latinx founders and provide them support and provide awards for the folks that win." Now, he said, it handed out awards to 10 winners in 2021.

Kelly served as a lead mentor of the organization's mentorship program .

He said the work helped him see beyond his own biases and encouraged him to partner with local groups including the Annenberg Foundation and to create more inclusive environments for young entrepreneurs of color.

"I went down this path, really trying to understand how the world works and how oppressive systems... impact people of different groups, people of different locations," said Kelly.

Listen to the full interview by clicking the playhead above and hear Kelly's thoughts on film, tech and the state of capitalism today.

dot.LA Audience Engagement Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

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Diagnostics Startup Polygon Raises $4M To Test Kids for ADHD and Dyslexia

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Diagnostics Startup Polygon Raises $4M To Test Kids for ADHD and Dyslexia
Courtesy of Polygon

Here’s how Jack Rolo describes his childhood: He was good at chess, and bad at spelling. He was good at math, and bad at reading. Rolo went on to study physics at Durham University in his native England—and despite often struggling in his courses, it wasn’t until after he graduated that he was diagnosed with dyslexia, a common language processing disorder that affects reading.

Rolo’s experiences informed his founding of Polygon, a Santa Monica-based diagnostics startup that emerged from stealth on Friday with $4.2 million in funding, and the goal of better diagnosing dyslexia, ADHD and other learning-related disabilities. The funding includes a $3.6 million seed round led by Spark Capital, as well as $600,000 in pre-seed funding led by Pear VC.

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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.

Ian Siegel, ZipRecruiter
Image courtesy of ZipRecruiter

On this episode of Office Hours, host Spencer Rascoff talked with ZipRecruiter CEO and founder Ian Siegel about how he built his company, the lessons he's learned along the way and how he's seen the pandemic drastically reshape the job market—probably for good.

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