LA Tech Updates: Jukin Media Gets a New Co-CEO; Snap Expands Developer Program

Tami Abdollah

Tami Abdollah was dot.LA's senior technology reporter. She was previously a national security and cybersecurity reporter for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She's been a reporter for the AP in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and for L.A.'s NPR affiliate KPCC. Abdollah spent nearly a year in Iraq as a U.S. government contractor. A native Angeleno, she's traveled the world on $5 a day, taught trad climbing safety classes and is an avid mountaineer. Follow her on Twitter.

jukin media

Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • Jukin Media Promotes Lee Eisner to Co-CEO
  • Snap's Accelerator Program Expands with 'Yellow Collabs'

    Lee Essner, is co-chief executive officer of Jukin Media

    Jukin Media Promotes Lee Eisner to Co-CEO

    Jukin Media, a global entertainment company focused on user-generated content, has promoted its former president and chief operating officer, Lee Essner, to co-chief executive officer, the company announced Thursday.

    Essner will split the top title with Jonathan Skogmo, Jukin Media's founder. The company also announced the promotion of two other key executives on Thursday, including Anton Reut, who served as Jukin's former executive vice president and chief product officer and fills Essner's shoes as COO; and Civonne Ahal, who served as VP for rights management who will become a senior VP in that role.

    Essner began working with Jukin in 2013 and has helped the company grow from a 20-person startup solely at its headquarters in Los Angeles to more than 200 people at offices in L.A., New York, London and New Delhi, the company said in a news release.

    As co-CEO, Essner will continue overseeing Jukin's brand, sales, corporate business development, operations, legal and finance operations. Skogmo will oversee the company's licensing business, original productions, marketing, creative, development and culture.

    The company has fared well during the pandemic but recently said it needed to take Paycheck Protection Program funds to help save some jobs.

    Snap's Accelerator Program Expands with 'Yellow Collabs'

    Snap announced its taking applications for its remote, 13-week program aimed at companies and their developers. Dubbed Yellow Collabs, the program, which runs September 21 through December 18, lets developers work closely with the Snap team to better understand how to build on its platform. The deadline is for applications is August 16.

    Participants will get weekly office hours with Snap experts, as well as access to a monthly speaker series and other networking events. At the end of the program, each company will present their developed products in a showcase event.

    Two years ago, the Santa Monica-based social media startup introduced its Yellow Accelerator developer platform with the goal of filling "a need to support startups at the intersection of creativity and technology," Snap spokesperson Liz Goodno said.

    Over the past year, the launchpad provided support to 10 companies with an $150,000 investment in exchange for equity and led them through a three-month program offering funding, mentorship, commercial partnerships, networking events and office space. The Yellow Collabs program is an extension of this effort, allowing select companies who weren't selected for the full Accelerator Program to attend the trainings, Snap said.

    "While the first touch point with our community has been the Yellow Accelerator, our mission has evolved to build an ecosystem facilitating the connectivity between three main participants: Founders, Investors & Snap," Snap spokesperson Liz Goodno said. "Yellow Collabs focuses specifically on integration with Snapchat through our portfolio of developer tools, while widening the scope of companies (i.e. stage and size) we can engage with."

    Today, more than 800 apps have integrated into Snap's platform — and almost 150 million app users engage with these integrations each month.

    tami@dot.la

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    The Streamy Awards: The War Between Online Creators and Traditional Media Is Just Beginning

    Kristin Snyder

    Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

    tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
    Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

    Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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    Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network

    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.

    Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network
    Photo: Slingshot Aerospace

    Slingshot Aerospace, the El Segundo-based startup developing software for managing objects in space’s orbit, raised $40.9 million to build out its global network of sensors and recruit new customers both private and public.

    The round was a follow-on to Slingshot’s $25 million Series A-1 raise in March.

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    BlueLA, The Largest EV Car Sharing Program, Is Expanding

    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.

    charging station
    Blink Charging

    It ain’t easy being a charging company…or at least a lot of them aren’t making it look easy. Between reports of abysmal charger uptime, declining stock values, lack of standards and meaningless jargon (is “hyper” really faster than “ultra?”), the race to electrify America’s roads has been a bumpy one. For Miami-based Blink Charging, however, the solution to smoothing the transition may be about becoming more than just a charger company.

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