Warehouse from Outer, Trucks From Clutter, Logistics From Well Health. How L.A. Startups Are Collaborating to Get Aid To Local Hospitals
Jiake Liu is the founder of a startup outdoor furniture company, but lately he feels like he's running a second company — one that's helping supply local hospitals with thousands of protective masks and, in the process, rallying Los Angeles' tech community.
Liu started SoCal Tech for Hospitals in early March with the goal of raising $60,000 to purchase 30,000 masks for hospitals facing shortages. He's now helped raise nearly $200,000, delivered 50,000 hospital-grade masks and is looking to up the ante with the region's vast tech community to do good beyond the pandemic.
Over the past months, he's enrolled some of the most well-known startups in town to pitch in for the logistical effort of distributing the masks. After the workday ends, Liu jumps on the phone with other founders to orchestrate the effort.
"We are really able to leverage everyone's expertise," he said. "It really is the spirit of entrepreneurship. You don't necessarily have the right answers. But you come to figure things out."
His own company, Outer, uses their warehouse to store palettes of masks he's helped procure. Trucks from on-demand storage company Clutter distribute the medical supplies. While, Well Health pitches in by gauging the needs at local hospitals. Others, like the head of the rental furniture company Fernish rally venture capital donations.
Early on Liu found that venture capital firms had already been bombarded with requests for donations, but his pitch was that this effort would benefit local hospitals and was different.
"We are really the only group that's like 'let's really reach the L.A. tech community,'" he said. "If you work in L.A. tech you should donate to us. It was a call to action."
It got attention. He's pulled in donations from some of the region's top firms including Wonder Ventures, GreyCroft, Upfront Ventures. He also pulled in donations from the online coupon cutter Honey Science Corp. and carpet seller Ruggable. dot.LA is also a contributor. In return, companies get a shout out on their website.
Among the hospitals that have received the masks are Adventist Health Glendale, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Dignity Health - California Hospital Medical Center, Pomona Valley Medical Center, St. Francis Medical Center, LA+USC Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, White Memorial Community Health Center, Harbor UCLA Medical Center and Olive View UCLA Medical Center.
Liu began the effort because a doctor couple he knew that worked at Cedars Sinai Medical Center were worried about the supply of masks, so he started a GoFundMe page.
"When I started, I just wanted to get masks for my friends, but as I started talking to folks and getting a sense of the desire to do good," he said.
Someone at the location data software company Factual saw the page and introduced Liu to the nonprofit the Count On Me Family Foundation, which is now handling the funds.
Liu's next goal is to hit $250,000 in donations, but he has a larger one. With non-profit LA-Tech.org recently joining the effort, he's looking at ways to keep the momentum going beyond the pandemic.
"Now that we have attention of the tech community, the question is can we diverge some of the energy that we captured to continue to do good?"
Editor's note: dot.LA is a contributor to the fund.
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On Thursday, July 9th, dot.LA entertainment reporter Sam Blake hosted a one-on-one video interview with Steven Galanis, founder and CEO of Cameo, the thriving video platform featuring celebrities and influencers.
"From our estimation we believe that there are two million people in the world that are qualified influencers," said Cameo Founder and CEO Steven Galanis in a conversation with dot.LA's Sam Blake. "And probably more than in any other city on Earth, those people are in Los Angeles."
Cameo CEO Steven Galanis
- Join Us for a Virtual Fireside Chat with Cameo Founder and CEO ... ›
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- Open Raven Adds Three Cloud and Security Veterans to its Team
- Tinder Tests Video Feature for Pandemic Dating
Open Raven Adds Three Cloud and Security Veterans to its Team<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM5ODY1Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNDcxMjM5NX0.xQkGkfQGXF98L06L8AGjttxsMAYYSOfVlFxjgPo6fIA/image.png?width=980" id="e485c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ec1c76ab18e8234992ef7bc99899994a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Open Raven, a Los Angeles-based company that offers a cloud data security platform, said Thursday that it has expanded its leadership team to include three new cloud and security industry veterans. The move comes weeks after the company announced its second major round of funding.</p><p>Rob Markovich joins the company as its new chief marketing officer from his prior role as chief marketing officer at Wavefront. Alan Buckley has been hired as the senior vice president of sales, finance and operations, from his prior role as the business operations lead at Tanium. Bill Hau will be the new vice president of customer success. Hau has more than 20 years of offensive and defensive cybersecurity operations experience and previously worked at companies including Cylance, Mandiant/FireEye, IBM and McAfee.</p><p>Their hire follows <a href="https://dot.la/cloud-data-security-2646187838.html" target="_self">Open Raven's raise of a $15 million Series A round this June</a> — four months <a href="https://dot.la/open-raven-data-security-2645111465.html" target="_self">after it emerged from stealth to announce seed funding</a>. The round was led by Kleiner Perkins as well as existing investors like Upfront Ventures, bringing its total capital raised to $19.1 million.<img alt="" src="https://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=bwnews&sty=20200709005277r1&sid=web01&distro=nx&lang=en"><em>__</em></p><p><em></em><em>Do you have a story that needs to be told? My DMs are open on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/latams" target="_blank"><em>@latams</em></a><em>. You can also </em><em>email me at tami(at)dot.la</em><em></em><em>, or ask for my Signal.</em></p>
Tinder Tests Video Feature for Pandemic Dating<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY1Njc5NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTgwMjc4M30.77K73_L-avsg-F23cDrsbpaatY6opyXUnhd7KLz-3QE/img.jpg?width=980" id="15305" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="500459f03dada1f31bdae9f4fe09131d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><span style="background-color: initial;">As COVID puts a pause on dating for many singles, Tinder has rolled out a new video chat feature. The dating app </span><a href="https://www.tinderpressroom.com/Tinder-Begins-Testing-Face-to-Face-Video" target="_blank">announced</a> Wednesday that users in 13 countries, including four U.S. states, can now try out "Face to Face."<br></p><p>This is part of Tinder's big sell on a feature Bumble launched last year that has become popular. The video calls "prioritize control and comfort" by prompting users to agree to a set of<a href="https://www.gotinder.com/community-guidelines" target="_blank"> ground rules</a> (keeping the interaction PG) and letting them disable the video feature at any point. You're also able to leave a report once the video ends.</p><p>"We're looking to better understand how video chat fits in with the overall journey of getting to know someone new," Tinder spokesperson Evan Bonnstetter explained in an email.</p><p>Users in Virginia, Illinois, Georgia and Colorado can meet their matches face-to-face. But the feeling has to be mutual — both parties need to opt-in before the chat switches to a split-screen video call.</p><p>Like Snapchat, the appeal of talking on dating apps lies in anonymity, for some. Plus, chatting on an app relieves the stress of giving out personal information.</p><p>As stay-at-home orders remain in place, virtual dates have become default. Will this last? A Tinder survey of users found that over half of its U.S. users have used the video date function with a match in the past month. Plus, 40% of Gen Z members surveyed who tried video dating said they'd continue using the feature "as a way to decide whether to meet IRL (in real life) in the future — even once their favorite date spot is open again."</p><p>Launched in 2012, Tinder, now boasting over 60 million subscribers, is available in 190 countries and over 40 languages.</p>
- Open Raven Raises $15M to Keep Data Secure in the Cloud - dot.LA ›
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Kernel, a bioscience company aiming to make the inner workings of the human brain easy to read, announced Thursday it's raised $53 million in a Series C round led by General Catalyst.
Other investors include Khosla Ventures, Eldridge, Manta Ray Ventures, Tiny Blue Dot and Kernel founder and CEO Bryan Johnson, who himself has invested $54 million in the company to date.
Kernel founder and CEO Bryan Johnson has invested $54 million in the company.