Soylent CEO Crowley Out as Meal Replacement Startup Looks to Re-Focus Strategy on 'Core Products'
Soylent, the Los Angeles-based meal replacement startup, has shaken up its top ranks with Chief Executive Bryan Crowley stepping down and replaced by Chief Financial Officer Demir Vangelov.
The company's chairman and co-founder, Rob Rhinehart, said in a blog post that the leadership change comes as Soylent looks to change its strategy and product line to "re-focus" on its core products and bring new "innovative ideas" to the market. He also said they will seek to improve prices in a bid to bring in new business.
"Today, innovative food companies are performing record-breaking IPOs, new retailers are raising massive growth rounds, and food, agriculture, and ingredient technologies are some of the most disruptive startups in the ecosystem," he said in a statement. "But we still have a lot of work to do to fulfill Soylent's mission."
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When Christine Outram, founder and CEO of Everydae, a digital tutoring app, met with investors last year to try to raise a seed round she kept being told to come back in six months.
"I guess you can say we were turned down," she said.
Outram decided to try a different route, turning to equity crowdfunding, which allows mom and pop investors to dabble in something that until recently was solely the domain of professional investors. Her campaign proved successful – she raised $1.2 million from 1,586 people who wrote checks between $250 and $50,000.
Christine Outram, founder and CEO of Everydae, a digital tutoring platform.
Barbara Chandler believes she contracted COVID-19 in March at her job, working in an Amazon warehouse in New York where she experienced "a culture of workplace fear reinforced by constant technological supervision, retaliation against those who speak out, and the threat of automatic and immediate job loss in a job market where it may be impossible to find work elsewhere," according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York this week.
Less than a month after contracting the virus, Chandler says she woke up to find her cousin, whom she lived with, dead after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
At a virtual town hall held Thursday by dot.LA and PledgeLA to identify actions leaders in the L.A. tech and startup community can take now to break down racial barriers to jobs and capital, and to democratize economic opportunity for the region -- there were ultimately a robust number of questions asked and interest expressed around the issue, though tangible actions remain to be seen.
Nearly 30 years after the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, protesters across the U.S. gathered this time to march against systemic racism and violence faced by the black community after George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Across social media, tech companies in L.A. and beyond have posted and tweeted their support for #blacklivesmatter, muted their feeds, and opened their pocketbooks, while music companies took part in a blackout. Companies have also donated to various diversity, equity and inclusion causes, but it remains an open question as to what impact those efforts will have.
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