alibaba

Over the last decade, Los Angeles has developed one of the leading startup ecosystems in the world. Venture capital investment in the city's startups has grown dramatically, and an increasing share is coming from Asia.

Major Chinese companies including Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba and Wanda Group have invested in local startups, many of which want to gain a toehold in key Asian markets. Wavemaker Partners, which is co-headquartered in Santa Monica and Singapore, recently announced the close of its third and largest fund focused on Southeast Asia.

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Kobe Bryant's precision as a shooting guard in a Lakers jersey was legendary. But, the NBA superstar's acumen in the boardroom was his future.

The basketball phenomenon was laying down the groundwork for the next part of his career years before he retired as a five-time NBA champion in 2016. Bryant partnered with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, a scientist and former tech chief executive, to form a venture capital fund. He threw the gauntlet down on Hollywood, forming Granity Studios to front streaming and movie efforts, and Kobe Inc. for some of his personal investments.

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