These days, L.A. pedestrians share their sidewalks with diners. Restaurants across the city are moving outdoors to adapt to California's restrictions on indoor dining.
CityGrows, a Los Angeles-based startup with a mission to automate government workflow, aims to make the permit process for sidewalk dining a breeze.
Join us at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 23rd for our next edition of "Female Founders Stories: to Live and Work in L.A." We'll talk with Tea Drops co-founder and CEO Sashee Chandran along with Skylar CEO Cat Chen.
Join dot.LA chief cost and correspondent Kelly O'Grady as we talk with women leaders and entrepreneurs here in the L.A. startup community. We will be exploring how they got started, triumphed over challenges, as well as their favorite success stories and what they love most about living and working in L.A.
Sashee Chandran, Founder & CEO at Tea Drops
Sashee Chandran, Founder & CEO of Tea Drops<p>Sashee is founder and CEO of Tea Drops, which creates bagless loose leaf teas — shedding about 20% less waste than traditional tea bag packaging. Tea Drops has become a favorite among new and experienced tea drinkers alike, launching innovative tea experiences that merge flavorful blends, food art and edgy design. Tea Drops are now available in close to 1,500 retailers — and are loved by Oprah Magazine, Chrissy Teigen, and former first lady Michelle Obama. Sashee is a 1st Place $20K WFN Fast pitch winner, 1st Place $100K Tory Burch Fellow Grant winner, and the 1st place $50K PepsiCo WomanMade Challenge winner. She has also raised over $2.5M in VC funding for Tea Drops. </p>
Cat Chen, Founder & CEO of Skylar
Cat Chen, Founder & CEO of Skylar<p>Founded in April 2017, Skylar is affecting change in the dirty and unregulated $46 billion fragrance industry by creating a whole new world of better-for-you fragrances and body care products. Skylar products are clean, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free. Our products are inspired by women and a portion of our proceeds go toward Step Up, a non-profit organization benefiting women. In addition to creating innovative products, we're also creating a more convenient and personal way to shop, content that helps women lead a clean lifestyle, and a supportive and engaged community.<br></p><p>Skylar is backed by Upfront Ventures, FirstMark Capital, Amplify LA, and Gingerbread Capital. Other notable investors include Brian Lee (The Honest Company Founder), Karen Katz (former Neiman Marcus CEO), Jake Kassan (Mvmt Watches Founder & CEO), and Jeff Kearl (Stance Socks Founder & CEO).</p><p>Cat started her career in management consulting at Bain & Company and continued honing her skills at Apple and Activision Blizzard. She earned a BS in Management Science from MIT and an MBA in Marketing and Operations from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.</p>
Kelly O'Grady, Chief Host and Correspondent
Kelly O'Grady, Chief Host and Correspondent at dot.LA<p>Kelly O'Grady is dot.LA's chief host & correspondent. Kelly serves as dot.LA's on-air talent, and is responsible for designing and executing all video efforts. A former management consultant for McKinsey, and TV reporter for NESN, she also served on Disney's Corporate Strategy team, focusing on M&A and the company's direct-to-consumer streaming efforts. Kelly holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. A Boston native, Kelly spent a year as Miss Massachusetts USA, and can be found supporting her beloved Patriots every Sunday come football season.</p>
- Los Angeles' Startup Scene is Still a Male-Dominated Game - dot.LA ›
- 'Female Founders Stories' Event: WeeCare and DropLabs - dot.LA ›
The makers of baby food intended to prevent food allergies got a boost this week with a $3 million raise led by Danone Manifesto Ventures.
The Los Angeles-based Ready, Set, Food has raised $5.75 million in total and is also backed by high-profile Shark Tank star Mark Cuban and AF Ventures.
The idea of a formula designed to prevent food allergies first came to CEO and co-founder Daniel Zakowski and his brother-in-law three years ago when his nephew suffered an allergic reaction to peanut butter.
Ready, Set, Food!'s co-founder and CEO Daniel Zakowski
"My brother-in-law's a doctor, and was doing a lot of research on what he needed to know about his food allergies and it seemed like recently there have been a number of clinical trials released that show you could prevent up to 80% of food allergies before they start," said Zakowski.
His prevention efforts included giving young children small amounts of peanuts, eggs or milk. Most children don't begin eating those foods until they grow older. The formula is intended to introduce babies as young as four months old to these foods, and prevent them from developing food allergies.
"The opportunity is to prevent 200,000 babies every year from getting severe food allergies, but also it's quite hard for parents to do this from home," said Zakowski.
If a baby begins taking the formula at fourth months, two to three times a week for three to six months, it can significantly help food allergies from developing, he said.
Ready, Set, Food!'s formula costs $29 per month when committing to a 6 month plan. You can also buy a one-month supply of formula for $60 on Amazon.
Zakowski said Cuban's investment helps bring visibility to the issue of food allergies. Cuban says he constantly worries for his daughter who has to always carry an EpiPen because she suffers reactions to severe food allergies.
"Food allergies are a growing problem across the world. I'm excited to partner with Ready, Set, Food! to start to reverse this growing epidemic and make families' lives better," said Cuban in a press release.
Although most of the research used to create the formula won't do much to help adults with their allergies, Ready, Set, Food! But the company says it hopes to continue developing products to help prevent all types of food allergies.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the amount raised and referred to an earlier round.