Before COVID struck, economists at L.A.-based jobs marketplace ZipRecruiter had found that teacher job applications were down.

"We interviewed some teachers saying they had friends going into edtech companies and other startups, taking UX courses or going into content-marketing and tech roles and quickly 'earning so much more than we are'," ZipRecruiter labor economist Julia Pollak told dot.LA.

That led to a flight from the comforts of a stable job with a pension for the high-risk, high-reward world of startups. "There was a clear trend away from those safe jobs," Pollak said.

That trend seems to have reversed.

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Lyre's wants to sell Americans on clear-headed drinking with their faux bourbon and other mocktail spirits. The Australian-based company set up North American offices in Los Angeles last year and has aggressively sought to make a mark in the Golden State. And it seems to be working; the company just raised $11.5 million.

Lyre's has hitched its success to the growing "sober curious" movement, focusing on health-conscious consumers with its dry month challenges. About 60% of the company's sales come from the United States and it's increasingly looking for tastemakers in Southern California to help build its brand.

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Startup Tiltify wants to use lessons from Twitch's success in the gaming industry to change the way charities interact with their audiences. A recent $6.5 million raise will help them do just that.

The Los Angeles-based crowdfunding platform was launched in 2014 by Michael Wasserman and Mark Russell to get younger generations participating in charity fundraisers.

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