Catch Up On This Week's Top 5 Stories With Our Video Recap

Kelly O'Grady
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.
Catch Up On This Week's Top 5 Stories With Our Video Recap

What's going on with L.A.'s tech and startup community? A lot! dot.LA chief host and correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key points of the top five headlines from this week. Don't miss out on the essential news you need to know:

  • Quibi to Shut Down After Failing to Find Buyer
  • Election Experts Warn Against Tabulating Votes with QR Codes
  • Bird Seeks to Unload HQ as Fund Marks Down Shares
  • NASA Seeks to Create New Economy in Space
  • Genies Bets on the Digital Economy


    Weekly Recap: Quibi shuts down, Bird is unloading its HQ, NASA predicts a space economy & more!www.youtube.com


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      🤠Musk Picks Texas and 🔥Tinder AI Picks Your Profile Pictures
      Image Source: Tinder

      🔦 Spotlight

      Tinder is altering dating profile creation with its new AI-powered Photo Selector feature, designed to help users choose their most appealing dating profile pictures. This innovative tool employs facial recognition technology to curate a set of up to 10 photos from the user's device, streamlining the often time-consuming process of profile setup. To use the feature, users simply take a selfie within the Tinder app and grant access to their camera roll. The AI then analyzes the photos based on factors like lighting and composition, drawing from Tinder's research on what makes an effective profile picture.

      The selection process occurs entirely on the user's device, ensuring privacy and data security. Tinder doesn't collect or store any biometric data or photos beyond those chosen for the profile, and the facial recognition data is deleted once the user exits the feature. This new tool addresses a common pain point for users, as Tinder's research shows that young singles typically spend about 25 to 33 minutes selecting a profile picture. By automating this process, Tinder aims to reduce profile creation time and allow users to focus more on making meaningful connections.

      In wholly unrelated news, Elon Musk has announced plans to relocate the headquarters of X (formerly Twitter) and SpaceX from California to Texas. SpaceX will move from Hawthorne to Starbase, while X will shift from San Francisco to Austin. Musk cited concerns about aggressive drug users near X's current headquarters and a new California law regarding gender identity notification in schools as reasons for the move. This decision follows Musk's previous relocation of Tesla's headquarters to Texas in 2021.

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      • Penguin Random House agreed to acquire comic book publisher Boom! Studios from backers like Walt Disney Co. - learn more

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      Top LA Accelerators that Entrepreneurs Should Know About

      Los Angeles, has a thriving startup ecosystem with numerous accelerators, incubators, and programs designed to support and nurture new businesses. These programs provide a range of services, including funding, mentorship, workspace, networking opportunities, and strategic guidance to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas and scale their companies.


      Techstars Los Angeles

      Techstars is a global outfit with a chapter in Los Angeles that opened in 2017. It prioritizes local companies but will fund some firms based outside of LA.

      Location: Culver City

      Type of Funding: Pre-seed, early stage

      Focus: Industry Agnostic

      Notable Past Companies: StokedPlastic, Zeno Power


      Grid110

      Grid110 offers no-cost, no-equity programs for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, including a 12-week Residency accelerator for early-stage startups, an Idea to Launch Bootcamp for pre-launch entrepreneurs, and specialized programs like the PledgeLA Founders Fund and Friends & Family program, all aimed at providing essential skills, resources, and support to help founders develop and grow their businesses.

      Location: DTLA

      Type of Funding: Seed, early stage

      Focus: Industry Agnostic

      Notable Past Companies: Casetify, Flavors From Afar


      Idealab

      Idealab is a renowned startup studio and incubator based in Pasadena, California. Founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Bill Gross, Idealab has a long history of nurturing innovative technology companies, with over 150 startups launched and 45 successful IPOs and acquisitions, including notable successes like Coinbase and Tenor.

      Location: Pasadena

      Type of Funding: Stage agnostic

      Focus: Industry Agnostic, AI/Robotics, Consumer, Clean Energy

      Notable Past Companies: Lumin, Coinbase, Tenor


      Plug In South LA

      Plug In South LA is a tech accelerator program focused on supporting and empowering Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area. The 12-week intensive program provides early-stage founders with mentorship, workshops, strategic guidance, potential pilot partnerships, grant funding, and networking opportunities to help them scale their businesses and secure investment.

      Location: Los Angeles

      Type of Funding: Pre-seed, seed

      Focus: Industry Agnostic, Connection to South LA and related communities

      Notable Past Companies: ChargerHelp, Peadbo


      Cedars-Sinai Accelerator

      The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is a three-month program based in Los Angeles that provides healthcare startups with $100,000 in funding, mentorship from over 300 leading clinicians and executives, and access to Cedars-Sinai's clinical expertise and resources. The program aims to transform healthcare quality, efficiency, and care delivery by helping entrepreneurs bring their innovative technology products to market, offering participants dedicated office space, exposure to a broad network of healthcare entrepreneurs and investors, and the opportunity to pitch their companies at a Demo Day.

      Location: West Hollywood

      Type of Funding: Seed, early stage, convertible note

      Focus: Healthcare, Device, Life Sciences

      Notable Past Companies: Regard, Hawthorne Effect


      MedTech Innovator

      MedTech Innovator is the world's largest accelerator for medical technology companies, based in Los Angeles, offering a four-month program that provides selected startups with unparalleled access to industry leaders, investors, and resources without taking equity. The accelerator culminates in showcase events and competitions where participating companies can win substantial non-dilutive funding, with the program having a strong track record of helping startups secure FDA approvals and significant follow-on funding.

      Location: Westwood

      Type of Funding: Seed, early stage

      Focus: Health Care, Health Diagnostics, Medical Device

      Notable Past Companies: Zeto, Genetesis


      KidsX

      The KidsX Accelerator in Los Angeles is a 10-week program that supports early-stage digital health companies focused on pediatric care, providing mentorship, resources, and access to a network of children's hospitals to help startups validate product-market fit and scale their solutions. The accelerator uses a reverse pitch model, where participating hospitals identify focus areas and work closely with selected startups to develop and pilot digital health solutions that address specific pediatric needs.

      Location: East Hollywood

      Type of Funding: Pre-seed, seed, early stage

      Focus: Pediatric Health Care Innovation

      Notable Past Companies: Smileyscope, Zocalo Health


      Disney Accelerator

      Disney Accelerator is a startup accelerator that provides early-stage companies in the consumer media, entertainment and technology sectors with mentorship, guidance, and investment from Disney executives. The program, now in its 10th year, aims to foster collaborations and partnerships between innovative technology companies and The Walt Disney Company to help them accelerate their growth and bring new experiences to Disney audiences.

      Location: Burbank

      Type of Funding: Growth stage

      Focus: Technology and entertainment

      Notable Past Companies: Epic Games, BRIT + CO, CAMP


      Techstars Space Accelerator

      Techstars Space Accelerator is a startup accelerator program focused on advancing the next generation of space technology companies. The three-month mentorship-driven program brings together founders from across the globe to work on big ideas in aerospace, including rapid launch services, precision-based imaging, operating systems for complex robotics, in-space servicing, and thermal protection.

      Location: Los Angeles

      Type of Funding: Growth stage

      Focus: Aerospace

      Notable Past Companies: Pixxel, Morpheus Space



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      🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
      Image Source: Joby Aviation

      🔦 Spotlight

      Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

      For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

      Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.


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