Rachel Uranga covers the intersection of business, technology and culture. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.
Los Angeles is expected to roll out COVID-19 test kiosks later this month. A similar program in Berkeley may offer a hint of what it will look like.
Curative Inc. the company that administers COVID-19 tests, started a kiosk pilot program in Berkeley that opened last month.
Located in a park in Berkeley, the self-administered testing sites allow individuals to swab their own mouths and place samples in a supervised receptacle. The purple booth with the company's emblem reads "Welcome to your test spot." and "We're glad you are here."
Fred Turner, co-founder of Curative, tweeted out the photos of those kiosk less than a week before Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a similar program on Wednesday.
The kiosks in Los Angeles will process about 500 tests a day and are an alternative to the city's drive-thrus, which can be difficult for residents without cars to get to, Garcetti said.
Great to see our first @Curative mobile COVID-19 testing kiosk in action in @CityofBerkeley this week! We are hopin… https://t.co/yXBL0zOTuY— Fred Turner (@Fred Turner)1596141719.0
"We think this will be a great way of getting tests to people that can't necessarily use one of the drive thrus and making testing more of a part of our daily lives as we continue to fight this pandemic," Turner said during a press conference with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The company is also rolling out a mobile unit that's being deployed to hot spots around Los Angeles. Garcetti said the city wants to be able to bring these to people in need.
"We are just getting to the point where it's getting a lot easier to get tested, but it's going to continue to be a pressing need to offer tests and for anybody who wants a test to be able to get tested," Turner said.
Curative has administered 1 million tests in Los Angeles and is averaging about 18,000 a day with an eye toward growing its capacity further.
Watch the full press announcement below:
COVID-19 Response Update from Mayor Garcetti, August 5, 2020
Join me live at a COVID-19 testing site for the latest on testing and more updates on our work to slow the spread of the virus.
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If U.S. Company Doesn't Buy Tiktok by Sept. 15, Trump Said "It Will be Out of Business."<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODQ3Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzI2Nzc5OH0.nqOLhJhVWxeEzL1-Bs6w7LNxiiNnnx0-o7rlFhF1f1w/img.jpg?width=980" id="b7b3a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7ac4ba0a2e1685d81d3a3c2cedb4b6b8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>TikTok got at least a temporary reprieve in the ongoing battle between the U.S. and Chinese governments over its fate.</p> <p>President Donald Trump <a href="https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1290339070607003648" target="_blank">said Monday</a> TikTok could be bought by an American company after threatening to ban it in the U.S. on Friday. The move opens the door to a Microsoft acquisition but if no deal is reached by September 15th, Trump said TikTok "will be out of business in the United States." </p> <p>Trump also added a new wrinkle to the negotiations, saying that "a very substantial portion" of the purchase would have to go to the U.S. Treasury, "because we're making it possible for this deal to happen." It is not yet clear how that would work.</p> <p>Trump's remarks follow a recent conversation with Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella about his firm's intentions to potentially acquire the Chinese-owned company, Microsoft wrote in <a href="https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/08/02/microsoft-to-continue-discussions-on-potential-tiktok-purchase-in-the-united-states/" target="_blank">a blog post Sunday.</a> The President stated he will hold off banning TikTok while Microsoft negotiates with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.</p> <p>According to Microsoft's statement, the two companies are exploring a proposal wherein the Seattle-based software behemoth would purchase and operate TikTok's operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The acquisition could also include participation from minority investors. </p> <p>In its statement, Microsoft touted its ability to add "world-class security, privacy and digital safety protections" to TikTok, which could assuage the national security concerns of many U.S. government officials over the Chinese government's access to TikTok's data. </p> <p>Specific security measures mentioned in Microsoft's statement include ensuring that TikTok's data on American users is transferred to and remains in the U.S., and that any American user data in servers outside the country is deleted. </p> <p>Microsoft underscored that the discussions are preliminary. "We do not intend to provide further updates until there is a definitive outcome to our discussions," the statement said. </p> <p>The two companies have given notice of their intent to pursue a deal to the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is already investigating whether ByteDance's 2018 acquisition of L.A.-based Musical.ly threatens national security. </p> <p>Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called the discussions "a win-win in the making" while Senator Marco Rubio, who has been critical of TikTok, has said if the company and its data can be "purchased & secured by a trusted U.S. company that would be a positive & acceptable outcome." </p>
GoodRx is Reportedly Looking to Go Public<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzMDg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzcwNzkzMX0.gEKSHoSiXTmdG9k_EdYOM11q2z657zPqe4KsRvW9oKU/image.jpg?width=980" id="2dd81" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="eb49b362aa23d331607f2c30108a05c1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />shallow focus photography of prescription bottle with capsulesPhoto by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash<p>The prescription marketplace platform GoodRx Inc has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering, Reuters reported Sunday.</p><p>The Santa Monica-based company was valued at $2.8 billion in 2018 when private equity firm Silver Lake took a stake. Reuters reported the company is hiring IPO advisers and the listing could come later this year or early 2021. </p><p>Last year, the company purchased HeyDoctor, a telemedicine service that has expanded its care options. </p>
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HBCUvc and PledgeLA offer $5,000 grants to founders from HBCUs<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1OTg0Mi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Nzk2NDIxM30.USZ0uaglvnNlRachpixeUdJ2El5XbF51jkqBoAEyUpo/img.png?width=980" id="2e0e1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="669fea31b69e26838e22a13d9e6a2288" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>HBCUvu, a non-profit increasing racial diversity in venture capital, has partnered with PledgeLA to provide $5,000 grants to startup founders from historically Black colleges and universities. The program, dubbed the The Summer Lab Fund, is now accepting applications through August 6.</p><p>Supported by Crosscut Ventures, the <a href="https://blog.hbcu.vc/pledgela-announces-fund-for-hbcu-entrepreneurs-d688eeda3681" target="_blank">fund</a> will award equity-free grants to technology and tech-enabled startups founded by HBCU students and alumni. Selected startups will also receive mentorship and support from participating sponsors as well as access to HBCUvc and PlegeLA networks. </p><p>The funding opportunity, launched last week, is managed and operated by the current cohort of PledgeLA VC interns who were matched at firms across Los Angeles in a 10-week program.</p><p>PledgeLA is a cohort of tech companies and VC firms created by the Annenberg Foundation and the mayor of Los Angeles. Last week, the organization <a href="https://dot.la/pledgelas-2nd-annual-survey-finds-women-non-whites-still-lack-equity-representation-2646415502.html" target="_self">released</a> results from its annual survey on diversity in tech companies across the city. </p><p>Current intern Evan Hamilton told dot.LA the plan is to establish the Lab Fund as an annual project. Although it only has three spots now, he said, if demand is high enough they will look to raise more funds. </p><p>"What I really hope for, as a result of this, is to encourage that pipeline of investors to go to HBCUs to find interesting entrepreneurial talents because as we've seen many times, most folks are in hoodies coming from Stanford," Hamilton said. </p><p>"Five thousand dollars is a nominal amount of money, but what it does is give someone that ability to say, 'I am an entrepreneur, I have been funded,'" Hamilton said. "It really doesn't take a lot to validate a lot of the thoughts, feelings and opinions that people have. If we're doing this correctly, we're going to help these companies grow, even the ones that aren't able to receive funding."</p><p>He said it hopes to dispel preconceived notions and encourage investors to look toward HBCUs for talent.</p><p>After applications close on August 6, interns will form an investment committee to present and review the interested companies, which come from industries including entertainment tech, retail, education services and sports. Winners of the fund will be announced August 14.</p><p>PledgeLA intern Liza Katsman hopes the thinking behind this initiative will one day extend beyond the HBCU ecosystem. She pointed out that entrepreneurs of different backgrounds - that had largely been excluded from tech companies - bring new perspectives and ideas that can turn into successful products or services.</p><p>"Diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do," Katsman said. "It's the smart thing to do." </p><p><em>dot.LA is a member of PledgeLA.</em></p>
Trump and Microsoft Are Looking at TikTok<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODQ3Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzI2Nzc5OH0.nqOLhJhVWxeEzL1-Bs6w7LNxiiNnnx0-o7rlFhF1f1w/img.jpg?width=980" id="b7b3a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7ac4ba0a2e1685d81d3a3c2cedb4b6b8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Amazon Tells Employees to Delete TikTok, Then Claims Directive Was Sent in Error<p>Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok as President Donald Trump plans to ban it, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-sign-order-demanding-chinas-bytedance-to-divest-tiktok-11596219920?mod=hp_lead_pos1" target="_blank">various</a> <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-sign-order-demanding-chinas-bytedance-to-divest-tiktok-11596219920?mod=hp_lead_pos1" target="_blank">media</a> reported Friday. </p><p>TikTok has come under increasing pressure from the administration that Chinese Internet company ByteDance is sharing data with Beijing and has threatened to ban it. <br></p><p><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-31/trump-to-order-china-s-bytedance-to-sell-tiktok-u-s-operations-kdaib6eb" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a><em> </em>reported the Trump administration had planned to order ByteDance to divest of the Culver City-based company as early as Friday. </p><p> Microsoft could alter the question of ownership. It's unclear how advanced the talks are.<br></p><p>The White House could immediately be reached for comment. </p><p>But in an emailed statement a spokeswoman for TikTok said, "While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok." </p><p>Trump's move would not come as a surprise. He told reporters on Friday: "We're looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things. There's a couple of options."</p><p>Earlier this month, Trump suggested he would ban the app as punishment over China's handling of the coronavirus. Those comments came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo <a href="https://dot.la/could-u-s-ban-chinese-owned-tiktok-2646359784/could-the-u-s-ban-chinese-owned-tiktok" target="_blank">told Fox News </a>that the United States is considering whether to restrict TikTok and other social media apps amid concerns that information was being shared with China's communist government. </p><p>"We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it," Pompeo <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/media/mike-pompeo-tik-tok-china-communist-social-media-spying-fox-ingraham" target="_blank">said</a>. </p><p>In March, another Chinese company, Beijing Kunlun Tech sold the West Hollywood-based gay dating app Grindr for more than $600 million after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States forced it to divest. </p><p>Two months later, Beijing-based parent company ByteDance appointed Kevin Mayer, once widely considered Bob Iger's heir apparent at The Walt Disney company, to head TikTok in a move that would help distance itself from its Beijing parent company. </p><p><span></span>TikTok, has around 30 million active users and has increasingly become a favorite of advertisers to sell their products among the youth-oriented social media app. <br></p>
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