Event: Verizon 5G Is 'Changing the Game' for the Tech Industry

Katherine Phan
Katherine Phan is dot.LA’s VP of Operations. Katherine has years of experience producing events, activations and summits working with startups to Fortune 500 companies in industries such as tech, film, television, fashion and lifestyle. Katherine holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA. During her down time, she enjoys being an armchair expert in film and food.
Summer Series Verizon 5G​

By now, everyone has heard about 5G but Verizon says the wireless network technology goes far beyond faster web surfing and streaming.

Tech industry leaders and venture capitalists gathered for a final dot.LA 2021 Summer Series event at the Verizon 5G Labs in Playa Vista on Thursday to get a first-hand look at the technological promises of the new generation of wireless. The event was sponsored by Compass real estate agents Ari Afshar of Voyage Real Estate, Lauren Forbes and Jen Winston.


Luke Wang, 5G Labs lead for Verizon, moderated a speaker panel featuring Pam Allison, head of 5G Labs strategy and partnerships, Ian Nelson, senior manager of business development of Ryot, and Corey Laplante, chief operating officer of Mixhalo.

Verizon 5G Labs co-hosted the event with dot.LA.

"L.A. is at the very intersection of tech media entertainment, and 5G is completely changing the game for all kinds of use cases across the super industry," said Sam Adams, CEO of dot.LA, in his introductory remarks at the event.

Nelson, who works on technology that relies on fast wireless speeds, said 5G has been greatly beneficial in his line of work.

"I tend to think about 5G as an accelerant to degree, right? It does enable quite a bit of features and ways to interact with content and products, but it really does benefit when you tie it to other technologies," said Nelson.

Allison talked about the accessibility of 5G for people with newer phones.

"The first is nationwide 5G and that you know, if you have a 5G phone, it means you get 5G almost anywhere that you can typically get 4G," said Allison.

Laplante lauded Verizon for what the company has been doing outside of being just a mobile carrier and entering the entertainment space.

"Look at the NFL deal that they just struck two or three weeks ago. It's a 10-year deal. They're in all these stadiums, the opportunity and scale, there's like nothing we could achieve with another mobile carrier," said Laplante.

8/13

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Derek Jeter’s Arena Club Knocked a $10M Funding Round Right Out of the Park

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

sports trading cards
Arena Club /Andria Moore

Sports trading card platform Arena Club has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Co-founded by CEO Brian Lee and Hall of Fame Yankees player Derek Jeter, Arena Club launched its digital showroom in September. Through the platform, sports fans can buy, sell, trade and display their card collections. Using computer vision and machine learning, Arena Club allows fans to grade and authenticate their cards, which can be stored in the company’s vault or delivered in protective “slabs.” Arena Club intends to use the new cash to expand these functions and scale its operations.

The new funding brings Arena Club’s total amount raised to $20 million. M13, defy.vc, Lightspeed Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures and BAM Ventures contributed to the round.

“Our team is thankful for the group of investors—led by M13, who see the bright future of the trading card hobby and our platform,” Lee said in a statement. “I have long admired M13 and the value they bring to early-stage startups.”

M13’s co-founder Courtney Reum, who formed the early-stage consumer technology venture firm in 2016 alongside his brother Carter Reum, will join Arena Club’s board. Reum has been eyeing the trading card space since 2020 when he began investing in what was once just a childhood hobby.

The sports trading card market surged in 2020 as fans turned to the hobby after the pandemic brought live events to a standstill. Since then, prices have come down, though demand remains high. And investors are still betting on trading card companies, with companies like Collectors bringing in $100 million earlier this year. Fanatics, which sells athletic collectibles and trading cards, reached a $31 billion valuation after raising $700 million earlier this week. On the blockchain, Tom Brady’s NFT company Autograph lets athletes sell digital collectibles directly to fans.

As for Arena Club, the company is looking to cement itself as a digital card show.

“Providing users with a digital card show allows us to use our first-class technology to give collectors from all over the world the luxury of being able to get the full trading card show experience at their fingertips,” Jeter said in a statement.

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