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Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!!

November is a month that invites us to shift into a mindset of gratitude. What are you most grateful for? Family, health, friends, community, a sense of purpose; that's what matters most to me.

Searching for ways to spread love, community, and service -- either through my job or what I choose to do outside of it -- is what energizes me.

The upcoming holiday is a reminder to step back and consider what we are most grateful for and how we are showing our gratitude through action. 

Speaking of grateful, our SoCal Venture Pipeline program has now received 83 applications and has 9 accepted companies.

We are still looking to connect with more great SoCal-based founders raising Series A capital.

If you know any founders based in SoCal who are going for their Series A raise, please encourage them to apply. We’d also like to hear about them directly from you! 

We hope this newsletter is a reminder of what we’re up to and helps keep this cost free service for founders top of mind.   

Hope the next few weeks of your holiday season is filled with cheerful moments of gratitude. Til next time. 


Referral Partner Spotlight: Expert Dojo

Expert DOJO has invested in +120 early stage startups since 2019 and is the 3rd most active pre-seed investor in the US. The valuation of their portfolio is up +300% over the past 3 years. If you haven’t already, take a look here at their new cohort companies.

Expert Dojo will be showcasing their latest investments on Zoom for 90 minutes during the following days: 11/19 & 12/17

Please email for more info.

Great Resources For Founders

DocSend: 4 Types of Documents Founders Must Have in Their Fundraising Data Room (and a Few Additional Tips)

What metrics are the most important for your product?

All In: Female Founders in the US VC Ecosystem

A Founder’s Exponential Toolset: Wright’s Law, Moore’s Law, & More


Community Lead Spotlight: Alex Maleki  

Alex Maleki is the Managing Director at Idealab and has spent his career helping startups. He has extensive experience in business development, marketing, product/project management, strategic partnerships, seed-stage investment and startup law. Alex is one of our Community Leads who refers startups to the program and helps evaluate SVP applications. 

Q: What is your role in the SoCal innovation ecosystem?

A: I’m currently a Managing Director at Idealab, the longest running startup studio, headed by our Founder and CEO Bill Gross. Idealab has been creating and operating pioneering companies since 1996. I’ve been involved in startups in Los Angeles since 2000, and have held a pretty wide variety of roles over the years.

Outside of my work, I currently serve as a Board Member for Innovate Pasadena, shining a light on all the amazing activity coming out of the Greater Pasadena area, and as the Board Chair for STEAM:CODERS, teaching underrepresented students, our next generation of entrepreneurs, the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, art and math. As a Community Lead for the SoCal Alliance Venture Pipeline, I meet and provide feedback on companies in our ecosystem that are trying to raise Series A financing.
Q: What industries or technologies are you most excited about?

A: Well, I’m fortunate to be in LA where we have, I believe, the broadest set of companies and technologies in the country. From climate tech to robotics and manufacturing, consumer companies, SaaS companies, fintech and marketplaces – you name it, there is someone in LA building it.

But, the two areas I’m currently most excited about are the endless possibilities of an ownership economy powered by web3, and space tech that is using advanced technologies created for space to make life here on earth just a bit better. People may forget, but things like GPS, the first sensors for autonomous vehicles, even the camera in your phone all started out as technologies used in space.   

Q: Why are you involved in this program?

A: Entrepreneurs are the largest creators of jobs in our cities. I’d like to think everyone has access to a pool of investors to get their companies off the ground, but that’s not the case. If we can match Series A ready companies with investors who may not have seen them otherwise, that’s a win-win.

Q: Any quotes you want to share?

A: Just one, by the much maligned philosopher Ferris Bueller, who said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

SoCal Funding and Tech News

Mark Cuban and former Oculus CEO back 3D e-commerce startup VNTANA

Xeal raises $11M to expand its digital token payment system for EV chargers

Take care and if you have any ideas on how to collaborate to further elevate our innovation ecosystem, please feel free to reach out.

You can reply to this email or schedule a time to connect here

Warm regards,

Raychel Espiritu
Venture Outreach Manager
The Alliance for SoCal Innovation 
Copyright © 2021 Alliance for Southern California Innovation, All rights reserved.

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