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What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

Even if you have no money to hire people, dont just take people to do work for you for free still interview them and bring them on as if you had all the in the world. Free does not equal quality.

Douglas Korteis an award-winning and accomplished global technology executive, entrepreneur, investor and respected transformational leader whose background encompasses engineering, marketing, sales and general management across numerous industries serving companies sized from startups that hes helped get off the ground, to serving as a Fortune 50 executive with IBM and HP, and in roles from vice president of sales & marketing to global GM, CRO and CEO.

Created in Los Angeles withNationBuilder

Be patient…its all about the journey and not the destination.

Craig Wilson is a fractional chief product officer to CEOs in product development and business operations with experience in Blockchain, Internet of Things, AdTech, FinTech, Distributed Data, Mobile and E-commerce. He drives advocacy for technology with the State of California, Los Angeles and congressional advisors in Washington, D.C. Craigs career spans two decades, including 12 years at Microsoft in various management roles for divisions in Software as a Service, Azure, Big Data, Office and Mobile. His big interest is the internet upgrade with new technologies developing on blockchain. Craigs been involved with two merger and acquisitions totaling $1.4 billion and involved in raising $43 million in capital for startups. Craig is a supporting entrepreneur advisor to other programs for TechStars, Startup Boost LA, Startup UCLA and UCLA 3 Day Startup for student and alumni entrepreneurs. Craig is a graduate from City University of Seattle and UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Business plan, pitch deck, funding strategy, story-telling, early stage startups

Make mistakes early! Learn from others so you make less mistakes. Stay passionate.

Jocelyn Grafs career has spanned the globe, including work at HSBC Bank in Mexico and Samsung in South Korea. She founded a biomedical research editing and translation business based out of South Korea and has since transitioned it to a passive income source. Jocelyn appreciates living in L.A., where she can still speak Spanish and Korean regularly. Jocelyn serves on the Peer Review Committee at The Arroyo SECO Community Revolving Loan Fund as a peer adviser for its Local Economy Incubator for environmentally sustainable and employee-owned businesses. She leads the LA Civic Data Analysis Team at Los Angeles City College as well as periodic data science meetups. Her company, Proficia, provides training for job-seekers from underrepresented groups in tech through a Department of Labor non-traditional apprenticeship grant. Jocelyn has successfully navigated the path from academia to a business owner, herself a beneficiary of Small Business Development Center advising. She enjoys guiding others who dream of owning a business through the process of envisioning, launching and growing their own enterprises.

Shirin Laor-Raz Salemniais the founder and CEO of PlayWerks and WhizGirls Academy. PlayWerks is an interactive media company that creates multi-platform immersive games. At WhizGirls Academy students engage in project-based learning with tech literacy while acquiring coding skills, entrepreneurship tools and building confidence as members of their communities with a healthy balanced lifestyle slant. In 2013, she hosted the first Hackathon for Women and Girls with The White House Council of Women and Girls. In May 2014, she hosted the Kids Hack for LA in collaboration with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, the White House, and will.i.ams Foundation. Also in 2014, Shirin gave her Ted Talk Are You a Gamer or a Gardener? at TedxYouth. In March 2015, Shirin was honored by Mayor Garcetti as L.A. City Pioneer Woman of the Year. In October 2015, she was honored as a Tribeca Disruptor Innovation Fellow. In March 2016, Shirin was honored as IJWO Woman of the Year. She is currently teaching Tech for Social Impact at USC Viterbi.

Barbara Bickhamis a CTO with extensive experience in technology, monetization, digital/mobile and entrepreneurship. Her current expertise are: Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Augmented Reality. Currently the CTO at PopResults, she helps companies with venture building, incubation, acceleration and growth. Previously, Barbara was the director of engineering for Flexeye where she architected, designed and coded the 2014 Gartner Cool Vendor Award-winning REST API for their IoT platform . She also founded TechGenii, Inc., a digital strategy company; m, a Forex Software company; and PCNLA, an investment association connecting Southern California businesses with venture funding.

Learn to delegate early and often. There is just too much to do and too much that I dont know. Apart from the satisfaction that I was able to figure some of it out on my own, my time and resources would have been better used where my strengths lie. Finding the right resources and experts to help you build and grow and being able to leverage these resources is a critical founder/CEO success skill.

Try to find an advisor or mentor who has experience in your space and learn from them – especially from their mistakes.

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

Prioritization is key and so is cleaning your room.

Stay humble; dont give yourself too much credit when times are good or too much blame when times are bad. Bring in good people who are better than you are at what they do, and trust them to do their jobs. Find a great mentor or mentors, ask for help and be coachable. Focus on solving a real problem and creating value.

Roberto Martinez is the founder and CEO of Braven Agency, a digital marketing agency, and a Google Digital Coach. He focuses on scaling startups and SMBs to greatness using digital and operational tools. He has more than a decade of experience in digital marketing and management working with several global Fortune 500 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Hitachi, Hyatt, Humana, and McDonalds. He has an MBA from Thunderbird and undergraduate degree from UCLA. He is known for his ability to make three-minute cookies in two minutes.

Jay Tsaois a serial entrepreneur who has led several startups in the technology, finance, real estate, CPG and international trade industries. He co-founded Sapient Consulting LLC, an information technology consulting firm focused on next-generation Intranet ERP applications and network infrastructure for the financial services and banking industries. Since his technology background focused on the financial vertical industry, he later transitioned to serve executive and leadership roles at investment companies and later became founding managing director of TMG Capital West and Ameritrust Asset & Capital Management LLC, private equity real estate investment firms, having managed and funded close to $4 billion in transactions. He is the founder and CEO of Globemart Technologies, a global B2E e-commerce marketplace startup utilizing innovative media and SaaS technology to facilitate commerce transactions and make trade between SMEs easier around the world. Jay received his B.A. in economics and political science from Loyola Marymount University. He also graduated from UCLAs Anderson School of Managements Executive Program and obtained an M.B.A. from Cornell Universitys Johnson School of Management, where he was a fellow of the Entrepreneur & Innovation Institute (EII) and a PMP mentor to several startups and early-stage ventures. He is a partner and board member at Scepture Corporation and BridgeArc Trading, leading international trading and distribution conglomerates that represent and distribute industry-renowned and brand-recognized products.

Product/market/fit, pitch decks, funding and strategic business development. Industries: data, fintech, ad tech, media, consumer services and consumer digital healthcare.

Partner with no one until you know how they treat waiters. Write everything down early. Start only ideas that have huge upsides if they work. Budget 4x what you think for lawyers.

Gaming, Female Founder, Branding, Childrens Entertainment

Adam Chapnickis a globally recognized serial entrepreneur known for disrupting long-established industries with tech-supported new-model approaches. Hes an active consultant to tech founders on strategy, operations and financing. A prolific thought-leader on rewards-based and equity crowdfunding, Adam has presented on the subject at hundreds of events around the world and in dozens of verticals since 2010. He is the programming director and host at and the Security Token Academy, where he has interviewed more than 100 thought leaders in the crypto space, and has been called the favorite interviewer in crypto. He was a principal at Indiegogo, which he helped build into the worlds largest crowdfunding platform, with more than 200,000 campaigns, users in more than 175 countries, operating in multiple languages and five currencies. Adam founded , the flat-fee VOD distribution service that empowers content creators to distribute their work like a major studio. Adam is an advisor to Bixel Exchange, part of the L.A. Area Chambers Center for Innovation & Technology, and is embedded with their Executive-In-Residence program. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters, is an avid sand sculptor and country music writer.

Ed Leeis a pricing and go-to-market specialist and trusted adviser to leading companies and brands. He is the founder of HelloAdvisr, an L.A.-based growth consultancy helping companies and startups design strategies that win loyal customers, grow revenue and profits and help the company thrive. Previously, Ed held leadership roles with LG Electronics and Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global management consulting firm and worlds leading expert in pricing. Ed is regularly invited to speak on pricing strategy at leading universities and organizations including the University of Southern California (USC), UC San Diego and General Assembly as well as startup/tech organizations such as Techstars, LA Cleantech Incubator and Wayra (London, UK). Ed received an MBA from Oxford University, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from UC San Diego.

Financial Models, Budgets, Accounting Systems Set Up, Fundraising, Pitch Decks

A solid problem that requires a completely new approach is what every founder seeks. However, building a solid founding team with strong skills to solve the problem are more important to the success of the business and its growth.

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?


Leadership across functional teams. Sustainable plan to raise capital. Enterprise product architect.

Im a pricing and monetization guru helping startups and companies build growing sustainable companies, and take to market products customers love and value.

Mark Kapczynskihas a successful track record as a business strategist, at the intersection of technology, data and devices. He currently works with companies focused on media, consumer healthcare, retail, restaurants, fintech and data and analytics to develop new products and drive new business offerings. Mark has worked for large companies including Microsoft, Experian and Yodlee as well as having built his own startups: MESoft, LocationX and Digital Genesis. He also services as a venture partner for Arrowroot Capital and Executive Director for the UCLA Venture Capital Fund. Mark graduated from UCLA film school and holds more than 15 patents.

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

Take a breath. Surround yourself with great people (working and support). Be gentle with yourself. Its a marathon, not a sprint.

Fire-jumper, Tech Guru, Start-up Zen

Elianne Rodriguezis the co-founder and secretary of Conaxion Inc., and winner of the inaugural L.A. Mayors Cup. She has a background in small business focused on development and growth.

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

Mackenzie Chambersis a CPA-turned-entrepreneur. She is the founder and managing director of Square Root Financial, a firm that provides outsourced CFO and accounting services to high-growth companies. Previously, Mackenzie was VP of technology & venture banking at Grandpoint Bank where she sourced and structured venture financing deals between $500,000 and $3 million, and, before Grandpoint, was a co-founder of wmbly, inc., a social platform for live and on-demand video content. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mackenzie audited public and emerging growth companies at Deloitte & Touche. Mackenzie has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, a Masters in Accounting and a Masters in Business Taxation from USCs Marshall School of Business.

Kat Yalunghas worked frontlines with founding teams and entrepreneurs across San Francisco, Nicaragua, New York and L.A. tech. She has spoken at 500 Startups, Kapor Capital, The Heart Series Conference, Grid110, Startups in the Sky and General Assembly. Kat was recently honored as a L.A. Biz 2018 Woman of Influence.

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

Helping founders: understand what they are actually providing to the market; become laser-focused on objectives and key results needed to achieve them; and create compelling presentations that get investors and customers jumping out of their seats in excitement.

Robin Leehas been playing an important role within Southern Californias startup and venture capital communities throughout her career. During her tenure at Tech Coast Angels, she was instrumental in helping fund more than 150 companies and placing more than $250 million from investors to entrepreneurs. She continued this as the venture consultant at Startup UCLA accelerator and at Blackstone Launchpad. She has served as a mentor at the Founder Institute, StartEngine and Women Founders Network. She runs an accelerator program with selected startup from Korea, accessing her vast network of both successful entrepreneurs and investors.

Steven Sedlic has a diverse background in both finance and online advertising. He is a former Nasdaq market maker and director of market research for an investment banking firm and a Chinese venture capital firm. Steve also worked for an online advertising agency and is a co-founder of a health and sustainability-oriented online marketing firm. Steve has an M.B.A. in marketing and entrepreneurship from USC and a B.A. in economics and philosophy from UC Berkeley.

What advice do you wish you could give yourself back when you were just founding your startups?

Knowing how to motivate. Knowing how to listen. Breadth of experience and expertise across global business functions.

Digital Marketing: Customer Acquisition and Retainment; Inbound Digital Marketing Strategy: Google Tools (Adwords, Google Analytics), Remarketing, Facebook Ads, LTV, Churn Rate, Email Marketing, Persona, Website Strategy, Content Strategy

Cameron Kashanibuilds startup communities and ecosystems around the world in order to promote world peace and innovation. She spreads the message of peace in the form of power and works with technology innovators, founders and startups to accelerate their success. She believes in the human element of business, and her vision is a global economy that thrives on a we dynamic. Shes worked with more than 4,000 entrepreneurs and 650 startups and has her MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship. Having been referred to as the godmother and a pioneer of Silicon Beach, she previously co-founded Coloft, the first co-working space in Los Angeles for technology startups and entrepreneurs in 2010. Over the course of her four years involved, Coloft hosted more than 1,400 alumni, was home to the early days of Uber L.A., Instacart, Fullscreen and many more. Today, shes a single mom to twin boys, an expert speaker with the U.S. State Department in a program thats designed to inspire entrepreneurship in young women, and a three-time company founder that just launched her third venture to help fulfil her vision. CoAccel: The Human Accelerator, brings the concept of startup accelerators to a new level, directing energy and focus on the most important piece of the puzzle: the human.

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