Tag Archives: Business

Episode 13: Staying Ahead of the Curve in an Era of Change



An overview of Laserfiche’s rise to become an international developer of the world’s premiere Enterprise Content Management software. From its humble beginnings with a unique sales structure, to its evolution into an industry leader that annually hosts Empower, the largest ECM conference in the United States, Laserfiche has continued to reinvent and improve the industry for the past three decades. CEO Christopher Wacker will explain where Laserfiche fits within the ECM landscape and how the company has positioned itself for future growth and expansion. He will also touch upon the company’s roadmap – its Digital Transformation Model – and how it will ultimately improve those Laserfiche end users that embark upon it.

Bio:

Chris Wacker is the CEO of Laserfiche, the leading global provider of content management software. With intuitive on-premises and Cloud solutions for document management and business process automation.  Laserfiche products improve productivity, efficiency and strategic decision-making for clients across industries.

Chris co-founded Compulink and Laserfiche in the 1980s with his late wife and partner Nien-Ling Wacker. They grew the organization from a small software consulting company to a more than $100 million software developer headquartered in Long Beach, CA, with offices across the United States, as well as in Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and China.

Earlier in his career, Chris worked in Saudi Arabia for Ralph M. Parsons, Construction Engineers, where he helped develop the municipal systems infrastructure for a new city with a population of 50,000 people. Before that, he spent several years with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Chris has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and speaks several foreign languages. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Hofstra University in New York.


Episode 11: The Five Smartest and Dumbest Things I did as a Founder



The Managing Director of Techstars LA shares the story of her journey as an entrepreneur.  She will talk about how she transitioned from a McKinsey consultant to a tech founder, how she raised money, grew her company and sold it, and the mistakes she made along the way.  She’ll also provide an overview of the new Techstars LA accelerator program and how she’s applying what she learned as a founder to helping other entrepreneurs.

Bio:

Anna Barber is the Managing Director of Techstars LA, an accelerator program that is part of the global Techstars network.  After graduating from Yale and Yale Law School, she started her career as a corporate lawyer focused on public company transactional work and spent two years at McKinsey as a strategy consultant to retail, media and financial services companies. She served as VP Product at Petstore.com and two other early stage e-commerce companies, before transitioning to Los Angeles where she started a talent management firm and produced two feature films.  In 2006 Anna sat next to a woman on an airplane who became her business partner in her next startup, Scribble Press. Anna was most recently GM and VP Partnerships at Fingerprint Digital, after exiting Scribble Press to Fingerprint. During the past decade she has served as an advisor, strategy consultant and coach to many other entrepreneurs, with a focus on product roadmap, commercialization, business development and financing.

She loves the concept-to-launch phase, go to market strategy, fundraising strategy and growth planning.  In her coaching work she focuses on building high performance teams and helping founders grow with their companies.  She believes in the power of storytelling and creating harmony between personal and company goals.  Find her @annawbarber.

email anna.barber@techstars.com


Episode 10: Snapchat 101 for Business



With over 150 million daily active users participating over 10 billion views daily, Snapchat has emerged as today’s fastest growing social platform. And as Venice-based Snap Inc marches towards its IPO, adults and marketers alike are trying to figure out how to make the most of the channel which is easy to use, but hard to understand. SNAPCHAT 101 author Scott Perry takes away the mystery surrounding the platform by showing the basics of use for Snapchat, and providing an overview of best practices in using Snapchat to promote your brand or business.

In this presentation Perry goes over the macro reasons for joining Snapchat, breaks down the basics of everyday use, explains a lot of the challenges within the platform, goes over how to post, what to post, when to post, and the various paid & free channels businesses can use to engage with potential customers, as well as promote themselves on the platform.

 

Bio:

Scott Perry, founder of marketing firm Sperry Media, has made a living for nearly two decades by helping everyone from Fortune 500 companies to indie stores understand emerging platforms for their business, whether it’s been email, ad networks, Friendster, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and numerous other channels which have come & gone along the way. Clients have included Hasbro, Universal, Sony, Comedy Central, BBC, CBS, Fox, MTV, Nokia, Turner Networks, and nearly every single record label in America.

 

Perry’s first book, SNAPCHAT 101 is a Top 3 best seller on Amazon, and was most recently #1 Most Wishlisted, ahead of such luminaries as Guy Kawasaki and Ryan Holiday. SNAPCHAT 101 has even been called by Snap Inc founder Evan Spiegel, “Easy to understand and approachable.”

scott@sperrymedia.com

@scottperry


Episode 09:Entrepreneurship and the razor-thin difference between success and failure with Bill Cullen



Are you an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial?

Is there a difference? Aren’t both innovators, promoters, builders, leaders, passionate, persistent and dedicated?

Being a successful entrepreneur starts with who you are. If you’re forced at gun point to walk a tight-rope between two New York skyscrapers, do you ask for a safety net or not?

Entrepreneurship is identifying, evaluating and exploiting an opportunity. It could be a solo project or something on the scale of Google or Uber.

But a new venture isn’t always an innovative idea to meet a need the consuming public didn’t think they had. It can be as simple as looking at an old idea or method in a new way. A case in point, good companies are always singling out people who are “intrapreneurial” because inside ventures are driven by the need for innovation to add sustainable competitive advantage and economic value.

So why do some businesses succeed and others fail? David Drucker says it’s usually due to poor management, not because the idea was bad although that’s certainly a factor. While there’s no substitute for skilled and experienced management when the going gets tough, there are several other critical success factors besides good science and technology such as attitude, patience, people, good habits and timing. We’ll explore these in depth with many real world examples of success and failure and what made a difference.

 

Bio:

Bill Cullen is a highly respected executive with 40-plus years of C-level experience in media, mobile, consumer products and advertising businesses. He is actively engaged as an adviser and board member specializing in strategic positioning, financial management and complex business dealings for early-stage and middle-market companies including a well recognized travel comfort products company a long-established sunglass brand, both enjoying rapid growth in worldwide distribution.

Previously, he has led a leading mobile marketing company that he sold to a competitor, served in various executive officer capacities including Chairman and CEO of a publically traded, enterprise software developer, a long-form advertising company that he helped organize and grow from inception to serve approximately 30 million cable television households, and founded a news programming project for Cox Communications, Inc. He held various high level leadership positions in the cable television industry for two decades and was recognized for a record of innovation, industry progress, and marketing excellence.

Mr. Cullen began his business career in banking and has held several senior finance positions in a wide variety of businesses including professional sports, real estate, restaurants and consumer, industrial and commercial finance companies.


Episode 07: Tim Cadogan (CEO OpenX) talks about his experiences building Open X



In this session Tim Cadogan will talk about some of his experiences building OpenX. Topics will include strategic focus, navigating the life cycle of a company, making decisions in the face of uncertainty, leadership choices and implications, shaping culture & communicating through adversity. 

OpenX creates quality programmatic advertising markets that drive superior monetization for publishers and optimal value for brands. As monetization partners to more than 1,200 publishers worldwide, OpenX has the largest knowledge base of publishers needs and trends. Our robust global technology infrastructure that ensures full reliability for all ad formats across all digital environments.

Tim Cadogan is the Chief Executive Officer of OpenX and Chairman of the Board of Directors. From 2003-2008 Tim was at Yahoo!, most recently as Senior Vice President of Global Advertising Marketplaces overseeing the primary advertising product lines at the company, including Display, Search and Video. Previously at Yahoo!, Tim was Vice President of Search where he was responsible for both the consumer search and paid search businesses. Prior to Yahoo!, Tim was Vice President of Search at Overture (formerly GoTo.com). Prior to Overture, he was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company.

Tim earned his B.S. from The London School of Economics, his M.Phil from Oxford University and his MBA from Stanford University.


Episode 06: Civic Innovation & How it Improves our Lives: Pasadena as Case Study



Historically, innovation has been almost exclusively the realm of the private sector, but more recently there has been a movement to assess and strategically deploy innovation in the places we live.  Civic innovation includes new ideas, technologies or methodologies that improves upon existing processes and systems in order to improve the lives of citizens or the function of the society that they live within.  This broad concept includes but goes beyond the more narrow technology movement known as smart cities. It spans new modes of transportation or how existing modes might better work together, clever ways to capture real-time data across city infrastructure and enhance efficiency and citizen transparency, new approaches for managing zoning or even concepts as radical as what is a city and how does it function.  This presentation and conversation will introduce the concept of civic innovation and then explore a few specific examples of it at work in the City of Pasadena.

Bio:

Andy Wilson is a serial entrepreneur having led, founded or invested in almost two dozen Southern California high tech start-ups. He has a long history of service with local not for profits including leadership roles at Pasadena Heritage, Pacific Oaks College, the Gamble House and STEAM Coders.  Andy is a co-founder and board member of Innovate Pasadena, which is dedicated to advancing the east side of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation community. He is a frequent speaker on the role of innovation to create high paying local jobs with the goal of enhancing quality life in our community.

Andy has extensive volunteer experience with the City of Pasadena including service on the Planning Commission, Design Commission, Urban Forestry Advisory Commission and the Pasadena Center Operating Committee (the convention center & visitors bureau). Andy currently represents District 7 (District 7 includes Playhouse District, South Lake, Madison Heights, Oak Knoll, Caltech, Pasadena City College and  Langham Hotel neighborhood) on the Pasadena City Council.  He also serves on the both the Municipal Services Committee (the Pasdena Power & Water Company) and the Economic Development and Technology Committee of the City Council.

Andy is an advocate for thoughtful urban planning that protects neighborhoods and is committed to the Complete Streets and Active Transport concepts, making it easier for people to walk, bike, use transit and ride share. Since in office, Andy has been active in both the South Lake Business Association and the Playhouse District Association in an effort to attract more high quality tenants and promote the success of these District 7 Business Improvement Districts.  With an extensive background in finance, Andy is committed to fiscal responsibility while maintaining high quality services in key areas like public safety and recreation and parks.

Andy holds a degree in engineering with honors from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He is a graduate of Leadership Pasadena and has completed advanced certificate programs at Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northwestern Kellogg School of Business.  He and his wife Liz can often be seen walking with their school aged boys and rescue dog in Madison Heights, their home for 20 years.


Episode 05: How Prioritizing Purpose Makes All The Difference In Creating a Lasting Business



“Technology will change our future as much as all the religious and spiritual leaders combined.” ~ Dan Brown

With exponentially increasing attention options and rapidly decreasing attention spans, it can feel like a helpless struggle to get people to engage with our products and services – not to mention foster long-lasting loyalty. In a systemic marketing machine built on reeling people in with perceived value, the only way to have any possibility of sustained engagement is from rigorous focus on tangible value – and that all beings at the core of our business. Our government recognizes businesses as people, and we need to start doing the same thing. We want to spend our time with people who make us feel happy and important, so why would it be any different for the businesses that are asking us for that same time and engagement?

As the innovators, entrepreneurs, creators, and builders of technology, we have the opportunity and obligation to apply our talents and tools towards cultivating a world that chooses Love over Fear at every intersection. Establishing this baseline is requisite to create a deep and lasting connection with our customers, suppliers, distributors, employees, families, and everyone else that is touched, influenced, and effected by our business creations. We cannot take for granted the power that comes with being able to have our products, services, and ideas literally reach billions of people across the globe, and our professional endeavors will reap the benefit of appealing to the the highest good that we all strive to access in our lives.

Bio

Eron Zehavi is the Founder and CEO of Wellnest, a holistic wellness lifestyle brand and local digital marketplace to easily and affordably connect yoga teachers with students for personalized 1-on-1, small group, and corporate yoga  sessions. He was previously the Co-Founder and Chief Rewards Officer of Swagbucks, the web’s largest and most engaged rewards and loyalty community with over $160 million is distributed rewards. Swagbucks grew bootstrapped for 6 years and raised $60M from TCV in May 2014. Eron is also a socially conscious investor and consultant, working with companies who’s Missions are focused on creating a more healthy, compassionate, and joyful world.


Episode 04: How to Motivate Girls to Become Innovators



Iridescent is a science and engineering education non-profit with the mission to empower the world’s underrepresented young people, especially girls, through engineering and technology, to become innovators and leaders. In order to make a lasting impact on the community, we have learned that you need to work closely with the community including parents and children and the corporations who can provide mentorship and role models. It is important to not only provide meaningful skill-based volunteer opportunities for corporations and their employees, but we also need to provide trainings and help them connect the skills they are developing through volunteer opportunity to their careers. In this talk, we will share how our model works and how it can be mirrored in your community specifically focused on our technology entrepreneurship program called Technovation.

Technovation is the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship program for girls. Through Technovation, girls ages 10-18 identify a problem in their community, develop a mobile app to solve this problem, and launch a startup. Over the course of three months, teams of students learn how to plan, develop, and execute a complete business model and technology product. These young girls go through the same design thinking process any innovator goes through with the help of mentors  who offer real-world connections to STEM careers. Not only does this program serve the girls but it also has a very positive impact on the mentors who learn project management skills, technical skills, mentoring skills, and renewed passion for their professions.

Bio

Amy Hee Kim, Ph.D., Sr. Director of Corporate Partnership at Iridescent. She has a doctorate in Physical Chemistry from University of Chicago. She was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, following which she was the STEM Program Manager for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. She was also the Senior Associate Director of Women in Engineering Programs at the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC. At Iridescent, she has led the team that trains scientists and engineers to become role models and mentors for underserved community children. She also manages corporate relations and find ways for connecting skilled-based volunteer opportunities to educational programs in the community.


Episode 03: Innovation and Meditation: An Introduction to Mindfulness



This introduction to mindfulness will elucidate the whys and wherefores behind resurgent the popularity of this “Once and Future” technology. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the “Father” of secular mindfulness, describes the practice as, “Learning how to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness and non-judgment.” ABC News Anchor man (and author of 10% Happier), Dan Harris says it this way, “The ability know what is happening in your head, right now, without getting carried away by it!”

In this first exposure, I’ll de-mystify and normalize meditation, offering practical ways to integrate a consistent practice into one’s life; both at work and at home.

I will also go over the eye opening neuroscience behind hundreds of mindful-awareness studies, demonstrating its “broad-spectrum” effects against stress, depression and anxiety. Other findings, presented in the Keynote, demonstrate that a consistent meditation practice improves attention, boosts the immune system, reduces emotional reactivity and promotes a general sense of health and well-being.

Bio

Nick Stein is an award winning TV producer and show runner who has worked on countless hours of non-fiction television for myriad networks and production companies. His list of credits run the gamut from a Smithsonian series on the oil boom in North Dakota, to a National Geographic/Peter Gabriel World Music Special. He created ESPN’s Amazing Games and was the series producer of 40 episodes of Discovery Channel’s hit Monster Nation.

Stein was also ran the highest rated series in the history of the National Geographic Channel – Border Wars. Spanning 4-years and 56 hours, he and his crews gained unparalleled access to the hottest areas of the US/Mexican border, embedded with the operational units of Customs and Border Protection, ICE, DEA and the U.S. Coast Guard.

In that role he spent the better part of four years (56 episodes) deeply embedded with the tactical units of a various federal law enforcement agencies, including CBP, ICE, DEA and the US Coast Guard. Stein’s persistent reporting on the human suffering of “ illegal” immigrants, cartel drug runners, unaccompanied children, overburdened agents and officers, and others, left him depleted and burnt out.

Seeking relief while working in Montreal, Canada, Nick availed himself of a highly effective secular form of meditation – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – a science based contemplative system developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Grateful for his newfound equanimity, Nick brought his practice back to California, taking myriad courses at UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) and going on silent retreats. After 2 years, he was accepted into MARC’s Intensive Practice Program (IPP), and later, intent on teaching, Nick gained entrance into the Engaged Mindfulness Institute (EMI), a nationally renowned secular mindfulness certification program.

Because of his work at the border, Nick has dedicated himself to finding ways introduce the techniques and ideas behind mindfulness to the men and women of Law Enforcement. Working with the mindful-policing pioneer, Lt. Richard Goerling, Nick has co-taught a series of ½ day seminars at regional security conferences around the country. Nick has also worked with inmates inside LA County’s Men’s Jail and is slated to work with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chaplains in Georgia, as well as Border Patrol Agents in South Texas.


Episode 02: Surfing the Digital Media Revolution



Hop along on Jürgen’s journey through technology and media as digital advances have empowered creative professionals and consumers to express themselves. Along the way, explore some of the hard-learned entrepreneurial lessons that grew out of managing product development at publishing icon Quark, serving as CEO of consumer software company Nero, and founding Stashimi, the mobile app and platform for musicians to connect to their fans.

Stashimi revolutionizes how artists engage with fans by using proprietary technology that aggregates content from social media avenues like Facebook and Instagram as well as media outlets like Billboard and Stashimi creates a feed of information tailored to its users’ interests accompanied by Pandora-style music stations. In addition, the app is making moves to intertwine itself with the cultures surrounding music.

Just 25 years ago, music and video production, along with almost every kind of publishing, was available only to companies with deep pockets. Today everybody can be a publisher using Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud and other platforms and tools. Some see challenge, others see the opportunity. Jürgen Kurz has seen both sides and has the stories and insights to show for it.

Bio:

Jürgen Kurz is entrepreneurially driven software executive with a proven track record to develop, launch and scale award winning products. Throughout his career, Jürgen has enjoyed to develop, launch and scale many award winning products. Prior to founding Stashimi, Jürgen was the CEO of Nero, a household consumer brand for audio and video management with a base of well over 100 Million customers. Before Nero, Jürgen led product development at digital publishing icon Quark (QuarXPress). Nero has an installed base of well over 100 Million loyal consumers with over 1 Million monthly app downloads. On top of Nero’s own products, many of the world’s leading PC, mobile and TV manufacturers bundle its technologies. At Quark, Jürgen helped to build some amazing products and quickly ended up managing the entire product development organization with multiple desktop and enterprise products and hundreds of passionate PMs and engineers in our development centers in the US, Germany and India.