Connecting (and showing off) our Venture Pipeline companies to local investors
The Alliance for SoCal Innovation (Alliance) gathered nearly 30 founders to meet with top venture capitalists for fundraising and networking opportunities at the annual SoCal Venture Pipeline (SVP) Showcase. The program included a workshop for founders, company introductions, and a cocktail hour for networking. The annual gathering kicked off the Alliance’s redeveloped VC matching program.
The SVP Showcase was held the afternoon and evening of May 19, 2022 at the landmark Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles which serves as the local campus for Arizona State University (ASU). The school moved into the facility in August of 2021 to provide classroom education to 500 students a day while also furthering their base to reach SoCal residents. Now one of the largest educational systems in the country with 134,500 students in person and online, ASU is deeply invested in the SoCal ecosystem with 18,000 Californians enrolled and 52,000 alumni residing throughout the state.
Skysong Innovations, one of the sponsors of the Showcase, serves as a proxy for ASU to bring innovative research alive through new startups. Since 2003, Skysong has launched 180 startups such as Swift Coat who attended the event to showcase their innovative coating which “keeps outdoor surfaces clean by absorbing UV rays and breaking down the soilants through a photocatalytic reaction.” One key application of this unique coating is the lengthening of time needed between cleanings for solar panels, which have reduced charge capacity when coated in dust. With Swift Coat applied to solar panels, the usual 30 percent reduction in output caused by dust is solved.
Other notable startups at the event included Polycarbin, the only circular economy for biomedical plastics; DERMALA, a clinically studied line of micro-biome powered skincare; Lorals, sexy latex underwear for pleasure and protection; Nimbly a demand-driven apparel marketplace; and Headgum, a comedy podcast network and tech driven podcast ad marketplace, to name a few. The diverse collection of startups were carefully selected by the SVP Selection Committee which is committed to ensuring that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and SoCal communities have access to capital and opportunity. Headgum kicked off the event with a conversation for founders on how the Alliance helped them secure their Series A raise by matching them to Vertical Venture Partners.
The evening concluded with more match making between the founders and VC’s over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The Alliance curated the event by carefully inviting VC’s committed to investing in the SoCal ecosystem and desiring to help diverse entrepreneurs grow and thrive. The VC’s present represent a fraction of the SoCal VC’s who have helped Los Angeles become the third largest startup ecosystem, behind Silicon Valley and New York City. There are 3,800 startups that call Los Angeles home and the diamonds in the rough were on full display that evening looking for their share of the $5.9 billion VC funded startup marketplace that is now valued at $297 billion.
The Alliance and SVP Showcase sponsors, SVB, Wilson Sonsini, KPPB, and others recognize the unique role the Alliance plays in matching the best startups with supportive VC’s furthering the diverse innovation of SoCal that’s unlike any other tech hub in the world. This one of a kind program offered by the Alliance showcases their efforts to support leaders and stakeholders who nurture and grow the SoCal innovation ecosystem.