Category Archives: Featured

California Consumer Privacy Act

The beginning of this year witnessed the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act. The CCPA – whose impacts go way beyond California – came into effect on the 1st of the month primarily in order to provide Californians with additional rights and privileges vis-à-vis securing their data.  Those in the UK (who will also be affected by the CCPA like they were with the GDPR in 2018) are now being trained on how to implement this.

The CCPA has been hailed as potentially a very powerful legislative addition for consumers as well as businesses and will ultimately put the US on the same page as the UK vis-à-vis global privacy. American consumers will get access to exactly what companies know about them; have power over whether they can keep that information and stop them from selling it. 

This will have quite the impact on businesses.  Many are bemoaning the extra burden it places on them in terms of time and money with a company being forced to pay up to $23.5m (4 percent of global annual revenue) with failure to comply.

For the consumer though, what could be bad? Very little apparently. Such high stakes are forcing companies to go through their cybersecurity practices with a fine tooth comb.  For Californians there is even more good news because regional policy makers have already come up with their own plan to protect personal data via the CCPA.  And, this will likely have a trickle down effect on other states and even countries given that California has the fifth largest economy in the world.

LA: Printing, Processing Developments

The printing and processing industries are both encountering growth in LA right now.  Here, we look at two companies in these sectors: 3DEO Inc. and Gigajot Technology Inc.

3D metal printing company 3DEO Inc. manufacturers steel components for a variety of industries by developing “accurate, on-demand printing of repeatable metal parts.” The firm – based in Gardena – has raised over $14 million from 11 investors for its next step.  Company president Matt Stand will be leading the MD&M West conference entitled  ‘Metal 3D Printing In Medtech: How Medical Devices Will Be Transformed.’ The conference takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center between February 11-13th.

Earlier this month an announcement came from Gigajot Technology Inc. on its upcoming expansion.  Currently the firm’s Pasadena headquarters measures 100 square foot.  The augmentation of the company premises will result in a move to the Gateway Metro Center, filling 3,257 square foot. The lease is currently for three years at a cost of approximately $386,932.  Since its launch in 2017, the company has raised $4 million.

Real Estate Transactions

CBS will be selling its TV City property and sound stage operation.  The25 acre area is located at 7800 Beverly Boulevard.  Ownership will be transferred to Hackman Capital Partners, a real estate developer for $750 million.  Included in this deal will be rights of the realtor to use the TV City trademark in work it conducts on the property.

Once the deal goes through, CBS will still be in operation, but its work will take place at its Studios Center,Studio City at 4024 Radford Avenue, San Fernando Valley, which also houses KCBS and KCAL local TV stations.  In addition,this business transaction will not impact any programs CBS produces at the studio campus; there will be no interruption or change in the shows produced by the broadcast network at the property for at least the next five years and office space at CBS Studios International’s US headquarters will also be retained by CBS.

It seems  this is not the only large business transaction Hackman Capital Partners has been engaged in.  It is now in the process of working on renovating the creative office Culver Studio campus which will be anchored by Amazon Studios.    CEO of the firm Michael Hackman said how “thrilled” his firm was with the commitment to the Studios from Amazon.  He called it “the ultimate validation of all the hard work our company and the City have put into the campus redesign.”

Once it has been redesigned, the space will reach double its capacity, spanning five new buildings, and 1,930 parking spaces over two lots.

When Success and Philanthropy Join Hands

Ask 10 successful businesses what ultimately led them to great success and you’ll get 10 different answers.  But when companies refer to the social responsibility and charitable giving their firm has engaged in on their journey to the top, that’s a game changer on a whole different level.

TOMS Shoes – where Laurent Potdevin made his mark some years back as company director – is one such company.  Founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, what differentiated the shoe manufacturing company was its “one for one” business model (each pair that is sold means an impoverished child gets a pair).  This model has not in any way meant that the company has not been wildly financially successful though as well, proving that good business doesn’t have to just be about the bottom line.

Today, TOMS is still turning a profit and making increasingly more dreams come true. Thanks to its recent Disney partnership and the creation of the TOMS X Disney Princess Shoe Collection, girls and women worldwide can feel like real-life princesses.

Because at the end of the day, businesses that clothe the needy within the parameters of their success are nothing short of heroically dreamlike…and possibly the best measure of success that there is.

Silver Lake Business News

Five new businesses have recently opened their doors in LA’s Silver Lake.  These are: chef Charles Olalia’s Filipino restaurant Ma’am Sir; modern Mexican restaurant XoK; Indigo Fitness infamous for its Spindigo class; Yolo Foot Spa and consignment store Golden Age Hollywood.

In addition, a complete refurbishment has resulted in the transformation of a local LA 1930s warehouse.  Silverlake Conservatory of Music has taken the Bestor Architects building on Hollywood Boulevard and transformed it into a modern music village, featuring acoustic pods.  All pods have top acoustic materials; light fixtures comprise wood (instead of metal, etc.).

Los Angeles Business News

What is happening in the business development word in Los Angeles?  According to a recent Forbes article there have been a slew of entrepreneurs have enjoyed success and growth in their LA businesses and thus recommend others follow suit. Here we look at both Auticon and Williams Corsi.

Auticon is a top technology employer for professionals who are on the autistic spectrum.  Having won many awards for its work, it recently purchased MindSpark Inc., which will result in the “leverage[ing of] unique strengths of each company, offering services such as business analytics, artificial intelligence, software development and migration, as well as quality assurance and testing.”

Mindspark currently has two offices in California (in Santa Monica and Culver City) and its joining of Auticon will result in the “continue[d] expan[sion of] its portfolio of clients with major U.S. companies and will be able to serve its global customers in Europe and the U.S.”

Advertising and graphic design studio Williams Corsi & Associates is planning on moving to downtown LA in September to 12,000 square feet at Row DTLA.  The company was created in 2015. Clients include: Netflix Inc., Hallmark Channel and NBCUniversal Inc.

Upcoming Conferences

Between January 14 and 18th, the National Farmers Union (NFU) 2018 Women’s Conference will take place.  Held in San Diego, CA, the theme this year is Women in Leadership.  Given the work women have already put in within the agricultural industry, at this conference the NFU hopes to build on this idea, assisting participants in developing their own future in this area.  In particular, the issues covered will be: business planning, innovative marketing and networking.

The first Freeform Summit will take place in Los Angeles in a few weeks’ time. Scheduled for January 18, this daylong event will comprise panel discussions on: activism, representation in TV, social change and other aspects impacting youth today.  This year the event is going to be instead of its presentation that Freeform would have given at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Next month will see a Las Vegas summit organized by the  Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.  The 2018 D.I.C.E. Summit (#DICE18) event will take place February 20-22, 2018.  Participants will include: video game creators and executives who will benefit from the networking event while hearing from key speakers discuss the theme of the conference – Made Better – which will focus on the biggest trends and ideas in the industry today.

Is LA Smoking?

Los Angeles will be the first US city to get its own “bank;” a way for marijuana dispensary operators to access banking services.

A few months ago, a proposal was put forward by Herb Wesson (Council President) to create a public Bank of Los Angeles for this purpose in the hope of establishing a working “legal cannabis industry” for the city.  He explained:

“We cannot bury our heads in the sand on the issue of recreational and medical cannabis legalization. Instead we must strive to reasonably regulate the emerging industry while creating opportunities for Angelenos,” adding that the bank could also be used to “finance local entrepreneurs and affordable housing.”

As such, earlier this month, Malibu’s 99 High Tide Collective became the first address to work with under a cannabis business license in the county, leading the way for the region to become “the capital of cannabis.”  As Forbes contributor Debra Borchadt pointed out, even though Colorado was the place that initially resulted in publicity for legal cannabis, from a business perspective it will now likely be California’s market numbers that will put LA on the cannabis map.

LA Makes it to “Top 10 Best City Brands”

Not that this is the first year for the city of Angels to have made it to the list but still, it is impressive and positive that LA has taken second place in America in Resonance Consultancy’s study. With its perfect climate and revitalized downtown area, Los Angeles is the place to be.

So what makes LA such a great place to live?  There is the cuisine, which Donal Skehan is trying to move away from the reputation the nation has earned over the years of being fast food and unhealthy. In his latest cookbook ‘Eat. Live. Go.  – Fresh Food Fast,’ he transforms the buttery, cholesterol-building popcorn into a superfood with a sprinkling of turmeric, spirulina powder, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. But it’s not all health-focused.  His main idea is balance:  go for the green shake but don’t forget your lemon tart seems to be his philosophy.

And then there is the environment. The city is most committed to setting and reaching sustainability goals.  One example of this is its electric car-sharing pilot program it has set up in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  It is trying to decrease the carbon footprint of the its more cumbersome, older buildings.  In this venture, the Mayor put in place two acts which were recently passed by the City Council.

Of course when we talk about LA we cannot omit the culture of the city. In particular, Art Los Angeles Contemporary  (ALAC) is, in 2017, welcoming a whole slew of new galleries from throughout Latin America and Asia.  It is anticipated that this will be its  most varied fair yet.  It has already garnered substantial global interest and simultaneously will remain with a unique LA flavor since 27 out of the 62 participants are from the West Coast metropolis, with director Tim Fleming saying it represents a snapshot of LA artistic production.

So LA has a lot to offer. It isn’t perfect but it certainly seems to have something for almost everyone.

Check Out Parachute

beddingParachute – the direct-to-consumer bedding and home goods startup is attempting to give its customers the opportunity to try out the products before purchasing.  Its high quality goods are manufactured in Italy and sold both online and in its showroom in Venice, California.

Although the firm was launched two years ago, it now has a new hotel 2,200 square foot penthouse hotel.  At this venue, customers are able to try out the sheets. This is because the towels, bedding, mattress pads and more are all used for the customers in the hotel.  Then, if they like what they are using, they have the opportunity to purchase the stuff afterwards.

According to Ariel Kaye the firm’s CEO and founder, they are doing this to provide “an opportunity for our community to engage with Parachute in a new and exciting way. We wanted to create a space that would feel comfortable not only for a group of thirty, but also for a couple looking to relax on vacation and to experience Venice like locals.”