Hello friend --
Bixel Exchange, in partnership with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Mayor’s Tech Council, is placing 100 diverse young adult interns at L.A. tech companies as part of the Mayor’s Hire LA's Youth Initiative and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce’s L.A. Talent Challenge. Last week, the team held 56 first-round mock interviews to better assess the interest area of each student and to help students prepare for real-world interviews. Learn more.
Don’t have an internship, but still want to help?
We will have more than 250 students at the L.A. Area Chamber over the course of the Challenge, and need help to interview and recommend students for a variety of internship positions. We’ve created a Doodle link for anyone interested in volunteering as an interviewer to include your contact information and availability. All industry backgrounds are welcome as students will be interviewing for positions in everything from software development, to IT to digital marketing and operations. Each interview should last 20 minutes, and we will provide all volunteers with the interview questions.
Small Business Awards celebrated with SBA and L.A. Area Chamber
On May 17, the Chamber, in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA), held the Small Business Awards at the Universal Hilton. The annual event celebrates California’s 3.5 million small businesses, and shines a spotlight on the people working every day to ensure their success. Bixel Exchange worked to secure speakers for the event’s “Small Business Hurdles: Overcoming Risks and Growing Your Business” panel, that featured Steve Lehman of Business Rockstars, Freya Estreller of Coolhaus, Susan Sarich of SusieCakes, Jeff Ghitman of Local Roots Farms and Corrine Crockett of Vow to be Chic. See the photos.
Startup LAunch company Pactriglo named PosibleLA finalist
A huge congratulations to Benjamin Pezzillo of Pactriglo for being named a finalist of the PosibleLA Accelerator program. A partnership between Televisa Foundation and Univision 34, the program aims to inspire and empower Latino and Latina entrepreneurs in L.A. by offering training, tools, access to resources, and more opportunities to take early stage startups and business ideas to the next level. Pezzillo has earned the opportunity to attend a bootcamp in June to develop his pitch and network. Pezzillo was joined by fellow Startup LAunch entrepreneur Lemuel Acosta of RnVentory in pitching at the May 20 summit.
Startup LAunch chats funding at Coworking Day
On May 25, Startup LAunch hosted its monthly coworking day at General Assembly DTLA! The event featured a lightning lunch-and-learn on SBIR/STTR grants with Martin Kleckner, an advisor from Tritech and a National Science Foundation expert.
Dakota Ortiz speaks at Digital Hollywood media summit
As part of the Digital Hollywood media summit, Bixel Exchange participated in a panel hosted by Oracle and Cal State University Entertainment Alliance, focused on shrinking the skills gap in mobile and VR education. Our Strategic Partner Manager Dakota Ortiz spoke on the importance of creating career pathways and career enrichment opportunities for youth and young adults that involve the employers. Panelists discussed the benefit of institutions of learning, employers, and third-party training organizations working together to create equitable and proven pathways to jobs and entrepreneurship. Speakers included experts from OneThirdBlue, Skydance Media, Sony Interactive, ADVR and CSUN.
El Porto Shark featured in San Diego news!
Earlier this month, Startup LAunch company El Porto Shark teamed up with SD Expeditions for a news story about all of the recent shark sightings and shared facts about shark activity - especially Great White Sharks. See the video.
mitú needs your laptops, help!
Bixel Exchange has partnered with the mitú Accelerator 360 Program - a hands-on training and mentorship program that teaches participants everything involved in the digital communications industry. Throughout the course of the program, participants are exposed to every aspect of the mitú production and business cycle and learn what it takes to develop an idea from concept through production and release. In order to implement the five-week program, mitú is looking for approximately 10 laptops. Please contact email@example.com to learn more.
#BixelStartup SPOTLIGHT… Sam McArdle, founder and CEO of Elegy, a platform where grieving individuals can share their burdens and garner support from friends, family and even strangers. Elegy celebrated its beta launch earlier this month!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
After suffering a tragic personal loss, I was inspired to help others dealing with grief. Shocked by the tremendous cost of funerals and the bereavement process as a whole, I focused my efforts on building a platform dedicated to helping others find financial support and understanding during this tough time.
Finding focus. When you finally make the leap into entrepreneurship and chasing your startup dreams, it can be more than overwhelming. The trick is staying laser focused on one task at a time until completed, then moving on to the next. Otherwise, you'll never make any real progress.
Advice for fellow entrepreneurs:
You can't do it alone. My company and support team is small but vital -- I would never have made it this far without the help of everyone along the way. It's so important to share your process, share your experiences and share your ideas! Don't keep secrets out of fear. It only hurts you in the end. The startup community is awesome -- be involved and get people involved; they want to help.
Finding my CTO was huge. The trick is finding someone who is not only reliable, but whose vision also aligns with your own. It's such a great feeling when everything you've been dreaming of and working on for so long starts becoming a reality.
Your favorite part of Bixel Exchange?
The support from Bixel has been amazing, and the community has become such an inspiration to me. Attending the Bixel meetups and workshops are so helpful -- it's great to meet and connect with other entrepreneurs who can relate to what I'm going through. Most of all, my one-on-one meetings with Craig always reinvigorate my drive and help focus my efforts to reach the goals I set.
Until we sync again,