MuckerLab, the startup accelerator and incubator based in Santa Monica, CA. have announced their plans later today for their inaugural demo day. The event is today at 1pm and I will be there to take a first look at the presenting companies as well as MuckerLab’s 3-month accelerator program and perhaps why LA is overlooked by VC interest and money, and even when companies do get funding, it’s not always coming from investors in the LA basin. The bulk of the $5mil in initial funding for LA-based Lifecrowd, for instance, was raised by Chicago based Lightbank
MuckerLab has recently launched two of thier startup companies already, SurfAir and Lifecrowd, both will also be participating today in the events. The complete lineup of presenting companies with brief business summaries are as follows:
- Instacanvas: an online marketplace for social media, art and artifacts
- Laffster: a distribution and discovery platform for premium comedic content through YouTube, Laffster.com, and beyond
- Lifecrowd: marketplace for social activities and finding things to do, coordinating events in your area. Help find offline social activities in an online marketplace
- Penango: browser-based encryption and security solutions for cloud applications.
- Surf Air: membership based airline service offering all-you-can-fly on the west coast for now with their fleet of eight light luxury jets
- Retention Science: a big data retention marketing platform for e-commerce
- OttoLikes Lab: an interest curation engine that’s pioneering an entirely new category of algorithms to provide consumers with ideas for online and offline products and services
- Wallaby Financial: a network-branded (Visa) payment card that dynamically routes transactions across a consumers existing credit cards to maximize rewards, cash-back, and savings.
MuckerLab recruits Internet software, services, and media entrepreneurs through an open, but selective, application process, similar to the models employed by Y-Combinator and TechStars. Companies then go through a structured, three-month-long program and are provided funding, office space, curriculum and hands-on access to a deep mentor network of top-tier investors and entrepreneurs who can help them build, launch and grow their businesses. At the end of the program, companies present their pitches to investors and media at Demo Day, the first of which is today at 1pm.
“Demo Day is a great showcase of the depth and diversity of startup activity here in Los Angeles, with companies ranging from cloud security and encryption to payments to online content distribution,” said MuckerLab Co-Founder Erik Rannala. “We are consistently impressed by the quality and sophistication of the entrepreneurs we meet every day here in the LA startup ecosystem and feel fortunate to be investors and advisors to the nine phenomenal businesses in our Winter 2012 cohort.”
- 1pm Networking
- 2pm Welcome Message
- 2:10 Instacanvas
- 2:20 Retention Science
- 2:30 LifeCrowd
- 2:40p – 2:55p Break
- 3pm eCinity
- 3:10pm Penango
- 3:20pm Laffster.com
- 3:30p – 3:45p Break
- 3:50 Ottolikes Labs
- 4p Wallaby Financial
- 4:10 pm Surf Air
- 4:20 – 6p Networking
So it looks like each company, after 3-months of hard work, tweaking, measuring, brainstorming and generally busting ass will have to harness their accumulated enthusiasm, creativity and sweat equity then boil it down to 10 minutes of awesome presentation. Presenting what they can offer, scale their ideas and operations, market and deliver on ideas in markets that either under-served or somehow have a need for something different. The LA tech scene is a vibrant place if you know where to look and from what I see in front of me, there are some excellent examples of what can happen when great ideas meet hard-work, innovation, customer-centric companies ready to engage their audience with a new, refreshing idea or perhaps a different way to do things.