Hello friend --
Let's "spring" into it, shall we?
A BIG thanks
As Q1 comes to a close, Tech Ed Partnerships would like to recognize several industry partners who’ve stepped up and answered the call to inspire and help train tomorrow’s tech workforce. At the core, these folks and companies make great partners because they truly share the vision of creating opportunity for students to pursue careers in technology. Job shadowing, classroom visits and professional development workshops ... they have demonstrated what it means to give back, and we want to send a huge thanks to them!
Need help deciphering legalese?
Starting a business of any size or scale requires a great deal of paperwork. So, good thing Bixel Exchange and the LA Law Library have partnered to bring you a series of free business workshops led by experts who can help prime you on things like procuring coveted government contracts, and go-to-market strategies! Here are some upcoming ones:
March 29: Government Contracts - Steady Income for Your Business. RSVP.
April 5: Protecting Your "Intangible" Assets, Part 1: Trademarks, Copyrights & Patents. RSVP.
A shared economy
What’s a major metropolis like L.A. to do when tech disruptors are on track to grow faster than local government can keep up with? Los Angeles Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Lyft senior public policy manager Tim Burr, Jr., addressed the new hybrid market model of the shared economy at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce’s March 15 Innovation & Technology Council meeting. Blumenfield talked the economic impact that services like Lyft, Uber and Airbnb have on service contractors and local communities, and the government's regulative response. Burr provided a company update on plans to continue "growing smart" in the U.S., and expansion into international markets.
Save the date for the next ITC meeting May 17!
Marketing traction for your startup
If creating is half the battle, some might argue that the other half is marketing. Early stage startups will be interested in SoGal Los Angeles' marketing panel-workshop-mixer on March 26. Bixel startup advisors Julie Thorne Engels and Lindsey Heisser will be part of the line up!
Spotlight on …
Startup Development Program client Apryl DeLancey of El Porto Shark (and socialmediaage.com, who was just accepted into the Project Entrepreneur Intensive workshop in New York City for female-led startups, hosted by Rent the Runway and UBS.
So, shark forecasting… We’re hooked! Tell us how you first dove into shark sighting data?
I have been a surfer, diver, swimmer, water skier and fishing enthusiast my whole life and never lived more than 10 miles from the coast. In 2013, there were a lot of juvenile great white shark sightings at my local surf spot and the TV news blew up every story to be as scary as possible. During this same time, Australia was actively killing sharks along their coastline that were 3 meters or more. This is incredibly detrimental to the survival of the species being that these are of breeding age. I knew then that I had to do something to bring awareness to the problem and do what I could to promote shark conservation.
I started EPS as a passion project with a website and a social media presence that was meant to educate ... save sharks, save the oceans! Sharks are so important environmentally and economically. In the summer of 2015, I took a part-time data science course at General Assembly to refresh my stats and programming skills. We were required to do a class project and I immediately thought of all the sighting data on the sharkresearchcommittee.com website. It's a bunch of unstructured sighting data that is not in a database. I am the perfect person to transform it and see if we can use it to forecast shark behavior - I have a marine science/chemistry undergrad degree and a biomedical science Master's that focused in biostatistics, bioinformatics and epidemiology. In addition, I've spent the last decade as a strategist/statistician, so I had the unique skillset needed. I had to do it.
Tell us what being accepted into PEI means for you and El Porto Shark.
It's amazing! This completely validates the fact that I'm not insane and there is a real need for data-driven conservation!
Strange there aren’t any female names in your data collected (common names of sightseers). Is that weird, considering you’re a female surfer (and sight-er, we're sure!)?
Well, not so strange since most sightings in the data set come from surfers and I've been in the water with 20+ other guys and I'm the only woman. Female surfers are still rare, between 10-15 percent of the surfing population by my estimate. Especially, avid surfers. Those of us that surf daily/nearly every day are few. This is obvious by the industry's fashion - wetsuits aren't made for girls that actually surf. We're triangle shaped with big shoulders and small waists where most of the wetsuits/clothes are made for the other triangle of big hips and no shoulders. Pardon the rant. :)
Up next for El Porto Shark?
We're applying for grants and pitching investors so we expect to have a big funding piece by Q2 2016. In addition, we've identified global partners for other data sources. Today California, tomorrow the world!
Learn more about El Porto Shark.
Until we sync again,