SBEC Crowdfunding Trends in 2016 Breakfast Event Panel (Part 1 of 2)

The South Bay Entrepreneurial Center in Torrance, California presented “Crowdfunding Trends in 2016” on May 15, 2016 at the Toyota Auto Museum. Topics included new legislation around crowdfunding (JOBS Act), what entrepreneurs have learned from past campaigns and more about service providers in crowdfunding.

MODERATOR: Mark Hiraide
SBEC board member Mark Hiraide is a Corporate and Securities Partner with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. Mark represents companies listed on national stock exchanges and privately held businesses and defends individual officers and directors in corporate and securities law matters. During his 30-year career, Mark worked as an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement and Division of Corporation Finance and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. In private practice he has handled both courtroom litigation and business transactions representing entrepreneurs, startups, publicly traded companies, directors and officers, broker-dealers, investment bankers, investment advisers, accountants and investors. He is an authority on the federal JOBS Act, having testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee evaluating the law designed to help startups raise money. He is the author of a book on crowdfunding just published by Thomson Reuters. And he is working with the California Legislature to pass a state crowdfunding law he drafted


James Lin
James is a co-founder of SBEC cohort company ZenMount. Having been struck by an idea for a tablet holder, James sought out and worked with local product designer Matther Tarnay to transform the abstract idea into a working prototype, initially using Kickstarter funding. ZenMount designs and manufactures device mounting systems for tech gadgets such as tablet, smartphone, and e-readers. Their “Origin” product is the first tablet mount with Simul-LockTM , which makes it easy to use and infinitely adjustable.

Taylor McPartland
In 2010, Taylor, a Northern California native, co-founded CrowdfundX, a leading crowdfunding agency which has leveraged crowdfunding technology, as well as the implementation of the JOBS Act, to raise funds for innovative organizations ranging from automobiles (such as Elio Motors) to non-profits. Assuming an advisory role in the company in 2015, Taylor refocused his energy on evangelizing the benefits of crowdfunding and how its strategies can be applied at local, state, and federal levels. Most recently, Taylor founded the Lincoln Federation, an organization focused on bringing together Los Angeles entrepreneurs with elected officials to collectively create positive change for a sustainable future.

Allen Jebsen
Allen is the Director of Business Development at StartEngine, the premier equity crowdfunding platform, connecting Millennials and aspiring investors with tomorrow’s progressive companies. StartEngine aims to revolutionize the startup business model by helping individuals invest in private companies on a public platform for the first time in history, thereby helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

Dean Quiambao, CPA
Dean, a Partner at Armanino LLP helps numerous private companies, as well as private schools and social service, performing/fine arts and faith-based organizations address their tax, audit and outsourced accounting needs. Boards and finance and audit committees appreciate his laser focus on bringing to life the audit items that matter most, including his proven method of benchmarking data and key financial operating ratios.

Torrance FTW in Business

BizFed, Los Angeles County Business Federation, released the results of their annual survey of employers this week. Among the key findings were their list of “Most Business Friendly” and “Least Business Friendly” LA County Cities.

The South Bay has reason to be proud. Topping the list was Torrance, followed by Santa Clarita, El Segundo, Burbank, and Long Beach. Topping their list of “Least Business Friendly” cities were Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

If you want to see the results of the entire survey, they’ve posted them on their website.

SBEC “Innovation Matters” Event Showcases Thriving South Bay Business Environment during Global Entrepreneurship Week

Torrance, CA (November 20, 2015) — On Thursday, November 19, the South Bay Entrepreneurial Center presented “Innovation Matters Entrepreneur Expo and Tiger Tank Competition” at the Toyota Meeting Hall in Torrance. The event, part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) celebrated in over 140 countries, showcased successful local businesses, as well as future high school and college entrepreneurs.

The event started with a warm introduction from Torrance Mayor Patrick Furey, who was accompanied by City Councilmembers Tim Goodrich, Mike Griffiths, and Kurt Weideman. Keynote speaker Shafat Qazi, CEO of BQE Software, explained how he built his company using his passion to solve a problem he was experiencing himself. A panel of leaders from South Bay companies shared how they built their companies with innovation, passion and determination. Presenters included Mr. Qazi from BQE, Rich Marcello from Strand Brewing Co., David Meizlik from Sage Goddess, Mark Koesterer from Sports Studio and David Landon from Systems Technology Inc.

“We are pleased that Mayor Furey and the council members could join us to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week,” said Gary Polk, Executive Director of the SBEC. “The companies that participated all contribute to the growth of the South Bay’s economy and create jobs. Their passion motivates us all to work hard to build and grow even more.”

In the second half of the program, the “Tiger Tank Competition”, high school and college teams pitched their businesses to the panelists. Petscorts, presented by Port of Los Angeles (POLA) High School students, offered a local pet rental service that saved pets from shelters. Prosthe Kicks, from CA Academy of Math & Science (CAMS) High School, offered a motivational dance & fitness program for the disabled. Two teams from CSU, Dominguez Hills faced off in the college division. Prestige Business Consulting pitched their services to help support and grow immigrant and women-owned businesses. Fast Foodie showcased their food truck concept for breakfast foods served late night, in the morning or on game days near college campuses around Los Angeles. Taking the win in the high school division was Prosthekicks and in the college division was Fast Foodie. Each wins a scholarship to SBEC’s incubator program, valued at over $2500 each.

About SBEC
The South Bay Entrepreneurial Center was formed as a public-benefit 501 (c) (3) corporation in 2011 by a group of civic and business leaders in the South Bay. The SBEC’s purpose is to assist startups and emerging growth companies by providing education, resources, networking, coaching, mentoring, funding avenues and a supportive collaborative environment – to nurture and grow ideas into reality. A seasoned mentor team of professionals, first-class physical facilities and diversified training & advising programs give the entrepreneurs a strong foundation to grow their organizations and feel confident that they will have an excellent opportunity to be successful. For more information please contact the South Bay Entrepreneurial Center located at 1215 Via El Prado, Torrance, CA (562) 688-2709.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week
During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.

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