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Mobile LAVA: Start Your 'Mobile' Startup
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Join us for Mobile LAVA's next event, “Start Your 'Mobile' Startup,” as we examine some of the practical, nuts-and-bolts components of building a new business in the mobile and online spaces. Entrepreneurs are naturally infused with passion, ideas, and a desire to attract people to their passion and ideas.

When: Thursday, May 30th
6:30pm - 9:00pm
Where: ROC - Santa Monica
604 Arizona Street
Santa Monica, California  90401
United States
Contact: Michael Utvich

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Start Your Mobile Startup

FREE for LAVA Members and only $35 for non-members!


Join us for Mobile LAVA's next event, "Start Your Mobile Startup,” as we examine some of the practical, nuts-and-bolts components of building a new business in the mobile and online spaces. Entrepreneurs are naturally infused with passion, ideas, and a desire to attract people to their passion and ideas. Often, however, the practical realities of starting a business can get lost in the midst of an entrepreneur's enthusiasm, and easily avoidable mistakes can result in huge headaches down the road, or worse — business failure.

In order to provide practical advice and context, our next panel will share with us some fundamental components for starting a startup, including:

  1. Team:  What makes the right start-up team?
  2. Partner:  What should you look for in a business partner?
  3. Legal:  How do you set up the legal framework for an organization that mitigates future conflicts?
  4. Docs:  What are the basic core documents required to get a start-up going?
  5. Financial:  How do you ensure financial sanity and what kinds of financial people are necessary - controller, CFO, accountant?
  6. HR:  What are the essential human resource issues that need to be considered?
  7. CTO:  When it comes to the mobile space, specifically - what do you need in a CTO? What do you need to look for in the engineers/programmers you hire?
  8. Staffing:  What are the practical costs of bringing people aboard early on? For instance, is everyone working for little to no pay? How do you gain enough capital to pay people in the early stages?
  9. Startup Issues:  For mobile startups, what are some of the crucial things to know, especially in a space so rapidly growing and constantly changing?
  10. Mobile Challenges:  Are the challenges that mobile start-ups face different from those not focused on mobile? If so, what are the pitfalls and how can you avoid them?


Hank Leber, Co-founder & CEO, GonnaBe

Hank LeberHank Leber is the founder and CEO of GonnaBe– social media of the future (literally – all the things you're gonna be doing).

Hank has a diverse background. He's an ad-man turned entrepreneur, having toured in a rock band for 5 years, led digital strategy for major brands (on the ad agency side), and started a few companies along the way.

He founded Agency Nil – the world's first crowd-sourcing-based advertising agency – and sold it in 2009. He also founded to help fight famine in East Africa by allowing people to donate used electronics. In advertising, Hank worked on many brands including Lexus, Nationwide, Travelocity, Anheuser-Busch, Sherwin-Williams, Coldwell Banker, Häagen-Dazs, and Wrigley's.

·Hank holds an M.S. in Mass Communications from the VCU Brand Center. In 2010 he won top honors at the Jay Chiat Awards for Strategic Excellence for his work on Travelocity (he put the Gnome on Chatroulette, earning the brand 20MM impressions without spending a dime).

He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and wishes it would rain sometimes.


Matt Sandler, Co-founder & CEO, Chromatik

Matt Sandler is the co-founder and CEO of Chromatik. Named one of Entrepreneur Magazine's "Top 100 Brilliant Companies of 2012," Chromatik is the largest active network of music learners worldwide. Its web and iPad products are used by American Idol, UCLA, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and over 750 music organizations across the United States. As CEO, Matt leads the business development and product teams, and has raised venture funding from Learn Capital, Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and strategic angel investors.

Prior to Chromatik, Matt was a professional saxophonist and held A&R/Programming roles at KROQ 106.7FM and Capitol Records. Matt received a BA in Music Performance from UCLA, and was named a CA Distinguished Arts Scholar by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.


TX Zhou, Managing Partner, Karlin Ventures

TX is the Managing Partner of Karlin Ventures and has been involved in the startup space since his college days. He started an online textbook retail company while in college, served as the CFO for an electric vehicle startup, Lit Motors, and worked for Innovation Endeavors, a seed stage venture fund backed by Eric Schmidt. Prior to Innovation Endeavors, TX worked for McKinsey & Co in their London office where he was part of their financial institutions and consumer goods practices. TX received a M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics (summa cum laude) from Wesleyan University. TX is also an Associate of Chartered Accountants (U.K.) affiliate.


Mark G. Sogomian, Ernst & Young

Mark, an Assurance Partner with more than 20 years of public accounting experience, is the Strategic Growth Markets Leader for Ernst & Young's Greater Los Angeles practice. Mark is also the Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Leader for Ernst & Young's West Sub-Area. He previously served in Ernst & Young's National Professional Practice Group, consulting on technical accounting matters and transactions, and addressing current and emerging accounting and financial reporting matters. He is also part of Ernst & Young's International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Network and serves a number of clients reporting under IFRS.

Mark has served clients in a variety of industries including retail, consumer products, manufacturing, agriculture, clean technology and technology. Clients served have ranged in size from start-ups to Fortune 1000 entities doing buisness in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, and include public and private entities, high growth VC/PE backed and pre-IPO companies.

He has significant experience with global coordination of multi-location audits and has deep technical expertise, strong financial reporting and SEC transaction experience, including initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, secondary offerings, debt offerings and debt restructuring. He is also experienced in working with businesses complying with or preparing to comply with section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.


Louis A. Wharton, Partner, Stubbs, Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Louis A. Wharton is a Partner of the Firm.  Louis’ practice focuses on advising startup, emerging growth and middle market companies across a spectrum of industries in securities compliance, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters.

He counsels clients in the technology, internet/e-commerce, pharmaceutical, apparel and entertainment industries, among others.

Louis’ work in the securities compliance area involves advising the Firm’s public clients on a variety of ’33 Act and ’34 Act work, including reviewing and filing registration statements and current, quarterly and annual reports.

His practice in the corporate finance area involves structuring and negotiating public offerings and private placements of both equity and debt securities, including PIPEs and angel and venture backed transactions, for the Firm’s private and public clients.

In addition, Louis’ mergers and acquisitions practice involves strategizing with and negotiating on behalf of the Firm’s clients on a variety of public and private mergers (including reverse mergers), strategic stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, both buy- and sell-side.

Louis also counsels the Firm’s clients on other aspects of their business activities in his general corporate practice, including commercial transactions, incentive compensation and corporate governance.

Louis serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) and the San Fernando Valley Bar Association Board of Trustees, and is actively involved on the Executive Committee of the ProVisors Technology Industry Group.  Louis received his A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. He is a member of the California Bar.


Our Moderator

Lori Kozlowski is a journalist, writer, and editor. She is a columnist for Forbes about entrepreneurs, startups, and technology.

Previously, she served as senior digital editor at the Los Angeles Times, where she directed mobile technology and emerging platforms. She also served as a staff writer, writing about science, technology, the arts, and business. Prior to the Times, she was on staff at Entrepreneur Magazine, and has written for various national publications. She has also worked with MIT Media Lab startups and served as adjunct faculty at Chapman University and USC.

Twitter: @lorikozlowski


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