socaltechnews and events
Companies Financing News Networking Resources Incubators
About Home Calendar Forums Services - SoCal TechNews - Thursday, September 23, 1999
Copyright (c) 1999 by Benjamin F. Kuo
ISSN: 1524-6736

   -- Special: Interview with Rohit Shukla, LARTA

   -- Behind the Bill Gross Brain

   -- eCompanies Adds Execs
   -- Advanced Recognition Technologies Intros Handwriting Recognition
   -- The Right Start Announces $1M Mark
   -- Launches Marketing Campaign
   -- Mandrake Overtakes Red Hat Linux
   -- Acacia Announces Distribution Agreement with
   -- Sandpiper Receives Award
   -- THQ Releases Road Rash 64
   -- Tekelec Adds Tester

   Upcoming Events


Looking to join the online community?
Did your law firm take GeoCities public and handle its multibillion dollar
merger with Yahoo!?

BROBECK  --  Attorneys at law
When your future is at stake.


Special: Interview with Rohit Shukla, LARTA
No series of interviews with Southern California high tech leaders is
complete without talking to truly one of the strongest advocates for
the high tech industry in Los Angeles, Rohit Shukla, CEO and president
of the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance.

Rohit Shukla:

BK: You've been a champion of high tech here in Los Angeles for a long
time, and
now it finally looks like the tide has turned our direction. As someone with
a keen insight into not just what's happening here, but how it affects the
global picture, I thought it would be great to get your views on the recent
upsurge of tech activity and investment in the area. What challenges do you
see high tech in this area having to face here in the next year?

RS: A rising tide does not necessarily lift all boats. Breaking it down to the
individual company level, the greatest challenge is the need to focus on
managing the company. Our greatest weakness in the region is the lack of
solid management depth.  We've cultivated pioneers, and they are being
recognized, at long last.  Now the need is for execution, attracting
accomplished talent, growing the company, focusing on the end-game (whether
that be the IPO, acquisition etc.).  The allied challenge is the need to
continue to build a real technology community throughout the region, so that
the opportunities for talent, for ideas, for services, for money are
ever-present and growing. We've done this before, with the aerospace and the
entertainment industries.  The great thing is:  its happening, and everyone
in industry and many in government recognize this, and continue to nurture

BK: How can local government help/or hurt in this new high tech rebirth that
Los Angeles is seeing?

RS: On one level, government is a passive bystander.  On a more fundamental
level, however, it has the power to say "no", and one cannot underestimate
that.  In the local arena, our greatest challenge is the jurisdictional
fragmentation of the region.  Local government, which is stretched in terms
of the revenue it has at its disposal, must now be engaged in serious urban
planning - for e.g. adopting mixed-use zoning to accomodate an evolving
workstyle and workplace, using joint powers agreements to work closely on
this issue with adjacent municipalities, encouraging the full deployment of
broadband, streamlining the regulatory process (designed for a different
industrial age), and involving the high tech community in the planning
process. This also means being smarter in how you reach that high tech
audience (using the Web, electronic communication, making the message simple
and elegant).  We do not have the luxury of continuing along the "us versus
them" path.

BK: What has LARTA been up to, and  what do you see the role of your
organization playing?

RS: What a ride its been!  LARTA has been a catalyst, a handmaiden to the
rebirth.  We've been so connected to the various points (high and low) that
the region has experienced, that we can play the role of towncrier AND
conscience.  Our mission is: to inform, strengthen, network and promote
Southern California's technology industry worldwide.  True to our mission,

- is a network of networks, working with and through  organizations and
companies devoted to specific sectors or areas (the Digital Coast
Roundtable, VIC, the Software Council and others)
- has developed a set of solid products (the Southern California Technology
Venture Forum among them) to strengthen our best growing companies;
- has seeded technology development (through the CalTIP program, where we
invest public money into young companies who have a federal technology
- has started a strong and continuing research effort (with the Aerospace
study and the Venture Capital Study, both within the past 18 months), to
inform the region and outside investors and partners; and
- has connected the efforts of this network to a global network, with us in
the role of facilitator (the Global Technology Partnership), involving
Sweden and Finland among others.

BK: Is there any one thing you see that companies / individuals /
government / organizations need to do to keep this high tech industry going
in the future?

RS: Understand the disappointment of success.  By not sitting in our own boxes,
we can initiate or participate in a joint effort to plan for the future.  I
believe there is more agreement now than we have seen in years past on the
problems we face: congestion, lack of cohesion (starting with the many
governments we have in the region) etc. but a sense of being overwhelmed is
easy for most of us to experience.  Informed dialogue and a focus on
outcomes is paramount.

*** Looking for local law firms with a high tech focus?
    Check out

Behind the Bill Gross Brain
Exactly what's behind Bill Gross' idealab, and how does this thing work?
Wired delves deep into the depth's of the Bill Gross' thoughts.

eCompanies Adds Execs
Santa Monica-based eCompanies announced that joining founders Jake
Winebaum and Sky Dayton are Michael Guttentag, SVP strategy; Andrew
Greenebaum, CFO; Marijo Bos, SVP people; Karen Reed, SVP creative
development; and Len Vickers SVP marketing. Guttentag was previously at
Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, Greenbaum  at CD Radio Inc. Bos at Russell
Reynolds Associates, and Vickers at Xerox, and Reed at Venu Interactive.

Advanced Recognition Technologies Intros Handwriting Recognition
Simi Valley-based Advanced Recognition Technologies announced the launch
of an embedded handwriting recognition solution called simpliWrite for
manufacturers of cell phones, pagers, and other devices. According to
ART, their product does not require special character sets or training to work.

The Right Start Announces $1M Mark
Westlake Village-based The Right Start announced its site
has done $1M in business since its June 29 launch. In addition, they
have launched a new Kids Development Store focused on children from three to
six. Launches Marketing Campaign
Santa Monica-based announced a launch of its first major
marketing campaign, in conjunction with a new brand identiy. BizBuyer
offers a business to business bidding service.

Mandrake Overtakes Red Hat Linux
Pasadena-based MandrakeSoft has overtaken Red Hat in number of retail
sales, according to PC Data.  The company, which publishes the Linux-
Mandrake version, sold 10,445 retail sales vs. 4,802 sales for Red Hat for
the open source operating system.

Acacia Announces Distribution Agreement with
Pasadena-based Acacia Research  announced that has
entered into a distribution agreement with Internet software superstore
The software allows customers to personalize their email with handwriting

Sandpiper Receives Award
Thousand Oaks based Sandpiper Networks announced it has received  an
"Investors' Choice" award at Technologic Partners' Fourth Annual Internet
Outlook Conference, which was given to ten companies in the Internet market

THQ Releases Road Rash 64
THQ, the game maker in Calabasas, announced the release of Road Rash 64
for the Nintendo 64. Road Rash is their combat motorcycle racing game.

Tekelec Adds Tester
Calabasas-based Tekelec announced a new testing system for GPRS, which
is used for Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) services,
used in Europe for cellular service.

*** Advertise here! Send an email to for a rate card.

Upcoming Events This Week
Full calendar at

** Am I missing your event? Tell me about it!

September 23, Pasadena -- Transportation for the New Millennium: Clean
Vehicles and Mobility Services - CALSTART Advanced Transportation
Industry Conference. For more information contact: Sue Nelson,
WestStart-CALSTART 626/744-5680, E-mail:

September 23-24, Los Angeles -- Los Angeles Times Small Business
Strategies Conference. Speakers include Alfred Mann, Minimed; Jeffrey
Green, Ari Engelberg and Jim McDermott, of; Sky Dayton,
Earthlink Network; David Bohnett, founder, GeoCities. See

September 23, Los Angeles -- Tech Talk Live - A Series on High
Technology. Jon Goodman, EC2 With Panelists: David Hankin, Digital Coast
Roundtable, Rohit Shukla, LARTA (Los Angeles Regional Technology
Alliance) See

September 23, Irvine -- "How to Attract and Secure Angel Investors" Tech
Coast Venture Network. Panelists include David W. Berkus
Berkus Technology Ventures, Webb Castor, Jack Bunis Bunis & Associates,
and William C. Maurer, Romac Executive Solutions. See

September 27, Los Angeles -- "Advanced HTML" WebGrrls Los Angeles. See

September 27-30, Hollywood -- Digital Hollywood Conference. Gathering of
entertainment, technology, consumer electronics and retail executives.

September 28, Los Angeles -- JETRO 4th Tuesday Technology Exchange. See

September 28, Irvine -- Tech Coast Life Science Innovation Conference.
Focus on key information, strategies and contacts that enable biomedical
companies and start-ups to maintain fast growth, while minimizing the
sacrifice of equity or new debt. See

September 28, Irvine -- Orange Coast Venture Group, Annual Venture Capital
Panel. See

September 28, Bel Air -- "Covering your Digital Assets." Internet
Professionals Network. Dan Schecter, Attorney at Latham & Watkins; Cliff
Michaels, CEO of See

September 29, West LA -- SCSC Entrepreneurial Repartee 'TRADITIONALISTS'
CEO of Guidance Solutions. See

September 30, Santa Monica -- iNetEvents: Maximizing Your Events
Effectiveness with New Internet technologies. Discussion about how
technology and the Internet have changed the way we plan, produce, promote,
and manage our events.  

September 30, San Diego -- "The Economics Of E-Commerce: Who Is Really
Making Money On The Net?" San Diego Venture Group. See

September 30, Westwood -- Biobrew Oktoberfest. Network with fellow
biomed-tech entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and service providers.
Contact Bill Robbins at Convergent Ventures, LLC
( or Steve Sisskind at Angeles Ventures

Welcome to our newest sponsor!
Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP (

Also, thanks to our continued sponsors:
Koffler Ventures (
Deloitte & Touche (
Human Capital Group (
Two Roads Professional Resources (

If you are receiving this email via a forward, you can sign up for the
SoCal TechNews by emailing, or by
visiting the site at

If you'd like to UNSUBSCRIBE, email

Visit our archives of this newsletter at:

*** SPONSORSHIP opportunities available. Email for
    a rate card. *** - Dedicated to High Tech in Southern California
All contents Copyright(c)1999 by Benjamin F. Kuo. This material may not
be reprinted without permission.

List hosting by Topica, which is not a sponsor or related to this list
in any way (except having a handy mailing list system :-).

Home | Calendar | Companies | News | Financing | Forums |
Networking | Resources | Services | Incubators
Copyright (c) 1998 by Benjamin F. Kuo