Category Archives: Events

SA&M Encourages You to Attend “LAVA Healthcare: Digital Health Startups: From Ideas to Successful Exits” Featuring SAM Partner Kevin DeBré

LAVA Healthcare Presents:
Digital Health Startups: From Ideas to Successful Exits


12 Jul 2018
6:30pm – 9:00pm PDT
ASU California Center
725 Arizona Ave,
Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA

Investments in digital health start-ups have been setting record highs since 2010.  More than $23 billion flowed into digital health startups since 2010.  2017 saw the greatest amount of funding being poured into digital health to date with a steady increase in completed deals.  For instance, in the first half of 2017, $3.5 billion was invested in 188 digital health companies – setting a record for the number of companies funded and the total amount invested.

LAVA’s distinguished panel will discuss (1) distinctive topics in building digital health ideas towards successful exit, (2) challenges and opportunities in the current investment environment, and (3) what it will take for founders and entrepreneurs to establish their start-ups as an attractive investment.

Please join LAVA on July 12th for an informative, interactive session and networking.


Kevin DeBré
Kevin D. DeBré is the chair of the Firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions Practice Group.  Kevin advises entrepreneurs and companies that use intellectual property to build their businesses.  Kevin has particular expertise in structuring and negotiating technology commercialization and patent licenses, strategic alliances, research and development collaborations, trademark licensing and brand merchandising agreements and manufacturing, distribution and marketing arrangements.

Kevin is a business lawyer, a registered patent lawyer and a former engineer. He is a frequent guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate level entrepreneurship courses at UCLA Anderson School of Management, UCLA School of Engineering, USC Marshall School of Business, Pepperdine University and Chapman University, and serves as Chairman of the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum, an organization that facilitates the growth and success of technology-based entrepreneurial ventures in Southern California.  He has been quoted in numerous high-tech industry publications and has appeared on Bloomberg TV.

Kevin is the author of “Licensing of Trade Secrets and Know-How,” and a contributing author of “Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances,” a chapter of Intellectual Property in Business Transactions, and is an update author of “Exploiting Trade Secrets by Licensing” and of “Form Licensing Agreements and Provisions.”

Harry Nelson
Harry Nelson, co-chairman of the Adaptive Health Capital board and member of the investment committee, is a leading healthcare advisor best known for the eponymous law firm he founded, Nelson Hardiman, LLP.  At Adaptive Health Capital, he specializes in healthcare transaction advisory services and funding—Mergers & Acquisitions, bridge financing, etc.  Beyond his healthcare, life sciences, and legal expertise, Harry is known nationally as a consummate leader at the intersection of healthcare law and business, as evidenced by his role in co-founding five healthcare-related start-ups in the last decade.  Deeply immersed in healthcare transformation and innovation; he frequently speaks on cutting edge issues and the future of the industry itself.  Proactively tackling timely healthcare issues, Harry is the co-author of the recent book, “From Obamacare to Trumpcare,” a survey of healthcare policy leading up to the Affordable Care Act and a prediction for the future direction of U.S. healthcare.

Harry’s thought leadership around the healthcare and life sciences industry has driven many next-generation healthcare ideas and initiatives to realization, including telehealth and other modalities of digital health and behavioral health.

Vishal Gandhi
Vishal Gandhi has been a senior-level M&A advisor for more than a decade at firms such as Banc of America Securities, Jefferies Inc., and MTS Health Partners. Vishal has partnered with several early-stage companies to steer their business toward new, challenging, and uncharted territory for the industry. Vishal is currently an independent advisor to Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, serving Mount Sinai Health System’s effort to commercialize internal innovation to better serve the global community.

His firm, Keval Health, is made up of senior healthcare investment banking professionals who have done extensive work alongside public and private healthcare organizations and private equity firms. They have worked on providing M&A advisory services, facilitating capital-raising efforts across debt, equity, and hybrid products, offering sell-side advisory services, divestitures, corporate carve-outs, royalty monetization advice and strategic and commercial partnerships.

Panel Moderator:

Edmond Banayan, MBA, MSIMC
Mr. Banayan has founded and led business ventures in healthcare, technology, and services.  As Co-Founder and CEO of Chronaly Inc. (Chronaly), Mr. Banayan leads a multi-disciplinary team in their mission to develop and commercialize digital health applications for developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Chronaly’s dedicated team is pushing the frontier of digital health and medicine by applying deep artificial neural networks, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technological advancements to innovate and improve the lives, health, and health outcomes of millions of children and adults across the world with developmental disabilities.  In addition to his leadership at Chronaly, Mr. Banayan is also Chairman of Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) Healthcare Strategic Interest Group.  Mr. Banayan attended UCLA for his undergraduate degree and graduated with honorable mentions. Subsequent to UCLA, he received his graduate degrees in Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications (MSIMC).

We hope to see you there!


SA&M Encourages You to Attend “Flying with Unicorns” LAVA Awards Celebration 2018 – July 11

“Flying with Unicorns”

LAVA Awards Celebration 2018

Santa Monica Museum of Flying
Wednesday, July 11, 2018


5:30pm         Attendee Check-in + Networking Dinner
7:30pm         Fireside Chat with Unicorns
8:15pm         Dessert and Hall of Fame Award

You’ll see…
A Fireside Chat with Los Angeles’s recent Unicorn Exits from Startup to $1BB+





Celebrate Hall of Fame Honoree

Hemi Zucker and J2 Global – Extraordinary Growth and M&A Activity.

Hemi Zucker is a Managing Principal of OCV Partners. OCV is a $260 Million Los Angeles-based venture fund that invests in, owns, and operates companies in the information technology, e-commerce, media & telecommunications & the life sciences sectors with the objective of creating sustainable long-term value.

Hemi joined OCV Partners in 2018 to replicate his success as the CEO of j2 Global that he co-founded in 1996 in New York City and moved it to LA in 1997. Under Hemi’s management j2 Global reached $4.5 Billion Market Cap, $1.25 Billion Annual Sales in over 50 countries. Hemi and j2 were super acquisitive and it’s M&A activity yield a record of 161 acquisitions during his 21 years.

Hemi is now bringing his M&A, operations and deal making experience to OCV Partners one of LA’s largest Venture Funds.

Why You Should Attend

Connect with Startup CEOs, Venture Funded Companies, Venture Investors and thought leaders shaping the future of Los Angeles’s technology ecosystem.


Presented by



We hope to see you there!


SAM Encourages You to Attend the LA Venture Association’s SoCal First Look Showcase

You are invited to the SoCal First Look Showcase!

Wednesday, June 20 2018
The Luskin Conference Center at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA (map)

Join LAVA for an exclusive showcase of innovative early-stage teams from SoCal’s top research institutions

The intimate afternoon event is invite-only and has limited seats available so please register now

Come see 30 early stage startups who are commercializing their deep scientific breakthroughs from 18 of SoCal’s top research universities and institutions. The day will feature three simultaneous domain tracks: Life Science, Computer Science, and Physical Science.  This exclusive, invite-only half-day program will bring together investors, innovators and executives in an intimate setting. This event is brought to you by the Alliance for Southern California Innovation and the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA).

1:00 p  Check-in + Refreshments
2:00 p  Keynote + Panel
3:30 p  Team Presentations
6:30 p  Cocktails

Why you should attend:
See hand-picked teams from 18 of SoCal’s top research institutions
Teams were vetted and selected from a pool of applicants by domain-specific panels of investors and industry experts
Join an intimate invite-only guest list of investors, innovators and executives
Keynote by Bill Gross, Founder + Chairman of Idealab
VC Panel includes Rick Smith (CrossCut Ventures), Kara Nortman (Upfront Ventures), Shahin Farshchi (Lux Capital) and Jay Goss (Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health)

There is no charge to attend thanks to generous support from:
Goldman Sachs | Google | Silicon Valley Bank | Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

About the Alliance for Southern California Innovation (Alliance)
The Alliance for Southern California Innovation (the “Alliance”), formed in 2017 by serial entrepreneur and public servant Steve Poizner, has successfully brought together the heft of Southern California’s top research institutions, local business leaders, and world-class advisors to focus on bridging critical gaps in the SoCal ecosystem. The goal of the Alliance is to nurture and accelerate the growth of Southern California’s technology and life sciences innovation ecosystem. As a first step, the Alliance will host two technology innovation showcase events: the first on May 24th in the heart of Silicon Valley and the second one on June 20th on the campus of UCLA in SoCal. A complete list of the Alliance board and strategic partners can be found at

About the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA)
Since 1985, the Los Angeles Venture Association (“LAVA”) has been providing forums where entrepreneurs and executives of start-up, emerging growth and late stage venture funded companies actively meet and learn from fellow executives, investors, bankers, financial advisors and other professional services providers. Our extensive slate of monthly and annual meetings and panel discussions feature exceptional presentations by prominent members of our investment, entrepreneurial, business and academic communities.

We hope to see you there!


SAM Encourages You to Attend LABIC’s ICO Panel Discussion on March 29, 2018

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP and SAM attorney Shanita Nicholas encourage you to attend:

LA Black Investors Club 
ICO Panel Discussion
Thu, March 29, 2018
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Join the LA Black Investors Club 501(c)(3) in a lively panel discussion with three startups venturing into their own ICOs. Businesses include ZEN, and the eSports Amateur Competitor’s League.

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
1453 3rd Street Promenade #300
Santa Monica, CA 90401



SAM Encourages You to Attend LABIC Fireside Chat on March 15, 2018

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP and SAM attorney Shanita Nicholas encourage you to attend:

LA Black Investors Club 
Fireside Chat Series
Thu, March 15, 2018
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

rsvp button

LABIC’s Fireside Chat Series is back! Join them for their first Fireside Chat of 2018 featuring Anna Barber, Managing Director of the Techstars LA Accelerator, and Sky Kelley, CEO & Founder of Avisare.

fireside chat

The Fireside Chat Series features different speakers who will lead a discussion on various issues and topics of interest to entrepreneurs, from venture capital and fundraising to investing and marketing.

Techstars LA focuses on investing in LA area companies in media, entertainment, e-commerce, marketplaces, enterprise SAAS, edtech, cleantech and aerospace. They are particularly interested in diverse founding teams.

Avisare is a platform for companies that want the highest caliber talent in the world. Avisare is an online community of privately invited pre-screened executive level consultants and consulting firms with the skills needed to get results for the jobs or projects posted by businesses on the platform.

For more information visit here.



SAM Attorney Caroline Cherkassky Featured Panelist at UCLA Law School’s “Law & Entrepreneurship” Conference

March 9th, 2018

UCLA School of Law
385 Charles E. Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476

Located in UCLA’s back yard, the Silicon Beach economy is exploding. This inaugural conference will explore the legal and policy issues faced by more than 500 tech startups, incubators and accelerators as well as companies like Snap. Attend the conference to understand the issues critical to this burgeoning hub of entrepreneurship in West LA and the beach cities of Santa Monica, Playa Vista and Venice.

The Silicon Beach Conference will address three important areas all with a focus on the businesses we see here:  governance, financing and acquisitions. Our governance panel will look at various structural approaches, including dual class stock structures.  The financing panel will explore the SEC’s pro-IPO initiatives as well as the emerging Initial Coin Offering debate. Finally, the panelists will look to the LA and Silicon Beach acquisitions market and how to support and grow M&A in Silicon Beach.

Opening Remarks
Joel Feuer, UCLA School of Law

Corporate Governance and Founder Control
Ken Bertsch, Council of Institutional Investors
David Berger, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Caroline Cherkassky, Stubbs Alderton & Markiles
Chris Shoff, Latham & Watkins
Moderator: Stephen Bainbridge, UCLA School of Law

Financing of Start-Ups and Emerging Growth Companies
Lona Nallengara, Shearman & Sterling  
Nick Hobson, Cooley
Philippa Bond, Proskauer
Adam Ettinger, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
Moderator: James Park, UCLA School of Law

Silicon Beach Acquisitions: Legal and Business Issues
David Hernand, Paul Hastings
Brandon Quartararo, Intrepid Investment Bank
Andrew Erskine, Orrick
Moderator:  Iman Anabtawi, UCLA School of Law

We hope to see you there!




SAM Encourages You to Attend LABIC Business Pitch Competition

Los Angeles Black Investors Club (LABIC)
Business Pitch Competition
January 25, 2018

Black Business Pitch Competition

Each quarter, LABIC hosts a prize competition that provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative products, technologies, or services in particular industries.

LABIC will have its first Black Business Pitch Competition of 2018 on January 25th at Sip & Sonder, located in Downtown Inglewood. Upto 10 finalists will be selected to compete in the live pitch event, where finalists will pitch their products and ideas to a panel of expert judges and compete for amazing prizes. Last quarter’s prizes included free consulting sessions with a top VC fund manager and LABIC partners, a one year subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine, AMEX gift cards, and more!


Sherri Brewer is the Senior Vice President and Chief Retail Officer of OneUnited Bank.  She is dedicated to impacting the lives of youth. Ms. Brewer works with World Impact’s Young Entrepreneur Program (YEP) as a judge of business plans during shark tank like presentations to receive grant funds. She has worked with Los Angeles Educational Partnership by providing High School seniors with resume review services and mock employment interviews. She works with organizations such as Adelante Youth Services (AYS) to provide financial literacy to middle school students. Ms. Brewer serves on the Board of Vox Collegiate Charter School in Watts and serves on the loan committee of Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation.

Meggan Oirech is the founder and CEO of CHNO Brands, LLC. CHNO is a startup that curates black-owned products for your everyday life and makes them available in their online store. She is also the recipient of a Madame CJ Walker business award that honored her work with black businesses. She has also developed an algorithm and works with a venture company to build and sell it. A native of Riverside County, she is a gradate of the Art Institute of Orange County.

Demarcus Williams is the Director of Silicon Valley Bank’s Early Stage Practice in Los Angeles. He focuses on guiding entrepreneurs from incorporation through Series A financing and fostering community within Los Angele’s early stage tech ecosystem. Prior to his position at SVB, he was Vice President of Business Strategy at Zealot Networks. He has also served as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. He is a graduate of UC, Irvine.

We hope to see you there!


You’re Invited to Preccelerator® Program Class 7 Demo Day!

The Deal
Clear your calendar – It’s going down! The Preccelerator® Program Class 7 Demo Day kicks off on January 24th @ 5:30pm, and you’re invited to take part in the festivities. SAM Preccelerator® Program is our meeting spot to showcase the Preccelerator®’s current class of all-star companies to investors and the start-up community.
Appetizers and drinks on us!

The Location
1453 3rd Street Promenade
Suite 300 Santa Monica, 90401

The SAM Preccelerator® is located in the heart of Silicon Beach.  Off of 3rd Street Promenade, it has the ease of parking at both the Santa Monica Main Place Mall and Parking Structure #5 on the corner of 4th Street and Broadway.

The Participants

Now, Every Moment of Your Live Stream is Searchable in Real-Time

nēdl is a B2B2C platform addressing a nearly $40B global ad market by providing 100’s of millions of radio listeners an AI-powered tuner to instantly locate specific live news, sports, talk, information, and music content using keyword search on live broadcasts; eliminating the need to go station-to-station for specific live content. nēdl not only lets you search live content on over 120,000 domestic and international broadcast radio stations for free, but users can instantly create their own live broadcast stations to inject their speech into the same real-time search results so others may discover them by words they are saying as they speak. Visit


Virtual Reality Platform Providing Content for Independent Creators

EVRealities is a secure marketplace for licensing and digital rights management of virtual/augmented reality stock and packaged video content.  We are empowering professional VR creators, 360 video, and AR graphic artists to sell immersive content of current events and culturally significant VR/AR experiences to digital media publishers. We deliver curated content directly to publishers for ease of discovery of relevant pieces that can be licensed, editorialized, and published into AR/VR formats to fulfill a steady VR/AR content strategy. Visit


Share your Lyrics with Sound, Promote your Music with Custom Lyric Video Clips

LineForLine is a software service for music promotion that gives artists and their fans the ability to share song lyrics across all social media platforms as music videos known as lyric video clips. The growing demand for short form video content on social media platforms is making it difficult to promote songs that are meant to be heard. By syncing lyrics with songs LineForLine gives artists and their fans the ability to create and share lyrics video clips on the fly. These audiovisual snippets of lyrics with sound encourage viewers to listeners, to help artists leverage social media as a platform for music discovery. Visit 


The Lineup 
5:30pm –Registration & Networking


You’re Invited to “Roadmap to Small Business Success” with Christine Perakis

Find out what makes some people more successful than others. During this event you will create your custom Roadmap to Small Business Success using the 7-TEER system from Christine’s bestselling book, “The Entrepreneur’s Essential Roadmap – Take Your Business from 0 to 7-Figures in Record Time”. Now you can focus on the 20% of your activities that really matter to get where you want to go, faster and more efficiently!

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

**Food, Drinks & Networking Included!**


Christine Perakis

Christine Perakis
 Business Startup Navigator, Best-Selling Author, “Entrepreneur’s Essential Roadmap”

Christine Perakis has been a lawyer, business adviser, entrepreneur, C-Suite executive, adj professor, and professional boat captain, navigating myriad transactions and businesses across 5 continents. Christine has run or been a part of a management team in 10 businesses, growing, expanding and achieving results beyond the expectations of all involved. The most recent role being as a COO in a company that went from a 100% equity funded startup to a $10 million/year business in 4 years. Christine is a natural teacher and very much enjoys sharing her business knowledge, whether speaking to groups from her “Roadmap to Small Business Success” programs taken from her best-selling book, in online courses to graduate students, or through her online business advisory system.

Connect with her on Twitter and Linked-In.

SAM Preccelerator
1453 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401

4th Street/Broadway ramp or in the Santa Monica Place Mall

We hope to see you there!


*You must register with your name & email to attend this event.


SAM Preccelerator Alumni Tina Hay of Napkin Finance Featured Speaker at “Hypothesis Driven Management”

Women In LAVA and Pivotal Labs are excited to announce
a joint strategy-focused event on October 24, 2017 :

“Hypothesis Driven Management: Learn how to reduce risk
and create the product customers want.”

This is a hands on, experiential session which will take you through the initial stages of assessing the next steps for your company and potential product launch.

Event details:
Monday, October 24, 2017

Pivotal Labs
1333 2nd St., Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Here’s a brief description of what you will experience:

Workshop Objectives and Agenda:

Building new products will always be challenging and never without risk. However, the processes for creating the right solution, increasing market fit and reducing time to market have evolved significantly over the last decade.

Learn how to:

  • Identify your biggest risk
  • Create an approach for reducing that risk
  • Leverage your customers to test your new approach
  • Generate better insights about your user that will inform all future development

You will work along side two successful entrepreneurs: Jennifer Beall Saxton, CEO of Totsquad and Tina Hay, CEO of Napkin Finance, who will share their experiences as they built their companies and made essential pivots along the way.

Tina Hay

Napkin Finance is a multimedia company that grew out of our own needs for a better way to learn and understand finance.
We developed our platform as a quick and easy resource on everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less. Our mission is to empower our readers to manage their money and understand basic financial concepts in a simple, fun and engaging way. In addition to Napkins, we have grown into a wide range of products and features including: Videos, Life Events, NapkinGrams, and Podcasts. Most importantly, Napkin Finance has become a community of ideas and concepts that has empowered our readers to fully understand the complexity of personal finance. Money isn’t boring and educating yourself about it shouldn’t be either!

For more about the Preccelerator® Program or to apply,  contact Heidi Hubbeling, COO at (310) 746-9803 or