Monthly Archives: July 2013

Mobile LAVA and Schmoozd – Starting Your Startup Part 2, August 1, Cross Campus

mobilelava_schmoozd_presentStarting Your Mobile Startup, Part 2:  Getting It Built  For our second installment of Starting Your Mobile Startup, Mobile LAVA and Schmoozd have partnered up to help entrepreneurs who have a mobile-enabled business with one of their most fundamental questions:  How do I get my mobile solution built?As many entrepreneurs soon discover there are many ways to build a mobile solution.  The right approach depends on audience, usage, functionality, business goals, availability of engineers and cost.  In fact, some may even realize that certain business goals may suggest not building an app right away.

Mobile solutions also need to consider lots of other aspects like the use of third party technologies, messaging, notifications, and device-specific functionality.  Furthermore, young startups looking for capital need to be cognizant of their product and technology roadmaps among a tech-savvy venture community.

Tony Karrer, a prolific Los Angeles-based CTO, will moderate an amazing panel of experts to help us answer questions like:

  • What’s the difference between developing for iOS, Android and Windows?  Should I build for all 3?
  • How do I find a CTO?  Do I even need one?
  • Should I outsource my development or find my own engineers?
  • Should I build my solution as a native code, using a framework or as mobile web?
  • How do these factors affect cost?
  • How can I avoid hurdles with app stores?
  • What are some of the common pitfalls in the development process?
  • How do VC’s and other capital providers view technology choices when making funding decisions?
  • How can capital providers help in sourcing CTO’s and other tech resources?

Our Panelists

Rishi Roongta, New World Ventures

Rishi joined New World Ventures in 2010 having previously been a consultant with Bain & Company in Chicago. While at Bain, Rishi worked with clients in various industries including technology, retail, consumer packaged goods, food services and healthcare. Rishi advised senior management teams on topics such as growth strategy, customer acquisition, sales force effectiveness and business process redesign. Prior to Bain, Rishi held internships with Deloitte Consulting, General Electric and Siemens.

In his spare time, Rishi is either working on his own business ideas or advising other entrepreneurs and their startups. He is a regular attendee at national tech meetups and events. He is also on the junior board of the non-profit organization, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Rishi graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering and a minor in technology and management from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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.

David Subar, Chief Product Officer, Zest Finance (previously Chief Technology Officer, Break Media)

David recently became the Chief Product Officer at Zest Finance, a company using big data and machine learning to assess credit for the underbanked. David is responsible for Product Management and Engineering and the development of all platforms. Previously David was the Chief Technology Officer at Break is one of the largest independent online video companies. David was responsible for Product Management, Software Engineering, Ad Execution/Production and TechOps/IT groups at Break. His groups were responsible for all Break’s B2C properties on all iOS platforms, Android and the web, integration with Facebook and Twitter, as well as back-end YouTube analytics, their own ad server and integration with DFP.

In his tenure he has rebuilt the team, infrastructure and products including building new iPhone and iPad apps, new Android apps and completely rebuilding the web site. The company’s redesign of the Break web site increased YoY search traffic from Google by 20% and monthly direct visits increased by 2.8 million in a six-month period.

On mobile, Break Media has had more than 4 million downloads of their apps on iOS and Android and 202 million video views, a 26% increase over the previous year, and 1.99 billion image views, a 40% increase. The company has more than 1 MM video views per day on mobile. Their new iPhone app and the iPad app were selected as ‘New and Noteworthy’ apps by Apple iTunes Store.  They also have several OTT apps for devices such as Roku.

Trystan Kosmynka, co-founder and CTO of TestFlight, VP of Product and Technology at Burstly

The mission at Burstly is to provide tools for the entire app life-cycle from beta testing to analytics and monetization.  Burstly has created industry-leading products in beta-testing and monetization with TestFlight and SkyRocket.  In addition to continuing to grow the core products, Burstly has recently expanded the offering to include mobile analytics through its new product FlighPath.

Prior to TestFlight and Burstly, Trystan served as CTO of 23 Divide, a mobile development studio responsible for 6 top-25 apps, a SXSW award, a couple of Webby’s, and TestFlight.

Our Moderator

Tony Karrer — TechEmpower, Aggregage, LA CTO Forum

Dr. Tony Karrer has been defining technical strategy and leading the development of web/software solutions for the past 20 years.  He has been an part-time CTO at numerous startups and is known for being the original CTO of eHarmony—making Tony partly responsible for more than 4% of the marriages in the US each year.  Dr. Karrer was an associate professor of Computer Science and has consulted to many companies seeking to use technology in innovative ways including Credit Suisse, Citibank, Lexus, Microsoft, Nissan, Universal, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun and Symbol. He was valedictorian and attended USC as a Tau Beta Pi fellow, one of the top 30 engineers in the U.S. where he received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science.  He is well known for his eLearning Technology blog and organizes the Los Angeles CTO Forum.

This event is produced by Mobile LAVA and Schmoozd and Co-Produced by Cross Campus.  Mobile LAVA and Mobile LAVA events are generously sponsored by Ernst & Young.   Mobile LAVA is the Strategic Interest Group of the Los Angeles Venture Association dedicated to exploring the rapidly expanding universe of mobile business, technology and economics.