Women of Silicon Beach

By Julie MacMedan, Vice President of Investor Relations, Demand Media, Inc.
Broads Circle Premier Member and President of Executive Broads group

Silicon BeachFrom the LA Times to SoCalTech.com to the Wall Street Journal, LA’s vibrant entrepreneurial scene – branded “Silicon Beach” – is making headlines.  And for good reason: AngelList, a community of startups, lists 1400 startups and 1300 investors in LA and that’s just a subset of the total number. Represent.la shows a map of more than 600 startups, 15 accelerators, 28 incubators and 47 investors. It’s no wonder that we are seeing articles on Forbes.com titled “Why Los Angeles Will Outpace Silicon Valley As The Tech Startup Capital.”

Standing out among the success stories of Silicon Beach are several women entrepreneurs who will be featured on our May 22nd Panel: “Women of Silicon Beach”:

Deborah Benton, President and COO of Nasty Gal, an online new & vintage clothing website recently recognized as 2012’s fastest-growing retail company according to Inc. 5000. Inc. 5000 also recognized Nasty Gal as the fastest growing company in Los Angeles, mainly due to its tremendous 10,000% growth from 2008 – 2012.

Susan Feldman, Co-Founder/Chief Merchandising Officer of One Kings Lane who brings her passion “for all things home” to the leading online marketplace for the home, where consumers can find exceptional value on an extensive collection of top-brand, vintage, and designer items. Feldman and her partner Alison Pincus launched the business in early 2009, and have experienced explosive growth, with revenues on track to hit $200M, doubling revenue from 2011.

Courtney Nichols Gould, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins who has built an Internet brand from the ground up to market and distribute healthy gummy vitamins.  Previously, Courtney was the founding COO of Clear, the fast pass for airport security.

Therese Tucker, CEO and founder of BlackLine Systems, formerly CTO of Sungard Treasury Systems, who has successfully grown her company into a multi-national SaaS provider that has achieved numerous awards for growth and innovation, most recently recognized by Software Magazine for the second year in a row as one of the largest and ‘best performing’ software and service providers in the world.

Each of these amazing women underscore the powerful role that women are playing in LA’s startup scene.

Our May 22nd Broads Circle program will feature these exciting women on a panel geared towards how they translated their vision to get their companies off the ground and expand on their initial success, and how they approached capital raising to finance their various stages of growth.  How did they balance the desire to maintain significant ownership with the need for capital?  Did they need to leave LA to secure financing and if so, is that trend shifting as LA builds a stronger startup ecosystem?

We look forward to hearing from this impressive group of women entrepreneurs in May. Look for your invitation to arrive in early 2013!

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