Category Archives: Uncategorized

Next Chapter of My Life

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Hey!  As you’ve probably noticed by the fact that I haven’t posted since Summer of 2014, I have officially stopped using this blog.  Senior year was great, I finished my Digital Media thesis on Transmedia Digital Productions and graduated from Scripps College with a B.A. in Digital Media and a minor in Psychology.

As of April 2016 I work as a Project Coordinator at a software company in Southern California, and will be tracking my post-grad life on AlicenLewis.com.  Follow me there if you still want to know what’s up!

-Alicen Lewis

Technology and Startups: How to Network Los Angeles (and Pasadena)

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So, as a young professional in Los Angeles, one of the skills I always try to perfect  is networking.  Now, networking can often happen by chance or through colleagues, but my favorite form is finding specific events and mixers in LA where I can find people who are passionate about the same subject as me (most often startups and technology).  I find these events through friends, google searches, and pure chance, but one of the wonderful things about the internet is that it is always trying to organize itself and make information more accessible.  Through my haphazard exploration of the internet, I discovered my four favorite ways to find networking events and communities are LinkedIn, Meetup.com, Coworking spaces, and Websites.  If you have any additional website/methods to add, please comment below.  I am hoping others can use this article as a resource for their own networking efforts.

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Linkedin

LinkedIn is seriously one of my best friends.  Most people use it to keep track of their network, but it is also helpful in expanding it.  It has a series of groups that you can join for a variety of professional fields.  Your best option is to look at profiles of people similar to you and check out what groups they are following.  Be careful of groups that are just full of ads, and never feel bad for leaving one.  Most of the ones I follow are too specific to post here (such as social media), but two you might want to follow are Innovate Pasadena and Digital LA.

meetup

Meetup.com

Meetup.com is fairly new site, but one that is quickly growing and becoming a valuable resource for all communities, not just tech and startups.  The ones I pay most attention to are LA Tech Happy Hour and Friday Morning Coffee, but you can find ones for your own tastes just by using keywords (ex. tech talks, Los Angeles).

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Coworking

Now, obviously coworking spaces (open offices filled with individuals from a number of startups working next to each other) are good for networking because that is one of their main purposes, but what is not as commonly known is that they often host a variety events open to the general public.  You can either search meetup.com for a list of events, or check each individual site, ex. Kleverdog and Coloft, or use Yelp to find more spaces.  Each site has a calendar, and the events range from simple networking, to programming, to startup advice.

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Websites

Websites are one of the hardest sources to find because they are not part of one platform like LinkedIn or Meetup, but I personally appreciate the resources they provide on top of networking events.  Some of my favorites for LA include (and you should tell me if there are any I should add to the list):

Mindshare LA: Mindshare LA holds monthly workshops, salons and movie screenings that gather hundreds of Angelenos for evenings of inspiration and interaction.

Bixelexchange: Bixel Exchange helps technology entrepreneurs thrive. We do this by combining the power of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and L.A.’s dynamic tech community with the resources of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center.

Silicon Beach LA: Your Personal Tour Guide And The Home Of The LA Tech & Startup Community.

Innovate Pasadena: The vision of INNOVATE PASADENA is to create a vibrant ecosystem of technology and design innovation in the greater Pasadena area that supports sustainable economic growth.

Women 2.0: Women 2.0 City Meetup creates an inclusive community for anyone working, innovating, or investing in technology. Women 2.0 City Meetup is open to both women and men.

Techsparks: TECHSPARKS aims to spark innovative new ideas by providing a social forum for entrepreneurial minds. Our events include networking, games, raffles and pitch opportunities to encourage interaction and collaboration.

Silicon Beach Young Professionals: Helping tech businesses grow with local networking events

Pasadena Young Professionals: The Young Professionals of Pasadena is a social and business networking group for people ages 21-40ish who live work and thrive in the Pasadena area.

Now, this obviously is not a comprehensive list, and if you have any other suggestions on finding networking groups or websites to check out, feel free to comment below or shoot an email to alicenlewis@gmail.com. I am always looking to improve the list!

Temporary Hiatus

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Dear Reader,

This blog is going on a temporary hiatus due to the fact that I am studying abroad in Ireland for 5 months.  Since this is a tech blog, I’ve made a secondary blog where I will be posting my Irish adventures http://alicenabroad.wordpress.com/.  If I have any tech or startup adventures there, I’ll be sure to post them here as well.

Lots of love,

Alicen Lewis

Bill Gross of Idealab speaks at CMC

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Last Friday was my adventure in entrepreneurship.  First I attended a lecture by the brilliant Bill Gross, creator of Idealab, an incubator in Pasadena.  4 hours later, I had the luck to speak with the President of Idealab, Marcia Goodstein.  The first time I saw Bill Gross was at the Innovation Summit in October, where I unfortunately missed the beginning of his speech (which luckily made up the bulk of his presentation at CMC).  He talked about the 10 most important parts of successful startups:

  1. Pursue your passion
  2. The more disruptive the better
  3. Don’t spend ahead of success/traction
  4. Timing matters
  5. Execution really matters
  6. Survive until the market’s ready
  7. Recognize your strengths
  8. Teamwork Matters
  9. Listen and Iterate – Turn on ideas
  10. Harness your user’s passion

Other important points he made:

  • Give out lots of equity to encourage people to join the start-up team.
  • The only way you can win against big companies is by outmaneuvering them with your small size.  Keep your ear to the ground, listen to your customers, and adapt quickly.
  • Find the things that don’t work.

And finally, all truths pass through three phases, so sometimes you just need to push through:

  • Ridicule
  • Violently opposed
  • Self evident

After his presentation, we were allowed to ask questions.  Some of the most interesting were:

Q: What are the positions necessary in a start-up?

  • Entrepreneurial – Dream
  • Producer – Get things done
  • Administrative – Coordinate/Infrastructure
  • Integrator – Bring different people and parts together

Q: How important is company culture?

A: Success breeds culture, culture does not breed success.

Q: What’s important in a company?

A: Mutual trust, respect, openness, and transparency.  Transparency is extra effort in that you need to train your coworkers to know what to do with the information they learn about the company.

Q: Is working in start-up environments like Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach important?

A:  It’s helpful to see people going through the same hardships, and share resources.

It was wonderful to hear advice from such an experienced individual in the start-up field, and I hope I get the chance to put his words to good use.  My next blog post will be about my talk with Marcia Goodstein, I hope you look forward to it!

Geek and Sundry Interns are Fake Geek Girls

I came up with the idea for a sketch/was also in it for Geek and Sundry!  You should watch it!

Our interns are fake geek girls. #interndiaries @eastzagram @maxsunlove @aimeekaitlynn @alicen_lewis

A post shared by Geek & Sundry (@geekandsundry) on

Aquarium

This week has been really hard, so here’s a blast from the past of going to the Aquarium of the Pacific last weekend.

I always love the giant windows

Teeney Eels

Rays

Touching Things

Touching More Things

Sharks!

I’ll be better next week.

A Rakdos Life for Me

Look at my awesome cameo in my sister’s magic the gathering article 😀

This is old, but my sister mentioned me in a Magic the Gathering article she wrote.  It gives me the warm and fuzzies ❤  (although I corrected her in that she wrote ‘Rakdos for my bold and exuberant little sister’ whereas it should read ‘Rakdos for my destructive and pyromaniac little sister’).

For those nonplayers, in Magic, there are 5 guilds: Azorius Senate, Golgari Swarm, Izzet League, Cult of Rakdos, and Selesnya Conclave.  As my sister describes in her article, each guild has a particular flavor and personality.  I instantly associated with the Cult of Rakdos because a. it’s a CULT, b. it’s red/black, and c. it’s fast and aggressive.  The funny part is I’m still a little hesitant while playing it, which sometimes leads to my downfall.  Basically I need to learn to go all out until I have nothing left, which is my philosophy in life anyway.  It’s interesting how something as superficial as a guild in a card game forces you to evaluate your own identity.  Sometimes I wish that I was a little slower, a little better at planning, to have the ability to play more guilds.  Hopefully that will come with time, for what is maturity if not learning to adapt and change?

Also, you should go read her newest one, cause she’s awesome!

v My new home v

Gatecrash Prerelease

Forgot to post about it, but I went to the Gatecrash Prerelease earlier this month.  We got to the Monstore 30 minutes early, but by the time we got to choose guilds Boros was gone.  I ended up choosing Gruul instead, which wasn’t too bad (although I do miss Rakdos).  Speaking of Rakdos, my sister included me in her latest article regarding choosing guilds on GatheringMagic, go check it out!  I must say I must definitely am Rakdos, and Gruul did not go well for me at all.  I went 1-4, but I played a girl where it was her first time ever, and I think I managed to encourage her to continue the game.  Maybe it’s just my loser side speaking, but that actually made it worth it for me (such a sap).  Plus it was just fun in general, everyone honestly just wants to play and have fun at those events.

I’m also just glad I got to go.  I know someone who couldn’t find a ride because his friends were recovering from partying the night before.  Silly people, don’t they know magic always comes first?