• We'll Back You

    Our investment thesis is focused on community building around LA universities and their alumni, and in particular the broader UCLA community. These universities and their alumni are under-appreciated as investment opportunities.

     

    We have a relentless commitment to diversity because it’s good business and good community; 70% of our portfolio companies are founded by women and minorities.

     

    We invest at the seed stage and focus on software and biotech. We will follow great alumni to SF or NY but are predominantly focused on LA.

    Community

    We leverage our network and pool our passions to support the growth of your exciting startup. With your success, we then donate a meaningful portion of our proceeds to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in our community. We operate completely independently of and are not associated with UCLA or other LA universities.​

  • Portfolio companies

    The new standard in SOX management

    SOXHUB works the way audit teams work—collaboratively, on the go, and in real-time. CEO/Co-Founder, Daniel Kim has a BA from UCLA and a Masters in Accounting from USC.

    Birth of the microbial revolution

    Microbiome-based therapeutics company, launching the most advanced therapies to treat and prevent skin disease including acne. Unlike the harsh chemicals used in today's treatment, Naked Biome relies on our body's natural bacteria to restore a healthy balance. They are building the most advanced drug discovery genomics platform for the treatment and continual improvement of skin diseases and health. Product roadmap includes additional skin microbiome treatment indications including eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis. CEO/Founder Dr. Emma Taylor studied medicine at USC, completed her residency and fellowship in dermatology and dermatopathology at UCLA, and stayed on as faculty in the Division of Dermatology and Department of Pathology at UCLA Geffen Medical School.

    Meet Belli, your personalized pregnancy coach

     

    Medical grade wearable for pregnancy. CEO/Co-Founder Eric Dy has a PhD, Biomedical Engineering from UCLA.

    Start trends, create epidemics

     

    Marketplace delivering custom content that is more authentic and more effective than agency content at a fraction of the time and cost via an automated, self-serve platform. Disrupting the creative agency and stock photography businesses. Social Native was founded by veterans of Google, Scopely, Applied Semantics whose past startups have created over $2B in equity value. CEO David Shapour has a BS from Yeshiva University and a Business Administration Certificate with Concentration in Marketing from UCLA. Co-Founder/CSO Eytan Elbaz has a BS in computer science and engineering from UCLA.

  • Team

    Michael Silton

    Managing Director

    • Previously Executive Director of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund
    • CEO/Founder of Rainmaker Systems, Inc; took public on Nasdaq; clients included Vanguard, Abbot, IBM; grew to over 1,500 employees; Deloitte Fast 50 award winner
    • CEO/Co-Founder of UniDirect Systems; Inc. 500 #22; sold to Avent (Savoir)

    Alex Guerrero

    Principal

    • Previously CEO/Founder of UniqApp
    • Co-Founder of Live Entertainment Network
    • Associate, UCLA VC Fund
    • BA, UCLA

    Elaine Davis

    Venture Partner

    • Executive, Coach, Leader, Mentor
    • Previously SVP HR, Conduent (formerly part of Xerox), world’s largest business process services company; focused on leadership development, employee engagement, strategic business transformation, communications, talent acquisition
    • SVP, GSK - GlaxoSmithKline, world's sixth-largest pharmaceutical company
    • MS, UC Berkeley
    • BS, UC Berkeley

    Brian Varnum

    Venture Partner, Life Sciences

    • Chief Development Officer, C3 Jian (biotech for oral health care)
    • Previously CSO at Tarrot
    • 18 years in research and drug development at Amgen
    • Ph.D Biological Chemistry, UCLA
    • AB Biochemistry, UC Berkeley

    Paul Kessler

    Board of Advisors

    • Co-Founder, Bristol Capital Advisors
    • Pioneer on Wall Street, PIPE Strategy
    • Co-Founder, StartEngine, leading equity crowdfunding company based in LA
    • Founder, The Los Angeles Film School
    • Invested in, provided seed capital, and/or founded numerous successful companies, including Cheniere Energy, Inc.; Lion Biotechnologies, Inc.; The Los Angeles Film School; Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Cantango Oil and Gas Co.; Research Solutions, Inc.; Wizard World, Inc.; Energous Corporation; Tellurian Investments

    Dennis Eck

    Board of Advisors

    • Currently a Board Member at ULTA Beauty, largest beauty retailer in the U.S. and premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin, hair care products, and salon services
    • Previously, Non-Executive Chair at ULTA Beauty and Acting CEO (2014)
    • CEO at Vons Companies, Inc. 
    • CEO at Coles Myer, one of Australia's largest retailers
    • Pioneer in many aspects of retail and e-commerce systems, active supporter of education programs and women in entrepreneurship
    • Believes great entrepreneurs are waiting to be green lighted in most large corporations
    • Currently funding highly modernized technology interior while preserving exterior of 70-year-old historic building at University of Montana 
    • BS, University of Montana

    Guy Guyadeen

    Entrepreneur in Residence

    • Seeking an opportunity to put new, fundamental technology to work solving expensive, meaningful problems
    • Extensive experience in early venture business planning, product development, small-team to large-scale software engineering, and finance
    • Founder of and mentor to several technology-driven startups
    • Formerly Product Manager, Google Payments Platform
    • Formerly Investment Banking Associate, J.P. Morgan, Technology, Media, and Telecom
    • BS, EECS, UC Berkeley
    • MBA, Yale School of Management
  • Advisors and mentors

    Strong community of experienced and passionate advisors/mentors to help our portfolio companies succeed

    MARILYN SPIEGEL

    Board Member, Caesars

    Leader in $1B+ organizations with multiple revenue streams, including gaming, hotel, food and beverage, entertainment, retail. President, seven Las Vegas integrated resorts (most recently Wynn Las Vegas, Encore). Board member for Caesars Entertainment and Nicholas and Co.

     

    Operations and human resource expertise lend unique perspective regarding business strategy, organizational culture, and leadership.
     

    BA and MA, University of Utah

    JACKIE PAPKOFF

    VP Immunology & Scientific Innovation, Johnson and Johnson

    Deep subject matter expertise in oncology, tumor immunology, inflammation & autoimmunity. Comprehensive discovery and preclinical development experience with monoclonal antibodies, biotherapeutics and small molecules

     

    PhD Biology, UC San Diego

    BA Biology, UC Santa Cruz

    LEONARD KLEINROCK

    Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at UCLA

    Former Chair of Computer Science at UCLA

     

    Developed the mathematical theory of packet networks, the technology underpinning the Internet. The birth of the Internet occurred in his UCLA laboratory (3420 Boelter Hall) when his Host computer became the first node of the Internet in September 1969 and it was from there that he directed the transmission of the first message to pass over the Internet on October 29, 1969.

     

    Founder of multiple companies including Linkabit and Nomadix

     

    Ph.D. MIT

    JEFF MILLER, PH.D.

    Director, CNSI (California NanoSystems Institute) at UCLA

    Member, National Academy of Sciences

     

    UCLA Professor, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

    SUSAN FELDMAN

    Co-Founder, One Kings Lane

    Board of Governors at Parsons The New School for Design

     

    MBA, UCLA

    BA, Stanford

    NASI PERETZ

    VP Engineering @ Ticketmaster

    Lecturer @ USC Viterbi School of Engineering

     

    Co-founder, TicketMob (sold to Cvent)

     

    Co-founder, WestSideRentals.com

    JAYATHI MURTHY

    Dean, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

    RICHARD WOLPERT

    CEO/Founder, HelloTech

    Previously President, Disney Online

     

    Venture Advisor, Accel Partners

     

    Co-Founder, Amplify LA


    CEO/Founder After Hours Software, sold to Adobe

     

    BS Math & Computer Science, UCLA

    PETER SEYMOUR

    CFO, Disney/ABC

    One of Disney's largest business groups consisting of the non-sports television businesses (ABC, ABC Studios, ABC Stations, Disney Channels Worldwide, Freeform and equity investments in AETN and Hulu)

     

    Board Member, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

     

    MBA, Stanford

    BA, Stanford

    DIANA DERYCZ-KESSLER

    CEO, The Los Angeles Film School

    Active in supporting Latina entrepreneurs

     

    Diana is also a private sector leader in the UNESCO Teach-Her project, a global education initiative focused on bridging the gender gap in the STEAM fields.

     

    Co-Founder & Special Counsel, Bristol Capital Advisors

     

    Previously international business attorney, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle and at Occidental Petroleum Corporation

     

    JD, Harvard

    MS, Stanford

    BA, UCLA

    CATHY HALLIGAN

    Board Director, Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA)

    Fortune 500 and NASDAQ 100, high growth, omnichannel retailer of All Things Beauty, All in One Place™
     

    Board Director, FLIR (Nasdaq:FLIR)

     

    Previously CMO, Walmart.com

    VP, Blue Nile

    VP, William Sonoma

    JULI STONE MORAN

    Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting

    (Life Sciences)

    Worlds largest consulting firm

     

    Commercial strategy, product launch and business operating model consultant; focused on medical device/technology and biotech sectors.

     

    MBA, Arizona State

    BA, UCLA

    ROBERT JADON

    Director, Startup UCLA

    Co-Founder & President, ScaleFunder

     

    Technology executive, entrepreneur, and investor focused on consumer-facing & B2B web companies, SAAS, big data plays, cloud-based platforms, storage, DSP, and embedded projects.

     

    UCLA

    Managing Partner, Next Play Capital

    Founder, Ryan Nece Foundation

     

    Co-Founder, StraightCast Media acquired by Fox Sports

     

    NFL Linebacker and Super Bowl champion XXXVII, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

     

    BA, UCLA

    MJ JOHNSON

    VP, Trademark & Technology Licensing
    Technicolor

     

     

    BOB BALTERA

    CEO, Hawkeye Therapeutics

    Former CEO, Amira Pharma sold for $400M

     

    Previously VP, Amgen

     

    MBA, UCLA

    MS Genetics, Penn State

    BS Microbiology, Penn State

    GAREN STAGLIN

    Owner, Staglin Family Vineyards

    Co-Chair, UCLA Centennial Campaign

     

    Chair, UCLA Grand Challenge for Depression

     

    Board Member, Silicon Valley Bank

     

    MBA, Stanford

    BS, UCLA

    MARK BEAVEN

    CEO/Founder, AAM

    Advanced Alternative Media, Inc.

    AAM is the most identifiable global brand for Producer and Songwriter management, exclusively representing world-class talent and their businesses, among them songwriters, producers, artists, labels, publishing companies, production companies, mixers, executives, and engineers.

     

    AAM’s clients speak to the breadth of its work, which has moved many millions of people and sold billions of albums and singles. Beaven’s company has collaborated with mega stars ranging from The Rolling Stones, U2, David Bowie, Madonna, Keith Urban, Kanye, Prince, Adele, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Nirvana, Usher, John Lennon, Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, and Guns ‘N’ Roses.

    JULIE UHRMAN

    EVP & GM, Over-The Top (OTT) Ventures at Lionsgate

    Previously Head of Platform Business Development, Jaunt, a leader in the field of cinematic virtual reality

     

    Founder/CEO, OUYA: Video game console and platform sold to Razer

     

    100 Most Creative People in Business, Fast Company

     

    Top 50 Women Digital 2015, Digital LA

     

    MBA, UCLA

    BSBA, Washington University in St. Louis

     

    REG KELLY

    Exec Director, QB3 incubator UCSF

    General Partner, Mission Bay Capital

     

    Previously Executive Vice-Chancellor, UCSF

     

    Previously, Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF

     

    Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

     

    Ph.D. Biophysics, CalTech

    Physics, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

    BRUCE HALLETT

    Managing Director, Miramar Ventures

    Previously UC Alumni Regent

    Partner, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison

     

    JD, UCLA

    BA, UC Irvine

    ROBERTO MEDRANO

    IT executive, cybersecurity pioneer

    Executive in the information technology fields of cybersecurity, middleware, governance, API security, microservices, DevOps, software, SaaS, cloud integration, SOA/API management, enterprise architecture

     
    Deep experience with launching and marketing products and companies
    Cybersecurity pioneer working in early phases of firewall, content security, and security policy

     

    MBA, UCLA
    MS Electrical Engineering, MIT
    BS Electrical Engineering, USC

  • Events

    Meet the community supporting startups from UCLA and LA at the launch event for Act One Ventures
    If you would like to join us and meet the next generation of entrepreneurs, please message us....
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