Pejman Mar Ventures Launches Inaugural UC Berkeley $250K Startup Challenge

Students and alumni from UC Berkeley will help create the big companies of tomorrow, and today Pejman Mar Ventures launches an inaugural $ 250K Startup Challenge to find and help grow the next big startup at UC Berkeley.

The winning company will become part of the Pejman Mar Ventures portfolio and will receive seed funding, join the startup community, and gain access to the funds mentoring, network, resources, and if theyd like, office space in downtown Palo Alto.

We are thrilled to connect with the UC Berkeley community to build a bridge between their incredible talent and untapped startup potential and Silicon Valley, said Pejman Nozad, Managing Partner of Pejman Mar Ventures. This $ 250K Startup Challenge is the first of its kind, and we know that UC Berkeley students and alumni are uniquely positioned to build the technologies and platforms of tomorrow.

Judy Wade, UC Berkeley Foundation Trustee Member, added that, Berkeley students and alumni have the academic rigor and technical talent to build the next big startups, and the resources, network, and mentorship of becoming a Pejman Mar Ventures portfolio company will bridge the academic world with one of the best early stage funds in Silicon Valley.

The creativity and technical talent weve seen from UC Berkeley students and alumni, as well as the teamwork of the faculty and campus have created the foundation for a strong continued relationship, said Mar Hershenson, Managing Partner of Pejman Mar Ventures. We see our founders and entrepreneurs thrive as they work with us to build their companies, tackle challenges, and create the platforms and products of the future.

As a Pejman Mar Ventures portfolio company, the winning startup, which must have at least one founding member who is a UC Berkeley student, faculty or recent alumni, will receive:

Funding: Pejman Mar Ventures will award $ 250K for 10% of the company via equity seed financing, and will designate part of their ownership as a gift to UC Berkeley.

Mentors: The chosen company will work very closely with the Pejman Mar Ventures investment and operating team. In addition to scheduling regular check-ins with the partners, they will have access to the funds extended network and mentors.

Events: Founders will also have the opportunity to attend exclusive events, including intimate fireside chats with iconic visionaries. Previous speakers include John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Mark Pincus, co-founder of Zynga; and Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!.

Community: Community is the cornerstone of the culture at Pejman Mar Ventures, and the chosen company will join the Pejman Mar Family and interact with other founders in the funds portfolio on a regular basis.

Optional Office Space: The chosen team has the option to work out of Pejman Mar Ventures hacker space downtown Palo Alto for up to 9 months, where they will have regular touch points with other Pejman Mar Ventures founders and partners. Although the use of the space is optional, it is always open to the team for use.

Applicants apply online at through a written application and short video introducing the team. Applications are due by October 1st, 2015 and the winning team will be announced by October 30, 2015.

About Pejman Mar Ventures

Pejman Mar Ventures redefines what it means to be a portfolio company by turning founders into family. We’ve built an environment and community where we not only share knowledge, resources, and networks, but we also work together to navigate obstacles, create pivoting strategies, and invest in our companies each step of the way.

Pejman Mar Ventures is an early stage, $ 50M seed fund based in Palo Alto. Historically we have seeded companies now collectively worth over $ 25B including Dropbox, Lending Club, Doordash, Danger, ZenPayroll, Guardant Health, Soundhound, and more. The fund and Pejman Mar Ventures community are designed to work very closely with early stage companies coming out of top schools. In the past 18 months, Pejman Mar Ventures has funded 7 companies in which the founders were either current students, or recent graduates, from top schools including Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and will invest in students or alumni from UC Berkeley in Fall 2015.

Women’s Economic Ventures Free Self-Employment Training

Women’s Economic Ventures Free Self-Employment Training
Event on 2015-05-07 18:00:00
Have you wanted to run your own business, but don’t know where to start? Or do you already own a business and want to expand? Learn how to make those dreams a reality with Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) Women’s Business Center. WEV is holding free, 1-hour informational sessions facilitated by Program Coordinator Evelina Ochoa in Ventura County to help determine your readiness for the Self-Employment Training (SET) course beginning in September. Orientation is required to enroll.

Self-Employment Training (SET)
WEV’s Women’s Business Center offers a comprehensive 14 week, 56-hour Self-Employment Training (SET) program that is targeted to women (also serves men), and provides guidance on how to start, operate or expand a business. The program is offered in both English and Spanish, and provides week-by-week training on topics including finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, and record keeping. After the 14 week course, WEV SET graduates emerge with a completed business plan and the most important tools and resources they need to start a new business or grow their current business.

WEV is a nationally recognized, local non-profit that provides business training, small business loans, and many other resources. Since 1991, WEV has served over 12,000 clients, made over .5 million in microloans, and helped start or sustain an estimated 3,000 businesses supporting more than 4,000 local jobs.

Location is subject to change. To find out more information or to register for the orientation, call (805) 456-2355 or visit the website at

at Various locations around Ventura County
To be disclosed
Ventura, United States

Canadian Cybersecurity Ventures Globalize as a Collective

Ottawa, Ontario (PRWEB) March 28, 2015

LTW Cyber is an innovation hub for technology ventures that have agreed to collaborate for the purpose of addressing the needs of the global market for cybersecurity. Each technology venture will pursue its own opportunities to grow while seeking collaborative opportunities with the other ventures that are part of LTW Cyber.

Ventures in LTW Cyber focus on secure application security, grounded by trusted firmware, and complemented by offerings identifying vulnerabilities and analyzing open source. As the hub matures, the product mix will become increasingly compelling.

This is the first time that Lead to Win has carried out such an initiative. Carletons Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program expects to transform the existing Lead To Win ecosystem into an ecosystem with innovation hubs made up of companies that go global from day one. The first of these hubs will be built around the cybersecurity space.

The companies that are part of LTW Cyber include:


Art Low (M.A.Sc. TIM, Carleton University) is the founder and CEO of Crack Semiconductor, a provider of cryptographic security products used in high value billing transactions generated by network processors. Nebula is an innovation that secures client end nodes seeking to connect to cloud networks by measuring all loaded software down to the platform firmware.


Ned Nadima (B.Com., University of Ottawa) is the founder of Denilson, a mobile payment solution that enables everybody to accept mobile payment anytime, anywhere without any additional hardware such as cash registers.

Global Cybersecurity Monitor

Ahmed Shah (B.Eng. Software and TIM student, Carleton University) is the program manager for the Global Cybersecurity Monitor (GCM). The GCM will support the ventures in LTW Cyber to globalize rapidly and establish collaborative research and business relationships worldwide.

Kainos Solutions

Keystone DAout (Bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Ecole de Technologie Superieure) is the founder of Kainos Solutions. The venture intends to become a global provider of situational awareness systems. Kainos Solutions seeks to develop trusted products that will protect, secure and stabilize the world around us.


Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) 11th Annual Awards Dinner Honors Venture Capital Partner Robert Kibble of Mission Ventures

Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) March 24, 2014

The Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) held its Eleventh Annual Venture Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 13, 2014 to recognize Southern Californias best venture-backed companies, and to celebrate the induction of Robert Kibble into the LAVA Hall of Fame. The awards dinner was attended by over 200 leaders in the Venture Capital community, including CEOs and founders of successful emerging companies. It was held at Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.

This year’s LAVA Hall of Fame inductee was Robert Kibble. Robert Kibble is a co-Founder and Managing Partner of Mission Ventures, a Southern California venture capital firm investing regionally in early-stage information technology companies. He has over 30 years of venture capital investing experience.

Prior to Mission Ventures, Robert served for thirteen years as a founding General Partner of Paragon Venture Partners, a successful venture capital firm operating in Silicon Valley, focused on investing in information technology companies. His early career included investment banking on Wall Street as well as Vice President of Citicorps Merchant Banking Group in Malaysia and Brazil before becoming a Vice President of Citicorp Venture Capital.

Robert has a Bachelor’s degree, with honors, in Natural Sciences from Oxford University, and an MBA from the Darden School, University of Virginia. He is a former Director of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and he currently sits on the Board of Eveo, Nexiant, and SodaHead. Robert represented Mission’s leadership role in prior portfolio investments in Sandpiper Networks (subsequently becoming Digital Island) and Shopzilla.

This is one of LAVA’s signature events and it continues our tradition of showcasing Los Angeles’ top emerging companies, entrepreneurs and investors, says Matt Crowley, President of LAVA. Earning recognition in trying economic times is especially challenging, and this year’s nominees all deserve congratulations and admiration for their accomplishments.

The five award winning companies were selected by the attendees at the evenings dinner event from 17 nominees in the following categories:

Best M&A Exit – Docstoc

Docstoc is the premier online destination to start and grow small businesses. It hosts the best quality and widest selection of professional documents (over 30 million) and resources including expert courses, videos, articles and productivity tools to make every small business better. Docstoc is among the top 500 most visited websites (quantcast) and has over 45 million registered users. It offers a vast collection of free resources and provides a monthly membership which unlocks its widest selection of premium content. Docstoc also provides the technology to help facilitate the sharing and promotion of documents across the web and has popularized the use of embedding documents throughout the blogosphere and mainstream media. Docstoc Inc. was founded by Jason Nazar and Alon Shwartz and launched in October 2007. Docstoc was acquired by Intuit in December 2013. The company is located in Santa Monica, CA.

Best Seed/Early Stage Funding <$ 3mm – Cargomatic

Cargomatic is Uber for Local Trucking. Businesses moving freight can now find local trucks when and where they need them. Local trucking is an enormous yet highly fragmented market, with major carriers servicing only 15% of a $ 70B industry. Cargomatic is disrupting the marketplace by offering shippers easy access to under-utilized space on independent & owner-operated trucks.

Best A Round Funding – PaeDae

PaeDae is the worlds largest mobile ad engagement network. Based in Santa Monica, California with satellite offices in New York and San Francisco; PaeDae has to date raised more than $ 12M in funding to expand its unique user-centric advertising platform, which includes mobile video, rich media, and app discovery.

Best B Round plus Funding – Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club is a rocketing mens lifestyle brand and e-commerce company on a mission to change the way men address their shaving and grooming needs. From our BS-free razor subscription, to our Shave Butter chemistry, to tomorrows cutting edge user experience were dedicated to inventing smart products to make guys lives better and easier. We have an exploding member base to show for it and are backed by top tier VC funds.

Hottest New Company – Snapchat

Snapchat is a photo messaging application (app) developed by Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, then Stanford University students. Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as Snaps. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps, after which they will be hidden from the recipients device and deleted from Snapchats servers.

About the Los Angeles Venture Association:

LAVA is Los Angeless premiere Venture Capital focused industry organization that provides a forum for Entrepreneurs, Investors and the community of businesses that assist companies in their formation and growth. LAVA celebrates 30 years of service to the community. It is led by a team of volunteers that provide program, sponsorship and leadership in the Venture funded community. For more information, visit


Leonard Lanzi,

LAVA Executive Director



Sierra Maya Ventures Celebrates Its 1st Year, Wastes No Time in Its Second

Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) April 30, 2014

Sierra Maya Ventures, a leading angel and seed venture fund for early-stage startups, is celebrating its first year of operations. Launched in April of 2013 by Founding Partners Amish Shah and Eric Kagan, the firm invests in technology across the more popular sectors like mobile, ad tech, gaming, and consumer web, as well as in emerging industries such as drone technologies and crowd funding. With the partners making waves across the technology industry, Sierra Maya Ventures has begun expanding its team, and is ramping up to launch a second fund in 2014.

In its first year, Sierra Maya Ventures built a portfolio around a diverse group of over 15 investments. Such investments include Skycatch, a platform for intelligent & scalable aerial robotics serving a wide array of industries. Other investments include the social multiplatform publishing company MAZ, and equity crowd funding and angel investing platform WeFunder. The firm has made several investments alongside Sequoia, Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, adding Y Combinator and 500 Startups class companies to their portfolio. Sierra Maya Ventures is currently ranked among the top 15 venture capital firms by funding deal intelligence company Mattermark, and ranks 8th among top seed and angel investors for B2C startups.

Alongside investment activity, the Founding Partners of Sierra Maya Ventures have been creating noise across the technology industry. Amish Shah is a veteran of the startup world and founder of the high-tech and startup focused recruiting firm, Millennium Search. With a history in technology recruiting dating back to 1995, he is well-connected to talent, executives and venture capital firms across the technology space. Shah is a frequent guest on CNBCs Closing Bell, Fox News and Bloomberg TV, discussing movements within the technology landscape and serving as an expert on startup and technology investment topics. He is an advisor and mentor for several early-stage startups, and is the top angel investor in North Carolina on AngelList. Shah was recently listed as Charlottes Top 7 People to watch by the Charlotte Observer.

We move really fast, says Shah of the companys success. Eric and I get very hands on with every company we invest in. Whether its helping them find other investors, connecting them with strategic partners and advisors, giving them referrals for early customers, or just being a sounding board for ideas and pivots, we are available to them whenever they need us.

Founding Partner Eric Kagan is also a veteran of the high-tech world. Kagan had an exit in March of 2012 from hosting, cloud and datacenter management company, Xand, of which he was co-founder and continues involvement as a strategic advisor and board observer. He is the Principle for KGN Holdings, a member of Investors Collaborative, and serves on advisory boards for several of his portfolio companies. Kagan is one of Bostons top angel investors and a valued asset to many technology startups.

We balance each others strengths incredibly well, and thats why this works. We bring two perspectives to every meeting, conversation and deal. It helps us examine things from all angles, says Kagan. Every investment we have made so far has advanced through our conversations, debates and vetting. When we reach a consensus, we know we are in a good place.

In addition to their portfolio investment activity, the early-stage venture fund also partnered with Dan Roselli and Charlottes startup and entrepreneurial hub, Packard Place, to launch RevTech Labs III, the third class of the largest startup incubator in the Southeast. Both Shah and Kagan, along with Roselli, serve as the official venture capital partners and fundraising advisors to the class of companies. The program aims to jumpstart the Charlotte startup ecosystem, bringing the attention of outside talent, companies and capital. Through the partnership, RevTech Labs launched a 506c Index Fund for the class, the first of its kind in the Southeastern United States.

After experiencing so much success in their first year, the founding partners have begun expanding their team. Molly Gamache of Boston, MA was brought on as Director of Operations, and Dan Rogers of Charlotte, NC was brought on as an Associate. Bay Area financing specialist Glen Howard was brought on as a Managing Partner. With parts of their portfolio already seeing acquisition activity from heavy-hitting companies like Google and Facebook, the firm plans to continue its expansion.

With their initial fund closed, the partners are in current discussions around a second, with an anticipated summer launch this year. The fund will focus in part on follow-ups at the Series A level for current investments, in addition to funding for new ventures.

About Sierra May Ventures

Sierra Maya Ventures provides Seed, Angel and Early Stage Capital to help entrepreneurs around the globe turn their dreams into a reality. They target innovative and passionate Founders looking to start a revolution in today’s world. To learn more about the venture capital firm, visit

DuPont & The Resolution Project Partner to Support Young Leaders Launching Innovative Social Ventures

WILMINGTON, Del. (PRWEB) February 25, 2014

DuPont and The Resolution Project announced today a broad global partnership to support young socially responsible leaders launching innovative social ventures. DuPont will provide funding to support The Resolution Projects Fellowship offerings and seed funding for Fellow-led ventures; access to scientific and technical subject matter expertise; and volunteer mentors from its expert professional ranks to assist in identifying, training and supporting undergraduates addressing crucial challenges around the world. The partnership will focus on four areas of key importance: feeding the world, improving energy systems and supply, protecting people and the environment, and promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Through this partnership, DuPont and The Resolution Project will look to galvanize a new generation of socially responsible young leaders.

“DuPont is pleased to offer the most promising young leaders access to a pathway for action for their social ventures. We believe that our partnership with The Resolution Project will create sustainable change for years to come, said William D. Provine, director of Science & Technology at DuPont. DuPont is excited to play a critical role in strengthening this ecosystem and helping to make sure that Resolution Fellows have access to specific, relevant and deep support, Provine added.

We are honored and thrilled to be working with DuPont, a global leader in technology and innovation, to support Resolution Fellows around the world, said Oliver Libby, chair and co-founder of The Resolution Project. Our corporate partnerships are multi-faceted, combining funding, professional engagement, and shared expertise, and touching many areas of the ecosystem of social enterprise that Resolution has created. We are grateful for DuPonts belief in our mission and model, and deeply impressed by DuPonts commitment to young people making a difference today.

College students from around the world are invited to compete in Resolution Social Venture Challenges (SVCs) hosted at existing global youth conferences. The SVC is a proven multi-step competition that challenges undergraduates to propose impactful, socially responsible ventures, which address pressing social issues through innovative, entrepreneurial and measurable approaches. Upcoming SVCs will take place at the World Model United Nations Conference, the Clinton Global Initiative University and the Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard, among others. Senior DuPont scientists and managers will join with Resolutions team in judging and providing feedback at several of these events.

The winners of Resolution SVCs receive Resolution Fellowships comprised of crucial seed funding to launch their venture in addition to a full ecosystem of support, including access to a network of global advisory resources and dynamic, hands-on mentorship to help them develop as socially responsible leaders.

Today, more than 100 Resolution Fellows are working on six continents to implement creative solutions that address the most pressing challenges facing the world. They share a passion for what the Resolution-DuPont partnership represents: public-private collaboration, innovative spirit and eagerness to change the world today.

The Resolution Project is a unique pathway to action for aspiring young social entrepreneurs. Founded in 2007, Resolution identifies young leaders through Social Venture Challenges and empowers them to make a positive impact today through Resolution Fellowships. Resolution Fellows receive dynamic, hands-on support to implement their ventures and to develop as socially responsible leaders. With Resolution Fellows on all 6 inhabited continents, working in diverse, high-impact fields such as education, healthcare, human rights, water resources and sustainability, Resolution is building a generation of leaders with a lifelong commitment to social responsibility. The Resolution Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, please visit

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit