Silicon Beach Fest celebrates fifth anniversary bringing LA tech community together

Photo Credit: Calvin Lee @mayhemstudios

MARINA DEL REY – Silicon Beach Fest  celebrated its fifth anniversary with three days of panels, parties, keynotes, mixers and a VIP yacht cruise at the Marina del Rey Hotel and other venues last week. The fest featured 85 sessions, more than 400 speakers who shared insights and experience sessions over five days of events, and 2,000 attendees attending some part of the festival. Panel topics included growth, VR, advertising, influencers, social media, developers, design, and more.

Thanks to speakers, sponsors, volunteers, organizers, vendors, and attendees for making our fifth summer Silicon Beach Fest such a success! Several attendees said and tweeted they found the panel topics that continued into engaging hallway and mixer conversations both information-packed and inspiring. Watch for our Silicon Beach Fest one-day event this fall.
Kitterly wins SBF Startup Showcase 2016 Title

Kitterly won the Silicon Beach FestStartup Showcase 2016 title. The crafting site is an alum of 500 Startups, and is founded by Mari Bower, CEO. Kitterly wins the prize package including the SBF 2016 title, $5,000 courtesy Media Temple, a Surf Air flight to its California destinations, two Air New Zealand tickets on its LA – London route, ten hours transactional legal services from Sheappard Mullin, and three months membership at CTRL Collective, at either its Playa Vista or new Downtown location (for a tour email

Kitterly was first of the 20 startups pitched at the Silicon Beach Fest 2016 Startup Showcase. Five judges choice and one audience choice advanced to the finals on Friday. The six finalists were: Kitterly, Markett, Heal (doctor on demand), Heartbeat (women millennial marketing network), Canny (cannabis directory), and audience choice Vampr (music networking). Markett, an on demand marketing company that is part of Amplify accelerator, placed second. Watch the Friday Final pitches in this replay video.

Silicon Beach Fest receives Certificate of Recognition from LAMayor Eric Garcetti. At Downtown Day on Monday, Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti city officials presented Silicon Beach Fest founder Kevin Winston with a Certificate of Recognition, on the 5th annivesary of Silicon Beach Fest this year (photo right). Then, LA City Officials described the Mayor’s tech initiatives, including attracting tech companies to move to LA, open data hackathons, digital divide programs, opportunities for startups to bid on city projects, and a huge job fair in January, which Jason Nazar is spearheading as LA City Entrepreneur In Residence.
Silicon Beach Fest Closing Party, presented by TechStyle Fashion Group, featured closing keynote speaker Dan O’Keefe, co-exeutive producer of the top TV show Silicon Valley. He spoke about producing and writing for the show, which is an inspiration and favorite show among entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to Silicon Beach and around the world. He said that show writers get ideas for storylines based on tech news, visits to startups in Silicon Valley, and staff writers’ own personal experiences. The show also has consultant experts who advise on everything from investing and financing to developer and coding to ensure the show is authentic and accurate. He said the show is always looking for good new story ideas.
If you moderated or were on a panel, and can write a summary, please email it to with SBF as subject so we can add it here and on our site!

Keynote: Shawn Gold, CMO of TechStyle Fashion Group: Reimagining the Fashion Business

TechStyle CMO Shawn Gold discussed his company’s recent name change from JustFab, and its marketing campaigns across its portfolio of brands that include JustFab, Fabletics, ShoeDazzle and Fabkids. TechStyle specializes in using social media, TV, and other digital tools to reach each of its brands audience in different ways. For example, Shoedazzle is upbeat and hip; Fabletics activewear frequently uses humor, and Fabletics co-founder actress Kate Hudson frequently appears in videos. Watch replay.
How Television Fits in the Digital Conversation to Fuel Growth
Presented by Icon Media Direct

Growth is a big theme at this year’s SiliconBeach Fest, with several LAstartups that have grown to national and international audience in the past few few years. Several startups have seen huge success from integrated digital and television campaigns to reach larger mainstream audiences. Nancy Lazkani, CEO of Icon Media Direct, moderated a panel with speakers from TrueCar, Jarden Consumer Solutions and Guthy-Renker who described how integrated digital and television campaigns can increase awareness, branding, and sales.  TrueCar CMO Neeraj said that television plus digital absolutely resulted in increase boost. Watch replay.

 – Nancy Lazkani, Icon Media Direct, Inc., CEO (Moderator)
– Neeraj Gunsagar, TrueCar, Inc., Chief Marketing Officer
– Kierie Courtney, Jarden Consumer Solutions, VP/GM Global Consumer Direct
– Boris Shimanovsky, Guthy-Renker, LLC, Chief Creative Officer at Guthy-Renker, President, GRM
Maximize Your Digital Fundraising with Marketing and Social Media, presented by UCLA Extension

Javon Frazier, EVP, Strategy & Business Development, Studio 71, LP and UCLA Extension Instructor, discussed how he set out to raise $10,000 for their YouTube client’s project “Joking Hazard,” a card game that was developed to be the next “Cards Against Humanity.” They started a global Kickstarter online fundraising campaign to gain awareness and raise funds for their project. In less than 6 weeks, Studio 71, LP surpassed their expectations raising over $3.2 million and garnered attention for their project that is still making headlines. Javon and panelists discussed how they developed the campaign, oversaw all the marketing and will be handling the game’s printing and fulfillment.

– Bilal Kaiser, UCLA Extension, Instructor; Agency Guacamole, Owner (Moderator)
– Javon Frazier, EVP, Strategy & Business Development, Studio 71, LP and UCLA Extension Instructor
– John Fitzpatrick, Studio 71, Producer & Talent Manager, ProSiebenSat.1 Group


TV and You: What’s Next? featured AT&T executives discussing TV entertainment products that consumers want, including speakers from DIRECTV, VR, and more. Watch replay.

Speakers included:
– Erik Brannon, IHS Markit Technology, Principal Analyst (Moderator)
– Michele Barney, AT&T, VP Content & Programming
– Ben Mui, AT&T, VP Engineering
– Peter Sargent, AT&T, Director, Product Management
Digital Hispanics: Where and How to Engage Them, presented by Univision

Univision executives and latina influencers discussed how to reach latino audiences online at a packed panel on the main stage. Univision executives discussed their programming, content, outreach, and partnerships with influencers for everything from entertainment to increasing latino voting at the polls. Watch replay.

– Diego Carvejal, Univision, Vice President of Digital Content
– Jennifer Perri, Univision, Director of Partnership Development and Multi-platform Strategy
– StyledbyAle, Lifestyle Blogger/YouTuber
– Leon Krauze, Author and KMEX-34 News Anchor
– Christina Zalpa, Sizmek, Sales Manager LATAM & US Hispanic
– Adrien Sossa, Xad, Director, Channel Partnerships
– Jaime Gabaldoni, Univision Communications, Senior Autos Editor and Influencer

Improve Your Online Dating Life with Female Dating CEOs Panel

Four female dating CEOs got together at Silicon Beach Fest to share their 30 years of dating industry tips on how to create the perfect dating profile. The conversation included how they got involved in the multi-billion dollar online dating industry, with backgrounds in technology, finance, entertainment, and fashion, and a discussion on the big elephant in the room, Tinder.

Here are their top tips on how to improve your dating life.

Julie Spira, Moderator and CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert: “Always ask a question in your profile or in text/email exchanges to become engaged in the convo and meet IRL.” @JulieSpira

Kelly Steckelberg, CEO of Zoosk: “Use Spellcheck. The Zoosk study about grammar and spelling showed it had a huge effect on success rate.” @Zoosk

Talia Goldstein, CEO of Three Day Rule: “Don’t post a mysterious other man or woman. The person viewing the profile will wonder, is this your husband or brother?” @ThreeDayRule

Jennifer Kelton, CEO of BOD Dating App: “Don’t post selfies in the steamy bathroom mirror. Find a friend to take your photos.” @badonlinedates

Full Recap with 20 Tips from the CEOs can be found at

Women Founders: Mentors & Funding

Women founders discussed how they raised money to start their companies, and raised subsequent rounds of funding. Watch replay.

Justine Lassoff, Tuesdaynights, Co-Founder; LOVE GOODLY, Co-Founder
Melinda Moore, Tuesdaynights, Co-Founder; Moore Media Ventures, CEO
– Ariel Kaye, Parachute, CEO/Founder
– Amber J. Lawson, Good Amplified, CEO
– Nanxi Liu, Enplug, CEO
– Amanda Taylor, DanceOn, CEO
Thanks to our Silicon Beach Fest 2016 sponsors!

– Icon Media Direct is a Premiere sponsor. Icon Media Direct helps develop digital and TV broadcast campaigns for startups ready to reach larger audiences and markets, locally to nationally.

Icon Media Direct CEO Nancy Lazkani moderated a panel with TrueCar and others on their TV + digitalmarketing campaigns. Icon Media Direct also presentedthe Opening Party at the Marina del Rey Hotel lawn, and is providing a free tote bag to all attendees.

– TechStyle Fashion Group, formerly known as JustFab Inc., iss a Premiere sponsor. CMO Shawn Gold spoke on a keynote on Friday Aug 26, plus other execs will spoke on the Fashion Tech panel downtown, and the Growth panel. TechStyle also presented the Closing Party at CTRL Collective.

– Media Temple returns a Platinum Plus sponsor, having supported Silicon Beach Fest the past four years. Media Temple provided the $5K Startup Showcasee pitch prize, the volunteer T-shirts, and sponsored the Sunday Funday Pool Party (photo right)

– AT&T joins as a Platinum sponsor, with speakers from its DIRECTV product and other divisions on panels. AT&T presented the Thursday Night AT&T Reception, Aug 25, on the lawn at the Marina del Rey Hotel.
– Univision returns as a Platinum sponsor, with its Thursday Aug 25 panel discussing Latino content, influencers and distribution. Univision has launched several digital initiatives, partnering with Latino influencers, and more.

– UCLA Extension joined as a Platinum sponsor. UCLA Extension instructors spoke on two panels: Digital Fundraising on Wed Aug 24, and Got Content? on Thur Aug 25. UCLA Extension also sponsored the CoolHaus ice cream truck for free ice cream on Wed 3-4p. Attendees visited the UCLA Extension table at the Sponsor Lounge to learn more about UCLA Extensions courses to help you advance or transition careers. Use code SBF16 for a 10% discount off courses online.

Gold sponsors include: Latham & Watkins, Sheppard Mullin, Chief Outsiders, Air New Zealand, The LaunchPad Agency, and Ogletree Deakins. Greenberg Glusker provided the lanyards and badges.

Bronze sponsors including Loyola Marymount University, AdColony, and Stubbs Alderton & Markiles.

Thanks to our in-kind sponsors: Soothe (provided complimentary massages in the Startup Village and VIP lounge – Soothe photo right), Surf Air, Quest Nutrition, Shootly, Bezalel, Tesloop, High Brew Coffee, The Bouqs Company, and more.


We are creating a list of press about SBF. If you wrote an article or blog post, please tweet @DigitalLA or email with SBF PRESS as the subject.
Some recent articles so far:
– 10 VR Predictions from SBF, in Huffington Post article by Liz H Kelly
– Huntington Post: “Back to the Future” Phone Booth by Unispace by Liz H Kelly
“Inspiration at Silicon Beach Fest” article by Robert Brill of Brill Media
“Drones Take Flight” article by Air Map.
Photo right is Kluge designer Abraham, who is watching the SiliconBeach Fest VR experience that he created. Fly through the SBF 3D boardwalk featured in Kluge’s graphics featured all over the festprograms, main stage banner and site. You can download it at and watch it on your phone, or with VR cardboard googles, like the ones in the pic created by Unofficial Cardboard.

We are selecting and uploading photos from the thousands taken by Shootly photographers.

In the meanwhile, here are photos that SBF Festival Director Kevin Winston took with his trusty red camera:
– Wednesday Opening Party,presented by Icon Media Direct
– Friday pics and closing party including drone video are  coming!

Silicon Beach Fest is LA‘s original festival celebrating LA tech, entertainment & startups with panels, keynotes, workshops, mixers, and more that was held August 24-27, 2016 in LA.  We are excited to celebrated its 5th year, adding an extra day of panels for three days of panels Aug 24-26 at the stunning Marina Del Rey Hotel, which had a $25M renovation, with gorgeous views of the marina, water and boats from every conference room. There will be a Silicon Beach Fest one-day event in the fall, and the mutliday event returns next summer 2017.

– Watch a recap of last year’s fun in this SBF sizzle reel, created by Lemonlight Media (which can create one for you!)