Silicon Beach @ USC
Town & Gown Ballroom | University of Southern California | October 14, 2016
Silicon Beach @ USC couldn’t have been possible without the advice, support, and assistance of a number of rising leaders in the start-up space. They include:
Digital entertainment and media executive Juliana J. Bolden leads the creation of video, written and still photo gallery content for brands like Wells Fargo, the Emmys, the Image Awards, Grey Goose, the Long Beach Indie International Film, Media + Music Festival, and served on the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee Specialty Media team.
The accomplished producer, editor, reporter and communications strategist is lauded for running high quality, yet highly cost-efficient and scalable operations. She began her television/digital career at ABC Family Channel/Disney, working on such long- and short-form programming as the ubiquitous Power Rangers series, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from San Diego State University.
A community leader with various service organizations, Bolden mentors aspiring broadcast journalists for the Associated Press Television-Radio Association (APTRA) Academy, serves as an Advisor for Silicon Beach @USC, and is a featured guest panelist and moderator at industry events.
In 2009, the San Francisco Bay Area native played a key role in building Emmys.com (the Television Academy’s very first consumer-facing website). Later that year, Bolden launched the Emmy Publications video/film production division—wowing viewers with rare, candid, behind-the-scenes moments in the Emmy Bash Photo Splash video series with such stars as Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men; Breaking Bad faves Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul; Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara and the entire Modern Family ensemble; the beloved Loretta Devine of Grey’s Anatomy; Jon Stewart; Justin Timberlake and more.
Bolden’s teams continued breaking new ground, delivering real-time multi-platform red carpet coverage, exclusive behind-the-scenes series and feature packages for award-winning Emmy magazine, and video footage to such broadcast and online outlets as Access Hollywood and E! News.
Working alongside social media, marketing, corporate sponsorship and more colleagues, she initiated the Academy’s first branded online content production—How to Make the Grey Goose® Emmy—a fun, tune-in driver which features star costume designer Janie Bryant of Mad Men and inspires fans to bring some Governors Ball style and cuisine home to their own Emmy show viewing parties.
“I jumped into the digital arena years ago largely to help our entertainment industry redefine ‘television’ as the programming itself – the content,” Bolden shared, “not just the physical flat screens or ‘TV sets’ that sit in our living rooms.”
She advises students, new graduates and fellow media professionals regularly on ways to shake off their fears of change and prepare themselves to tell stories and entertain consumers on platforms that do not exist on broad, consumer levels yet. Lots of people remain nervous about technological evolution’s effect on audience measurement, advertising revenue and such—and understandably so, she observes.
As storytellers, however, “it’s still our job to be fearless, yet smart while building value for brands and building great content-driven experiences for fans.”
A passionate sports fan and advocate for youth fitness, Bolden was honored in 2011 by the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce with the Spirit of the Games Award for her work on behalf of the historic LA Watts Summer Games.
Mackenzie is a CPA-turned-entrepreneur. She is the founder and managing director of Square Root Financial, a financial services firm that provides CFO, accounting and bookkeeping services to early-stage technology and other high-growth companies. Mackenzie is also a financial advisor to the Bixel Exchange, a partnership between the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center.
Previously, Mackenzie was VP of technology and venture banking at Grandpoint Bank where she sourced and structured venture financing deals between $500K – $3M. Previous to that, she was a co-founder of wmbly, inc., a social platform for live and on-demand video content. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mackenzie audited public and emerging companies at Deloitte & Touche. Mackenzie has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a Masters in Accounting and a Masters in Business Taxation from USC’s Marshall School of Business.
Kristen Tischhauser is Co-founder & CEO of Los Angeles-based talkTECH, one of the fastest-growing boutique PR firms in the U.S. for early-stage and established tech startups.
Kristen brings over a decade of public relations and marketing experience to talkTECH. She has managed communications for over $300M in collective venture capital funding announcements and facilitated media coverage for over 175 startups and tech-enabled brands since the company’s inception 6 years ago.
Kristen is a mentor for Girls Build LA and is involved with organizations such as Women 2.0 and Hollywood in Pixels. Kristen was honored with Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women Making a Difference” award and the L.A. Biz award for “Women of Influence”.
James Bottom is an entrepreneur currently building up the Startup Ecosystem & Starter Community at USC. His background is in IT business strategy, and he was previously responsible for overseeing a portfolio of consulting projects in the US, Australia and Canada. He has diverse independent consulting experience with deep project management expertise, business intelligence proficiencies, social media tactics and customer relationship management (CRM). His experience is in leading offshore software development, implementing supply chain management, facilitating requirements gathering and streamlining business process flows. He understands the importance of culture in laying the foundations for startup growth, is flexible in an organizational structure, communicates effectively with all audiences, passionate about assisting others, a corporate disorganizer and excels at executing plans with limited resources.
Bottom has almost a decade of international technical computer experience in hardware and software in the industries of Startup’s, Aerospace & Defense, Entertainment, Financial Services, Health Care, Government and Non-Profit’s. He has been instrumental in bridging the gap between core business processes and allowing IT act as an enabling force.
Chathri Ali, a rising star in the world of startup marketing and PR, joined talkTECH Communications in 2012. As the Managing Partner for the firm, Chathri drives all high-level operations, strategy and account management for clients.
She previously held executives roles at Los Angeles’ leading startups including Vice President of Marketing at Little Black Bag and the Director of New Media at Opportunity Green.
Her work launching startups has led to placements in Techcrunch, The Next Web, Fast Company, InStyle Magazine, Glamour Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and over 2 million views of partner videos on YouTube.
Chathri gained her MBA in strategy from UCI Merage School of Business and her undergraduate degree in business from USC Marshall School of Business. Her expertise has led her to be a guest lecturer at the UCLA Extension School in green marketing, UCLA Anderson CIBER Global Careers Panel, and the Marketing on the Internet MBA class at UCI Merage School of Business.
Chathri also produced her own tech news podcast, LATech.TV, and conducted interviews with HP, Microsoft, Google and multiple mobile application companies.
Donovan Green, Director – External Affairs at AT&T is the External Affairs lead for AT&T’s Los Angeles Lightspeed Fiber Optic Multi-Media Initiative. Additionally, he represents AT&T on legislative, community, philanthropic and business issues involving the City of Los Angeles.
Previous to joining the External Affairs, Donovan held several leadership positions for SBC/AT&T. In 2000, he was an Area Manager with statewide responsibility for SBC’s Tier 3 DSL technical support team. In 2001 he accepted a position in AT&T’s Global Markets Division as a Sr. Project Manager. In that role, he managed large national and inter-national telecommunications network projects. In 2002, Donovan was the national lead for the “EarthLink DSL Project”, which was the largest DSL project in the company with a contract value of 470 million dollars. From 2003-2006 Donovan was the AT&T project lead for Disney Worldwide Services USA, Virgin Entertainment Group Inc., and T-Mobile USA.
Donovan has received numerous recognition awards for his work in the telecommunications industry. Some of his most significant awards include “Outstanding Contributions Award”, for his technical management during 2000 Democratic National Convention, “2002 BCS President’s Star Performance Award” “2002 Encore Applauding Excellent Award” for extraordinary contributions to (BCS) Business Communications Services. In 2006, Donovan received AT&T’s “Worldwide Customer Service Star Award” for providing “Providing Unmatched Customer Service”.
In 2011, AT&T One Award Customer Service Award.
Donovan holds a BA Degree in Government Administration from U.C. Riverside and an MBA from University of Southern California. Additionally, he holds numerous of technical and business certifications and a PMP (International Project Management Professional) Certification, 2010 L.A. Chamber of Commerce Leadership Southern California Certification, 2010 AT&T Leading with Distinction Certificate.
Courtney Hambleton is a Trojan Alum who once worked as a production assistant at Trojan Vision. Her work in media has included work with ESPN radio and Westwood One. Courtney provides a crucial link between Silicon Beach activities on the USC campus and the larger Trojan alumni community. She currently manages and maintains commercial real estate assets for the CIM group in Los Angeles.
Heather O’Shea is a strategic communications professional with experience in the nonprofit, public and private sectors. She recently earned her masters in health systems from Georgetown University. Prior to Georgetown, she spent three and a half years in sales and marketing with Johnson & Johnson. She studied communication as an undergrad at the University of Southern California, while also completing internships at The White House, MTV Networks, NBC, and Golin Harris.
Heather loves startups, media and technology. Post Graduate school she worked in Washington DC’s startupland and helped plan the pitch competition Distilled Intelligence for Fortify Venture. She is currently working on a second version of her iPhone application Shopptique. Heather is a native of Southern California, she is dedicated to volunteering and giving back having spent time as a volunteer in a medical clinic in Tecate, MX and teaching at a primary school in Bududah, Uganda. In her spare time she enjoys running, politics, a nice Chardonnay and USC football.
Espree Devora, aka “the Girl who Gets it Done” is a business development and marketing strategist. She helps Start Ups create business systems and gain customer traction. In her early 20s she founded ZexSports, a digital media company that connected brands to youth through local action sports events. Now, a decade later, she has given talks on interactive content and social media to organizations such as CBS, South by Southwest Interactive, International Association of Skateboard Companies and USC Executive MBA.Her secret personal hobby is taking pics of cool sneakers for her photo blog Sneaks Attack using the Posterous mobile app on her phone.You can send a tweet to Espree here @espreedevora
Avesta Rasouli is the founder of Coloft, a community based workspace for startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers, and the unofficial tech hub of LA, located in Santa Monica, CA. He is also an advisor and mentor to several startups.