Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum
Encouraging the GROWTH and SUCCESS of technology-based
entreprenurial ventures in Southern California

Upcoming Events

Ent Forum Movies

Technology Startups Go to the Movies

Opportunities and Hurdles for Selling New Technologies into the Motion Picture Industry

Southern California is still the home of Hollywood — the symbolic name for the motion picture industry, but that industry has changed dramatically in recent years. Theatrical release competes with broadcast and cable television and streaming video on demand.

At the same time, the vast majority of distribution of feature motion picture content remains concentrated in a small number of very large corporate entities — the half dozen movie giants that have been with us in one form or another since the 1930s, plus huge upstarts like Netflix, Amazon (Prime). Many of the studios have sizable in-house technology development operations, but all acquire technology or technology products from outside their corporate borders.

The program will kick off with a Keynote Presentation from James Helman, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of Motion Picture Laboratories, Inc. The February 25 program is designed to help would be developers and sellers of new movie-related technologies navigate among the giants, learn what areas might provide opportunities, and avoid areas where scale and other industry characteristics render it unlikely that a startup will make inroads.

Keynote Speaker:

James Helman, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer
Motion Picture Laboratories, Inc.


Uday Mathur

Chief Technology Officer
RED Digital Cinema

Brian Quandt

Chief Technology Officer
Production Data Services


Ira Moskatel

Arnold & Porter LLP



The Snapchat Effect: How the company’s mega IPO may enhance the odds of your startup getting funded

Several LA-based companies have gone public this millennium, but no IPO has been as highly anticipated as that of Snap Inc., the social media behemoth the likes of which we’ve previously seen only in Silicon Valley. Not to mention Dollar Shave Club’s $1B acquisition by Unilever in 2016 and Riot Games’ acquisition by Tencent in 2015. What can we anticipate as a result of these watershed events?

Will LA overtake New York as the second most interesting tech ecosystem after Silicon Valley?
Will we witness more venture funding and increased company valuations in the region?
What other benefits can entrepreneurs expect to see?

Our program will open with Chang Xu delivering a presentation she co-created with Upfront managing partner Mark Suster for the recent Upfront Summit, highlighting the current state of the venture capital industry as well as the unique qualities of LA Tech. Panelists Rebecca Kantar and Gene Sheridan will share their experiences and insight gained from successfully raising venture capital for their respective companies, and Chris Shoff will provide a lawyer’s perspective on the “dos and don’ts” of fund raising in the current environment. We’ll close the program by turning the mic over to our audience for an opportunity to query our speakers.

Keynote Speakers: 

Chang Xu

Upfront Ventures

Rebecca Kantar


Gene Sheridan


Chris Shoff
Latham & Watkins LLP


Randy Churchill

Managing Director
Square 1 Bank


Startups in 2027 and Beyond

Startups in 2027 and Beyond: Opportunities and Challenges for Entrepreneurs in the Next Decade

What is the future of Entrepreneurship? Will future Startups be based on Technology (SpaceX) or Business Models (Uber) or Design (Apple)?

The event will begin with a Keynote Presentation from Preston McAfee, Chief Economist & CVP of Microsoft. He will examine the future of Entrepreneurship in new markets, new organizations, new business metrics and entirely new classes of jobs within future Startups.

The advance of technology is accelerating with innovation occurring across multiple fronts simultaneously like Big Data, Robotics, Personalized Medicine, Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things and others. Dr McAfee and a panel of speakers will share their views on these opportunities and the challenges entrepreneurs will face with future Startups.

Keynote Speaker:

Preston McAfee, Ph.D.

Chief Economist and CVP


Lynn Foster

Foster Technology Applications LLC

Ron Perez

Patent Attorney

Steinfl+Bruno LLP Intellectual Property Law


Formed in 1984, the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum is an entrepreneurship resource of Caltech’s Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships.

The mission of the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum is to encourage the growth and success of technology-based entrepreneurial ventures in Southern California.

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