UCLA Entrepreneurship Forum — Fireside Chat

Click here to see the video from the event

CNSI Entrepreneurship Forum

Monday August 11, 4PM @ CNSI Auditorium

Fireside chat – LA’s startup ecosystem

Hear how entrepreneurs view LA’s strengths & weaknesses, investment trends, what’s hot (or not) & exit opportunities


Mike Jones

CEO – Science Media Inc.

Moderated by Lou Kerner (Founder – The Social Internet Fund)

Followed by Networking Reception

Click here to RSVP

   About Mike Jones Long-time entrepreneur and former CEO of Myspace, Michael Jones now serves as the CEO of Science Inc., a Los Angeles-based technology studio that nurtures successful digital businesses by bringing together the best ideas, talent, resources and financing through a centralized platform.  Over the past three years, Science has built, funded and acquired successful digital brands such as Dollar Shave Club, DogVacay, Delicious, HelloSociety, and more. As a serial internet entrepreneur, Jones has founded, advised, invested in and sold numerous businesses, including application platform Userplane, which he led from startup to its acquisition by AOL, Tsavo Media, Movoxx, PeopleMedia, Brizzly and Myspace. About Lou Kerner Lou Kerner is the Founder and Senior Partner of The Social Internet Fund, which invests in the primary and secondary shares of rapidly growing private technology companies.  Current fund investments include Appcelerator, Appia, FireEye (NASDAQ FEYE), LiveRamp, Livefyre, Meetup, Palantir Plated, Scribd and Yashi.  Lou was previously Wall Street’s first social media analyst at Wedbush Securities, where he was the Managing Director of the Private Shares Group. About CNSI Entrepreneurship Forum CNSI’s Entrepreneurship Forum is designed to enable entrepreneurial UCLA faculty, staff and students to exchange ideas and build relationships within the LA entrepreneurial ecosystem. The forum serves CNSI’s mission to facilitate commercialization by creating an environment where innovative ideas can be shared and cultivated into commercial opportunities. For more information, contact Neelam Sullivan (Neelam@cnsi.ucla.edu)

Lou Kerner Presents – “The Disruptive Technologies” Conference Call Series


Machine Learning


James Prudhomme

CEO – Datacratic


Andrew Shikiar

V.P Marketing & Corp Dev – BigML


Kalyan Lanka

V.P. Product Management – Lotame


When: Wednesday, August 6th, from 2:00PM-3:00PM EST

Where:  Conference Call – Please email lou@socialinternetfund.com

for dial in information

Please join us for a conference call featuring three thought leaders on the current state and future direction of Machine Learning. Click here to get the slides for the call.

Machine Learning is a scientific discipline that attempts to program systems to automatically learn and improve. Learning in this context is recognizing complex patterns and making intelligent decisions based on data. The problem is that the set of all possible decisions given all possible inputs is too complex to program. So Machine Learning companies develop algorithms that discover knowledge from existing data sets, and then test, iterate and improve in a never ending virtuous circle. Machine Learning integrates various disciplines including probability theory, logic, combinatorial optimization, search, statistics, reinforcement learning and control theory. The developed methods are at the basis of many applications, ranging from language processing, to forecasting, pattern recognition, games, data mining, expert systems and robotics. Every industry is going to be increasingly driven by Machine Learning.

2014 Is The Year of Bitcoin…on Wall Street, Silbert Says

Wall Street Journal, Feb 4th, 2014

Coverage of our Bitcoin 2014 Conference Call By The Wall Street Journal…

Jamie Dimon might have called bitcoin a “terrible store of value” on CNBC last month, but if Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, is to be believed, many of the JP Morgan’s chief’s peers are very keen on it.

“I can say with confidence that 2014 will be the year of bitcoin on Wall Street,” Mr Silbert said during a conference call Tuesday to discuss themes surrounding the digital currency.

“I can’t tell you how many individuals I meet or meetings I go to where I’m asked to talk about bitcoin, but I can tell you it involves the most senior people at the some of the largest banks and funds here on Wall Street,” he said.

“While there is a lot skepticism on CNBC, some of the smartest and most well-known investors have invested in bitcoin via the Bitcoin Trust,” said Mr. Silbert, who made his name in setting up the private exchange SecondMarket. The Bitcoin Investment Trust is limited at this stage to sophisticated institutions and high-net-worth individuals.

He said there has been a “fantastic response” to the Trust and “we haven’t done any sales or marketing. And by the way, we’re hiring.” (Mike Casey)

Here are the slides from Mr. Silbert’s presentation:

Bitcoin Investment Trust – Bitcoin 2014 from Lou Kerner

Speaking on the same conference call as Mr. Silbert, Chris Larsen, CEO of Ripple Labs, said his firm’s global digital-currency exchange has processed some $40 million in transactions over the last 60 days.

He said that the network, which is built on a decentralized structure akin to the bitcoin protocol but which operates independently of bitcoin, now has 63,000 independent “nodes.” These function as market makers for trading currencies via an encrypted system or as gateways for people to buy or sell XRP, the Ripple protocol unit, in return for fiat currencies or other units of value.

The value of XRP in market capitalization terms now stands at $2 billion, he added, without elaborating on how that number is reached.

(Based on discussions in different chat forums for users of digital currencies, there’s some debate over how best to measures XRP’s market cap, which the company derives by multiplying the last price at which an XRP transaction occurred by the number of XRP units that Ripple has issued.) (Mike Casey)

Lou Kerner’s Disruptive Technology Series – Bitcoin 2014

Full invite here


Chris Larsen

Founder & CEO of Ripple

Marco Santori

Chariman, Regulatory Affairs Commission,
The Bitcoin Foundation

Sebastian Serrana

Founder & CEO BirPagos

Barry Silbert

Founder & CEO SecondMarketBitcoin Investment Trust


Tuesday, February 4, 2014, from 2PM-3PM EST
Where (Conference Call)
RSVP to lou@socialinternetfund.com to get dial in information

Please join us for a conference call featuring four thought leaders on the current state and future direction of Bitcoin. Click here to get the slides for the call (to be uploaded the morning of the 4th.)

Lou Kerner’s Social Internet Conference Call Series



Jordan Kretchmer

Founder & CEO, LiveFyre –  Presentation here

Ari Lewine

 Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, TripleLift  – Presentation here 

Rebecca Lieb

Analyst, Altimeter Group - Presentation here 

Adam Solomon

VP of Digital Advertising Products, Time Inc., Presentation here 

 When – Thursday, November 7th, 2PM-3PM EST

Please join us for a conference call featuring four renowned thought leaders on native advertising.

Online advertising is ever evolving.  The effectiveness of banner ads has been falling for 10+ years, with click rates now at a pathetic 0.1%.  Online ad dollars continue to move to search, video, and increasingly, to native advertising.  The increasing prominence of native advertising can easily be seen by the 12X increase in Google “native advertising” searches since August last year.  Yet an industry definition of native advertising remains a work in progress, as the IAB and its 80+ member task force addresses the issue.  What everyone in the industry does appreciate is the growing interest among publishers and advertisers to better integrate advertising in the user experience as a way to get users to engage with advertising at higher rates, thus driving higher ad revenue.

The most prevalent form of native advertising is social ads, with promoted tweets integrated seamlessly into the tweet stream on Twitter.  Sponsored posts in the newsfeed on Facebook have a 49X higher click through rate than the traditional banner ads on the right rail.  Image-centric apps like Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine are particularly well positioned to drive significant native advertising revenue.   Native advertising also includes the sponsored stories that have quickly become an accepted part of the editorial landscape on progressive sites like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post.  And sponsored stories appear poised to become ubiquitous as even the AP has announced that they will be introducing sponsored articles in their story stream.

Native advertising is undoubtedly a seminal trend that all players and investors in the digital ecosystem need to understand and embrace as ad dollars shift to this more impactful ad medium.  As with all shifts, there will be bumps along the road (e.g. as regulators try to prevent abuses), but few doubt that fortunes will be made and lost.

Speaker Bios

Jordan Kretchmer  – Jordanis the Founder and CEO of Livefyre, the first Social CMS Platform used by the largest companies in the world to engage consumers through a combination of real-time conversation, content creation, social curation and social advertising.  Kretchmer founded the San Francisco based startup in December 2009, and has overseen its growth to 100 employees and over $20M in venture financing. Livefyre is the 5th largest site network on the web, delivering over one billion live content streams every month. Before Livefyre, Kretchmer was the VP of Brand at Current TV where he led brand redevelopment, Digital Creative Director at Butler Shine Stern and Partners, and VP/Associate Creative Director at Mullen Advertising.

Ari Lewine – Ari is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at TripleLift. TripleLift is the native advertising platform for the visual web. As Chief Strategy Officer, Ari leads the Company’s direction on sales, strategy, and product innovation. Most recently, Ari was head of the performance sales team at AppNexus. Ari started his entrepreneurial endeavors at 17 when he purchased University Trucking, a shipping and storage company that grew to 125 employees before being acquired in 2009. Ari holds a B.S.B.A in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Rebecaca Lieb – Rebecca is an Analyst, at Altimeter where she covers digital advertising and media, an area that encompasses brands, publishers, agencies, and technology vendors.  Rebecca previously launched and oversaw Econsultancy’s US operations. She was Editor-in-Chief of The ClickZ Network for over seven years.  As a journalist, she’s written on media for numerous publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  Until recently, Rebecca taught at New York University’s Center for Publishing, where she served on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group.  Her book, The Truth About Search Engine Optimization, published by FT Press, instantly became a best seller on Amazon.com. Her most recent book, Content Marketing, was published in October 2011.

Adam Solomon - Adam is Vice President, Digital Ad Products & Revenue Operations at Time Inc. where he leads a team of product management, and yield/ad ops professionals who develop and operationalize display, video, mobile, tablet, social, native and audience advertising products across all Time Inc. digital properties — including People, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Time and Sports Illustrated.  Prior to Time, Adam served as VP of Digital Ad Products for Viacom Media Networks, delivering award-winning ad product innovation across 20 flagship media brands, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike, and Nickelodeon.   Combining 16 years of digital product management and marketing expertise with a background as an aerospace engineer and patent attorney, Adam helps drive development of innovative and engaging advertising experiences that are effective for advertisers and compelling for consumers.

The content of this broadcast/presentation does not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned herein.  It is for informational or discussion purposes only. Nor does it reflect the adoption or endorsement of the views of the individual presenters. This background information contains only news, facts, and commentary on information previously reported from a news source believed to be accurate and reliable by the author.

Instagram: Conference Call and Deck

In the wake of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, Lou Kerner recently hosted a conference call and published a new deck profiling the deal. Robert Scoble, Peter Relan and Vic Singh (whose slides are below), participated in the call.

To listen to a replay of the call, dial 888-632-8973, or 585-295-6791 (if outside the U.S.), The replay code is 599-456-76#