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)

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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.

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Fast Company, June 18th, 2014

See full piece here

Change won’t come, though, until the products are “not just a little bit better but five times better,” says Kristo Kaarnmann, cofounder of the foreign exchange disrupter TransferWise, one of the startups Facebook tried to partner with on its e-money product. One five-times-better possibility? WhatsApp, the drop-dead simple messaging service that’s already used by more than 500 million people around the world. Facebook is looking for a way to make money from its expensive purchase, one that ideally wouldn’t force Facebook to trample upon the startup’s anti-advertising pledge. “WhatsApp is potentially a massive m-payment system,” says Lou Kerner, a venture capitalist and founder of the Social Internet Fund. “If you look at WeChat [a competing messaging platform], it’s already a payment system.” Or perhaps

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Lou Kerner’s Disruptive Technology Series – Corporate Innovation


Balaji Gopinath

VP of Emerg. Technology – Turner

Dylan Boyd

Managing Director – Powered by Techstars

Ed Maguire

Senior Analyst – CLSA

Evangelos Simoudis

Managing Director – Trident Capital

When:        Thursday, June 18th, 2014, from 2:00PM-3:00PM EST
Where:      Conference Call – Please email lou@soicalinternetfund.com for dial in information

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Lou Kerner’s Disruptive Technology Series – Native Advertising 2014


Kelly Andresen

Head of BrandConnect, The Washington Post

John Chan

Co-founder, Native Lift

Kunal Gupta

Co-Founder, Polar

Steve Rubel

Chief Content Strategist, Edelman

When – Thursday, June 5th, 2PM-3PM EST
Where – Conference Call

RSVP to lou@socialinternetfund.com to get dial in information

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Are We In A Bubble?

Here’s the link to a deck I put together with lots of data addressing the topic “Are We In A Bubble“.  Bottom line is NO.

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Questions Of A Bubble As Tech Momentum Fades

The Economic Times April 18th, 2014

See full clip here

Lou Kerner at the Social Internet Fund  an investment fund focused on new tech firms, said the question of overvaluation has to be examined “on a company by company basis.”  You can see companies whose valuations are stretched,” he told AFP. “Will they grow into their valuations? I think most of them can.”  Kerner also said the new Internet economy creates a situation “where companies are gaining traction at speeds we’ve never seen before.”

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Facebok Acquires WhatsApp For $19 illion

CNBC February 20th, 2014

See full clip here

Discussing the high price of Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp and what it means for Google and Apple, with Amir Efrati, reporter for The Information; Lou Kerner, Social Internet Fund Founder & Managing Partner; and CNBC’s Julia Boorstin.

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‘Candy Crush’ Maker King Files IPO With Listing in New York

Business Week, Feb. 18th 2014

“It’s obviously an amazing company but still a one-hit wonder,” Lou Kerner, manager of the Social Internet Fund, which invests in social-media companies, said by phone from New York. “You’re betting that ‘Candy Crush’ will either have a very long life or King will be able to have other hits.”

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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)

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