LA Tech Rising Stars: 8 Innovators to Watch

These rising stars are innovative, sharp and leading the charge into the future.

Los Angeles is getting a lot of attention as an up-and-coming tech and innovation hotspot. The talk about Silicon Valley has shifted to warmer climates and Silicon Beach is thriving. Los Angeles’ growing ecosystem of talent deserves a highlight. The innovators on this list are driving technology, filling industry wide gaps and celebrating huge successes along the way.

Nelson Lee, Founder & CEO of iLIFE

SoCal native Nelson Lee translated work experiences at a top investment bank, international technology brand and well-known insurance brand into venturing out on his own at a young age to develop multiple innovative startups. Before Nelson was 30, he co-founded and built an insurtech startup into a multimillion-dollar business in under 18 months. His forthcoming venture iLIFE is a portal that will provide transparency into insurance industry, one that is typically filled with bloated policies with many fees and little return or safety for consumers. iLIfe will show which policies have excess fees or low expected returns, opening up the massive life insurance market to the many families that have been burned before by insurance salespeople or don’t understand how to evaluate the differences between the thousands of options.

Vanessa Dawson, Founder & CEO of The Vinetta Project

Vanessa Dawson, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, witnessed first-hand the lack of venture capital funding available to women. Not one to sit idly by, Dawson launched into action with The Vinetta Project, a high-impact capital platform that accelerates female founders’ growth and facilitates access to funding. Since 2013, Vinetta has facilitated the flow of more than $180 million in funding toward tech in companies founded by women.

Thibaud Clément, Co-Founder & CEO of Loomly

Thibaud Clément, a self-taught programmer, is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Loomly, a brand success platform that empowers marketing teams to manage every aspect of their social media communication. With more than $3 million in funding and 2018 revenue growth that exceeded 600%, Clément easily holds a spot on this list of rising stars.

Julie Nguyen, Founder & CEO of Methodology

Julie Nguyen, a Stanford graduate, is using her life’s experience and knowledge to find success in wellness and health food. Methodology is Nguyen’s brain child, and her goal is to make an impact as both a leader and in the way people approach food. Methodology is a personalized meal delivery service built on six years of R&D currently serving more than 10,000 clients throughout the west coast.

John Collins, Founder & CEO of Stayhealthy, Inc.

John Collins has been traveling the entrepreneurial path since the 70’s and uses his experience across industries to make a serious impact in health tech. Stayhealthy encourages users to take control of their lifestyle through engagement and technology designed to make interactions fun and simple. Stayhealthy’s innovative FDA cleared technologies and devices have enabled users to measure, track, and change their health for the better.

Robert Delf, CEO of Rightsline, Inc.

Robert Delf is responsible for both the delivery and adoption of the suite of tools and products Rightsline offers. Rightsline is the only true multi-tenant, software-as-a-service rights and contract management platform, possessing a host of invaluable features. Managing more than 300 publishers in over 115 countries and over a dozen languages with one year on the books is impressive to say the least. Not to mention, their client list which boasts big names like Disney, Amazon and Google.

Jan-Christopher Nugent, Co-Founder & CEO of Branded Online

Jan-Christopher Nugent, an e-commerce visionary and pioneer, has been at the forefront of developing scalable, multi-tenant e-commerce systems and innovative monetization strategies, generating billions in revenue. At Branded Online, Jan has built a culture of teamwork fueled by self-empowerment and an organization perfectly poised to bring fashion into the light, and across the digital divide. Not to mention, he led Branded Online to the 2019 Inc. 5000 list of most successful companies in America.

Steven Cox, Founder & CEO of TakeLessons

Steven Cox, a serial entrepreneur with multiple early-stage successes, launched TakeLessons into a global learning company with more than 20 million users worldwide. With their diverse community of more than 10,000 teachers with different teaching styles across numerous subject matters, it’s no surprise that Cox has has raised more than $20 million in venture funding for TakeLessons.


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