“[The event] is a review of startups and technology in the area. Essentially from San Fernando Valley to Santa Barbara. More specifically, Conejo Valley. That is our main focus,” said Gary Livingston. “It is an assessment of the local startup advancement.”
With this being his first time on the project, Livingston is assisting Managing Director Alon Goren in scaling up the event through different marketing strategies and product development. His goal is to separate the event from a typical meet up group experience.
“The goal is to put the spotlight on startup activity in the community. There is a lot of money in this town, and they all travel south. They don’t think about what is happening in their own backyard. We want to wake them up to that,” Livingston said.
Goren will lead moderation of the panel of four judges: three being investors and one, a successful entrepreneur, that manage more than $240 billion combined. They will be focusing on closing questions, insights and investing into any of the spotlighted startups. The crowd will also be involved through Q&A sessions and networking opportunities.
“We are the largest group of entrepreneurs in Ventura County,” Goren said. “We show people that every piece of the startup puzzle is right here in the area.”
In the past year since its first major event, 805 Startup member numbers have shot up from 400 to about 1,400. Now, the group hosts one event per month for members and has sponsorships from real investors including Montecito Bank and Trust, Stradling Attorneys at Law, Hub101 and SoCal IP Law Group.
“The city loves Alon and what he has been doing with startups,” Livingston said. “The more startups that are being funded here, the more jobs there are here, the better community there is.”
The event will also recognize three or four outstanding community members for their support of startups in the 805.
This year’s winners include: