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Advice to Entrepreneurs: "Don't Be Boring"

Jeff Hall

Posted on May 28, 2018 20:56

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Stubbs-Alderton, a law firm with a "preccelerator" in Santa Monica, recently hosted its eighth "demo day."

Stubbs-Alderton & Markiles recently conducted its eighth “Preccelerator” demo day at its Santa Monica offices on the Third Street Promenade.

Stubbs-Alderton, or SAM, hosts a startup accelerator program called the “Preccelerator.”

Three companies – recent grads of the Preccelerator – presented their concepts to a roomful of people active in the Silicon Beach startup scene on May 23.

An investor panel, composed of Scott Alderton, Renee LeBran, Rob Vickery (Stage Venture Partners), Riley Kovatch (March Capital Partners) and Joe Miller (Morpheus Ventures), listened to the pitches and gave feedback.

PayClub is a debit card making it easy and convenient for groups to split the expenses of major adventures – like a fraternity going to Vegas for the weekend.

All participants “pay in,” in advance, pre-loading a debit card with all the funds that will be required to cover the costs of the trip.

One person is put in charge handling all the actual transactions, so the hassle of using multiple credit cards is eliminated.

Lumenus makes clothing, helmets and backpacks that use LED lighting to help keep pedestrians, bikers, joggers and skateboarders safe while out and about at night.

Lumenus is now taking test orders from retail establishments, including Moosejaw, a division of Walmart.

A Lumenus garment.


Best Food Trucks, or BFT, allows office workers and others to pre-order, using their cellphones, food from favorite food trucks that will be in the area that day.

The positioning of food trucks is now a highly coordinated event, with trucks, office managers and parking lot operators needing to figure out which trucks will be stationed where – on which days and at what times.

BFT’s technology takes the headache out of all these logistics.

An investor panel, composed of Scott Alderton (the “Alderton” in Stubbs-Alderton), Renee LeBran (angel investor), Rob Vickery (Stage Venture Partners), Riley Kovatch (March Capital Partners) and Joe Miller (Morpheus Ventures), listened to the pitches and gave feedback.  .

Scott Alderton asked members of the panel if it were possible for an entrepreneur to send in an email and hope for a response.

“If you have something amazing you can describe in one paragraph, it can happen,” said Miller.

“Never be boring” when submitting a pitch deck, advised Miller.  Be sure to answer the question, “Why you, why now and why us?” added Vickeray.

“Don’t go into too much detail,” said LeBran.  The purpose of a pitch deck, she said, is to simply get a meeting.  Go into detail later, she added.

LeBran said it’s almost always important to have a basic product built before asking for money.

“We invest in people,” said Riley.

“Don’t give up,” added Miller.  “You might need to call on 100 people,” he said.  “But you only need one to say ‘yes’.”

Stubbs-Alderton’s Preccelerator is run by COO Heidi Hubbeling.  The Preccelerator has now assisted 37 companies, she said – 22 of which have received seed or pre-seed funding totaling $11 million.