The media team at ETHNews had the pleasure of attending the IDEAS Conference at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on June 15th. With a full schedule and large roster of prolific speakers and panelists, it certainly was an event to inspire.
The two-day IDEAS Los Angeles event was presented by the Tel Aviv University- American Friends and their mission statement is to, “engage thought leaders to inspire and collaborate.” Through an impressively packed schedule, they certainly wanted to touch upon every area in the digital world.
This event partnered up with dozens of corporations, private businesses, organizations, institutes of higher learning and media outlets to form a space where everyone could share ideas and build productive relationships. The Broad Stage’s building in Santa Monica is one of clean, geometric aesthetics, where two stages were set up to feature a tight schedule of speakers and panelists.
Michael Terpin, founder, and CEO of Transform PR and an investor in cryptocurrency startups and platforms led the Global Venture Investing panel. This discussion focused on crowdfunding and how to push startups off the ground. Though the discussion focused on global crowdfunding, Terpin pointed out the benefit of having this event in Los Angeles.
“Currently, Los Angeles is the biggest incubator per capita than any other city out there,” explained Terpin. Audrey Jacobs of OurCrowd, Buck Jordan of Canyon Creek Capital, and Lou Kerner of The Social Internet Fund, also on the panel, agreed. They were very aware a majority of the entrepreneurs in the audience were looking for funding and assured them they were in the right place.
Terpin, who is a bitcoin investor, mentioned to the panel, “About 90 percent of my investments are in Blockchain businesses.” He encouraged the panel as well as others in the crowd to look into this upcoming hot item. Other ventures recommended along with the blockchain was Artifical Intelligence, robotics, drones, and medical technology.
This was a good discussion for those creating their own Dapps or smart contracts who need funding. And of course, the cryptocurrency and tech industry are booming with financial potential, therefore investors around the globe are seeking newer technologies to fund. For the attendees in the tech field, this was the perfect opportunity to reach out for aid in funding their projects.
Due to the flexibility of the schedule coupled with the fun environment, IDEAS LA created a heartening experience where people were encouraged to interact. Panels ranged at about a half an hour in duration, so attendees weren’t overwhelmed by lengthy or dull discussions. Guests were also welcome to sit in the ample space of the “Interactive Lounge” adorned with plush, colorful couches, clear tabletops, charging stations, and demo booths consisting of businesses within the digital realm.
While in the Interactive Lounge, the blockchain conversation did not stray too far from the event. We met with Michael Q. Todd, an investor and former lawyer, who is very active within the bitcoin community. He attends Tokyo’s weekly meetups and even contributes to the BitClub, a community interested in bitcoin and other virtual currency opportunities. Todd has recently shifted his focus towards Ethereum with his company Crowdify and its Ethereum-based coin for e-commerce, CrowdifyCoin.
Popchest, a micropayment company that accepts bitcoin for videos, was also among those demo booths in the lounge. Displayed at their booth was a video of Vitalik Buterin up on their computer screen. Upon introducing ourselves, Valerian Bennet, Founder and CEO of Popchest, proclaimed, “I should’ve worn my Ethereum t-shirt!”
Popchest is a company that empowers individuals to directly benefit from their creativity- where users can be paid in bitcoin for their videos they upload. Once we asked about Ether payment options in the future, Bennet was very interested in the idea but stated, “Not at the moment.”
“I noticed that too many options were scaring people,” Bennet disclosed. The company is, however, looking to possibly use ShapeShift in the future to create a less overwhelming process.
At the closing of the event, attendees were welcome to attend the after party down the street where a DJ played, there was an open bar, and dinner was served. With the constant hum of discussion and ideas shared, moving in rhythm with the music, it kept everyone affable and social.
ETHNews would like to thank everyone at IDEAS Los Angeles for making this event come to life; everyone involved from their attentive staff and security to all the helpers, speakers, leaders, and all those in between. We especially would like to thank David Dorfman, Executive Director for IDEAS Los Angeles, for making it possible for Ethereum.net to be there- and for being such a wonderful host to us.
Until next year!