What's behind LA's booming tech ecosystem?

Thursday, October 15 | Loews Santa Monica Hotel | Los Angeles, CA


Adam Goldenberg

Founder & CEO, JustFab

Jeremy Liew

Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners

Brian Lee

Co-Founder & CEO, The Honest Company

Michael Dubin

Founder & CEO, Dollar Shave Club

TJ Sassani

Founder & CEO, zozi

Kara Nortman

Partner, Upfront Ventures

Erik Rannala

Co-Founder & Partner, Mucker Capital

Sean Arian​

Founder & Chief Strategist, Bixel Exchange

Roman Arzhintar

Founder & CEO, SideReel

Amir Banifatemi

Managing Partner, K5 Ventures

James Conlon

Partner, Bullpen Capital

Paige Craig

VC, Arena Ventures

Erin Flynn

Investment Banker, Ackrell Capital

Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder & CEO, Vator

Bart Garrett

Founder & Pastor, Christ Church

Brian Garrett

Co-Founder & Operating Partner, Crosscut Ventures

Scot Grierson

Partner, KPMG

Alex Gurevich

Partner, Javelin Venture Partners

Patrick Hechinger

Writer, Built in LA

Kyle Hill

Founder & CEO, HomeHero

Eva Ho

Founder & Partner, Susa Ventures

Annlee Ellingson

Staff Writer, L.A. Biz

Kimberly Freeman

Assistant Dean, Diversity Initiatives, UCLA

Merlin Kauffman

Founder & CEO, Soothe

Rob Kornegay

Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Naveen Jain

Co-Founder & CMO, Immunity Project

​​​​​Peter Lee

Partner, Baroda Ventures

Roxane Lukas

Senior Vice President, People Team, JustFab

Eric Manlunas

Co-Founder & Partner, Wavemaker Partners

Larry Marcus

Managing Director, Walden Venture Capital

Oscar Menjivar


Levi Nitzberg

Head of Talent, Tinder

Katherine Noesen

Tech Exec/Entrepreneur

Hilary Perchard

VP - Business Development, Sky Media

Peter Pham

Co-Founder & Partner, Science

Corinna Pieloch

Executive Vice President, Moxie Group

Alex Roizen

Adviser, Ackrell Capital

Ezra Roizen

Investment Banker, Ackrell Capital

Dolly Singh

Founder & CEO, Thesis Couture

Brandee Tilman

Senior Manager, KPMG

Bill Woodward

Founder & Partner, Anthem Venture Partners

Melissah Yang

Associate News Editor, Bustle

Tianxiang Zhuo

Managing Partner, Karlin Ventures


Kris Bjornerud

Executive Director, Amplify.La

James Bottom

Director, Blackstone LaunchPad at USC

Peter Brack

Entrepreneur & Investor; EIR, Mucker Capital

Joe Guzel

Associate, CrossCut Ventures

Richard Jun

Managing Partner, Bam Ventures

Francis Shih

Associate, Arena Ventures

Ashish Soni

Founding Director, Viterbi Startup Garage

Michael Trevor

Senior Associate, Account Management, KPMG

Jack KN Tsai

Investor, Tech Coast Angels

​ Jules Walker

Director, KPMG


8:30am,,9:20am,, Registration - Coffee, Light breakfast

9:25am,,9:35am,, Opening Remarks,, Emcee: Alex Roizen (Adviser, Ackrell Capital), Katherine Noesen (Delegate, Vator) , Bambi Francisco (Founder & CEO, Vator)

9:40am,,10:10am,, Session 1: The art of LA startup trendspotting ,, Jeremy Liew (Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners) and Bambi Francisco (Founder & CEO, Vator)

10:10am,,10:30am,, Session 2: Bubbles, valuations and a guide to fundraising in LA,, Moderator: Rob Kornegay (Partner, Wilson Sonsini); Panelists: Peter Lee (Partner, Baroda Ventures), Erik Rannala (Co-Founder & Partner, MuckerLab), James Conlon (Partner, Bullpen Capital), Tianxiang Zhuo (Managing Partner, Karlin Ventures)

10:30am,,10:40am,, Break (10 min) See Sky Startup Showcase Alley,,

10:40am,,11:25am,, Session 3: Global Splash Competition
First 4 Finalists ,, Emcee: Naveen Jain (Co-Founder & CMO, Immunity Project); Judges: Kara Nortman (Partner, Upfront Ventures), Alex Gurevich (Partner, Javelin Venture Partners), Hilary Perchard (VP - Business Development, Sky Media), Larry Marcus (Managing Director, Walden Venture Capital)

11:25am,,11:45am,, Session 4: Getting the Flywheel going,,Moderator: Ezra Roizen (Partner, Ackrell Capital); Panelists: Kyle Hill (Founder & CEO, HomeHero), TJ Sassani (Founder & CEO, Zozi), Merlin Kauffman (Founder & CEO, Soothe)

11:45am,,12:25pm,, Session 5: Global Splash Competition
Second 4 Finalists,, Emcee: Naveen Jain (CMO & Co-Founder, Immunity Project); Judges: Eric Manlunas (Co-Founder & Partner, Wavemaker), Bill Woodward (Founder & Partner, Anthem Venture Partners), Eva Ho (Founder & Partner, Susa Ventures), Brian Lee (Founder & CEO, The Honest Company)

12:25pm,,1:25pm,, Lunch,,

1:25pm,,1:45pm,, Room Change (20 mins) - Check out Sky Startup Showcase Alley - Soothe Massages and cookies! *Ballroom is set up for Breakout Sessions

,, ,, Track 1 - Arcadia A - Lessons for Entrepreneurs,, Emcee: Katherine Noesen (Delegate, Vator)

1:50pm,,2:10pm,, Session 1: Private vs public markets; Why that’s good for entrepreneurs ,, Bambi Francisco (Founder & CEO, Vator)

2:10 pm,,2:40pm,, Session 2: The Data I Discounted ,,Adam Goldenberg (Founder, CEO, JustFab)

2:40pm,,3:00pm,, Session 3: CEO’ing for startups; How to become a well-rounded CEO ,,Roman Arzhintar (Founder & CEO, SideReel)

3:00pm,,3:10pm,, Break (10 min) - See Sky Startup Showcase Alley,,

3:10pm,,3:30pm,, Session 4: What’s missing from your pitch deck? What every entrepreneur needs to know, but shouldn’t put in ,,Bart Garrett (Founder & Senior Pastor, Christ Church)

3:30pm,,3:50pm,, Helping VCs find conviction: What you’ll Need to Close Your Grown Up Round ,, Kara Nortman (Partner, Upfront Ventures)

,, ,,Track 2 - Arcadia B - Investing Insights ,, Emcee: Alex Roizen (Adviser, Ackrell Capital)

1:50pm,,2:10pm,,Session 1: Lessons learned for investors ,, Brian Garrett (Co-Founder & Managing Director, Crosscut Ventures)

2:10pm,,2:35pm,, Session 2: How crowdfunding is evolving and why it’s great for angels,, Paige Craig (Founder & Partner, Arena Ventures)

2:35pm,,3:00pm ,, Session 3: Why strategic investors are good partners,, Hilary Perchard (VP - Business Development, Sky Media)

3:00pm,,3:10pm,,Break (10 min) - See Sky Startup Showcase Alley,,

3:10pm,,3:30pm ,, Session 4: How to win a deal - Why entrepreneurs pick one investor over another ,, Peter Pham (Partner, Science)

3:30pm,,3:50pm,, Session 5: Backing our startups and how we select them,, Bambi Francisco (Founder & CEO, Vator) and Ezra Roizen (Managing Director, Vator Investment Club)

,, ,,Track 3 - Arcadia C - Startup Toolkit,, Emcee: Kevin Lew (Director, Startup Development Program, Bixel Exchange)

1:50pm,,2:30pm ,, Session 1: What to think about to keep your legal house in order plus legal office hours ,, Rob Kornegay (Partner, Wilson Sonsini)

2:30pm,,3:00pm ,, Session 2: Startup Tax and Accounting - tax credits/incentives and planning,, Scot Grierson, (Partner, KPMG) and Brandee Tilman (Senior Manager, KPMG)

3:00pm,,3:10pm ,, Break (10 min) - See Sky Startup Showcase Alley,,

3:10pm,,3:30pm,, Session 3: How to know when you're ready to launch ,, Amir Banifatemi (Angel, Tech Coast Angels)

3:30pm,,3:50pm,, Session 4: LA’s Top Tech Reporters on the best way to tell your startup story and when to know you’re ready for the spotlight ,, Moderator: Corinna Pieloch (EVP, Moxie Group); Panelists: Patrick Hechinger (Writer, Built in LA), Melissah Yang (Associate News Editor, Bustle), Annlee Ellingson (Staff Writer, L.A. Biz)

3:50pm,,4:10pm,, Room Change (20 mins) - See Sky Startup Showcase Alley *Ballroom is set up for Main Sessions

4:10pm,,5:00pm,, Session 6: Diversity Panel - When will Tech look like LA? ,, Moderator: Sean Arian (Founder & Chief Strategist, Bixel Exchange), Panelists: Oscar Menjivar (Founder & CEO, URBAN TXT); Kimberly Freeman (Assistant Dean, Diversity Initiatives, UCLA); Dolly Singh (Founder & CEO, Thesis Couture); Roxane Lukas (Senior Vice President, People Team, JustFab), Levi Nitzberg (Head of Talent, Tinder)

5:00pm,,5:30pm,, Session 7: Owning the Bathroom,, Michael Dubin (Founder & CEO, Dollar Shave Club) and Bambi Francisco (Founder & CEO, Vator)

5:30pm,,5:45pm,, Closing Ceremonies

6pm,,8:30pm,, After-party on the rooftop deck at Wavemaker (1333 Second street Suite 600, Santa Monica)

Vator Partners

Reach hundreds of influencers within the entrepreneurship community.


Reach hundreds of influencers in the high-tech entrepreneur community.

  • Be in front of entrepreneurs leading innovation, disrupting industries and redefining the economy.
  • Be in front of emerging startups while they’re young.
  • Get exposure online well before the event during the online competition as more than 100 startups compete for the top 10 spots.
  • Get online across the competition and event pages, in newsletters and emails, and at the event through banners, tables, etc.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, email sponsor@vator.tv

Partners that have attended Vator Splash events

About Splash

The premier entrepreneurship conference.



Join hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, civic leaders in Los Angeles, CA. Mingle and learn from blue-ribbon VCs, angels, legendary founders and the hottest SoCal-based startups.

Previous Keynotes

Splash is one of the best startup competitions and educational events, attracting super smart thought leaders in the tech industry. It's an event that inspires. This is an event for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to innovate, raise money, and scale a company. It's also a place for new investors to learn about angel investing and established ones to sharpen their game.

As seen in...

The Venue

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Make your next event a day at the beach with convenient access to everything Los Angeles has to offer.

1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, California, 90401

Getting there



Vator alumni have raised $675M-plus in follow-on capital. Here are a few:

We had no idea of the power of Vator Splash until we found the event packed with representatives from many of the region's most renowned investment groups, journalists, elected officials, and professionals from tech and related fields. After OppSites was awarded first prize, our schedule rapidly filled with meetings with top venture capital investors, interviews with local media, and offers of support from business development professionals.

Ian Ross

Founder & CEO OppSites; Principal at City Design Collective

Vator Splash gives you a lot more than a fabulous evening of networking; it gives you access to an entire community of active investors and inspiring entrepreneurs that are making it happen. The event generated significant exposure for our online travel dashboard venture. Weeks after presenting we raised $100K from an investor who saw the online video of our Vator pitch.

Andres Fabris

Founder and CEO at Traxo

DogVacay.com won Vator Splash LA in June 2012. The competition allowed us an opportunity to meet and pitch against some of the great Los Angeles startups and further foster our entrepreneurial community. There was such a positive energy with so many great minds providing insightful feedback throughout the night. Two paws up, Vator!

Aaron Hirschhorn

Founder & CEO at DogVacay

Vator's competition platform made it simple to judge contestants by accessing video, PPT, ratings, executive summaries all in one place. It's the most efficient solution to judging competitions and it makes the process of judging a lot more fun! And the Vator Splash competition makes it easy and efficient to review a large number of early-stage startups that I would not otherwise have been exposed to

Jeremy Liew

The event provides results: a significant number of investors, advisors and business development opportunities arose after we won Vator Splash in front of a crowd of more than 200. Furthermore, one of the judges - Dave McClure - ended up investing in our company. Finally, VatorSplash was a great momentum-builder for us as we were getting ready to fundraise. The victory provided social proof to prospective investors and increased our chances of successfully attracting investment. We went on to raise $1M from a great group of angel investors!

Gagan Biyani

Co-founder, Udemy

The Vator community and its Splash event provided the perfect launch pad to generate exposure for our company. Winning Vator Splash 2013 SF gave us the exposure, quality venture capital meetings and network effect every startup needs to initiate and complete a successful round. The very next quarter, we raised a $4M Series A. Thanks Vator!

Lisa Maki

CEO, PokitDok

The VatorSplash events have been a fantastic opportunity to see great start-ups, connect with other investors, and hear from industry visionaries. Javelin has proudly sponsored the event for many years, and plans to keep actively supporting it for many more."

Jed Katz

Managing Director, Javelin Venture Partners


Daniel Alex

Start-up Scout Master

Irene Christensen

Speaker Host

Tram Davies

Director of Startup Relations

Tammy Halladay

Mic Usher

Carlos M. Hernandez

Director of Judge Relations

Kristin Karaoglu

Tech Ninja

Kurt Kumar

Presenter Host Relations

Anshul Kundani

Director of Speaker Relations

Kevin Lew

Registration Honcho

Aljosha Novakovic

Investor Relations

Dakota Ortiz

Registration Honcho

Darwin Price

Kwisatz Haderach

Kimberly Ratilla

Sunshine Officer

Luis Rivera

Media Partner Liaison

Stephen Seo

Finalist Host

Mitos Suson

Producer & Chief Happiness Officer

Fely Tchaco

Chief Stage Goddess

Brad Turner

LA Community Delegate


EVENT volunteers. We are looking for Ushers and Host for specific roles:

  1. Speaker Hosts
  2. Startup Finalist Host
  3. Mic Manager
  4. Ushers
  5. Sponsor Host
  6. Demo Host
  7. Stage Manager

Trainee Opportunities:

We are looking for energetic dynamic personalities who are passionate about the venture capital community and have one or more of the following skills:

  • PR
  • Writing
  • Communications
  • Finance, venture capital

We are also looking for:

Vator Investor Relations Trainee: This person loves startups and venture capital and would like an opportunity to learn more about how the startup ecosystem works, mainly from an investor standpoint. You will be in charge of interacting with angel investors and venture capitalists and learning more about what these investors look for in an investment. This job also helps you evaluate investors, based on their past investments. We're looking for someone who can commit six months (or until the end of the school year) for a five hours a week. This person can also come to any Vator event for free.

Learn more: contact Mitos at mitos@vator.tv or volunteer@vator.tv

Vator Splash Social Media Trainee: Do you want the opportunity to beef up your resume with experience learning how to use best practices to build a large, influential social community? Would you like an excellent reference to take to your next job? We need a social media trainee to help promote Vator Splash Events. These one and two day events have been held in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York and London. You will be responsible for helping manage and engage our growing social community on a variety of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Linked In.

Learn more: contact volunteer@vator.tv

Apply here.

Requirements for Social Media trainees:

  1. Excellent written communication skills and fluent English language speaker.
  2. Comfort and familiarity with social networks and experience using them in a business context. (It's not enough to have 400 Facebook friends.)
  3. Ability to aggregate quality content to post and share. Available to spend at least 20 - 30 minutes daily (on average), focused on social marketing for Vator.
  4. A passion for marketing and excitement about growing a large, engaged community.
  5. Ability to work independently (after brief training) and with minimal supervision.
  6. Entering college senior or older, required.