Fingertip Maestro IndieGoGo Campaign: 30 iPads in 30 days! Kids & Music is the Future!


Fingertip Maestro is a revolutionary music-making app for people of all ages and abilities. From children to adults. The app enables those with no musical training, to instantly play music convincingly, with the feeling and texture of a real musician.

Fingertip Maestro App



With your help, we want to raise $12,500 in 30 days to cover the costs of buying and donating 30 digital tablets to the Los Angeles Boy & Girls Club. Check-out the campaign here.


We believe everyone should be given the opportunity to play and create music. From our experience since launching the Fingertip Maestro music application in October 2013, this is not always the case.

We did demos at schools and youth organizations around the Los Angeles area, to show groups of kids what we had created, and see if they liked it. Once we finished, we packed up our expensive tablets and headed for the exits, but this meant leaving the kids with nothing to use. This really made us upset. We knew we needed to do something.

After donating an iPad to the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club, and seeing the kids faces light up, it made us realize, that this is more than just a fun music app. We believe in the merit of our app, and we want to share that with more kids. Moreover, we want to give them the experience of having a technological platform, like an educational tablet, at their disposal to learn from.

We are reaching out to you for help!

Please help us donate 30 tablets to the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club (ends July 8th)

Los Angles Boys & Girls Club


But this is just the start!


There are other organizations and programs we have been working with, and with your help we can surpass our 1st goal of $12,500, and raise an addition $25,000 to purchase and donate 60 more tablets to the organizations listed on the campaign’s page. Let’s get 60 more!!!


Thank you,


Mark Okoh

TripScope wins CROWDFUNDxLA

Yesterday evening at ROC, Crowdfunder and Social Media Week L.A. showcased their 10 finalist startups for the CROWDFUNDxLA pitch competition in front of a panel of investor judges. When all was said and done, local upstart travel technology company TripScope took home the grand prize, including a fast-tracked meeting with Launchpad LA‘s investment committee.


TripScope is a B2B software solution for travel agents that allows them to bypass the current archaic system in which important information is communicated to clients via hardcopy and PDF. Using TripScope, agents are able to enter vital details and pertinent information through a browser interface which populates a traveler-facing iOS app, complete with push notification support for time sensitive changes and communication.

What really got the judges’ attention was the fast progress the startup has made. Founder and CEO Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, a luxury travel agent by day, took her knowledge of industry specific problem areas to a hackathon earlier this year, and despite having no tech or startup experience before, she has made huge progress on both product and business development in a very short time.

We were so impressed with how far you’ve come, that you didn’t know anything, really, about tech, but because you have such individual experience with your product, and you really executed a product that many people who work in tech for a long time don’t do as thoughtfully as you did. We’re really excited to see what you do with it.

-Jamie Kantrowitz, Partner, Launchpad LA

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And…. we’re back.

We said goodbye to a fantastic summer this past weekend, capping it off at Venture Pong in Venice. Now it’s time to get back to the grind!

VP-GPStartups are doing more and more great things here in L.A., so stay tuned for news and updates.

In case you hadn’t heard, it’s Social Media Week in L.A. right now, so there’s plenty to keep you busy if you’ve got some free time.

logo-crowdfundx-localWe’ll be at CROWDFUNDxLA this evening at ROC in Santa Monica. I highly recommend you consider attending; it’s not too late.

Three Ways to Improve Your Logo

By Lee Decker // CEO, Creative Director // Vytal Los Angeles // // 818.277.7171


I woke up one morning to an email from a new client, “Lee – …get me a logo done by next week so we can move onto more important things”. It was 5:30am and I stared at my iPhone, taken aback. “More important things?” I thought.

I wrote back: “Hey [client name], Yes, we are starting with your logo to build your brand identity, but I’ve got to tell you: your logo is something that could make or break your business — one small mistake could lead to future trouble…let’s spend a little more time than that with development”…

Later that day I got a call from the president of the company yelling at me, saying that I didn’t make the rules in this arrangement, the logo was the least important aspect of the campaign and that if I wanted that retainer check it would be in my best interest to follow their schedule.

I immediately fired that client. I didn’t want to be a part of any organization that didn’t care about their first impression with their future customers.

That being said, I am writing this short article to help you educate yourself on how important a logo is for your brand or company. Continue reading

How to Protect Your Startup’s Intellectual Property

pirate-flag-1024x819When you start a business, protecting your intellectual property (IP) should always be a major focus.  In the pre-internet era, IP wasn’t always a primary concern. Businesses were more about tangible goods and services, and information traveled “slowly” via mediums like newspapers and TV broadcasts. Today, everything has changed drastically, and protecting your intellectual property is a necessity.

These days, new businesses emerge onto the scene at lightning speed due to lower barriers to entry and greater accessibility to information, both of which are provided by the Internet. Competition is more prevalent in every industry because your competitors have the ability to reach your potential customers all around the globe, making geographic barriers to the distribution of goods and services almost non-existent. As a result, companies must do whatever possible to protect themselves if they are to survive and eventually thrive.

One major way you can protect your company and ensure it’s on the right track to grow Continue reading

Assignmint is getting writers paid.


Assignmint founder Jeff Koyen at Zinque in Venice

20 year journalism veteran Jeff Koyen made the move from Brooklyn to Venice and launched Assignmint to help fix the relationship between freelance writers and editors, especially around the issue of timely and organized payment.

Assignmint could have chosen to provide solutions for writers or editors, but instead decided to stay in the middle. As a veteran journalist from both sides of the table (rather than a “startup kid” looking for a space to disrupt),  Koyen argues that professional writing doesn’t need to be disrupted; it’s the frayed relationship between writers and editors/publishers that needs to be repaired. Central to that solution is fixing the disorganized and outdated methods of hiring and paying freelance writers – or pitching and getting paid, from the writer’s perspective.

As the internet changed the way written content Continue reading

ZEFR Branches Out

zefrVenice, CA based startup ZEFR has become the premiere network on YouTube. ZEFR provides solutions for professional content owners on YouTube, and it brings together the largest and most diverse collection of movies, television, music and sports content. With over 1 billion monthly views, ZEFR is the fastest growing YouTube partner. Not only are they the dominant company in the movie category on YouTube, but they also have partnerships with 6 major Hollywood studios and several other independents.

I spoke with Amy McGee, Sr. Director at ZEFR, and she told me about some very exciting news regarding ZEFR. Six months ago, the startup rebranded itself from Movieclips to ZEFR, and along with that rebranding came the expansion of the Continue reading