The AI LA Community is focusing on what drives the Los Angeles startup ecosystem, but this won't be like most investor talks. We are going to dive into each VC's philosophical perspective on investing and artificial intelligence.
Why are investors #LongLA ?
Why is Los Angeles the best city to start a company focused on applying artificial intelligence?
Yipeng Zhao — is a Managing Partner at Embark Ventures, a Los-Angeles based venture capital firm focused on early-stage "Deep-Tech" companies. We look for ambitious teams with a break-through proprietary technology which provides a highly defensible competitive advantage in transforming multi-billion dollar industries. Key focus areas including Biotech, Advanced Materials and Nanomaterials, Cyber-security and Automation. Yipeng co-founded Embark Ventures in 2017 where he manages Embark Ventures’ new investments and portfolio companies.
Lara Jeremko — is an early stage technology investor and venture capital strategist. She is an angel investor and producer of JOBSOLETE, a documentary exploring automation and the future of work. Most recently, Lara was Prize Lead for the XR Education Prize Challenge funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Lara has served as a Strategic Advisor to prominent venture capital funds including Foundry Group Next, Techstars, and Pivotal Ventures. Previously, Lara co-founded re:3D Inc., 3D printing hardware company in Austin, TX. Lara was also an institutional investment officer managing a $1.5 billion venture capital fund portfolio at UTIMCO, the investment firm overseeing $35 billion of University of Texas System endowment assets. Prior to UTIMCO, Lara was a private equity analyst at Credit Suisse in New York, NY.
Chang Xu is a Principal at Upfront Ventures, the oldest and largest early-stage venture capital firm based in Los Angeles. Upfront is currently investing out of its sixth fund of $400M and primarily leads Seed and Series A rounds. Chang invests in technology that augments human potential. She is passionate about enabling humans to be what they aspire to be, breaking down artificial barriers, automating undesirable work, and creating original on-ramps. She tends to spend time in the future of work (HR tech, non-traditional education, early childhood), AI/ML (computer vision, robotics), and commerce tech (logistics, manufacturing, supply chain).