NEWS: Three Innovative LA Startups Raise Half a Million

A smart plate, a mobile video network focusing on Africa, a browser that enables you to make money anonymously. These are three LA startups which recently raised a minimum of $550,000. All have, or are currently, participating in Expert DOJO’s LA accelerator.


This startup created a “smart plate” that instantly analyzes everything you eat. It’s first targeting the pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes demographics. The team is now preparing for clinical trials with providers. Its long-term goal is to reverse and then eradicate all diseases related to poor nutrition.

Anthony Ortiz is the CEO.

StarNews Mobile

This startup is the newest member of Expert DOJO’s cohort. It created a mobile news network for Africa.

“It’s an honor to be part of the international cohort, to interact with companies with cross-market ambitions like us and entrepreneurs who share a global view of life and business,” Guy Kamgaing, CEO of StarNews. said. “This is rare, but it carries an incredible networking power that we are proud to be a part of. It is a particularly exciting opportunity for us because the potential of StarNews is worldwide as we focus on mobile-first markets with limited data penetration, and that is still 60% of the world! Our ambition is to be the dominant video distribution platform, and we will help local content producers finally be able to monetize their content while fans are finally able to enjoy the content that is relevant to their cultures and aspirations. And we mix this with global content that we are introducing to these new audiences and monetizing as well. Being part of the DOJO’s international cohort will help accelerate this expansion.”


The Cocoon team created a browser to give users the opportunity to share their data and make money from it anonymously.

“We love that Jeff is taking on a whale and is making money while doing it. Investors are putting their money on him hitting gold with his browser which you get paid to use,” Mac Mahon said.

“People are waking up to the fact that their data is valuable, and they might as well cash in on it,” Cocoon CEO Jeff Bermant said. With all the noise around data and who owns it; what Facebook and others do collect and selling data, we believe it’s the users who should be in control. Mobile is on its way which we believe we give Cocoon a huge lift. In the future we will help users create new paths to earn money off of their data such as selling it to hedge funds and other corporations. The day has arrived for data and the individual to cash in on it.”

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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