STARTUPS AND INNOVATIONS – Orange County Business Journal


OctaneOrange County’s largest technology and medical business accelerator, unveiled its own product, software that helps determine a startup’s chances of success.

Double haystaxit’s a SaaS “that predicts the probability that a startup will receive capital and become an operating entity with 90% accuracy”, according to Octane, which specifies that the product was developed “using our Capital Readiness Rubric and our historical database of over 2,000 companies.”

The product has uses for accelerators, startups and investors, according to Octane, which notes that the companies it has helped over the years have generated more than $4.3 billion in revenue and more than 3.5 billions of dollars of output.

Octane, founded by Dwight Decker, Matt Massengill, Jim Mazzo, Tom Moebus and Mike Mussallemcelebrates 20 years of activity.

The product is now available at; it was unveiled during Octane’s High Tech Award event on September 29. This is Octane’s very first product.

Lot22spirits manufacturer, launched sales of its first product: classic goldan American version of the Scandinavian aquavit.

The drink is the brainchild of the co-founder and CEO Matthew Arkin, who worked on the recipe at her Los Angeles-area home during the pandemic. Arkin, the actor’s son Alan Arkin and who also has a long acting CV, soon brought friends Bruce Glassman and Marc Marosi as partners. “Marc and Bruce brought their expertise and passion to the project and helped develop the final batch of prototypes, which was, in effect, the 22nd recipe,” hence the company name.

With the trio living between Los Angeles and San Diego, the company plans to relocate its headquarters to Irvine, Arkin told the Business Journal. Aquavit is produced in Fullerton.

Lot 22 held a launch party at Irvine’s Bistango restaurant last month, drawing a large crowd.

Arkin, who was an adjunct professor at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman Universityas well as Acting Intensive Program Director at South Coast Directorysays Batch 22 plans to introduce its aquavit-based cocktails to the South Coast Repertory in the coming season.


Renata Medical Inc., a Santa Ana medical technology company, has raised more than $11.5 million in equity, according to regulatory filings.

The company has not disclosed what it will use the new funds for. Renata Medical is developing a device that aims to minimize the number of surgeries that children with congenital heart disease (CHD) typically undergo.

“Each year in the United States, more than 40,000 children are born with congenital heart disease,” the company said on its website. “Today, the market is not focused on solving this problem: 60% of the devices implanted in these children are either off-label or not specifically designed for pediatric applications. As a result, congenital patients may need several invasive and expensive surgeries.

The company last month won the award for Outstanding Innovation in Medical Technology/Life Sciences at Octaneit is High Tech Award.

Renata Medical, founded in 2019, has raised nearly $16 million to date. The CEO of the company, Dustin Armerwas an engineer at General Electricity Company. (NYSE: GE) and Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE:EW). Armer began his nearly 12-year stint at Edwards Lifesciences as a Technical Data Package Engineer, then worked his way up to Senior Director of Research and Development.


M8 Systems Irvine agtech startup, plans to move its headquarters to Bakersfield in the next few years, according to the local newspaper The Bakersfield Californian.

This decision will bring the company closer to its customers: the farmers. Kern County, of which Bakersfield is a part, generated $7.7 billion from agricultural products in 2020, according to the 2020 Kern County Crop and Livestock Report.

General director Max Safai says he hopes to hire six people in Bakersfield by the end of the year. It predicts that by 2024, about 20 M8 Systems employees, or three-quarters of its workforce, could be working in the city. However, no agreement has been finalized to move the company’s headquarters.

“We want to have a close relationship with the city of Bakersfield, and we also want to be where the action is in the Central Valley,” Safai told the Bakersfield Californian.

The company plans to maintain a small footprint in Irvine, housing employees in software engineering, human resources, sales, and finance, in part to service the company’s customers in San Diego.

M8 Systems aims to reduce irrigation costs for farmers with its product, CloseLink, which uses IoT technology to analyze weather information. Its software is designed to detect leaks, alert nearby farm workers and automatically shut off pipes when damaged.

Safai founded M8 Systems last year. He previously served as vice president of hardware engineering, manufacturing and operations for Amazon Go at Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), where he is credited with developing the company’s cashierless retail stores.


Unconditionala Laguna Beach-based dog rescue group that gained 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 2019 has named Peter Chang as its executive director.

Chang was until recently CEO of Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC), where he oversaw the Laguna Beach Organization’s animal welfare programs, collaborative research initiatives, and science education program. He also led PMMC’s largest capital campaign, a $7.5 million effort to fund the expansion of its facilities along Laguna Canyon Road and the addition of a water harvesting system. .

Unconditional’s mission is “to build a world where people see the value in senior and special dogs, and to ensure everyone has a chance to find a loving home.” He is preparing to start construction on a brand new adoption center on Laguna Canyon Road, adjacent to PMMC’s facilities.

Designed “to look more like a home than a rescue facility,” the two-story, 8,000-square-foot building will house up to 40 dogs while the organization works to find homes for them.

Unconditional predicts that on a large scale it will rescue and adopt over 1,000 senior and special needs dogs each year

Locals Amy and Julien Mac started hardcore; the latter is CEO of Irvine’s JustFoodForDogsone of the fastest growing pet food companies in the country.

“It’s extremely tragic what is happening to senior and special needs dogs in shelters across the country, and people don’t realize it,” Chang said. It’s “an opportunity to infuse the community with positivity and come together as we work to support these amazing dogs.”


BookingPalan Irvine vacation rental software company, linked to Airbnb Inc.. (Nasdaq: ABNB).

Last month, the San Francisco-based online vacation rental market welcomed BookingPal to its partner network, the Preferred Software Program, which includes 30 global companies.

The alliance allowed BookingPal to integrate Airbnb’s review system into the company’s platform, allowing property managers to read and respond to Airbnb reviews on the BookingPal site.

“Reviews have a profound impact on the financial success of property managers’ listings, but they are often overlooked as travelers return to their daily lives after the trip is over, and property managers focus on the next booking,” said the CEO of BookingPal. Alex Aydin said in a statement.

BookingPal, founded in 2013, has raised a total of $22 million in funding. The company’s last funding round, in 2019, was a Series D, where it raised $12 million. Board members include a local tech and real estate entrepreneur Marc Moshayedi.

BookingPal is Aydin’s third company. He previously founded Irvine data server appliance provider Procom Technology Inc. in 1987 and co-founded the Santa Ana mortgage comparison site Icanbuy Corp. in 2006.

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