Follow The Leader: The Greatest Startup Events



Ryan Foland, aka GingerMC, names his top startup event picks of where you can pitch

from Silicon Beach to the OC.


As the entrepreneur community continues to grow in Orange County and Santa Monica, you may feel overwhelmed with all of the events that you hear about. With a limited amount of time to invest, you want to make sure you are spending your time at the highest caliber events to maximize your startup schedule. Don’t you wish someone could help you choose which ones to go to and which ones to skip?


Enter Ryan Foland, communication expert known in the startup community as the GingerMC Ryan can be seen on stage as Master of Ceremonies at some of the largest startup events in Los Angeles including Expert Dojo Investor Festival, TechDay, IDEAS LA, Green Festival LA, Digital Hollywood, and more. He is a sought after host from the OC to LA, and as such has an ear to the ground for great events.


We sat down with Ryan recently and asked him to help our members choose some of the best startup events on the horizon. He shared three events that you can both attend, of which two are still accepting applications for a pitch competition.


In order of when they occur, check out these must attend startup events:


Investor Festival – Where Startups Meet Investors

Need to grow to the next level? Expert DOJO features 80 of the highest caliber investors at their popular Investor Festival. These investors are looking for seed, series A and series B funding opportunities. The program also offers the opportunity to pitch your business to these investors. This five day event caters to every great startup looking to grow with various startup themed days as part of the comprehensive schedule:


Day 1 – Investment training For Female founders

Day 2 – Pitching training for seed stage entrepreneurship

Day 3 – Early stage pitching to Investors

Day 4 – Later stage pitching (Expert DOJO Approved only – Series A plus)

Day 5 – One On One Meetings With Investors


When: Tuesday, Mar 28 – Friday, Mar 31 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Where: Expert DOJO space
 UNIT 308, 395 Santa Monica Place

Get your week long ticket here. (Your ticket includes entry into the Expert DOJO startup accelerator for 4 months at no additional cost.)

Enter to Pitch here.

Hashtag: #InvestorFestival, #expertdojo


Eureka FEST:

Eureka FEST celebrates the growth and successes of Orange County’s booming tech and startup scene on April 8 at the Eureka Building in Irvine. Eureka FEST powered by Microsoft celebrates being an entrepreneur in Orange County with music, pitches, and parties. After hosting some of the best tech, learning and networking events Orange County has to offer, Eureka decided to launch its own signature event called Eureka FEST in 2015. This event was created as a way to celebrate startups and entrepreneurship in Southern California with a day of awesome speakers, demos, pitches, connecting opportunities and a party to wrap it all up.



When: Saturday, April 8th

Where: 1621 Alton Pkwy, Irvine Ca

Registration Link:

*Ryan will be the Master of Ceremonies and has a discount code you can use to get 20% off the ticket by using code GINGERMC.

Hashtag: #EurekaFEST


Get Started OC

Get Started OC is a signature OC event featuring entrepreneurs who will pitch their business to a distinguished panel of experts for a chance to win $10,000 in prizes including a Cox Business technology package. If you don’t want to compete you can attend this free event for networking and learning opportunities from accomplished leaders in early stage investment, digital marketing, and business growth strategy. The evening will include a pitch competition with expert feedback from a distinguished panel of judges.
 There will also be a panel discussion, including audience Q&A, geared towards small business owners and start-ups. This event will include 
appetizers, desserts and complimentary Valet Parking


When: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Where:  [AV] – 16500 Scientific Way, Irvine CA 92618

[AV] is Orange County’s hottest meeting and event destination. Located in the heart of Orange County and near the world-renowned Irvine Spectrum.

RSVP for free here.

Enter to pitch here.

Hashtag: #GetStartedOC


Learn to Blow Up Your Crowdfunding Audience with Viral Contests and Giveaways

Have you ever wondered what it would take to grow your pre-launch email list into thousands of subscribers? Maybe even hundreds of thousands?


Have you ever thought about using a contest or giveaway to incentivize your existing base of customers and subscribers to help you spread the word? After all, the most successful crowdfunding campaigns are the ones that bring the biggest crowd to the game….Right?


Think about it this way….


The owner of your local minor league baseball team comes onto afternoon sports radio and says, “The first ten thousand fans at the stadium get 2 free beers and a free hot dog”. Do you think people would show up? I bet they would. Not only that, they would come flocking with ALL of their friends!


Most major league teams (like my Rockies!), do this kind of promotion in one way or another. The only difference is that it’s usually a t-shirt….or maybe a bobblehead…. Not beer of course.


Now, how can this be applied directly to your crowdfunding campaign?


Well, when you reward your existing customers and email subscribers with some sort of “referral bonus”, they will actively generate more audience members FOR YOU! Everyone knows that the best customers are the ones the have been referred to you. Not to mention that by increasing your incentives, your loyal minions will be that much more excited to share your contest page, get others to join your email list and help your campaign go viral.


Sounds like a pretty simple concept right? The answer to that question is yes…..but, ONLY if you have the right tools!


Helping you create the best Viral Contests & Giveaways, Krowdster is the first DIY crowdfund marketing & PR solution, and software as a service. Designed to promote rewards, as well as equity crowdfunding campaigns, Krowdster is quickly becoming the most trusted source for agencies such as Indiegogo themselves!


Come learn more at:


We look forward to seeing you there!

If you want to know what a value proposition is then have a look at how Healora saved a patient 80% of their healthcare costs.

This is an actual letter from a Doctor to his colleagues about the massive value Healora added to his patient and friend.

I recently received a concerning email from a friend of mine whose daughter was undergoing a GI workup for some digestive issues that sound like IBS. His family is in self-insured pool with deductible so the price does matter. My concern is not about the diagnosis or workup but the cost of such when the physician is no longer in position to determine the price. (ie employed by large entity);

“Doctors have recommended that my daughter get an upper and lower scope to see what is causing her eating/digestion problems. Nothing has tested positive yet. So the cost estimate for the hospital et. al. is $12,000 -cash price at a 35% discount, and another $4,000 for the Dr.  for a 1 hour procedure, two biopsies. $16,000.”

2 days later;

“Have you made any progress on finding an option here locally?”

The father than contacted a new LA startup and received the following quote for a total cost of $2,684;

 “Esophagoscopy EGD AND Colonoscopy, with biopsies (up to 3 biopsies for the EGD and 2 biopsies for the Colonoscopy)

– MAC anesthesia

– Physician fee

  -Pre-procedure 30 minute in person Office Visit to complete a physical exam and go over any questions

  -Post-procedure 15 minute office visit or phone call to discuss procedure pathology results and next steps

So for my SERMO friends – Who is gauging this self-paying patient and who is getting multimillion bonuses at the end of the year?


The father and daughter are flying to LA for couple days to get this done by doctors rather than institutions.

Round trip flight is $179  from Denver-LA

Expert DOJO comment – Game, set and match to Healora.  It feels so great when we bring a product to market which makes such a massive difference in an industry.

How to get 153% CTR with KBucket content curation

Introducing KBucket,  a topic curation solution that will significantly increase your social inbound traffic and cost you much less than PPC advertising. After your initial cost to license the program you will continue to generate organic traffic through minimal effort.  The findings in this post are based on actual results going back 5 months.

Our studies will measure the social ROI in six important categories:

The results shared in this post are analytics from links shared from our own curated library under the “KBucket Page“.  To put our results in perspective I am also comparing them with a Facebook ad campaign, as well as analytics generated from a Twitter lead generation solution called “Market Hub”.


We started scheduling curated articles for distribution from our KBucket page starting in July of 2016 and increased the number of shared articles on December 16t,h as you will see in the charts below.  Here is what has happened so far:

Messages + Clicks.jpg

At first glance the results are truly unbelievable.  We shared 772 messages and received 1185 clicks.  That is a 153% CTR which is phenomenal by any standard.  The inbound traffic generated is consistent and predicated on both the number of articles shared and the number of followers on your social channels.  We currently have about 5000 followers on Twitter, over 500 connections on LinkedIn and Facebook post reach has been a mere 555 in the last month.


Let’s now compare the KBucket results with a Facebook ad campaign and the results generated by “Market Hub”.


For the Facebook we marketed a landing page to promote our browser extension and a blog post to promote our curation solution to journalist. My intent here is not to say that curation will replace advertising, since advertising has a much wider reach than curation.  My intent is to show the cost of advertising and the effectiveness of the KBucket solution.,


MarketHub is a twitter lead generation platform.  This solution is a more direct competitor to our KBucket solution.  However “MarketHub” doesn’t directly drive traffic to your site, they simply ad a “Click to Action” banner at the bottom of every link they share and the banners drive traffic. The industry average performance for successful banner ads is between 1-2%.  Below I have entered my Google analytics results for inbound links from Twitter. I am attributing 60% of those links to “MarketHub”, since I don’t have access to my dashboard anymore after I cancelled my account.


Vendor Campaign Duration Inbound links CPC Total Cost
Facebook Pay Per Click 20 days 292 $1.06 $306
Market Hub Subscription 3 months 66 $4.50 $297
KBucket One Time Fee 6 months 1185 $1.26 $1,500

Note: We average 1.7 clicks per message shared.  Sharing 1000 messages will generate 1700 link.  Calculating the cost of licensing annually, you will be paying 7 cents a click.  That is more cost effective than any solution on the market today.


In practice, we know that not all clicks result in visits to your site, which is the metric we seek.  A good portion of clicks generally don’t convert because they were either generated by a bot, or the user decided to abort the visit because the page wouldn’t load fast enough, or for some other reason.  So in practice your real Cost Per Click (CPC) is higher than what the vendor reports.


We are obviously interested in measuring the real Cost Per Click (CPC).  So let’s take a look at the visits generated to our website from our curation efforts. Notice that our efforts were spread across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.  I am using Google Analytics to report this data as the HubSpot data only measures visits to my blog page.  Most of the links shared are to the KBucket page that is not included in my Hubspot analytics.

google social analytics.jpg


This is a total of 848 visits from Social media. This is less than the total number of clicks reported by Hubspot (1185) but still a 117% CTR.  Following are the total clicks I received to my Hubspot blog page which is the mix of links shared promoting our own content.



With KBucket you pay for the platform once with no recurring costs.  So the longer you own the KBucket platform the more cost effective it gets.

Why does KBucket perform so well!


To examine the answer let’s review the process first. We subscribe to various influencer news letters, We also have set up aggregation services like Drumup and Nuzzel to deliver the most popular articles on topics of our interest.  Additionally, we read trade magazines and curate links that provide solutions to my business problems.  For example if you read readit or stumbledupon you can track which articles are trending well.


This implies that the curated content in ourchannels are already ranked high in popularity and in search engines. No wonder they perform so well! Influencers research their headlines and write articles people want to read; that’s why they are influencers. Their content naturally performs better.


So, as a curator you should pay close attention to your selected articles. Make sure your curated library covers a broad range and you are not repeating the same angle from multiple authors.  Just pick the one that resonate best with you.  Your followers should know you are taking time to get them the best information possible.

Your work never gets old – Curating ever-green links!


We have been curating for over 6 years now, and have found that many great insights and articles are as useful today as they were when they were first published.  In some cases where the world has moved on and the advice or report is out of date, you can still provide value by pointing out how the world has moved on.  For example we have been creating lists of products and some date back to 5 or 6 years ago, and naturally a number of them are no longer around.  That in itself is an interesting piece of information, don’t you agree?  A list of companies that went out of business, and then investigate and comment why!


If you curate 3 links a day, 15 days a month, you will have over 780 links in your curated library in just one year.  Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Stay disciplined, record your insights as they occur and soon you will have an incredible resource that will drive your inbound traffic and establish you as a thought leader in your field!

KBucket makes this all easy!


KBucket makes it easy to host hundreds of links on one page and make them all accessible,  Each page is divided into multiple groups and each group offers one or more channels.  Each channel lists a number of links, that can be quickly navigated with category, publisher and author tags.  In other words the library of links is accessible for anyone to discover incredible content.


Each link in the library can be shared individually to drive traffic back to your website.  As a marketer it is both important to stay visible and fresh, because freshness and variety is what will give you authority and elevate your status in social media.  Links can also be re-shared in time intervals.  With a library of hundreds of links, your timeline will always look interesting and informative.


Additionally, scheduling links is also easy.  If your scheduler let’s you upload RSS feeds, you can simply queue your entire library to run in intervals, delivering great content.  If your scheduler requires you to enter links manually (Hubspot works this way), then you can also easily filter and pick the links you want from your library.


In addition to getting highly targeted traffic to your site, KBucket will also help you grow your follower reach.  In social media people follow others because of what they share!  We found that the quality of followers is also better targeted to the people we want to reach.


Each shared link adds the author’s Twitter handle to your message.  This will let the author know you are sharing their content.  As a result, you will now have an opportunity to connect with those influencers, as you have now separated yourself from the crowd.


Some of our own tweets are directly to the author of the article, letting them know how well their links are performing in our channel.  Reciprocity is a powerful driver of building influence and getting noticed!




KBucket is a powerful curation solution for generating inbound traffic by curating and sharing links related to your business. The benefits can be summarized as follows

  • You own you assets.  What you curate lives on your platform and will continue to pay dividends
  • There is only a one time fee for installtion and training.
  • Links that you curate drive traffic back to your site
  • You can use your curated library as a resource for all employees to share content (employee advocacy)
  • Your curated content can provide answers to business problems, to be used by your sales department
  • KBucket is more cost efficient than PPC for driving inbound traffic
  • KBucket shares will increase your reach on all social networks
  • KBucket helps your SEO
  • KBucket is a excellent way to get backlinks to your site.


We welcome both site owners and digital agencies who help their clients with their social media strategy.  Signup for a demo, download KBrowser and amplify your social media strategy.

9 Ways to Validate Your Startup Ideas

There are times when having a business idea becomes a big problem. If you can’t get it out of your head and you’re convinced that it has great market potential, it’s probably something worth considering. Yes, that’s correct. The biggest businesses had to start somewhere, and it often wasn’t a big opening of a swanky shop with extra large ribbons cut by a celebrity. The real businesses started small and required the vision, sweat, and hard work of a man or a woman who believed in a startup idea.

The good news is that the modern times are kind to startups. There are now idea incubators who give young adults with business ideas space to work on their projects and give them pieces of advice on how to take it to the next level. Remember that the search engine giant, Google, had lowly beginnings at a garage before it became the multi-billion company it is today.

When planning a startup business, several steps must be undertaken to make sure that the money that you, or your investors, put up will not go down the drain. Too often, what seemed like a good idea eventually fizzles out because the market was not tested, or there was just too much competition to even make a dent.

All of these can be avoided by validating your startup ideas. You can do market studies, take a close look at the competition, or several other steps that will really give you a feel of how your business will be received by the market.

Our infographic details 9 efficient ways to validate startup ideas. Each step is crucial and can spell the difference between success and failure. Make the smart move and plan your business carefully!

9 Ways to Validate Your Startup Ideas (SBO)