Expert Dojo: Are You Ready For Investors


Is your start-up ready for investment at its current stage? You must be honest with yourself and not become tempted when you’re not ready. We will break down this question to see how confident you are in your business, and how prepared you are to tackle this dilemma.

Key Question 1: Is your company a Tech-Enabled Business or Service-Based Business?

    If you are doing a service-based business, you should focus on investors who really care about revenue and profits-  they won’t expect more that 5 times the return on their investment. If you are a tech-enabled business, the investors you target may expect 10 times the return on their investment or more. Before you pitch to investors, make sure you target the right investors. During an interview with Expert DOJO, Super Angel Asher Leids shared his advices about finding the right investors for startups. 

Key Question 2: Would you lend yourself money?

   You only have $5,000 in your bank and you have to pay your mortgage in 18 months or you will lose your house. Would you put that $5,000 in your business to pitch to investors? The answer depends on whether you have set up a milestone plan that can help you reduce the failure probability.

Key Question 3: Can you get your People, Process and Product right as quickly as possible?

   Companies only fail because they run out of time. And they always fail in these three categories: People, Process and Product. The right people give you good advice to help your business grow. The process is the journey the public takes toward becoming your customer. The right product brings true value.CEO & Founder of Expert DOJO Brian MacMahon shared his advice about how to avoid hiring the Wrong people for your startup.

Remember: no two investors are equal. No money is equally smart. Don’t blindly chase investment when you are not ready. It is all about strategic milestone planning and execution.

Expert Dojo: Join The Largest One on One Pitch Event in the U.S.

Over 80 of the Top Investors in the U.S. are Attending



Expert DOJO, the fastest growing startup community in Santa Monica, is hosting the Investor Festival. Starting August 29thto August 30th 2018, startups will pitch one on one for some of the biggest investors in the United States.

The Investor Festival is designed to help early-stage startup founders who have identified a very specific problem or challenge in growing their startup and could find investment to make a difference in overcoming that challenge.


This is the largest One on One Pitch Event in the United States. Over 80 of the top investors in the U.S. including Sequoia Capital, Greycroft, Rubicon, NEA, March Capital and more.


Here are two prime examples of companies who received funding through our Investor Festival:   



Zapp raised $1M through our Investor Festival earlier this year. Zapp provides a fully shared, multi-vehicle solution proven to solve last mile logistic in colleges through the U.S.




Smart CSM

Smart CSM is an easy-to-use technology to visualize and manage your building’s utilities from any device, anytime, anywhere.
They raised $1,5 M through our Investor Festival.



If you want to know more about Investor Festival CLICK HERE

Expert Dojo: Join the Ultimate Pitching Competition

Get the Chance to Win $1M in Potential Investment


Expert Dojo, the fastest growing start-up accelerator based in Santa Monica, is organizing a pitch competition for early-stage start-ups to get funded. A total cash prized investment will not exceed $1M. The individual investments will be a minimum of $50K to a maximum $500K, depending on investment needed.


“We know that start-ups need more than just money, which is why we have partnered with the top workspace, marketing, and logistics.”, said Brian Mac Mahon, the founder of Expert Dojo.


Starting July 31stthru October 31st, Expert Dojo has an Ultimate Pitching Competition for Start-ups!


Contestants from all over the world can go to Expert Dojo’s website and submit pitch video online or pitch at Tech-day and submit a video. Participants who entered the cage will also have the opportunity to be featured on Viral Hub’s TV Show.


Expert Dojo improves the success rate of early-stage start-ups through investment, foundation, showcasing, influence, and community.

Since 2014, they worked with over 500 start-ups to accelerate their growth and success. Entrepreneurs love Expert Dojo and the power of our start-up community. All entrepreneurs in their programs have agreed to support the whole community as we get stronger together.






Expert DOJO Launches “Ultimate Pitching” Championship at TechDay LA



The first round of investment to be given exclusively to TechDay exhibitors, up to $1M investments

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Expert DOJO, the fastest growing startup community in Santa Monica, today announced the kickoff of their Ultimate Pitching Championship. The first round of the championship will take place exclusively at TechDay LA, the largest startup event in Silicon Beach. Expert DOJO will be investing up to $1 Million to startup companies worldwide, at least $50,000 of which is guaranteed to one TechDay exhibitor.

The Ultimate Pitching Championship, kicking off at TechDay, is designed to help startup founders who have identified a very specific problem or challenge in growing their startup, and could use the $50,000+ investment to make a significant difference in overcoming that challenge. Ideal applicants are innovative thinkers in any segment of technology who believe their products are unique, groundbreaking, and can affect positive change in their vertical.

Expert DOJO’s team of judges will choose the top innovators from the pool of applicants, and each finalist will have the chance to compete for the grand prize by showing off their products with a live demo at TechDay LA.

The number one candidate from TechDay LA’s live demo competition will compete against the number one finalist from TechDay London, to be held October 26, 2018, at The Old Billingsgate, London, England, with the final winner announced in late October.

“We are looking forward to bringing Expert DOJO’s Ultimate Pitching Championship to the TechDay series of events,” said Walter Charnizon, President of Continental Exhibitions, the owner and organizer of TechDay LA and TechDay London. “We’re excited that this year, TechDay is not only providing guidance to entrepreneurs with networking and marketing resources, we’re providing an opportunity for financial resources as well.”

“Expert DOJO believes that we must support the earliest stage startups with investment, connections, and training in order to build the greatest innovation eco-systems,” said Brian Mac Mahon, founder of Expert DOJO. “We are committed to making that happen and are thrilled to be launching this new initiative at TechDay LA.”

TechDay LA will take place on September 27, 2018 at The Reef and is the city’s biggest tech startup conference, expected to attract over 7,500 registrants, including investors, tech talent, press, and early adopters from established industry leaders and exciting new startups. The event will showcase the latest innovations from over 200 exhibitors across categories like fintech, edtech, health tech, hardware, e-commerce, and more. With Live Demos, Fireside Chats and TED-style TechDayTalks, TechDay LA has resources for everyone.

To apply for The Ultimate Pitching Championship, TechDay LA exhibitors can go to and TechDay London exhibitors can visit

To register for TechDay LA, and review the agenda, TechDayTalk speakers and more, visit

About TechDay
TechDay is the largest startup event series in the world, hosting annual shows in New York City, Los Angeles, and London. TechDay is owned and managed by Continental Exhibitions, a leading producer of business-to-business events, including trade shows, conferences, and webinars since 1984.

About Expert DOJO
Expert DOJO improves the success rate of early-stage entrepreneurs with investment, foundation, showcasing, influence, and community. Since 2014, they have worked with over 400 startups to accelerate their growth and success.

Expert Dojo: Startup Spotlight – Zebra Instant


One of Expert DOJO’s members is Zebra Instant, which is a platform that turns smartphone pictures, via Facebook messenger and text messaging, into printed photos and merchandise. Zebra Instant provides the most frictionless way to turn those special moments into gifts. Another amazing product that Zebra Instant offers are “Printbots”. Printbots provide a program to different messaging platforms for instant access to an online marketplace. With a few clicks, a client can order prints to various merchandise, ranging from phone cases to mugs to tote bags.


Anton Pereiaslavtsev, the founder of Zebra Instant, has always had a passion for photography. Anton was born and raised in Russia and moved to the states in the late 90’s. His background is in IT and business but eventually became interested in pursuing his own business. Anton also has 10 years of experience in finance.


His idea for Zebra Instant emerged from various events while traveling abroad. As a huge photography fan, he would travel and snap photos with a DSLR camera. These types of cameras tend to be big and bulky, which causes a huge inconvenience for travelers. He saw an opportunity when a merger of cell phones and photography became a thing. People were starting to use their smartphones to document their special moments on a daily basis. The convenience of snapping photos stemmed Anton into to creating a convenience in publishing prints and gifts. By sending in the photos taken on a cell phone, a user is able to publish those prints onto various merchandise, creating a custom product, which will be sure to make a huge statement.


To learn more about Zebra Instant, visit their website at

Expert DOJO’s Startup Spotlight – Healora

Expert DOJO’s Startup Spotlight – Healora

One of Expert DOJO’s members: Healora is a direct pay cash network with access to the best doctors. Healora reduces medical procedure costs by removing the middlemen. This is possible by connecting doctors and patients directly, which removes up to 70% percent of the costly administrative middle layers for patients and employers. With this program, individuals have the ability to access the best doctors from around the United States. “Healora’s Mission is to make healthcare more accessible for everyone”.

Thomas Farmer, the CEO, and founder of Healora developed this program, through a personal struggle he dealt with. In the past, Thomas suffered from a severe knee injury, which cost him a vast amount of money. After multiple doctor visits and bills, he found out that he could have handled the situation in a less costly way. These events triggered him into creating Healora, which drove him to remove third parties and to reduce the cost of healthcare. He was dedicated to providing a doctor-patient partnership, through an online platform. Healora’s fees are transaction based, and everything is 100% transparent.

Healora consists of three easy steps: finding your procedure, choosing your doctor, then reserving your price. The website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and simplified with images. Currently, the founder, Thomas Farmer, is looking for investors with a medical background. His ideal investors are doctors, that are well connected within the medical field, with a great impact on healthcare. Currently, Healora is looking for fifteen investors, to help fund their marketing platform.

Currently, Healora is on their second phase, with 2,500 doctors connected through LinkedIn and a fully functional website. They just need investors to help fund their marketing campaigns, to take their company to the next level. For further detail on their company, check out their website at, where you can listen to podcasts pertaining to health, wellness, and pricing.

Don’t forget to follow, like, & share our Linkedin, Instagram, and Twitter @expertdojo

How to Choose the Right Accelerator, To Ensure That the Time and Money Spent is Valuable?

The Structural Success Pillars For a Startup to Succeed


Most startups decide on which accelerators to go based on getting investment. However, money is the last reason why people should choose an accelerator. “At Expert Dojo, we believe very strongly in the Pre-Accelerator model where the first focus is on the startup receiving assistance with the structural success pillars for a startup to succeed,” said Brian Mac Mahon, the founder of Expert Dojo.

The first of those pillars is Community. Building the right community around startup to make sure that startup can be successful. This community includes not only other startups, corporations, and mentors but also local government.

The second pillar is a focus on milestone based business growth. This growth can come from not just digital marketing, but also on how a startup can be more visible in the local area.

The third pillar is the Influence Score. This pillar is overlooked by many startups and accelerators. People like Eric Ries and Jason Calacanis, are famous and successful, not just because of the companies they have exited, but more importantly, because of the Influence score, they created through speaking at conferences, being on panels, writing books, acknowledgment on press releases, etc. It’s very important that as a startup, influence score is high to reflect the disruptive solution that you are bringing to the market.

Next area that is extremely important is the “Foundation” of the company.
Investment without structure is wasted money. The foundational focus should not only include product fit, brand, market validation, but also other areas such as team, efficiencies, automation and structure strategy for the future. Mindset is also a key factor in a startups success. Starting a business is one of the most difficult things people will ever do. “You need to be prepared physically and mentally. This is something you can train yourself into as a navy seal rather than a wet fish,” said Brian Mac Mahon.

The final pillar is Investment. A startup should only consider accepting money from an accelerator when they know they can grow in all these areas. Investment from an accelerator should be worth more than just a check for $50K-150K.

For more information, check out the website.

Dove Network

The Dove Network


Douglas Schwartz graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration in banking and finance. Upon graduating, he gained 5 years of experience in finance, stocks, and bonds as a Trader. With his spare time, Douglas dedicated his time to learning about technology. While working as a trader, Douglas dreamed of making the next “big app”. His inspiration came from a trip to China, where he studied and learned about technology for 3 weeks.

Bitcoin really sparked an interest in Douglas, which triggered him to learning about blockchain. He found it very difficult to learn because not until recently did blockchain and bitcoin become popularized. Years later, Douglas withdrew from the finance industry, to pursue and fully dedicate his time to creating the Dove Network.

While working on the Dove Network, Douglas and his colleagues traveled to exotic destinations, and has seen the “rich of the rich and the poor of the poor”. Some of the locations that inspired him were India, Moscow, Dubai, and the Arctic Circle. He expressed that “if it wasn’t for my experience abroad, seeing that the 5% of the United States is not what the other 95% are, I wouldn’t have seen the opportunity for the Dove Network”.

When Douglas first started the Dove Network, he hired many Indian engineers, but there was a huge communication barrier, which affected work productivity. To combat this issue, he traveled to India to submerge himself in their country, to better understand their language, culture, and work ethic.

While traveling around, Douglas had a realization that many parts of the world are still without internet. With his knowledge in finance, trials in technology, and understandings gained abroad, Douglas determined his life into creating the Dove Network. Dove Network seeks to bring affordable internet access to the world by allowing peers to trade their unused data capacity. “This is all possible with Blockchain technology and mesh networks. Dove’s blockchain powered application uses a peer-to-peer network to allow people and Wi-Fi enabled devices to seamlessly trade unused data capacity anonymously and automatically”.

Recently, Expert Dojo ( held an Investor Festival, where the Dove Network interacted with many investors. Within the interview we conducted, Douglas stated that with the help of the Investor Festival, he has had a few follow up meetings, as well as some possible leads for investors. Also, Douglas aspires to find investors that will help his venture grow while providing many guidelines on succeeding.

For more information visit

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Gary Vaynerchuk at Expert Dojo

Gary Vaynerchuk at Expert Dojo


Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the most known entrepreneurs in the world, he is also an author, speaker and an internet personality. First known for being a wine critic who grew his family’s wine business from $3 million to $60 million. Today, Vaynerchuk is best known for his work in digital marketing and social media, leading New York-based companies VaynerMedia and VaynerX. He can to Expert Dojo to discusses his childhood, early career, angel investing, hiring & firing, owning & playing for the Jets, immortality, and much more. Gary also takes questions from the audience.



The sold out crowd at Expert Dojo were so excited to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk!



Watch his full appearance at Expert Dojo on the Youtube link below!


To get more info about our upcoming events, go to:

Invest in one of Expert Dojo’s Startups; Ampere Motor

Bringing Stylish, Innovative Electric Vehicles

to the Modern Consumer


Ampere Motor, one of Expert Dojo’s favorite startup members! 

The Ampere vehicles are as stylish as they are affordable. The three-wheel roadster is just under $10,000, making the vehicle accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy. People love that our roadsters are classy, sleek, and fun to drive.



The founder, Tony Chan has been a car fanatic all his life. He started waxing his neighbors’ cars for pocket money when he was seven and repaired classic cars to pay for his tuition and expenses when he studied at UCLA. He then worked as a software engineer at Microsoft and built race cars on the side. Tony then left Microsoft to start his venture in product design and manufacturing; he successfully supplied various product lines to large national retailers such as Sears and Lowe’s.



Tony and his partners started the Ampere project more than four years ago to design and build green, affordable, and exciting vehicles for everyone to enjoy. Currently, Ampere is working with world-class designers and engineers from the same institutions from which the designers of Audi, Mercedes, and Ferrari designers come.

The body of the Ampere Roadster combines vintage race car elements as well as futuristic curves and lines. Even the Sharks on Shark Tank said it looked amazing and everyone who sees it will most likely want to get behind the wheel.



Now, you have the opportunity to invest in this vehicle! With your investment, Ampere can fulfill their current orders and begin the work of taking Ampere Motor to even grander heights. This is a first in the industry, and Ampere’s goal is to deliver up to 100,000 vehicles within the next four years.  Invest in Ampere Motor today at, and help them spark the next electric-vehicle revolution in the automotive industry.


Raising Money through Crowdfunding

King of Crowdfunding Howard Marks on Raising Money for Startups

Photo Credit:

Howard Marks, pioneer in crowdfunding and founder of StartEngine, outlines his path in business and the difficulty in finding money when starting a business. StartEngine has been instrumental in helping raise millions of dollars for several early-stage startups through crowdfunding.


Prior to crowdfunding, only a few people could pass the early stages of starting a business. Friends and family would have been the prime source of financial help. Now, with the passing of the Title II (2012) and Title III (2016) of the JOBS Act, adults of any financial means are legally allowed to invest in startup businesses. Both Titles II and III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act (JOBS Act) were put in place to encourage and enable funding for small businesses. Title II focuses on helping job creators get access to funds while Title III focuses on equity crowdfunding regulations.


Aside from this new investment tool, what is it that you need to focus on to be successful in raising money for your new business? Some key points according to Howard Marks’ experience in business:

–       Resilience and persistence in front of the naysayers. We have heard that in the world of bodybuilders as well as in business, whatever business you are doing (starting a new company or starting a degree) requires perseverance.

–       Understand the market you are going into.

–       Make sure your product will be viable 3 to 5 years from the time you start your business. Have a vision in the future so that you can stay in business.  Predict the future of your market.

–       Have a team where your CEO is great at marketing.  You need to be visible so that people can understand what they are investing in.


From here, the people who will invest in your company are the ones who truly believe in your product. More often than not those folks will be you most loyal supporters.


Up to recently, raising money for a new business was not a democratic affair. Mostly, it was people who already had ties to folks with money who could get money.  In other words, women and minorities were poorly represented in entrepreneurship up to just a few decades ago.  Crowdfunding is the best game-changing tool for all entrepreneurs to raise funds to start their dream businesses. Places like StartEngine are where the traditional “no” has been replaced with “yes, let’s get that money”.


Crowdfunding, also known as Online Public Offering (OPO), has been the best way for investors and entrepreneurs to grow innovative ideas. And as Mr Marks points out, one of the great things is that for an OPO to be successful the company you want to start doesn’t have to have a history. You mainly need to show a few key qualities, as pointed out above, to make sure your investors get to know you and the market you want to get into. After all, getting investors is mainly about creating a relationship of trust.


Other than that, the great news is that small businesses are not crippled by the Innovator’s Dilemma big businesses often go through. Once a business gets stuck in focusing only on what it does best and doesn’t look into how the future is being shaped by trends, failure often follows suit. So, follow your dream idea for a new business, stay nimble, adapt to your market!

For more advice and ideas from Howard Marks, follow his blog, or go on StartEngine.

You also can listen to Brian Mac Mahon (Expert Dojo) interviewing Howard to hear more on the topic of crowdfunding.