The local tech community is mourning two men who were killed in a Santa Monica plane crash.
Paulo Emanuele, L.A.-based general manager of Airliners.net, and Martin Schaedel, an entrepreneur and Internet consultant, were flying together when Emanuele's plane lost power and crashed at the Santa Monica Airport on Jan. 28. A fire destroyed much of the plane. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
Emanuele, who lived in Los Angeles, helped run Airliners, which claims to be the largest aviation enthusiast Web site in the world and is owned by Santa Monica-based Demand Media Inc.
A statement posted on the site called Emanuele, 46, "an amazing pilot, an amazing photographer, an amazing friend, and an amazing father. He will be deeply missed." Hundreds of people from around the world have posted messages of condolence to the Airliners forum.
Less is known about Schaedel, a native of Sweden. On his blog, Schaedel described himself as a former venture capitalist now focused on buyouts and mergers. Acquaintances described him as a well-connected globe-trotting entrepreneur and consultant for Web and tech companies. By some accounts he was 23.
It's not clear how the two men knew each other, but acquaintances said Schaedel was interested in aviation, and Emanuele was likely giving him a flight demonstration.
Schaedel "was great fun, he had a great zest for life," said Howard L. Morgan, member of Pasadena-based incubator IdeaLab's board. "He'd call me and say he was at a party at a pier in New York with a supermodel. He just wanted to live life as full as he could."
Morgan said he recommended Schaedel meet with executives at Santa Monica-based GumGum Inc., an Internet startup that specializes in licensing content.
Schaedel dropped by GumGum's offices on the morning of Jan. 28 to meet the staff, and came back after lunch, said Ophir Tanz, chief executive at GumGum.
When Schaedel left that afternoon, he mentioned he was going to Santa Monica Airport to take a ride in a vintage warplane, Tanz said. That night around 10 p.m., a friend called Tanz to tell him about the plane crash.
Tanz tried calling and e-mailing Schaedel, but he received no response.
"It's sad, he was clearly a rising star," Tanz said.
Geni and Yammer
A recession isn't slowing down local entrepreneur David Sacks.
Sacks, a former PayPal executive, recently raised a total of $10 million for his two West Hollywood-based startups, Geni.com and Yammer.com. The money will be split evenly between the two companies.
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