No shortage of biotech news in this week’s issue, with a tough break for 200 or more researchers and an intriguing opportunity for some prime lab space all rolled into Dana Bartholomew’s piece atop page 1, and the same staffer tracking a broader report on the sector as a local job generator in a separate story on page 6 … Even more reason to stay tuned to biotech in coming weeks and months as Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong gets ready to lay out what his Culver City-based NantWorks and its various units have been up to as part of a drive to beat cancer. He softened up the beachhead in advance of what he billed as upcoming revelations during a keynote at the Business Journal’s Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Awards, an annual sponsored event, telling the crowd at a morning symposium at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills that the work that’s gone into the effort so far has been so “overwhelming and dense” that he’s held off on even trying to tell the full story, adding that the publicly traded NantHealth unit has been “the tip of the spear” … Don’t know if it’s the passion or professional drive or a combination of both, but Soon-Shiong has a remarkable ability to command a room – a circumstance that was so complete it could have been easily overlooked in the room full of innovators, entrepreneurs and service providers who flocked to the Four Seasons to hear him and participate in morning and evening sessions of the event … The good doctor and part-owner of the Lakers can be playful, too, as he confirmed by explaining his “hobbled” gait was the result of a mishap on the basketball court … He also can drop a name – he told the crowd he recently learned something new about e-sports hanging around with his pal Rick Fox – one-time NBA star, Hollywood actor and e-sports franchise owner …Howard Marks knows something about e-sports and special events – the early investor in Activision Blizzard is now focused on crowdfunding through StartEngine, a Hollywood-based funding portal that’s registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA. Marks drew quite a crowd for the StartEngine ICO 2.0 Summit on Nov. 10 at Shutters in Santa Monica. Initial coin offerings were the topic of prime interest at the event, which sold about $70,000 worth of tickets, counted 500 attendees, and had a slate of sponsors and top-notch speakers to boot. No one doubts that ICOs are due for increased regulatory scrutiny, and Marks’ StartEngine seems well positioned as a portal that’s been shaped with the JOBS Act in mind … If one of the USC pranksters profiled in the L.A. Times sports section of Nov. 15 looked familiar you’ve probably done business downtown. Seems Steve Marienhoff, who operated Adams Press for decades in the space that’s now the Broadway Bar just north of 9th & Broadway, was one of a group of Trojans who pulled off a megaprank on UCLA during the crosstown rivals’ annual football game back in 1957–and then kept their mouths shut for 60 years. That’s old-school downtown … Sullivan Says: Drop by the CVS store at Sunset & Beaudry for a look at best practices on retail layout.
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