Category Archives: Portfolio Company News

The District by Hannah An Hosts NBA All-Star Weekend Benefit Party

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Hannah An interviewed by KTLA-5 at the “Let It Fly” Event.

“Let It Fly” NBA All-Star Event 
Thursday, Feb. 15, 8:30 p.-midnight
The District by Hannah An, 8722 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 

All-Star isn’t just about cool dunks or three-pointers, as proven by Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond and Johnny Stephene (a.k.a. Dribble2Much), who are co-hosting the “Let it Fly” event to raise money and awareness about the Precious Dreams Foundation. “It’s about supporting kids in foster homes to let them know that if they have a dream and vision, they can become something in the world and have an impact,” NBA skills trainer Stephene told TheWrap about the non-profit founded by Nicole Russell. “A lot of them come from one-parent households or were raised by someone other than their family, like a YMCA coach. I know from experience how far it got me getting help from people weren’t my parents,” he said, having spent time in a foster home himself. Read More

Restaurant industry startup Miso Robotics gets $10 million in financing

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Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.56.17 PM

Miso Robotics’ hamburger-flipping robot, “Flippy.”

Miso Robotics, a robotics and artificial intelligence company for restaurants and food providers, has secured $10 million in series B financing and will soon debut its hamburger-flipping robot, “Flippy,” at CaliBurger’s Pasadena, California, location.

The funding round was led by Acacia Research Corp. (Nasdaq: ACTG). Participating strategic investors included sports and entertainment hospitality company Levy RestaurantsOpenTable Chief Technology Officer Joseph Essasand founding investor Cali Group; and six members of Cali Group’s management team and its subsidiary, CaliBurger.

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Cali Group’s Restaurant Operating Subsidiary Announces Global Expansion Plan For 2018

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PASADENA, Calif.Feb. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Cali Group announced today that its restaurant operating subsidiary, CaliBurger, will expand in 2018 throughout North America, the Middle EastAsia and Latin America. The company also announced that its face-based loyalty and payment ordering kiosks as well as Flippy, the burger flipping robot, will be available at multiple CaliBurger locations this year. Read More


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caliburger_left*New AI-Enabled Self Ordering Kiosks Available at CaliBurger Pasadena, Showcase at NRF 2018*

PASADENA, CA – December 19, 2017 – Cali Group and NEC Corporation of America today unveiled new AI-enabled self-ordering kiosks at CaliBurger, Cali Group’s restaurant operating division. The kiosks use NEC’s NeoFace® facial recognition software to identify registered customers and pull up their loyalty accounts and order preferences. The kiosk pilot program is now at CaliBurger’s Pasadena location, where the Quick Serve Restaurant chain showcases new technologies developed by its parent company. If customers are pleased with the new ordering experience, the kiosks will be rolled out to CaliBurger’s global locations next year. Also in 2018, the platform will be used to allow customers to pay using their faces. Read More

Phenomenon’s New President Is a Former TBWA Vet With Global Branding Experience

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Business transformation agency Phenomenon will start 2018 with a new president after hiring Erica Hoholick to fill that role.

“The fact that they are not just a traditional ad agency … I think that’s the thing that … is the most interesting to me,” Hoholick told Adweek. “I’ve worked in the agency world for so long at really big, amazing companies on huge global brands and those have all been incredible experiences, but this really gives me a totally different opportunity and the ability to partner with clients in a completely different way.”

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‘The First To Do It’: Docu About NBA’s First Black Player Dribbles Into Theaters In February

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Constant Beta, Creative Control and Abramorama have teamed for a wide release in North American for The First to Do It, a documentary feature about Earl Lloyd, the NBA’s first black player. With exec producers including a number of basketball stars, the film will hit theaters in February.

The First to Do It brings together current NBA players including Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul as well as Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing and Bob Lanier to celebrate and examine the moments that created the league and country we know today. Deon Cole provides the voice of Lloyd. Read More


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caliburger_leftSeptember 17, 2017 – Cali Group announced today that it’s subsidiary, CaliBurger, has opened or will open the following restaurants in the third and fourth quarters:

*  Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates:  Al Manar Mall, Al Muntasir Road, Al Nakheel, Ras al Khaimah, UAE
*  Vancouver, Canada:  Simon Fraser University 8901 Cornerstone Mews, Burnaby BC V5A 4Y6
*  Hermosillo, Mexico:  Bulevar José María Morelos 248, 83144 Hermosillo, Son., Mexico
*  Puebla, Mexico:  Blvrd Héroes del 5 de Mayo & Veracruz, El Carmen, 72530 Puebla, Mexico
*  Washington, D.C.:  1101 1st St NE, Washington DC 20002
* Valencia, California:  24201 Westfield Blvd., Valencia CA 91355
* Bakersfield, California:  Olive Dr and State Rd, Bakersfield CA 93308

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Salon Media Group Formalizes Arrangement With Tout Video Distribution Platform to Expand Reach and Scale of Live Digital Video Broadcasts

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tout_leftNEW YORK, Sept. 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Salon Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB:SLNM) today announced that it has formalized its ongoing arrangement with Tout, the TV Network for the Internet, which is expected to continue to increase the distribution of Salon’s live video programming. The agreement combines Salon Media’s current video distribution on Facebook Live, Twitter, and with Tout’s targeted video programming across more than 3,500 publisher partner sites. Read More


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caliburger_left“Delivery Only” Kitchens At Attractive Start-up Prices, Lower Delivery Costs, and Access To Cutting Edge AI and Robotics Solutions
August 31, 2017 – Cali Group announced today that it has co-founded and invested in Kitchen United, a new delivery-only coworking system aimed at removing dining room chaos and making it possible for restaurants to hyper-grow their delivery business.  Concurrent with the funding of Kitchen United, Kitchen United has executed a lease agreement to take over 12,000 square feet of built out kitchen space in Pasadena, California.  This space will also serve as headquarters for Miso Robotics, another Cali Group affiliated company using artificial intelligence and robotics to transform the restaurant industry.  Similar to WeWork for shared office space and Amazon’s delivery warehouses, Kitchen United will provide shared kitchen space to numerous chefs and chains seeking to enter the Pasadena market through delivery only initiatives.  Kitchen United enables restaurant concepts to begin servicing the Pasadena market with little start-up costs.  And because Kitchen United has dedicated loading areas for delivery vehicles to line up and software systems for managing the efficient transfer of multiple payloads of food from different concepts in the shared facility to the vehicles, it also reduces the costs of delivery.

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PalmStar Media Closes Near $12M National Lampoon Deal

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Palmstar LogoEXCLUSIVE: In a deal worth just under $12 million, PalmStar Media has acquired all the assets of National Lampoon. That includes the trademark, and a library of print, audio and movie content spanning nearly 50 years. Raj B. Singh and Kevin Frakes will be National Lampoon co-CEOs of behalf of their financial partners who include Bobby and Buddy Patrick, as well as Charlotte Ubben and Michael Tennant. A full staff is in place and operating from PalmStar headquarters in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Read More