The Zaarly of Startup Weekend SCV?


Ashton Kutcher funded startup Zaarly after just 54 hours of work at the LA Startup Weekend. So with the upcoming Startup Weekend taking place just north of Hollywood in Santa Clarita, it begs the question “Which Hollywood Star is going to drop in on our event?”

For those of you new to Startup Weekend, it all went down at the LA event 6 months ago. Everyone was busy hacking away and in walks Ashton and Demi. And not only did they stay for a bit but Ashton winds up writing a personal check to fund a startup called Zaarly, a mashup of Google Maps and Craigslist. Only in LA, right? Well, that’s what we’re counting on.

Santa Clarita is located just 30 miles north of Hollywood and is the primary residence for some A-listers and quite a few up and comers. With the event being close, it begs the question: “What Hollywood leading man or starlet is going to mosey into our event and have a beer or better yet…fund a startup?

After high tech legends like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and the Hollywood Blockbuster, The Social Network, High Tech is so integrated into our culture. There’s a convergence of Hollywood and High Tech kind of like the convergence of Rock Stars and Porn Stars (well, not quite). But it is happening and it’s happening right here in LA. So who’s going to crash our Startup Weekend party?

Alyssa Milano?…Selena Gomez?…..Taylor Lautner?

The case for Alyssa.
Verdict: It’s possible.
She is a heavy tweeter, loves LA, and the entrepreneur behind “Touch”. She is also an advisor to Square. And rumor has it she has funded a startup or 2. She’s also written me several love letters over the years (that part’s not true).

The case for Selena.
Verdict: Possible but unlikely.
This hugely popular Disney actress has personally funded the startup “Postcard on the Run”. Rumor has it that she just fell in love with the app and wrote a check. She’s very active on the Web and her boyfriend, The Bieb, tweets in his sleep and has more money than the new Kleiner Perkins Fund.

The case for Taylor.
Verdict: Odds on favorite.
Taylor Lautner has not funded any startups but he does have a Twitter account (although none of us truly believes he personally tweets). More importantly, Taylor grew up and still lives right here in Santa Clarita (oh no, I can hear the buses of tweens making their way here as we speak). I’ve personally seen Taylor around town and he is a huge advocate for Santa Clarita. He and his family are well respected and admired in the community. And with the Twilight Saga coming to an end, he might be looking for a new career. Any vampire apps in the App Store?

If all else fails, there’s Tracy Gold. Although not quite in the same league as the aforementioned, Tracy does live here in Santa Clarita and is very well-respected for being active in the community and did star in, “Growing Pains”, one of my favorite shows growing up.

Heck, I recently read that the kid from the George Lopez Show lives here, too. And after reading about his wild parties, he might just be the best fit of the lot. Does anyone know his name?

Zaarly has gone on to raise a total of $15,000,000 (not all from Mr. Kutcher) since the LA Startup Weekend. So to everyone participating in Startup Weekend Santa Clarita, keep an eye on the door. Who knows, you could be the next Zaarly.