Has anyone received an invitation to the Jan. 23rd opening event for DealMaker Media, a new Hollywood-meets-Silicon Valley “network”? We haven’t, but we’d love to go, because it’s being hosted by Mike Ovitz. And we’d want to ask Michael what he’s bringing to the table.
Quick history lesson: Mike was once the most powerful agent in Hollywood, and the most disliked. But that was a long time ago. Since then he’s had a brief stint as president of Disney, notable only for the $140 million severance package he received after Mike Eisner fired him. He used a lot of that money to try to reinvent himself as TV producer, without success. Then he moved into digital deals during the first bubble, but those efforts resulted in more litigation than innovation. Mike and supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle are still in court over busted ventures Checkout.com and Talk City.
Turns out that Mike’s involvement with DealMaker is minimal; he’s giving them some office space, and hosting an event for them at his sushi restaurant. But even that may not be a plus. Hollywood superblogger Nikke Finke has a copy of the invite, which she dismisses simply because Mike’s name is attached. Of the tech players involved, Finke says, “there’s a sucker born every minute.”
We’re not clear what Mike’s involvement with DealMaker is supposed to be; he’s not listed as an officer or a member of its advisory board.
Invite text follows:I would like to invite you to a VIP event that is being hosted by Michael Ovitz at his office in Santa Monica. Here’s the deal: I’m helping to create a new network in LA, alongside Dealmaker Media, one of Silicon Valley’s most connected networks. We are focused on linking L.A.’s key industry dealmakers with the venture community and the most promising technology startups in Southern California.
You probably know that L.A. is now 2nd in the nation in technology investment to Silicon Valley. But unlike Silicon Valley, we simply don’t have the community and cohesion that has churned out some of the most prolific technology companies in the world.
We’ve got all the elements of becoming a regional powerhouse: capital, talent, innovation, and commitment: the only thing we’re missing is a strong insider network that spawns deal flow.
Put January 23rd, 2008, on your calendar and RSVP below to kick-off Dealmaker Media L.A.,our newest and most exciting technology network. Join our generous host Michael Ovitz along with:
Mike Jones, Userplane/AOL
Peter Pham, Photobucket
Nicole Jordan, Rubicon Project
Debbie Landa, Dealmaker Media
Hale Boggs, Manatt Phelps and Phillips
William Quigley, Clearstone Venture Partners
Mark Suster, GRP Partners
Dana Settle, Greycroft Partners
Tim Chang, Norwest Venture Partners
Jeff Yapp, MTV Networks
Brian Solis, FutureWorks PR
Thank you to our founding sponsors: Clearstone Venture Partners, Manatt Phelps and Phillips, and GRP Partners for making this network possible. And thank you to Michael Ovitz and his restaurant Hamasaku for supplying the space and catering.
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