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Takeaways from thinkLA’s First YoungStars Panel by Derek Hand

Posted By thinkLA, Friday, October 23, 2015

thinkLA has done it again, putting on its first quarterly YoungStars event! This is a brand new event put on by the Young Professionals of thinkLA. Its goal is to educate and inspire with a Q&A panel of creative, intelligent, and successful entrepreneurs under the age of 35.


This first event was hosted at OMD with a great turnout. The moderator, Liz Plank, Senior Editor at, did a phenomenal job leading the panel. She was accompanied by three speakers: Natasha Case, Co-Founder of Coolhaus, Brian Wong, Founder & CEO of Kiip, and Kai Wright, Director of Communication at Atom Factory.


Liz began the event by asking each speaker where they were 5 years ago, and if they ever imagined where they would be today. Right off the bat, it was amazing to hear the panel discuss the completely different paths they took, which truly makes the point that there is not just one right way to become successful. Natasha spoke of how it was helpful to have the security of more typical employment, which allowed her to feel comfortable developing Coolhaus in her spare time. Brian, on the other hand, had been laid off and it was this lack of security that allowed him to explore and develop his ideas for Kiip. Finally, Kai was in a transition period and spent it travelling the world – the result of which was exploration of both self and ideas for the future.


Though these three had completely different paths that led them to where they are today, they share a common thread: the importance of curiosity and creativity, finding something you believe in and going with it.


A couple of key points included Brian's idea of generating one's own serendipity by putting oneself in situations that hold the potential for good things to happen. In addition, he strongly believes in going to museums and art galleries as they are "brain vitamins" for our creativity. Kai truly believes in having a work/life balance. He finds for himself that it is important to be able to know when to go into overdrive, and equally important to know when to turn off. Finally, Natasha believes that there is no reason that work shouldn't be fun.


Overall, YoungStars was an awesome and successful event and I'm thoroughly looking forward to the next one in January!


Derek Hand

Assistant Digital Media Planner

Palisades MediaGroup





Thank you to our speakers:

Natasha Case, Co-Founder, Coolhaus     
Brian Wong, Founder & CEO, Kiip     
Kai Wright, Director of Communication, Atom Factory     
Liz Plank, Senior Editor, (moderator)


Thank you to our sponsors:


Tags:  #thinkStars  Atom Factory  Career Advice  Coolhaus  Education  Kiip  OMD  Startup  Young Professionals  Young Stars  YoungStars 

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