1776 Lands Partnership With General Assembly

1776, GeneralAssembly, DC startups, incubator, startup newsWith a name like General Assembly, you would think one of the  most respected incubator organizations in the country would have a presence in Washington, DC. But that’s not the case. PandoDaily’s DC based reporter Hamish McKenzie reports that “A couple of years ago, entrepreneurial educational institution General Assembly scouted Washington DC and decided there wasn’t enough startup activity to warrant starting a program in the city just yet.”

That seems to have changed now that 1776, the DC startup hub and coworking space founded by Startup Veterans Evan Burfield and Donna Harris, is up and running on all cylinders.

Since opening this Spring, there hasn’t been a dull moment at 1776. They’ve hosted Startup Grind, TechCocktail events, several hackathons, startup launch parties, and several other startup activities. They’ve also announced major partnerships with top educational publisher Pearson,and others. They’ve even announced a global startup challenge that will bring startups from around the world to Washington, DC for a tournament style final next year.

Now, General Assembly has given the nation’s capital a second look. They’ve decided to take up residency on two lower floors of 1776’s space on 15th street in NorthWest Washington, DC. The space sits directly across from the Washington Post which is in the process of being acquired by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

McKenzie reports that DC’s General Assembly will begin hosting workshops and short form courses as early as next month with their long-term curriculum kicking off in 2014. This marks the 9th General Assembly campus. They also have locations in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Burfield and Harris were influencers with Startup America before founding 1776 a short seven months ago. Harris was a director with the Startup America Partnership, and Burfield was the founder of the DC region for Startup America. They’ve attracted over 100 startups to the 1776 space. In addition to serving as a hub for startups in Washington DC they are also linking startups from across the country and around the world to the federal government which happens to be the largest enterprise client in the world. 1776 sits just four blocks from the White House.

Find out more about 1776 at 1776dc.com and General Assembly here.

Several DC area startups and founders are headed to Cincinnati later this month for this huge startup conference.


3 Three Things I Learned From An Accelerator

Accelerator, Startup, Kairos, Miami Startup, NewMeRunning a startup can seem like a constant reminder of how far I have to go for success. Yet when I come across young startups or new entrepreneurs, I sometimes marvel at some of the mistakes that are made early. Mistakes that I would surely have made if I had not gone through an accelerator.

At Kairos, we were blessed to have gotten into the NewMe Accelerator in San Francisco. It was 12 weeks that changed my life. I often tell people, we went into NewMe going 40 mph, and left NewMe going 400 mph. It was that impactful. From what I learned there, I was able to parlay into a termsheet for 1.2 million dollars just last week. That termsheet represents months of learning, pitching, praying, and most importantly, building the company. NewMe is taking it’s act on the road, and I will be mentoring alongside some other great folks in Miami September 27th -29th. Google has sponsored them so that they can offer content across the country.

What are you going to hear, a LOT, and it will be tailored to your specific startup. Real 1-1 time. To give a taste, I thought I would offer my top 3 things I learned from NewMe.

1. NDA’s & Secrets

Don’t ask anyone to sign a NDA. VC’s will never do it, and it shows your immaturity in the process. No one wants to steal your idea, nor would they have as much passion for your ideas as you.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Learn how to tell your story, in a clear, succinct, and empathetic way. Then tell it over, and over, and over, and over again. Tell it so many times that the members of your team can tell it, tell it until your kids are repeating it at school. Tell it until your girlfriend or boyfriend leaves you because they can’t stand to hear it again.

3. Learn the lingo

Cap Table, Delaware C-Corp, traction, disruption, lean, patents, H1-B… These and a TON of other words need to be in your lexicon as a startup founder. VC’s and other startups will rate your maturity on the lingo you use and the answers to some standard questions. Accelerators and Incubators can help founders to learn these terms, and use them to qualify you as opposed to disqualify you in the eyes of your peers, funders, and media.

Startup is a wild and crazy world, but these three items can lay the foundation to a very successful enterprise.

Ad Astra!

Brian Brackeen is the CEO of Kairos, a enterprise facial recognition company recently selected as one of the Wall Street Journal’s top 20 startups. He lives in Miami and is a rabid Miami Heat and Philadelphia Eagles fan. 

5 Startups Get In Motion At NMotion Demo Day

Nmotion, Startup Acclerator, Demo Day, Nebraska Startup

There’s so much talk about startup accelerators. We report on a lot of accelerators, with an emphasis on the ones accelerating companies outside Silicon Valley. NMotion is one of those accelerators. I spent a bit of time talking with NMotion’s managing director, Brian Ardinger, throughout the course of the program. I also did a mentor session with the five companies in the program about a week before demo day.

Ardinger is one of those accelerator directors that knows the most valuable lesson already: Demo Day isn’t the end for the startups, it’s the beginning.

“When we invest in companies, we help them for life, not just for the summer,” it says on NMotion’s website. On the surface Ardinger is a tech-transfer guy. As the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NuTech Ventures, Ardinger oversees the crossover from the University of Nebraska and the private sector. However, NMotion was by no means a “student program.”

Each NMotion team received a seed investment of $15,000 which is par for the course for a city Lincoln’s size. The teams also received over $100,000 in important business services and access to a mentor network, which Ardinger stresses doesn’t go away on demo day.

HipPocket, PaperTale, Cinnamon Social, SynserScan, and Alumni Labs worked around the clock as hard, if not harder, than startups at some of the most prestigious Valley accelerators. When the time came on Thursday afternoon, they were ready to show off their summer’s work in front of a crowd of nearly 200 (not too shabby for an inaugural cohort in Lincoln, Nebraska).

Cinnamon Social is a software for automated and intelligent social media content curation led by husband-and-wife founders Jason and Holly Petersen.

SynerScan is a software to digitize hospital operations offering better health care through data led by founder Brett Byman.

HipPocket is a software offering families better context and confidence for financial decision-making led by founder Mark Zmarzly.

Alumni Labs is a software that simplifies and manages the college selection and application process led by founders Martin Wolff and Steve Scharf.

PaperTale is a new software product founded by Dan Castagnoli designed to help manufacturers curb the $500 million dollar loss in paper coupons. Omaha.com reported that Castagnoli revealed in his pitch that people are using photo editing software to change coupons and dupe manufacturers and retail stores out of millions of dollars. In some cases these crooks change $5 coupons to $10 coupons.

While some accelerators immediately start taking applications for the next cohort the day after demo day, Ardinger is making sure that the teams that just graduated into the real business world adjust well. He’s also knee deep in Lincoln’s Startup Week going on all week long. NMotion’s demo day and then Startup Weekend were the official kick off events for Startup Week.

For more information on NMotion click here. Here a  re some of our interviews with NMotion teams in our Startups In The Fastlane feature.





Startups In The Fastlane: Velocity Startup Pass It

Velocity Indiana, a startup accelerator just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, just graduated their first class last week. They brought startups from across the country to learn, grow, and accelerate in a beautiful area in the middle of the country. Velocity is the epitome of “everywhere else”.

Pass It, came from Seattle, Washington to work on a next generation photo sharing app. Nowadays, regular photo sharing apps are getting boring and there’s a filter for everything. Startups are looking to find ways to make photo sharing apps more engaging.

Pass It wants users to send their photos “around the world”. They’ve also added an element of competition to the mix.

Pass It is in our Fastlane, our interview feature that profile’s startups that are going through, or just completed an accelerator program.


What is the name of your startup?

Pass it

What accelerator are you in?

Velocity Accelerator. http://velocityindiana.org

Where is your startup originally from?


Tell us about your current team?

Bryce Anderson – Moving the business forward.

Robert Eickmann – Mobile developer with superpowers.

Cameron Chinn – Marketing and user acquisition specialist.

Jon Matar – Primary Advisor

What does your startup do?

Pass it is a photo sharing app that allows users to connect, compete, and send their photos around the world.

What are your goals for the accelerator program?

To substantially improve our business model and create as many new relationships as possible.

What’s one thing you’ve learned in the accelerator?

Failure is a part of the process. Every week we tested several hypotheses and we had to constantly adapt our thinking based on our customer feedback.

What’s the hardest piece of advice you’ve had to stomach so far?

To pivot. We came in to Velocity with an EdTech company and we completely changed our business due to the Lean Startup methodology.

What is your goal for the day after demo day?

To create meetings with potential investors and business leaders in the Indiana and Kentucky entrepreneurial community.

Why did you choose this accelerator?

We chose Velocity because of its central location and outstanding business mentors. I would like to give a shout out to Tony Schy, Dave Durand, Terry Goertz, Michael Browning and Greg Langdon.

What’s one thing you learned about an accelerator that you didn’t know when you applied?

How much I would learn from the other startups participating in the program. Even though we all had substantially different businesses, we all faced the same day-to-day startup challenges and I learned valuable information from their experiences with the lean startup program.

Where can people find out more?


What’s your twitter handle?



Dave Knox And Blair Garrou Jumping In The Shark Tank At Straight Shot Demo Day

Dave Knox, Blair Garrou, Straight Shot demo day, accelerator

The first week of October is going to be huge. Of course that’s when Everywhere Else Cincinnati is happening. It will be an even bigger week for some of our speakers: Brandery co-founder Dave Knox, Dundee Venture Capital Co-Founder Mark Hasebroock, and Mercury Fund’s Blair Garrou.

In addition to speaking at Everywhere Else Cincinnati, The Brandery is graduating its summer class the following day, October 2, making it a big enough week already for Dave Knox. But in the words of Billy Mays, “But wait there’s more”.

Dundee backed accelerator, Straight Shot, is graduating its summer class on October 3rd, making it a huge week for Hasebroock as well.  All three Everywhere Else speakers are attending the Brandery demo day on October 2nd and then Straight Shot’s demo day.

Straight Shot announced on Tuesday that Garrou and Knox have both agreed to be “sharks’ in their Shark Tank style demo day.  Rather than just a straight pitch event to a room full of 400 investors, and startup supporters, the Straight Shot inaugural class will also receive feedback from Garrou and Knox. While we consider both to be very nice guys, they are straight shooters when it comes to startups and their viability.

The seven startups graduating from Straight Shot are:

BusinessExchange – a referral SaaS model that allows small businesses to make evaluations of, connections with, and recommendations for other small businesses as vendors and/or suppliers. BusinessExchange recently launched a pilot program with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce that aims to spur economic growth and increased collaboration among Chamber member companies.

BuyNow – an e-commerce application that allows customers to instantly purchase advertised goods and services from any TV, print, online and/or out-of-home ad by simply sending an SMS text message. BuyNow has a patent pending for their ad-tech application. The founders are on the cusp of pivotal partnerships with one Fortune 500 media company and a handful of major retailers.

CardioSys – a software currently under development that uses fluid algorithms that will help health insurers, third-party administrators, and brokers to forecast preventable life events and mitigate risk among their client/customer population. CardioSys partnered with UNeMed, the technology transfer branch of the University of Nebraska Medical Center responsible for bringing intellectual property from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Cosmic Cart – an e-commerce platform that consolidates fragmented shopping carts across the web while enhancing the shopping experience for customers. Cosmic Cart allows publishers to monetize their media and retailers to sell their products across the web. Currently, more than 85 brands, six fashion bloggers and five major retailers have signed on with Cosmic Cart.

Crateful – a software that leverages advanced audio and data analytics to help music enthusiasts find the best music for their mood or the moment. Crateful’s technology analyzes each song in a customer’s database by tempo, key and rhythm structure and then allows the user to sort based on their needs. Currently, more than 60 well-known electronic music deejays are piloting Crateful.

Cympel – an e-commerce and ad-tech platform that streamlines online shopping for consumers and expedites the transaction process for brands. An attractive platform for advertisers, publishers, and customers alike, Cympel eliminates the multiple redirecting windows currently involved in the online advertising and shopping process. Cympel’s team has two campaigns underway currently and is showing a positive return-on-investment for each.

HuntForce – a software that enables hunters to become more strategic and successful in their sport by reducing the hours they currently spend sifting through and organizing the thousands of photos taken by their trail cameras. The father-son founding team has established relationships with more than a dozen professional hunters interested in using the HuntForce technology to improve their upcoming season.

For more information on Straight Shot and their demo day visit straightshot.co

See all three speakers and 27 more national startup speakers at Everywhere Else Cincinnati.


Philly’s Novotorium Announces New Seed Funding Program

_novotoriumPUBPhiladelphia’s Novotorium continues to support health, wellness, and nutrition startups across the Philadelphia region. We’ve covered Novotorium quite a bit over the last 18 months and their progress has been fun to watch.

The team backing the startup support organization wants to get in with companies in their wheelhouse as early as possible, sometimes backing companies as early as a business plan stage or during the development of a companies minimum viable product (MVP). More often than not, companies at that early a stage are turned away and can’t develop without funding, especially in health and wellness sectors.

Novotorium has announced a week’s worth of programming geared towards the earliest stage companies. The program runs the week of September 16-20 and at the end of the week those that participated will be part of a business plan competition on September 23rd. The competition will have a $2500 prize, but Novotorium will consider all participants for possible future investments ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

Novotorium, Seed Funding, startups, Philly startups“Our goal with this program is to work with companies in the early stages of developing a business plan and creating the first iteration of their business. We are looking forward to helping them build out their plans and create their minimum viable products. We anticipate that we will be able to offer seed funding to several companies,” Novotorium Managing Director Stuart Segal said in a statement.

Novotorium’s Marketing and Business Director, Chuck Hall, summarized the program on their blog:

During each day of the week-long program — September 16 through 20 —  Novotorium partners will be on hand at Novotorium in Langhorne to offer classes and hold office hours on key parts of creating and launching a business — finance, law, marketing, sales, operations, lean startup, agile development, technology, health care products and markets and more. This is a completely free week of sessions, with the goal of helping entrepreneurs accepted into this program move forward with their business plans and business implementation efforts.

On Friday, September 20, business plans and business development efforts will be vetted, with approved startups slotted into presentation times for Monday, September 23. Entrepreneurs will be asked to present to a Novotorium panel that will then determine the winner of the competition. The winner will receive the top prize of $2,500 in cash and $3,000 in services at Novotorium over a 30-day period.

Companies wishing to participate in the program must apply on the Novotorium website using the ordinary application form. Applicants should note “TBD” in any part of the application that is yet to be determined. Applicants should also note “Applying for September Program” in the “What Else?” section of the application.

Interested? Hit the application link above


STACHE Investments Exceeds $1 Million Dollar Commitment To 2013 OneSpark Companies

Shahid Khan, STACHE Investments, Florida startups, OneSpark, accelerator

Last Spring we  were one of the national media partners for one of the most incredible startup related events we’ve ever seen. That event, the OneSpark crowdfunding festival in North Florida, saw over 130,000 attendees throughout the course of the week. The event was like taking Kickstarter or Indiegogo, pulling them offline, and putting the creators into a five day festival.

We saw startups, art projects, art installations, music projects, visual arts, and a variety of amazing, but unclassifiable ideas. All of the participants were looking for crowdfunding in person at the event and to earn the OneSpark prize money or get an investment from Jacksonville based STACHE investments.  STACHE investments is the investment arm of Shahid Kahn’s company. Kahn is the automotive entrepreneur who purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars in November of 2011 and took up residency in Jacksonville.

Since that time he has been very active behind the scenes in Jacksonville’s startup and entrepreneurial community. Khan quickly got involved with the OneSpark festival, committing $1,000,000 in follow on funding for the most promising ideas during the festival.

Late last month it was announced that not only had STACHE Investments (named after Khan’s legendary mustache) reached and exceeded their $1,000,000 commitment, but they committed to 2014 and also helped back a new accelerator in Jacksonville called KYN.

KYN will launch with four companies in its inaugural class and will leverage its resources to support numerous One Spark creators that have been in talks with the STACHE Investments Corporation. KYN has also partnered with the University of North Florida to help train students in design and development. The accelerator’s inaugural class are all businesses who participated in the wildly successful One Spark festival.

“We are impressed by the outpouring of talent we witnessed at One Spark earlier this year,” Jim Zsebok, Chief Investments Officer at the STACHE Investments Corporation said in a statement. “STACHE has provided the seed capital for KYN because we view it as an essential component of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that Elton and his team is creating in Jacksonville which began with CoWork Jax, then One Spark and now KYN. So today, via KYN we announce the 4 companies who will participate in the inaugural class at KYN and we will continue to work with several other Creators we met at One Spark who require different resources, including Heritage Farms, Workout Navigator and Chair to Share.”

The companies who participated in One Spark and are receiving funding at this time are:

  • Heritage Farms

  • Pure Treats

  • Floppy Entertainment

  • Original Fuzz

  • Hatchware

Pure Treats, Floppy Entertainment, Original Fuzz, and Hatchware are the four companies who will be in the inaugural class and receive funding directly from KYN.

Nearing the completion of the 16-week program at KYN, the companies will have an opportunity to participate in a demo day where other venture capitalists and angel investors interested in their companies will review opportunities to invest in the companies.

“This is a natural outgrowth of what we hoped to achieve with the inaugural One Spark festival, and the next step in supporting great startups in Jacksonville,” said KYN Co-Founder, Elton Rivas. “Our selection of downtown to house this accelerator is further commitment to the continued support and growth of Jacksonville’s thriving startup community in the heart of our city. We couldn’t be happier to be working with the STACHE Investments Corporation in support of the growth of this ecosystem for Jacksonville.”

In addition to the accelerator program, KYN has also announced their partnership with the University of North Florida. KYN will hire select students to participate in a semester long apprenticeship program where they will earn course credit, learn web development, and user interface and design, all while working directly with KYN startup companies.

The accelerator will soon begin selecting applications for its second 16-week class, slated to begin January 2014. All information for the application timing and process can be found on the KYN website at www.kyn.is.

“We’re focused on linking early stage companies in technology, health and fitness and hard goods with seed money, tools and great mentors to support the rapid growth of their business,” co-founder, Rivas said. “This intensive 16-week program provides access to mentors, developers and designers, workshops, work space and a collaborative community while also training nearly a dozen UNF students that could be potential future hires for these companies. It’s a great model.”

Find out more about KYN here and check out our 2013 OneSpark coverage here.

Check out this enormous conference 100% devoted to startups “everywhere else”

image: Shahid Khan

JuiceTank — Innovation Lab, Accelerator and Coworking Space — Takes Shape in Somerset


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2 Memphis Startups, Mobilizer And Boosterville Get Attention From Major Press

Boosterville, Mobilizer, Memphis startups, TechCrunch, GigaOMWhile nibletz has a pretty large following and people love us because we’re the voice of startups everywhere else, getting attention from the major tech and startup players is a big deal for all startups. This week two Memphis startups were fortunate enough to catch the eyes of TechCrunch and GigaOm.

Mobilizer, a recent graduate of the Memphis based ZeroTo510 accelerator, and recently named to the Tennessee TENN, was featured in TechCrunch on Saturday evening.The company has found a way to make ambulatory patients in hospitals more mobile.

As company co-founder and CEO James Bell told me a few months ago, after major surgery getting up and walking around is a very important part of recovery. That’s why as soon as you are able, doctors like for patients to walk to other parts of the hospital for testing and therapy. The problem in the past was that all of the equipment tied to a patient recovering from surgery often requires more than one technician to accompany the patients on these walks. Often taking technicians away from other duties.

Marston-1With the Mobilizer product, one technician can accompany the patient as the walk through the hospital allowing the other technicians to tend to other patients and even saving hospitals money on over-staffing.

Boosterville, a spring 2013 graduate of the Memphis based Seed Hatchery accelerator was featured in GigaOM earlier this week.  The company, founded by Pam Cooper and her husband, and founding CTO of Cha-Cha, Tom Cooper, has a better way of school fundraising. Pam Cooper had previously built up a large cleaning business in Indiana. When she met her husband Tom six years ago they knew they would eventually collaborate on a startup.

Boosterville is that startup. The company offers a mobile wallet app that is tied in to local merchants that are automagically kicking back money for fundraising. The user selects the participating merchant that they want to patronize and checkout using Boosterville. The merchant is paid and a portion of the payment is forwarded onto the school or charity.

GigaOm featured Boosterville as part of a story about startups that are changing the way schools can do fundraising, trading in wrapping paper, pizza kits and World’s Finest Chocolate bars, for an easy to use mobile app.

Find out more about Boosterville here Mobilizer is on the web here.


It’s Day One For These 5 Startups From Gener8tor’s Summer Session

Gener8tor, accelerator, startup accelerator, Wisconsin startupsWisconsin’s dual city accelerator, Gener8tor, is one of the most successful startup accelerators in the midwest. Just last week we reported that two graduates from the Winter 2013 session held in Madison Wisconsin raised $610,000 in seed rounds.

WeMontage, a company that has new ways for users to have their mobile phone pics printed as wallpaper, and Quietyme, a company that monitors the environmental conditions in normally quiet places like hospitals, hotels and nursing homes, raised $310,000 and $300,000 respectively.

A third startup, Abodo, also raised $325,000, they too were a member of that winter class at Gener8tor. Not bad for a general tech accelerator that typically runs cohorts of 5.

Today is Launch Day for the summer cohort at Gener8tor. The Gener8tor founders alternate between Madison and Milwaukee. The summer 2013 cohort was based in Milwaukee.

While many accelerators call the day at the end of the session demo day, or investor day, and we call it graduation, Troy Vosseller, one of the Gener8tor cofounders tells us that they call it launch day. With the teams working all session long and building their companies, demo day doesn’t signify an ending but more importantly a beginning.

Gener8tor’s summer session yielded five great startups:


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OpenHomes provides modern, professional tools for the “for sale by owner” market. With OpenHomes, it is easy, affordable, and secure for people to buy or sell their homes themselves. Openhomes’ simple, elegant technology connects buyers and sellers directly online, enabling everything from scheduling a showing, giving feedback, or asking questions, to making an offer from your tablet or smartphone. OpenHomes’ services enable home owners to sell their homes themselves with confidence – for only 1% commission.


Docalytics is an easy to implement, cross-platform technology that enhances how businesses use their marketing and sales documents to interact with and capture actionable data from their prospective customers. Docalytics enables users to efficiently:

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You can find out more about Gener8tor here at gener8tor.com


It’s Demo Day In Indiana At Velocity

Velocity Indiana, Startup, Startup Accelerator, Demo Day

Southern Indiana’s startup accelerator, Velocity, is graduating their summer session today (August 29). The accelerator, a stone’s throw from Louisville, Kentucky, has managed to attract top startups not just from the region but as far away as California.

Each of the five teams in the Velocity accelerator received $20,000 in seed money in exchange for a small amount of equity. They also received free workspace and access to mentors from across Kentucky, Indiana, and the region.

These are the five teams launching from Velocity:


collabra-300x120Collabra- Collabra allows musicians and fans to create, collaborate, and share music in a new and innovative way. Combining a novel song arrangement platform with an easy-to-use recording suite, Collabra enables musicians around the world to connect and create music while engaging fans in the creative process for the first time ever. Due to its low-barrier-to-entry approach, for musicians and fans, as well as a robust feature set, Collabra has the potential to change the music creation process forever.

large-insights-300x120Large Insights- Large is laser-focused on generating insights from data to increase client revenues, and we do that by establishing digital and social business goals, tracking activity and measuring success.

change-my-school-300x120Change My School- Change My School is a platform for students, teachers, and parents to upload and watch videos. It is available to users of all ages and provides a video contest platform. The winning videos each month receive $1,000 for items such as supplies, projects, or technology. It also provides students and teachers opportunities to incorporate creativity, video technology and project based learning into their classrooms.

steel-fashion-300x120Steel Fashion- Steel Fashion provides a free styling software service that allows men to style clothes they have, want, or are looking to purchase. They can discover and purchase new brands easily by identifying brands they already like. Confidence and creativity are easily harnessed when visiting Steel Fashion.


greek-pull-300x120Greek Pull- Greek Pull enables a Fraternity or Sorority chapter to reach their target markets in an efficient way. Those target markets are potential new members, their alumni and the Greek Community. Because of this, GreekPull differs from other social media solutions because GreekPull is focused on bringing those target markets to chapter houses. The network is exclusive to Greek Life and helps chapters with efficient marketing. We bring Fraternity and Sorority target markets to Greek Chapters so they can be easily contacted, creating an efficient communication tool.



Tennessee’s Governor Bill Haslam Announces The TENN Top Startups In Statewide Program

TENN, Launch Tennessee, Startups, startup accelerator, Tennessee startupTuesday saw the final pitch off for Launch Tennessee’s TENN program. Launch Tennessee is a public/private partnership that helps organize, administer and provide resources to nine accelerator regions across the state of Tennessee.

With so many accelerators in one single state, Launch Tennessee teamed up with the Blackstone Foundation to hold a “super accelerator” of sorts simply called The TENN.  Startups that went through one of the accelerator programs in Tennessee within the last 12 months were eligible to compete in a statewide competition to name the best of the best.

Earlier this month Launch Tennessee announced 20 finalists from across east, middle and western Tennessee.  The 20 startups chosen as finalists represented a variety of technological and entrepreneurial fields including general tech, social, medical, medical device, life sciences and even publishing.

On Tuesday the startups in the top 20 pitched off in front of a panel of outside investors that included: Sabeer Bhatia, chairman and CEO of Sabse/Jaxtr and founder and former CEO of Hotmail; John McIlwraith, managing partner at Cincinnati, Ohio-based Allos Ventures; John Greathouse, general partner at Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Rincon Venture Partners; Sig Mosley, managing partner at Atlanta, Ga.-based Mosley Ventures; Bob Crutchfield, partner at Birmingham, Ala.-based Harbert Ventures; and Mike Tatum, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Workbus.

At the end of the day Governor Bill Haslam called up the top 10 startups who were named to the TENN;

  • eClinic (Nashville)
  • Got You In (Nashville)
  • Gun.io (Nashville)
  • Hatponics (Knoxville)
  • Health & Bliss (Memphis)
  • Mobilizer (Memphis)
  • Screwpulp (Memphis)
  • Survature (Knoxville)
  • Vendor Registry (East Tennessee”
  • View Medical  (Memphis)

These 10 startups will participate in the TENN program which includes a statewide bus trip to meet some of the biggest companies, entrepreneurs and business leaders across the state, trips to New York and Silicon Valley and office space at their local accelerator or incubator. They will also have access to mentors and other resources to continue taking their post accelerator companies to the next level.

Congratulations to all the startups that made the list.



2 Gener8tor Startups Raise Over $600,000 In Seed Funding

WeMontage, Quietyme, Gener8tor, Wisconsin, Startup Accelerator, Accelerator, FundingWisconsin’s duel city accelerator, Gener8tor, is producing startups in both Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin. Two of their Winter 2013 graduates (Madison program), WeMontage has just closed out a $310,000 seed round. Quietyme has raised a $300,000 seed round.

The Greater Milwaukee Business Journal reports that the startup that allows users to turn their mobile pics into actual wallpaper, received their funding from Angels On The Water LLC, Gener8tor and an “undisclosed”  Wisconsin based angel investment fund as well as several private investors.

While turning your mobile pics into decals, stickers, wallpaper and other forms of art is nothing new, WeMontage has found a way to does it in a way that’s better for the wall and looks better overall. Unlike their competition, WeMontage uses  “premium high-tac adhesive, fabric-based wall covering, which adheres to textured walls, while not damaging the wall or paint,” the company told the Business Journal.

We are excited to have closed our seed capital round and are working hard to build a premium brand for WeMontage and acquire new customers,” said James Oliver, Jr., founder and CEO. “Since closing the seed round, we’ve been able to hire an outstanding software developer, Chris Schmitz, from Green Bay, as technical co-founder.”

Quietyme has developed a technology that allows hospitals, hotels, nursing homes and property owners to monitor the quality of indoor environments like noise, temperature, humidity and water leaks, the Business Journal reported on Wednesday.

In addition to Gener*tor and Angels On The Water LLC, American Family Insurance, KSFI Partners LLC and a private investor participated in this round. The startup previously received $20,000 in seed capital from Gener8tor at the on-set of the program.

“Hospitals and hotels now have an unprecedented tool that can put a spotlight on when and where customer sleep experiences are in jeopardy,” said CEO John Bialk in a press release. “Just imagine how special you feel when a front desk manager or nurse recognizes that your sleep may have been disrupted. By being proactive about disruptions, businesses can demonstrate their sincere commitment to a high-quality customer experience.”

Find out more about Gener8tor here.



Startup Factory Drops “Triangle”, Announces Fall 2013 Cohort

Startup Factory, North Carolina startups, startup news, acceleratorThe Triangle Startup Factory, the premiere acceleration program in North Carolina has made a slight change in their name and announced their fall class. The accelerator program will now be know as just “The Startup Factory” dropping the word “triangle” from it’s name.

The news about the name is no surprise. Earlier this month we reported that MapQuest co-founder and Startup Factory co-founder, Chris Heivly was speaking at an event in St. Louis, which reportedly could be paving the way for a new Startup Factory branch there. Heivly was very impressed with all of the efforts the St. Louis community has already focused on startups.

In addition to possibly expanding out west to St. Louis, the Triangle Business Journal reports that Heivly is excited about the announced expansion of the American Underground, HQ and the new ThinkHouse project.

Here are the five startups selected for the fall cohort at the Startup Factory.

+ Szl: A technology company that aims to help people get news from the internet. “Only a small percentage of people who get their news from the internet spend the time to set up RSS feeds and filters,” TSF says of Szl via release. “Szl addresses these problems directly and solves them.”

  • HomeWellness: A technology company creating “building science-based software,” programs that help employees improve the comfort, energy efficiency and air quality of their homes.
  • Coursefork: A technology company creating a platform for educators to share and collaborate on course materials. “In essence, Coursefork seeks to ignite viral teaching.”
  •  Brevado: A technology company hoping to create interactive timelines for project-based businesses. “Clients stay in the loop with automatic progress notifications as items are completed.”
  • Flagtap: A technology company trying to solve marketing engagement issues “by bridging the gap between getting traffic and getting traffic to engage in revenue-generating ways.”
  • 4Soils: A technology company trying to engage children with their faith in a new way. The mission? “To bring the Bible to life for kids.”