St. Louis’ Capital Innovators Opens Up Applications For Spring 2014 Cohort

Capital Innovators, St.Louis startups, startup accelerator

St. Louis Capital Innovator’s accelerator program has opened up applications for their Spring 2014 program. This will be the 6th cohort to go through St.Louis’ highly successful program.

Capital Innovators is backed by the most influential people in the St. Louis startup ecosystem, including Jim McKelvey who is firmly planted in the startup community. We just reported last week on the inaugural cohort at the new SixThirty accelerator, an accelerator for fintech startups that takes its name from the height and width of St. Louis’ famous arch.

Capital Innovators provides $50,000 in seed funding for their startups and also provides them with project-based mentorship, collaborative learning, and more. The entire St.Louis startup community gels around each class in the Capital Innovators accelerator program, which is housed at the T-Rex startup, co-working, and incubation space downtown.

Our good friends at Bonfyre, who have provided the engagement app for our Everywhere Else national startup conferences, is an alumni of Capital Innovators. LockerDome, who’s founder Gabe Lozano was a big hit earlier this year at Everywhere Else conference in Memphis is also a graduate of Capital Innovators as are BidRazor, Adfreq, and many more.

Applications are being accepted through November 15th, and the cohort will be announced in January. Meanwhile, the current Fall 2013 cohort will graduate in December. We’ll be there to cover all the action. You may want to hurry up and apply now, before I decide to go and apply. Here’s the link.


Techstars & Sprint Announce Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator

Techstars, Sprint Accelerator, Kansas City startups, startup accelerator

Techstars, one of the most recognized accelerators in the world, is expanding its US footprint into the already lively Kansas City startup community. Earlier this year Techstars co-founder and Foundry Group founder Brad Feld bought a house in Kansas City to house a startup to work on their company, utilizing KC’s 1gb ethernet. Kansas City was the second city in the country, behind Chattanooga, to offer 1gb ethernet to residences and businesses.

But it wasn’t Kansas City’s Google Fiber that attracted Techstars to the region. They’ve partnered with Kansas City’s biggest tech company, Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the country. Sprint has always been a friend to innovation. They were the first wireless carrier to hold an annual developer summit for developers to collaborate, and learn about developing on Sprint’s wide range of services.

sprintacceleratorSprint and Techstars are centering this accelerator around the growing mobile health segment. Monitoring devices, e-prescriptions, mobile EDR’s and other health based mobile technology startups will work in the three month Techstars-modeled accelerator format at the new accelerator.

“We have been watching Kansas City from afar, seeing it come together, and now we’re excited to join the community and help it grow. It’s great to see Sprint giving first through their tremendous network of resources and executive knowledge. It makes all the difference for the companies we fund through the program,” Techstars co-founder David Cohen said on the official Techstars blog.

Kevin McGinnis, Sprint’s Vice President of Development, will help oversee the program which is taking applications now through December 6th. Startups that are selected will be notified in early January 2014 and the first session will kick off in March.

“Kansas City increasingly is gaining recognition on the national level as an emerging entrepreneurial technology center,” McGinnis told Cohen. “Sprint has been expanding its work with startups and other ventures that are developing intriguing innovations. The Sprint Accelerator will act as a catalyst for growth in this market.”

You can apply 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:


Take your marketing efforts to a whole new level with hand written letters.

MailLift integrates with your Customer Relationship Management, helpdesk and other tools allowing handwritten letters to be automated. MailLift sends handwritten letters to old-school mailboxes on your behalf, freeing you and your staff’s time. With MailLift you have the ability to send thousands of personalized handwritten letters with just a few mouse clicks. Improve your customer acquisition and retention by sending these letters from your browser, email client, mobile device or CRM.

In this world of electronic everything, a hand written letter helps you reach your prospects in a whole new, old fashioned way.


Optyn makes marketing simple for small businesses by providing easy, automated tools to acquire and engage their customers. Optyn’s marketing platform helps business owners decide what message to communicate and then enables them to create, schedule and send an email campaign in less than 2 minutes. Optyn also ensures consumers only get emails from merchants they have chosen. provides health cloud solutions for application developers, enabling rapid application development, enhanced data integration and industry-standard security. Our vision is to offer the hosted core infrastructure required to build modern apps for health and wellness. takes care of the plumbing for app owners and empowers developers inside and outside of enterprises to quickly build, test and deploy health and wellness applications−all without worrying about data sources and models, interoperability or HIPAA technology security.


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:

– CAPTURE more leads from their content.
– CONVERT more sales from these leads.
– CREATE better, more engaging content.

You can find out more about Gener8tor here at


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)
  • (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.



Ohio Accelerator FlashStarts Sets Demo Day September 23rd, The Big Day For Crowdfunding

Flashstarts, Startup Accelerator, Cleveland Accelerator, Demo Day, SEC regulations, General solicitation

Cleveland startup accelerator Flashstarts will show off their first cohort in an investor demo day set for September 23. This date was chosen for its significance to startups across the country. It’s the same day that the SEC’s new regulations allowing general solicitation go into effect. It will be the first time in 80 years that startups can publicly fundraise beyond geographic boundaries, paving the way for crowdfunding for equity.

“In most communities, raising startup money has been a process stuck in the 19th century, limited to fundraising from friends and a few local angels,” said FlashStarts CEO and Co-founder Charles Stack. “With these new SEC changes, entrepreneurs can now use all modern marketing techniques to connect with the nearly nine million accredited investors across the U.S.”

The regulations will have a significant impact on startups by removing the geographic barriers to capital that have traditionally made it more difficult for startups outside areas like Silicon Valley, Boston, or New York to grow and succeed.

On signing the JOBS Act last year that enabled these new SEC regulations, President Obama said, “[S]tartups and small businesses will now have access to a big, new pool of potential investors — namely, the American people.”

“As capital is allowed to flow to ideas and entrepreneurs—regardless of distance and location—the country will enjoy a true national rebirth of capitalism, along with job and wealth creation,” said Stack.

One of the Flashstarts accelerator companies, Crowdentials, is deeply impacted by this change in the regulations. Crowdentials will provide a compliance platform to make sure those that use crowdfunding are doing it legally and within the regulations set forth by the SEC.

Here are the other nine startups graduating from Flashstarts on September 23rd.

AProofed allows writers and editors to collaborate with each other in a marketplace environment. The online cloud-based platform allows editors to become self-employed while improving writers’ academic performances.

BOLD Guidance navigates students through college applications and allows counselors and parents to view their progress. The online platform and app makes the college application process easier with step-by-step guides and automated deadlines, tasks and reminders specific to each application.

The BranDR is committed to helping physicians create and maintain their personal brand identities online. Its mission is to revolutionize the way patients find, select and interact with their doctors, by allowing them to access personalized doctor profiles.

Curiosidy is a new online platform for sharing and promoting life’s meaningful experiences. Users can write about experiences that have shaped them and draw inspiration and insights from a passionate, global community.

LegalFunnel helps lawyers meet and engage with targeted clients through efficient lead generation and personalized online branding.

Ohio Independent Cinema strives to inspire an appreciation for independent films by making them more accessible for the general public. The company provides a new distribution option for independent filmmakers.

Smooth is a sophisticated, yet simple personal finance app currently in development. The program generates personalized recommendations that help users improve their standard of living and offers incentives for users to follow the recommendations.

Synthetic Intelligence sells Big Data cloud and consulting services. The company “makes Big Data go faster”., a product of Trailhead CFR, is a web application for managing regulatory documents of physician-sponsored clinical trials. The app is the only platform that instantly enables physicians to coordinate a clinical trial without additional procedures or risk.

FlashStarts’ 2013 Demo Day will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST on September 23, 2013. Guests can attend in-person at the NPR IdeaStream Westfield Theater in Cleveland, Ohio, or online via live Internet broadcast. In-person attendance is limited to 250 seats and virtual online attendance is limited to 2,500 viewers. To request a ticket or learn more, visit


Kansas City’s Think Big Accelerator Holding Demo Day August 28th

ThinkBig Partners, ThinkBig Accelerator, Kansas City Startups, Startup Demo Day, Startup Accelerator

The multi-faceted startup support organization, Think Big Partners in Kansas City is preparing for demo day for their accelerator program companies and other midwestern startups from across the Silicon Prairie area. ThinkBig is graduating their second cohort, but this is their first demo day.

This week, ThinkBig Parters is hosting a two day “PitchKamp,” which will be taught by the ThinkBig Partners and help prepare the teams pitching on the 28th for demo day in front of investors and media.

Here are the ThinkBig Accelerator startups pitching at demo day.

  • Fully:  Fully is a kiosk-based mobile phone charging station that provides digital out-of-home targeted advertising to the consumer.
  • Kahootz: Kahootz is a consumer-focused online calendar platform that provides users with easier ways to combine, share and manage all obligations and profiles on one easy-to-maintain social-based platform.
  • Keyzio: Keyzio is a consumer-driven marketplace that connects people and helps them find, buy and sell real estate.
  • Phone2Action: Phone2Action makes a digital take action advocacy platform to power organizations and individuals to make change happen.
  • WeeJay:  Weejay is a rewards-based social jukebox for bars, restaurants, and other businesses.

Here are the other regional startups pitching as part of the demo day festivities.

  • Katasi:  Katasi provides an effective technological solution to the growing epidemic of texting while driving through partnerships with telecom providers.
  • Moblico:  Moblico’s mobile engagement platform uniquely combines cloud based backend services for app developers with content, communication and loyalty management tools for application marketers.
  • PlanetReuse/InvenQuery:  PlanetReuse is a consulting and brokering company focused on matching reclaimed building material with designers, builders and owners. InvenQuery provides technology to help retailers of unique merchandise handle inventory, point-of-sale and ecommerce. 

“As a venture investor, there are increasingly more quality, early-stage investment opportunities that are emerging from the Midwest,” said Pat Doherty, Managing Member of St. Louis-based Saturday Capital.  “I look forward to working more with groups like Think Big Partners, who have helped identify and support growing and innovative companies that are attractive investment opportunities.”

If you’re in the area and want to attend demo day you can register here.

Blake Miller, the Managing Director of ThinkBig Accelerator is speaking at Everywhere Else Cincinnati, September 30th. A few discounted tickets and discounted startup village booths are still available here.


5 Digital Leaders In Chicago Combine Forces For Ensemble An “Excubator”

Ensemble, Chicago, Excubator, startup accelerator

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the success rates of both incubators and accelerators. While incubators can go long term, one of the biggest themes among people who doubt the accelerator model is what happens next.  Accelerators want to continue to churn out new companies, and some suggest they do it at the expense of previous cohorts.

A lot emphasis is put on the few companies that get follow-on funding and move to the next level, and no one takes into account that most of the companies in accelerator program don’t make it 3-6 more months down the road.

Andre Fowlkes, the co-president of Memphis based Start Co, the organization that puts on the Seed Hatchery accelerator now in it’s third year, recently told the Commercial Appeal that programs with a 3 month bootcamp-style program and 6 additional months of curriculum and training would be a more effective model.

Many agree with that idea, including Jeremy Vaughn the co-founder of Atlantic Beach, Florida’s The Factory accelerator. They take companies through a quick intensive program and then continue to work with them for a year.  The Brandery, Cincinnati’s accelerator that often comes in the top 20 in rankings, puts a cohort through the summer and then the companies are welcome to stay around, keep office space, and continue working with the mentors in the community until the next class moves in a year later.

Now, 5 digital services leaders in Chicago, including successful social startup Social Katy, have teamed up to form Ensemble, “a symphony of digital experts.” The concept was called an investment firm by the Chicago Tribune, an incubator alternative by other sources, and an excubator in a press release.

Ensemble is actually a combination of all three.

Red Rocket Ventures (business consulting & capital raising), Ora Interactive (technology development & design), Loud Interactive (search engine optimization), Walker Sands (public relations), and of course SocialKaty (social media marketing) have teamed up to offer startups and rampups a suite of focused services in a one-to-one relationship vs cohort based. All five together encompass most of everything a startup would need outside of technical expertise, which most startups have.

If you were to combine the cost of working with each of the five companies individually to reach a company’s common goals and grow a business, the services would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Through the Ensemble group, services in a combined suite will be discounted to startups. They will also offer their services at a substantial discount for an equity stake in the companies they are working with.  This is commonly referred to as “creative capital” and is a growing trend across the startup landscape.

All 5 companies will play a part in managing Ensemble with Rocket Ventures Managing Partner, George Deeb, serving as the day-to-day General Manager.

“We created Ensemble to fill a void in the market for entrepreneurs desiring do-it-for-me solutions from a one-stop team of digital experts who have proven they know how to quickly and efficiently scale up digital businesses,” Deeb said in a statement. “The Ensemble alliance structure will best serve clients, given our domain experts’ focus and expertise within their respective niches, and the fact we are all entrepreneurs ourselves. Ensemble is by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, which you would never get in a big conglomerate agency.”

Ensemble is based in Chicago but plans on offering their services to a nationwide roster of clients. You can find out more about Ensemble here at


Boston’s Firefield Is THE Idea Accelerator

Firefield, Boston startup, startup accelerator, online startup accelerator

Accelerators are great. We cover a lot of startup accelerators from across the country and around the world here at Nibletz. Accelerators are great for companies that have a product. We’ve seen a handful of wireframes and ideas evolve out of an accelerator, but typically to get your “idea” into an accelerator, you also need a proven track record.

Startup Weekend is a great place to flush out an idea and start working on a prototype. But even with over 700 events worldwide, some people can’t get to Startup Weekend. Others want to develop their idea a little more intimately and without presenting it in front of a group of strangers. For those idea-preneurs there’s Firefield.

The team behind FireField started as a company building internal web applications. They quickly realized through this process that there were a lot of other people in the same boat that may not have the access to the same resources they had. That is, people with great ideas and nowhere to go.

Firefield pivoted to an external facing company that wanted to help people with ideas become real startups. Now, they offer an online accelerator with access to curriculum, mentors, designers, developers, and people who’ve actually been through the startup process.

The program lasts 16 weeks and has a rolling start, meaning you can sync up with the Firefield team and program when you’re ready.

Traditional accelerators ask for a huge commitment from founders. Most founders who get into an accelerator think about one thing and that is getting into the program. Once they’re accepted they worry about the little details like taking a sabbatical from their day jobs or quitting altogether. They also take a risk in relocating. Some accelerators have temporary housing worked out, but other accelerators require teams to rent a place to live. Since most rentals are annual so you’re moving to a strange city and getting into an year long lease.

Accelerators are awesome, but there are plenty of risks.

Since there’s not  as much risk with an online accelerator, Firefield asks for each startup to invest $5,000 into the program so they have some “skin in the game.” That may seem expensive, but without an accelerator like this you may end up paying tens of thousands of dollars in college courses.

The model seems to be working for Adam McGowan and his cofounders at Firefield.

Here’s a quick interview with McGowan.

What is Firefield?

Firefield offers a 16-week program that ignites ideas into early stage products. We partner with entrepreneurs, providing them with the strategy, design, and web or mobile development needed to launch. We do this for partners with funding, but we also accept equity from select entrepreneurs. By bringing a co-founder’s mentality, an ability to execute, and a proven track-record to our partners, we help build not just products, but successful businesses.

In layman’s terms, how does it work?

Entrepreneurs come to us with great ideas that they cannot build themselves for any of a number of reasons: no technical team, limited funding, lack of experience, etc. We then work with them for 16 weeks to design, develop, and deploy their web or mobile-based application. We become very involved in their business, acting like a co-founder, and providing help in every area we can. After 16 weeks, entrepreneurs exit the program with a minimum viable product they can share with users, demonstrate to potential investors, etc. Moreover, they remain part of the Firefield network that will support them through its technical, strategic, and financial connections in the startup ecosystem. Members can enter the program by purchasing our services or by applying to be accepted in exchange for equity in their business.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Adam McGowan is the CEO and founder of Firefield. He is an entrepreneur at heart, but did an 8 year stint in finance working at an investment bank followed by an upstart hedge fund — a period when he evaluated hundreds of deals, scrutinized piles of business plans, pitched investors around the world, designed and built tools he needed, and helped put billions of dollars to work. He witnessed huge successes and failures first hand. Although unconventional — as an entrepreneurial training ground — that experience was second to none, and it taught Adam what he does well and what he should leave for others.

That experience highlighted problem solving, relationship building, analytical thinking, and collaborating with others as the key strengths that Adam is really passionate about. And while he’s pretty damn good at building cash-flow models too, he’s hoping to never have to do that again.

Finding the intersection of his skills and passions led Adam to conceive and build Firefield. Since its inception, it has allowed him to present at conferences of venture capitalists and web innovators, take on founding-team roles with multiple upstart ventures, manage the agile launch of many interactive projects, collaborate with dozens of entrepreneurs at various stages, and foster a great team of thinkers and do’ers.

In short, Adam loves creating great stuff and at Firefield, that’s happened in the form of valuable products, successful businesses, and lasting relationships.

Jeremy Sewell is Firefield’s Principal Collaborator. A writer and entrepreneur, Jeremy hails from Maine and has been working in New York City for the past 11 years, where he’s taken an unconventional job path with many pivots and resets. Despite having studied creative writing and theater in college, when he arrived in New York, Jeremy took a job as a medical office assistant at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, working for a program that provided free treatment for World Trade Center responders.

Within 4 years, based on his strong writing and communication skills, marketing acumen, unique blend of creativity and organization, and ability to lead, Jeremy was named the Director of Marketing and Communications for the entire Mount Sinai Medical Center (at the age of 26), giving him the opportunity to lead a courageous team of writers and designers.

Jeremy then became obsessed with the web and user experience — moving into project and account management roles at a number of prominent New York City agencies including ID Society, Domani Studies, and True North, working with clients that included American Express, Sony, AT&T, Crown Royal, Disney, and Starwood.

Having produced hundreds of successful sites and projects, Jeremy brings a wealth of experience in online marketing, strategy, user experience design, community building, and interactive development to Firefield’s clients. His main focus is on getting things done, efficiently and intelligently. He believes in wireframes, but thinks most functional specs are a waste of time. He has found his groove with the agile approach he’s helped develop at Firefield.

Where are you based?

Adam is based in Boston and Jeremy is based in New York City. The remainder of our team works remotely across multiple continents.

How did you come up with the idea for FireField?

Firefield has evolved over time, originally starting as a venture that built its own internal web applications. Over time we realized that many other early stage companies had the same needs that we did when trying to launch products and businesses. More importantly, our skills and expertise would be really valuable to them. We tested the water and started working with one client. One turned into two, and so on. Now we’re rolling out a program to help dozens of startups.

What problem does FireField solve?

Startup teams get accepted into programs like TechStars only AFTER they build a great product. Investors get interested in new ventures only AFTER they start getting traction and usage in the market. But what about all those entrepreneurs with a great idea but no ability to build and launch it? In most cases these ventures stall, or more likely, fold. We want more of them to have an opportunity to succeed.

What’s your secret sauce?

Over the years, we’ve cultivated an agile team of designers and developers that can execute quickly, efficiently, and foresee issues and opportunities early on. We love putting this team to work on new projects. When we combined our team’s abilities with an entrepreneur’s vision and expertise we find so many things become possible.

Our secret sauce is that when these entrepreneurs finish our program, they actually have a real product to market, sell, launch, etc. Traditional accelerator programs give you some office space, access to mentors, and maybe some cash. After that, you’re on your own. Because we take a vested interest in entrepreneurs and actually build their product with them, we don’t speed up companies, we ignite them.

Why Now?

Too many great ideas are failing to get started because they lack the experience, technical expertise, funding, connections or all of the above to launch their product. It’s time more entrepreneurs start getting the opportunities they deserve.

Who are some of your mentors and business role models?

While he may not have been the easiest boss to work for, Steve Jobs had an incredible vision and ability to execute that inspires us. From a company point of view, we are big fans of the approach at 37 Signals, a development shop that lives and breathes the agile business and software model.

What’s next for FireField?

We are going to continue to work with entrepreneurs to launch more successful businesses. In the future, we also hope to provide a training ground for aspiring “hustlers” or “hackers” looking to launch or join an upstart venture.

Where can people find out more?

You can learn about us at our website


This huge startup conference is specifically for startups “everywhere else”



These 100 Mentors Did 1500 Hours At Techstars NY; Now Follow Them On Twitter

Techstars, Techstars New York, Mentors, Follow on Twitter, startup acceleratorTechstars released some data on their current NY session on their blog Friday.  The Techstars New York class graduates this Friday, June 28th, and they’ve been burning the midnight oil.

Nicole Glaros, the co-manager of this Techstars New York session reported they’ve had 39,000 working hours (60 hours x30 weeks x50 people), 5 pivots, 1500 mentor hours, 1 wedding, 72lbs of La Colombe Coffee, 14 missing iPhone charges and one of those 5 pivots, pivoted back.

One of the keys to success for Techstars–or any good accelerator program for that matter–is their mentor network. Techstars has one of the best mentor networks in the world. Here are 100 mentors that have taken part in this current session in New York. Now you can pick up on their nuggest of wisdom by following them on Twitter.


Omaha Prepares For Inaugural Class At Straight Shot Accelerator

Straight Shot,Omaha startup, Jake Stutzman, Startup acceleratorOmaha Nebraska is no stranger to startups. Regional mega blog Silicon Prairie News is based there, and they’ve been holding the Big Omaha startup conference for the last five years. Earlier this month SPN welcomed even more startups to the Silicon Prairie with the announcement of the inaugural class of startups for the new cohort based accelerator program beginning July 8.

The accelerator has a focus on e-commerce with a variety of startups going through the first class. There are 14 founders in all and 7 startups. Four of the startups are from outside of Omaha and are starting to get settled in now before the fourth of July holiday.

According to SPN Hayneedle founder Mark Hasebroock is the brains behind Straight Shot.  In the early part of the new millennium Hasebroock helped found an online site to buy hammocks. He helped grow the company into Hayneedle, one of internets largest retailers of outdoor goods, decorative items and items for the home.

Hasebroock is now the Managing Partner for Dundee Venture Capital, the firm that’s backing Straight Shot. But Hasebroock didn’t want to just create a startup accelerator because it’s the in thing to do in 2013. He has set a goal of growing 100 viable companies throughout the next 10 years. Hasebroock is no stranger to the accelerator, he’s currently a mentor in 3 accelerators, The Brandery  in Cincinnati and Techstars Boulder and Chicago.

As with other accelerators, Straight Shot will be fueled by money, mentors and a mission to get the startups to an investible story by the end of the session. Local Omaha entrepreneurs are very excited about their newest entrepreneurial endeavor. Jake Stutzman the founder of a local design firm that specializes in startups, is serving as a mentor for this first class and told that he’s been scoping out the startups and has already started informally working with some of the startups that are local to Omaha.

The program runs from July 8th to October 3rd and will culminate with an investor demo day at the end of the session. Straight Shot received 367 applications for it’s very first class. Silicon Prairie News reports that these are the startups selected:

CardioSys (Omaha)

“CardioSys is still developing the full SaaS model,” Larson said.

CardioSys combines advanced mobile and wireless technologies along with predictive analytics in order to provide a real-time monitoring platform for patients with acute or chronic illnesses.

Crateful (Omaha)

“Crateful still has further product development but they actually have active DJs who are utilizing the product they’ve developed,” Larson said.

Crateful uses advanced audio and data analytics techniques to make tools that help music enthusiasts with their No. 1 problem: finding the best music for the moment.

BuyNow (Omaha)

“BuyNow is out pitching, they have a trademarked product and are in the middle of their sales campaign,” Larson said.

BuyNow is a mobile-commerce app that enables consumers to instantly purchase advertised products/services off of any multimedia ad by sending an SMS text message.

Huntforce (Louisville, Ken.)

“Huntforce is currently in the prototype phase for a hardware component that it’s developing,” Larson said.

With HuntForce, hunters can view, organize, manage and share photos of their property and game from their mobile devices.

Cosmic Cart (Durham, N.C.)

“Cosmic cart has signed up retailers, actually active publishers and has some commerce that’s being transacted,” Larson said.

Cosmic Cart adds convenience and security to online shopping by allowing users to add products into one shopping cart from anywhere online.

Cympel (pronounced “simple”) (Minneapolis, Minn.)

“Cympel has had pilot companies and is in final product development stages,” Larson said.

Cympel delivers interactive advertisements and the ability for a customer to immediately purchase the product without redirection.

Business Exchange (San Francisco, Calif.)

Through the Business Exchange platform, businesses can provide feedback, insight, recommendations, reviews and ratings to one another based on real-world transactions.

This startup conference is all about startups everywhere else. Do you have our ticket?


Columbus’ 10x Startup Accelerator Now Taking Applications For Fall 2013

10x accelerator, Columbus startup,startup accelerator, startup news

Columbus’ cohort-based startup accelerator, 10x, is gearing up for their 2013 fall session. The accelerator, started in 2011, has successfully accelerated startups like UFunded, Ribbon, and LaunchGram, which was acquired in February by Referly.

10x takes 10 startups for 10 weeks and seeds them with $20,000 in seed funding, office space, and a strong mentor network. The class will “graduate” at the end of 10 weeks with an investor day held in Columbus.

“Perhaps the greatest value teams will receive from the 10x program is the mentor network comprised of successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, VCs, and business veterans from the startup world,” Brooke Paul, Founder of Founders Factory and a director of the 10x program told “10x alums have effectively leveraged our mentor network for follow-on funding, access to customers, and more.”

10x’s mentor network includes people like Eric Corl, founder of Fundable, Ben Blanquera, founder of TechLife Columbus, and Mark Kvamme founder of Drive Capital. 27 startups have gone through the 10x program and have collectively raised over $9.4 million in follow on funding.

The next session begins September 4th and will run for 10 weeks. Startups interested in applying can use this application. The application deadline is July 14th.

Find out more about 10x here.


Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of ethernet, is speaking at this accelerator demo day in Chattanooga.


Michigan’s Newest Accelerator, Coolhouse Labs, Launches Tomorrow

jordanbreighnerMichigan’s new startup accelerator is launching its first cohort tomorrow. It’s not in Detroit, Pontiac, or even Ann Arbor.  The Coolhouse Labs accelerator is based in a resort town off Lake Michigan called Harbor Springs, the hometown of 27-year-old Jordan Breighner, co-founder and Managing Director of Coolhouse Labs.

Harbor Springs is a small town with under 2000 year-round residents. It was once a popular summer destination for autoworkers, the life bread of Michigan’s economy. Like many others, Breighner sees the path to improving an economy is through entrepreneurship and startups.

Although he has no “formal” entrepreneurial experience, Breighner has a diverse background, including a stint working for the Obama administration and going to college in Utah to become a ski racer. His vision, passion, and tenacity to get things done has helped him secure the seed investments for the first five teams in this first cohort. He’s also stocked his team with a Program Director, Resident Designer, and Resident Developer.  Breighner has also been able to attract a top notch advisory board.

Now, just four months after launching the idea, the first cohort is ready to move into Coolhouse Labs. Coolhouse has attracted teams from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Taiwan.  3 out of the 5 teams have a female co-founder, 3 out of the 5 teams have an international co-founder, and the average co-founder is traveling over 2700 miles to be part of Coolhouse Labs.

Here are the five teams.

Every Last Morsel – Every Last Morsel is a community marketplace for locally grown food – like an Etsy for small farms and backyard gardeners. It provides growers with web-based record-keeping tools and easy-to-use sales outlets that allow farms to focus on doing what they love: growing good food.

Lorious – Lorious is an online marketplace for expertise, where users can buy and sell one-on-one live video chat consulting services, at any time and from any location. Lorious empowers people to gain skills, from crafting to accounting, and to take ownership of their professional identities in response to this ever-changing economy.

Novi Times – Novi is aiming to redefine mobile news discovery through search. They have developed an editor-guided algorithm that helps users discover news through topics they want to follow.

QuickFixNow – QuickFixNow delivers fast and reliable home repair, connecting consumers with contractors on-demand through a mobile and web-based platform.

TRNK New York – TRNK New York is the online shopping destination for the discerning male who seeks an inspired and character-filled home.

Find out more about Coolhouse Labs here.


See what accelerator Drive Capital’s Mark Kvamme said was “One of the best outside Silicon Valley”