Starting with $20,000, five participants in 757 Accelerate’s first program raked in close to $2 million in total funding, according to a new impact report by the startup accelerator. The program also helped the new companies find their footing and scale up as they pitched to investors, participants said.
OccasionGenius: Enhancing Customer Experience Through Data-Powered Event Discovery | Analytics Insight
OccasionGenius is an event discovery technology company. In an interview for Most Innovative Big Data Analytics Companies, Nate Marcus tells how the company helps to connect individuals to events that they care about, before they happen using the Personalized Interest Genome™.
The food service industry is a main artery in the U.S., pumping $800 billion through the economy every year and employing more than 15 million workers. One of those was native Richmonder Duncan Parker, who is now the founder and CEO of Dine Inc., a technology startup aiming to improve the way restaurants operate.
How much of a pipette has to be reused to majorly cut down on plastic lab waste? Turns out, just the tip. That’s what Ali Safavi, founder of green tech startup Grenova, discovered when he entered the field of biological engineering as a young professional. Plastic was everywhere.
Employees are quitting their jobs at an alarming rate. The Society for Human Resource Management recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that employee attrition hit an all-time high in 2018. Every month last year, American workers voluntarily boxed up their desks and walked out.
Nine startups chosen for summer Lighthouse Labs business accelerator, focusing on Virginia college grads
Nine startup businesses have been selected to participate in the summer cohort of Lighthouse Labs, a Richmond-based nonprofit that provides mentoring and equity-free funding for entrepreneurs. More than 120 startups applied to participate in the summer program, which starts May 28 and focuses on startups that have at least one founder or co-founder who have graduated since 2014 from a two- or four-year college or university in Virginia.
Some startup founders are fairly inexperienced when they create their ventures, but not Unni Kirandumkara, who brought 25 years of experience working in the data management industry to his venture. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Kirandumkara had worked on some big data management projects as a contractor for the federal government, including one project that involved bringing about 230 million documents for the U.S.
Investors recently put $5.1 million into Roundtrip, a technology startup company with offices in Richmond and Philadelphia. The latest investment round follows $1.8 million in seed money raised in March 2018 for Roundtrip, which developed a computer software platform that enables health care providers to book rides for patients to and from medical appointments, helping to reduce costly “no shows” at medical appointments.
Old City’s Roundtrip, makers of an on-demand transportation platform for the healthcare space, announced Wednesday it closed a $5.14 million Series A. The company aims to double its staff of 26, currently split between Philadelphia and Richmond, Va., with the money. The funding will also let the company enhance its software capabilities.
Startup that created a device to help premature infants get out of the hospital sooner won the top award at SCORECard Pitch event
A startup business founded by four Virginia Commonwealth University students to help premature infants get out of the hospital sooner won the top award at the 2019 SCORECard Business Pitch competition in Richmond on Tuesday. Out of five startup companies that made pitches to a panel of judges, Kilo Medical Solutions LLC emerged as the $5,000 winner.
April has been far from quiet for Richmond-area startups and tech companies, but not an awful lot of money changed hands in the region. A trio of funding deals, led by AllyAlign Health’s eight-digit haul, collected a total of $15 million.
As might be expected, a Richmond insurance startup is covering all of its bases this summer prior to its launch in 10 states. One of only 10 companies nationwide selected for the inaugural class of the MetLife Digital Accelerator carried out in partnership with Techstars, Buddy, described by its founders as a “new type of insurance,” is soaking up all of the advice and guidance it can get.
A local insurance startup aimed at outdoor enthusiasts is gradually making its way east as it plans a launch in its home state. Shockoe Bottom-based Buddy recently went live in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Colorado, selling episodic accident insurance to people who need additional coverage for certain recreational excursions.
In the startup world, it’s known as a “pivot.” It happens when the founder of a startup company realizes the original business model isn’t quite working, but tweaking it and going in a different direction might.
Startup Spotlight: In a ‘growth phase,’ Richmond-based Grenova has opened a new office and production plant
It’s taken some time, but the startup business that Ali Safavi founded in 2014 with a mission of reducing plastic waste in laboratories is gaining traction. “We are in a growth phase now,” said Safavi, the CEO of Grenova. “That is one of the reasons we’ve moved to a new facility – to be able to scale up our manufacturing.”
Casey Boutwell, an NC State alumnus and former employee, and his startup company took home $25,000 in funding for winning first place in the Daugherty Track of the Lulu eGames. He earned his MBA from NC State’s Poole College of Management in 2016 while working for the university.
Most founders will say it’s near impossible to launch and quickly scale a company without outside financing. Venture capital can help in a big way, providing cash to hire dozens of people and launch national marketing campaigns.
Katherine Wintsch founded her Richmond-based The Mom Complex consulting firm in 2010 to help businesses do a better job making products and services that meet the needs of mothers. Now, with her new book, she’s trying to help mothers be more confident and happier with themselves.
Paige Wilson wants all of Richmond to become “Nabors.” And her innovative startup, appropriately named Naborforce, couldn’t have come at a better time to make this happen. An aging baby boomer population means that for the first time in U.S. history older adults will outnumber children.
Being an entrepreneur is often a learn-as-you-go experience, and that’s been especially true for Bella Weinstein, the founder of workwear company Handyma’am Goods. “I very much went to the school of hard knocks and made a lot of mistakes, but that is how I prefer to do things – just dive in and ask as many questions as I can,” said Weinstein, a former hairdresser who founded Handyma’am in 2014.
Nearly three years after its initial launch, Dippy is shaking up the quick-service food industry. Developed by Richmond-based entrepreneurs Evan Rallis and Mike McCabe, Dippy is a mobile web and text messaging platform that drives customer engagement for businesses by increasing app downloads and loyalty program signups.
The Chesterfield County-based tech company OccasionGenius has completed a $2.15 million investment round that will enable the company to roll out its “event discovery” service to more customers. “Essentially, this is kind of like us coming out of stealth mode,” said OccasionGenius co-founder and CEO Nate Marcus, who describes the company as an “event discovery technology company.”
Amber Manry has collected a stack of notes that she received from school children about her cartoon called Bitcubs. A handwritten note penned by one child says: “I can teach my dad what coding is, thanks to you.” Manry chuckles at the note, which is charming but also revealing.
Richmond startup OccasionGenius has closed its seed round with $2.15 million in fresh funding. The company’s platform, used by hotels and other hospitality providers, coalesces event data and informs people of things to do around town. The seed funding, confirmed by founder Nate Marcus, was led by Richmond’s CVA Angels with an $800,000 investment and included participation from Virginia Beach-based 757 Angels, among others.
Young biotech companies born in Richmond took home the top two spots at a recent pitch competition in Danville, Va. After receiving nearly 100 applications, The Launch Place, a consulting and investment group, hosted 20 competitors onstage to present their startups to a panel of judges for the IdeaFest Pitch Competition.
As it pivots its business model, a well-funded Richmond startup has sold part of itself to another local operator. OccasionGenius, which launched in 2015 as PartyRVA, has sold its event marketplace technology to Mike Murphy, Mark Jones, Joe Doran and Nick Jones, who are keeping the service going as EventZingo.
Microgreens are sprouted plants harvested in the seedling stage, often used by chefs as a garnish providing aroma, subtle flavors and a pop of fresh color, but the herbaceous confetti is typically pushed to the side of the plate.
On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, students in the NextUp after-school program at Lucille Brown Middle School in Richmond gather in a classroom to make music. There are no trumpets or drums or pianos in this music class – at least not the traditional kind of instruments.
Startup Spotlight: Fringe has built an online marketplace for employers to provide ‘a Christmas morning’ of benefits
Health coverage, life insurance and a retirement plan are all important parts of the benefit packages that people have come to expect from their employers. When it comes to attracting and retaining talented employees, though, fringe benefits also can make a big difference.
A young local startup has dropped some coin to acquire a fellow cryptocurrency firm. Coin Savage, a Shockoe Bottom-based cryptocurrency financial services startup, has acquired Vite.Money, a D.C.-based crypto company. The deal closed in mid-February, Coin Savage co-founder Andrew Elliott said. Terms were not disclosed.
It isn’t easy to imagine what a house, an office building, a sports stadium or a new museum wing will look like based on architectural plans alone. Give a two-dimensional design document to Adam Hugo and Nate Llewellyn, though, and they’ll turn it into a stunningly realistic three-dimensional rendering of a planned building.
This is what the American dream looks like. A tiny office stacked high with cardboard boxes (S, M, L). Molded foot models, spools of yarn. A whiteboard scrawled with a quote from Leonardo da Vinci: “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”
A local grocery and produce delivery company is laying seeds to expand north. Seasonal Roots, which describes itself as an online farmers market selling and delivering local produce, milk, bread and more, is expanding into Maryland and the D.C. suburbs.
From a car washer in third grade and homemade wallet salesman in middle school to social media consultant in college, John Failla has always been an entrepreneur. “I always had a new venture in mind,” John said. So, when he found he had some time during his senior year at University of Richmond, John was onto his next idea.
The Tech Tribune staff has compiled the very best tech startups in Richmond, Virginia. In doing our research, we considered several factors including but not limited to: Revenue potential Leadership team Brand/product traction Competitive landscape Additionally, all companies must be independent (u…
A Richmond-based startup company that offers online insurance quotes has raised $663,000 in financing. Merlinio Technologies LLC raised the debt and options financing from nine investors, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, founded in 2016, designed a mobile app to help people more quickly and easily get automobile insurance quotes.
Toward the end of his freshman year of college at the University of Virginia, Shreejan Gupta applied for a bunch of summer internships. “I didn’t hear back from any of them,” said Gupta, expressing the same frustration heard from many college students who haven’t had time to build up a résumé yet.
New Year’s resolutions are easy to make and hard to keep. Chris Dawson and Scott Waletzko have a startup business whose mission is to help people remain persistent and focused on whatever personal and professional goals they’ve set.
A teacher would never dream of giving students 10 months of assignments and then offer feedback two to three times during the year. But when many U.S. educators first take up their position in front of the blackboard, that’s the scenario they face.
Chesterfield-based tech company OccasionGenius raised more than $1 million in latest investment round
Chesterfield County-based tech company OccasionGenius raised just over $1 million in a recent investment round. The company raised $1.05 million from 15 investors, according to a filing on Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The regulatory filing said this was a new notice and that the date of the first sale was Dec.
Richmond-based travel software startup OccasionGenius has hauled in at least $1 million in equity funding in an ongoing round, according to SEC filings. The company’s platform, used by hotels and other hospitality providers, coalesces event data and informs people of things to do around town.
Portland, Oregon, is well-known for being the home of major brands including Columbia and Nike. Now Richmond may be taking some small steps in that direction. Rider Boot Shop and Stegmann Clogs have been quietly pushing their shoes out all around the globe from the region for a while.
Vincent Vu knows that every race is won by simply putting one foot in front of the other. This December, the Richmond entrepreneur crossed his first major finish line when his barefoot training startup, Kinis, released the Nomad 804, a minimalistic “shoe” for indoor exercise that offers wearers as close to the barefoot experience as you can get without actually letting your naked soles touch the gym floor.
When Steve Van Dam first developed the ORO Visual Music app more than two years ago, he didn’t realize that it would ultimately transform music education for children with autism and other special needs. Van Dam, a former member of the ’90s rock band Everything, initially launched ORO with his partner, Craig Honeycutt, for entertainment purposes.
Startup Spotlight: Tridster focuses on providing more information on the home title insurance process
William DeVar assumed buying a house in Richmond would be relatively simple when he and his family moved here in the summer of 2016 to start a real estate-related business. “When I moved to Richmond, I had been working for [a mortgage originator] for a few years and thought I would breeze through the transaction, finding the best providers at the lowest costs,” DeVar recalled.
Three Richmond-area startup companies have recently raised significant investments. Chesterfield County-based tech company OccasionGenius raised $520,000 in an investment round in October, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company’s cofounder and CEO said that investment was in addition to a similar funding round in 2017.
As ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to plow into the market share of the taxicab service industry, they have left corners of the personal mobility space open and exposed to competitors. One such competitor is UZURV, an adaptive transportation network company (TNC) that provides door-to-door transportation- as opposed to curb-to-curb service – for disabled, elderly and non-emergency medical riders.
Are protein-rich sunflower sprouts the next super food? The folks at Richmond-based SSUPP Foods want it to be so. SSUPP, which stands for Sustainable Sunflower Urban Plant Powered, is developing a line of refrigerated dips and spreads based on micro sunflower greens – the first two leaves of a sunflower plant.
What began as an idea in Afton has evolved into a local startup that’s attracted world-famous musicians as clients and caught the ear of Richmond investors. Digital ReLab, a company with offices in Richmond and Charlottesville that makes digital asset management software to archive things such as musical recordings, in recent weeks scored an investment round from local venture capital fund Trolley Ventures.
— submitted by SVA / January 2019
Startup that created an ingredient comparison app wins annual Lighthouse Labs business pitch competition
A startup company with an app that gives shoppers quick and accurate quality and ingredient comparisons between name-brand and generic products won first place in the annual Lighthouse Labs startup business pitch competition Thursday. Brandefy, which was founded in Charlottesville but now calls Richmond home, emerged from among seven startup competitors to take the $5,000 top prize.
— submitted by SVA / January 2019
November 9, 2018 It is with great enthusiasm that RoundTrip announces it will provide services to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the largest research hospital in America. RoundTrip will be implementing its secure software platform for hospital staff to access rideshare through RoundTrip’s nationwide partnership with Lyft.
Startup Spotlight: Dippy, which offers restaurant deals sent to mobile phones, is expanding into new markets
About two years after it was founded, the Richmond startup company Dippy is on the verge of some significant expansion. Created by 20-something entrepreneurs Evan Rallis and Mike McCabe, Dippy is a mobile marketing company that enables local businesses to send special deals directly to customers’ mobile phones.
It is almost surreal to think about the technology students have in their hands now compared to even ten years ago. It wasn’t long ago that students were passing notes in class, using calculators to write secret messages to each other, or opening up Paint on the school computer rather than focusing on their typing lessons.
Paige Wilson likes to say that her startup company Naborforce is “inspired by Joy.” It’s a slogan that honors her mother, Joy. “She was a vibrant woman,” Wilson said. Though she was widowed twice, Joy worked hard and raised two children. “She was something of a consummate entrepreneur herself,” said Wilson, who grew up in Midlothian.
Three years in, PivotPass is at a tipping point. The app, co-founded by self-described “life partners” April Palmer and Brig Leland II, recently inked deals with Apex Clean Energy and the Martin Agency, boosting its usage and raising its profile in the Central Virginia tech ecosystem.
Maybe it’s the high-rated public school system. Maybe it’s the great universities. Maybe it’s the water. Whatever it is, something in Richmond’s soil is perfect for growing edtech startups. The area has given rise to a wealth of fast-growing companies focused on education, many of which are just getting started on their best school year to date.
This is what you might call a feel-good issue. First off, people usually feel good when they win awards – especially when they’re deserved. And in this issue, we pick from hundreds of nominations, plus a few of our own suggestions, 40 local people younger than 40 who impressed us in some way with their focus, determination and hard work for the betterment of Richmond, whether through their job, volunteer work, or often both.
Trolley Ventures invests in Virginia startup company that helps digitize the archives of Bob Dylan, Billy Joel and others
Trolley Ventures, an investment fund created in 2017 to back promising, early-stage business ventures in central Virginia, has made its third investment. Trolley announced Monday it had invested in Digital ReLab, a company specializing in digital asset management software. Digital ReLab has offices in Afton and Richmond.
Since its founding in 2015, the career exploration platform MajorClarity has become one of the most recognized household names in the Richmond startup ecosystem. Richmonders might recall the edtech company’s founder and CEO Joe Belsterling as a mentor at Startup Virginia, a top graduate of the accelerator Lighthouse Labs, or most recently, featured in Richmond Inno’s own 25 Under 25 list.
Startup Spotlight: ReRunner looks to grow business that’s all about “letting go” of un-needed purchases
Most people consider returning unwanted items to a retail store an inconvenience at best, or an annoying loss of time at worst. “I love returning things,” said Abubaker, a Richmond resident and the founder of a startup company, ReRunner, that is seeking to capitalize on Americans’ penchant for retail returns.
Vincent Vu often can be seen walking around the Startup Virginia business incubator in downtown Richmond wearing what, at first glance, appears to be socks and no shoes. The “socks” are in fact a special kind of footwear, a sort of hybrid between socks and shoes which Vu, an avid athlete, designed himself to help alleviate the foot and knee pain he once suffered during his frequent exercise routines.
One of the best ways to gauge the potential of a tech ecosystem is to take a look at a region’s youngest entrepreneurs. From the hallways of Richmond high schools to universities, coworking spaces and incubators, the newest generation entering the workforce has more startup resources than ever – and is making good use of them.
Like a lot of startup businesses, PivotPass has learned to do some pivoting of its own when the marketplace demands it. The company, founded in December 2015 by fitness enthusiasts April Palmer and Brig Leland II, has a mission to improve wellness.
As the U.S. prepares to grapple with the “silver tsunami,” a term used to describe the wave of baby boomers in or entering retirement, one Richmond startup is looking close to home to meet this group’s emerging needs.
Startup Spotlight: RoundTrip offers healthcare providers tools to book rides for patients, reducing no-show costs
Getting transportation to and from medical appointments can be a problem for some people, and a costly one for the healthcare system. “One of the biggest costs for a hospital or health system is when a patient does not show up to an appointment,” said Ankit Mathur, the co-founder and chief technology officer of RoundTrip, a startup company that is trying to offer a solution.
After almost three years of quietly putting down roots, an online platform that aims to help individuals organize their thoughts and embrace personal growth is beginning to branch out. This fall, Maple, which has been operating under the radar during an extensive buildout, is rolling out a new version called Maple Pro and starting to aggressively take its product into the public sphere.
Two Richmond startup companies have been selected for the inaugural class of MetLife Digital Accelerator. AnswersNow and Buddy Technology Inc. are among the 10 companies selected to participate in the accelerator that is based at MetLife’s Global Technology campus in Cary, N.C., in partnership with Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed.
A year-old local restaurant-tech startup is putting in an order for a big helping of cash. DineGigs, which went live in 2017 with a job board and software offerings for the food service industry, last month opened a $5 million equity capital raise.
After ditching his sneakers, a local architect-turned-entrepreneur is launching a startup he hopes will gain traction in the shoeless running market. Vincent Vu last month went live with Kinis, a Shockoe Bottom-based athletic apparel brand that makes rubber-soled socks for indoor workouts.
Startup Spotlight: Iconic iD offers technology to help emergency responders access medical and contact information
Duane Stafford was inspired to create his startup business, Iconic iD, when he learned that there is no standard system for emergency first responders to obtain vital information about people who have been in an accident or who are suffering medical emergencies and cannot communicate.
Through their startup company AnswersNow, Jeff Beck, John Curd and Adam Dreyfus are trying to help parents of children with autism get answers when they need them.
Life is busy, and making it to a community fundraiser at a restaurant on a weeknight right after work doesn’t always fit into the schedule. What if you could just purchase a restaurant e-gift card and still donate (and eat), but on your own time?