December 5th, 2012
Unwrapping the presents early: Portland Seed Fund launches six new startups, Winter 2012
Sometimes, you don’t have to wait until the holidays to get a glimpse at the latest and greatest technology. Today, the Portland Seed Fund—the accelerator program that focuses on funding and mentoring early stage Portland (and, apparently, Icelandic) startups—revealed the latest class of startups from their program.
Here are the companies in the order they pitched:
Brandlive provides a live video ecommerce solution has been growing nearly 200% year over year and has generated revenue every month since its founding. Think of it was a virtual storefront, where salespeople can interact with customers via video in real-time. Yes, I said “real time.” So sue me. They have worked with name brand customers like Corkers, Crock Pot, FoodSaver, Keen, Levi’s, Marmot, and Nordica.
How do they make money? They charge for use of their platform.
What do they need? Raising $1.5 million with $200,000 committed.
People need context for the information on the Web. Wikisway wants to provide that context by helping visualize how topics or people are connected. For example, did you know that the Portland Seed Fund is only a couple of steps away from Sergey Brin, the cofounder of Google? Neither did they. Until Wikisway showed them.
How do they make money? By charging for premium features.
What do they need?Raising $750,000 with $140,000 committed.
InGrid Solutions (@ingridsolutions)
InGrid Solutions is like Basecamp and Freshbooks for the contractors who work on construction projects. It was designed by contractors for contractors to provide specific CRM and bookkeeping functionality that those professionals require. And they tie directly into QuickBooks, if needed.
They’re starting with HVAC folks and planning to work with plumbers and electricians in the future.
How do they make money? They charge an annual subscription for the enterprise with additional charges for add-on features.
What do they need? Raising $500,000. No mention of existing commitments.
Mobilitus provides live entertainment promotion tools. And they just so happen to run mobile ticketing for a couple of little ticketing companies called Ticketmaster and LiveNation. Basically, the company is hoping to move beyond ticketing to enable customers to whatever entertainment products they want at the very moment they want them—be that tickets or albums or merch.
How do they make money? They take a percentage of sales.
What do they need? Raising $1 million to accelerate sales and marketing. No mention of investors who have already committed.
Remember when Sergey—who is connected to PSF—forced people to jump out of a blimp to show off Google Glass? Well, what good is a smart device like that without any apps to make it cooler? It’s not very good. And that’s why OnTheGo Platforms is building augmented reality platforms and applications for smart glasses like Google Glass.
Their first apps is Ghost Runner, a running app that creates the ability for runners to chase a virtual version of themselves in augmented reality. Bringing video game competition into the real world.
How do they make money? While it wasn’t expressly stated, I assume they make money through app sales.
What do they need? Raising $600,000 with $135,000 committed.
In a world where word of mouth is king, how do corporations do a better job of managing that channel? Well, that’s what Tellagence is hoping to answer by providing technology that predicte how information moves across any network. It’s like Web analysis and tracking for social media. And they don’t care about how many friends and followers you have; they care about subject matter expertise.
Not only can Tellagence help you visualize what conversations are happening right now, they can tell you where you should focus in the future. By predicting where the conversation will go.
How do they make money? Monthly subscription beginning at $750/mo and going up with more subjects and foci.
What do they need? Raising $6 million in Series B financing.
What about the pitch from Portland Seed Fund (@pdxseedfund)?
Why should demo days only be about startup pitches? What about the startups that help startups? PSF gave us their own pitch—because they’re in the midst of raising Portland Seed Fund II.
So, with three classes under its belt, what sort of impact has Portland Seed Fund had? Well, a meaningful one, to be sure. PSF has invested more than $800,000 in Portland area startups, which has resulted in 125 jobs, $18 million in venture capital raised, and one successful exit.
Not bad at all.
Interested in being a startup in the next PSF class?
PSF class three may be over, but recruiting class four is already well underway. And if you think your startup has what it takes, you can apply to be part of the program. Applications close January 7. So I can guess how you’ll be spending your holidays.
For more information on participating, either as a startup or an investor, visit Portland Seed Fund.