RVI MONTHLY MEETING LINEUP FOR MAY 17TH

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 5/17, 8:00am, offices of TechSpring) included two presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • NextShift Robotics - Meets the demands of the exploding e-commerce order fulfillment market. Their mobile robotic order fulfillment system provides up to eight times faster picking than traditional methods in warehouses and distribution centers. The company is based in Andover, MA.
  • New England Breath Technologies - A disruptive patented nanotechnology resulting in a non-invasive method of glucose monitoring for improved outcomes in diabetes management. This is a Valley Venture Mentors company which is locally based.

Returning RVI Sponsor: Mark LoBello from BNY Mellon

We are pleased to welcome Mark LoBello and BNY Mellon back as a River Valley Investors sponsor.

RVI Sponsor Mark LoBello of BNY Mellon

RVI Sponsor Mark LoBello of BNY Mellon

About Mark LoBello: Mark is a Senior Director for BNY Mellon Wealth Management and has been with the firm for over 12 years. He specializes in working with high net worth individuals and families, as well as endowments and foundations. In addition to helping oversee business development for the New England region, Mark coordinates the delivery of investment management, estate and tax planning services, and private banking services on behalf of clients. Prior to joining BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Mark was a Financial Advisor with Baystate Financial. Mark holds a BS in Business Administration from Georgetown University.


About BNY Mellon: BNY Mellon Wealth Management is a leading wealth manager, and was named in 2015 by Family Wealth Report as the top National Private Asset Manager and top Private Bank serving Family Offices. Barron's ranked it the 7th largest U.S. wealth manager in 2015. The firm has more than two centuries of experience in providing services to clients who today include financially successful individuals and their families, their family offices and business enterprises, planned giving programs, and endowments and foundations. It has $191.8 billion in private client assets as of December 31, 2015, and an extensive network of offices in the U.S. and internationally. BNY Mellon Wealth Management, which provides investment management, custody, wealth and estate planning and private banking services, conducts business through various operating subsidiaries of the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

 

RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for March 15th

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 3/15, 8:00am, offices of TechSpring) included two presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • SingleWorks - A hybrid online and live community composed of adult single men and women interested in making valuable connections that lead to relationships and friendships through personal interaction and mutual experiences both online and at live events. The company is based in Colorado.
  • Dookans - Makes it easier for people to find, order from, and pay mobile food vendors by leveraging mobile technologies. This is a Boston-area company.

Kalion and KnipBio Join the River Valley Investors Portfolio

Springfield MA: Western Massachusetts angel investor network River Valley Investors (RVI) has completed two new investments in Massachusetts-based startups KnipBio and Kalion during the first quarter of 2017. 

KnipBio has developed a series of naturally occurring microbes that convert low-cost feedstock into premium, nutritious, single-cell proteins laden with pigment-enhancing carotenoids to produce healthier, more vibrant fish. The company was recently selected as one of ten finalists in the Netherlands-based Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge, which aims to kick-start breakthrough innovations “that CANNOT wait” to be brought to market. River Valley Investors is a syndicate in KnipBio’s Series B funding round of up to $2 million. 

"This funding will enable us to demonstrate viability of our microbial derived protein at commercial scale manufacturing. We will be working with selected manufacturing partners to leverage existing fermentation assets to execute our capital-light strategy,” said Larry Feinberg, co-founder and CEO of KnipBio.

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RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for February 15th

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 2/15, 8:00am, offices of MassLive) included two presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Relativity6 - Reactivates unresponsive customers with machine learning. A Boston-area based company.
  • Evelo - Making cycling more accessible to more people, while also reinventing the inefficient and antiquated traditional bike distribution channels. Also a Boston-area based company.

Welcoming New RVI Member: Jim Geisman

We are pleased to welcome Jim Geisman as RVI's newest member.

Jim Geisman, new RVI member

Jim Geisman, new RVI member

Jim Geisman is Founder/President of Software Pricing Partners, a pricing consultancy. The firm helps its technology clients realize greater value from the products they sell and the people that sell them by doing value-driven pricing, communicating ROI value through value-based selling, and managing discounts. Software Pricing Partners has worked with clients from N. America, Europe and Japan since its start in 1982. The firm's website is www.softwarepricing.com.

Jim has been a co-founder, director, advisor or mentor to early stage companies and has helped raise more than $25M in equity in various ventures. He spent 24 years as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Professional Pricing Society.

In the past, Jim was the first Director of Marketing at Apollo Computer, the first successful workstation company. He also worked at the company that developed the ARPANET (the precursor to the Internet) and did the original network testing when there were four nodes. He has also been Editor of Software Success, a newsletter for software company CEOs and a Member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Start-Up Clinic at the MIT Enterprise Forum. Jim is based in Greenfield. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for January 18th

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 1/18, 8:00am, offices of MassLive) included three presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Mobility Designed - Redefining mobility through its worldwide patent pending device, the M+D Crutch, as well as a complete line of Personal Assistive Mobility Devices. The company is based in Kansas City.
  • SnoopWall - Stops breaches for those who need it most – Small to Medium Size Enterprises (SME’s) who make up over 80% of global GDP, yet cannot afford high end information security solutions.
  • Mirivan/Moozi - An RVI portfolio company that sells a product which makes fresh baby formula bottles in one minute.

RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for December 21st

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 12/21, 8:00am, offices of MassLive) included one presentation to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Kalion - an early stage industrial biotech company producing high purity glucaric acid for pharma.

A followup presentation was made by KnipBio, a company that enables sustainable aquaculture through biotechnology. KnipBio is in syndication, and presented at the most recent regional ACA meeting in Boston.

Local Investors help start-up succeed, receive significant return

Local investors are celebrating as one of the startups they backed in 2014, Boston Logic, has succeeded and more than tripled every dollar invested.

“We are at an exciting time in our history and well positioned to expand in ways that further propel our customers as technology leaders,” said Boston Logic founder & CEO David Friedman.

Boston Logic provides real estate brokerages with software, marketing and design solutions that make them technological leaders in their marketplace. 

Western Mass. natives met Boston Logic because of their membership in River Valley Investors, the region’s largest network of angel investors. River Valley Investors is comprised of local entrepreneurs and business executives with the shared goal of funding start-ups.   

“Start-ups need people willing to take a chance and invest in them when no bank or traditional funder can.  That is where angel investor networks like the River Valley Investors come in,” said Paul Silva, Manager of the River Valley Investors.  “Working together helps angel investors find, vet, and profitably invest in the rare startups like Boston Logic that can succeed and generate a substantial financial return.”

About Boston Logic: 

Boston Logic is an on-demand, software-as-a-service company designed exclusively to empower real estate brokerages to become technology leaders. 
www.bostonlogic.com.

About River Valley Investors:

River Valley Investors (RVI) is Western Massachusetts' angel investor network, including successful entrepreneurs and executives dedicated to helping each other find, evaluate and profitably invest in exciting companies with significant growth potential.  
www.rivervalleyinvestors.com.

Libboo Joins the River Valley Investors Portfolio

Springfield MA: Western Massachusetts angel investor network River Valley Investors (RVI) has completed a new investment in Boston-area startup Libboo during the third quarter of 2016. Libboo offers a hosted giveaway platform called instaFreebie, and has established themselves as publishing’s leader in direct-to-consumer marketing.

Libboo’s mission with the instaFreebie platform is to "accelerate great stories and big ideas. As the book world’s leading platform for exclusive access to sneak peeks, advance previews, and special giveaways, we live our mission every day and give readers a chance to See It First."

Thus far, the effort has been a success. Jennifer Loiske, author of Club Number Five, commented last week:

“I’ve used instaFreebie quite a while now and have nothing but good things to say. It’s an excellent tool to get new subscribers but also a great way to reward the loyal readers. [...] you can give ARCs, new releases or whatever you like to the ones already in your mailing list. Happy readers, loyal customers. :)”

Indies Unlimited, “instaFreebie Offers Authors a Chance to Build Mailing Lists, Find Fans

RVI is the region’s premier angel investor group, investing in potentially high-growth start-up companies in and beyond the region.

 

About Libboo:

Libboo is publishing’s leader in direct-to-consumer marketing through their hosted giveaway platform, instaFreebie. http://instafreebie.com/.

About River Valley Investors:

River Valley Investors (RVI) is Western Massachusetts's angel investor network, including successful entrepreneurs and executives dedicated to helping each other find, evaluate, and profitably invest in exciting companies with significant growth potential.  www.rivervalleyinvestors.com.

New RVI Member: Stephanie Connors

We are pleased to welcome Stephanie Connors as River Valley Investors' newest member.

Stephanie Connors, new RVI Member

Stephanie Connors, new RVI Member

Stephanie Connors brings over 30 years of real estate experience to RVI. As a partner with KW Commercial Real Estate, Stephanie works with small and large business owners to find an ideal location for their business and negotiate favorable terms. 

Stephanie is knowledgeable about commercial sales/leasing, residential seller and buyer representation, and marketing. Prior to joining KW, she spent 20 years in real estate marketing with Murphy's Real Estate.

Stephanie studied at Ricker College in Maine, and volunteers for Operation Christmas Child, sending gifts in shoeboxes to children around the world.

RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for October 19th

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday, 8:00am, offices of MassLive included two presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • KnipBio - enables sustainable aquaculture through biotechnology. KnipBio is in syndication, and presented at the most recent regional ACA meeting in Boston.

  • ZoneFlow Reactor Technologies - poised to revolutionize the production of hydrogen for essential industrial processes. ZoneFlow is a RVI portfolio company, and is currently raising another round.

One additional presentation was made by a new RVI Portfolio company:

  • Cambridge Blockchain - puts control of personal identity data back in the hands of the end user. Cambridge Blockchain is a new RVI portfolio company, and will be offering the group an update on their progress.

Wishing the best for Joe Gensheimer in Denver, Colorado!

Joe Gensheimer, photo courtesy of Click Workspace

Joe Gensheimer, photo courtesy of Click Workspace

River Valley Investor chairman emeritus, Joe Gensheimer, has been recruited to the startup scene in Denver, Colorado.   

Joe has been a part of River Valley Investors and the western Massachusetts angel investment community since 2011. The angel group saw growth in both its membership base and investment portfolio over its years under Joe’s leadership.

Joe has been a leader in the local entrepreneurship community for over five years. He was among the first 50 dedicated volunteers mentoring local early-stage startups as a part of Valley Venture Mentors (VVM). Since Joe joined VVM in January of 2012, the organization has grown to be one of the largest accelerator programs in the country, mentoring startups from all over the world.

In addition to his involvement in the Pioneer Valley, Joe has been a mentor for world-renowned entrepreneurship organizations such as MassChallenge in Boston, MA and Techstars in Boulder, CO. But he has always asserted that the Pioneer Valley entrepreneurship community is unique in it’s warmth, affection and dedication to the entrepreneurs it serves.

RVI wishes Joe all the best in his future adventures in Colorado.

New RVI Members: Roman Radkovets and Philip Silva

We are pleased to welcome Roman Radkovets and Philip Silva as River Valley Investors' newest members.

Roman Radkovets, new RVI member

Roman Radkovets, new RVI member

Roman Radkovets is the President and Founder of Proton Energy Group, a premier energy brokerage and consulting firm that focuses on managing the process of energy procurement while striving to reach an ideal balance between client's risk tolerance and their desire to lower energy costs.

Prior to Proton Energy Group, Roman was the CEO of Whats Up and Where.com, a marketing company which helped clients increase internet exposure and social media presence. Roman was a Sales Manager for Honda and Lexus, and has extensive sales experience.

Roman is an active mentor at Valley Venture Mentors, a member of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Springfield, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, and the SCCA New England region.

Philip Silva, new RVI member

Philip Silva, new RVI member

Philip Silva’s work is focused on revitalizing existing large-scale affordable housing apartment complexes across the country. Since 2011 he has run the Green Wall Group LLC and before that worked with Recap Real Estate Advisors in Boston.

Philip works closely with for-profit, non-profit, and government owners of the affordable properties to help them structure financial transactions. He typically works with owners either buying new properties or with current owners interested in structuring preservation transactions bringing in resources such as LIHTC to fund needed renovations and keep properties affordable for many years to come. His focus is mainly on the remaining stock of federally subsidize properties with project based Section 8 which is the core of the nation’s affordable housing stock, but since no more is being made, must be preserved. He has been involved in closing over 100 transactions and has sourced more than $1.5B in debt. In 2009 he helped originate and close the $513m refinancing loan of Starrett City in NY, the national largest federally assisted affordable housing property with over 14,000 residents.

Philip received his BBA from the Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a focus on Accounting and Economics. He is pleased to be back in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys living in the middle of the woods in Sunderland, MA with his wife and two young children.

 

RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for September 21st

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday, 8:00am, offices of MassLive) included three presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Name Net Worth - a connective platform that leverages trusted relationships, to measure and strengthen your professional networks.
  • Concentric - provides simulation software to CMO's and their teams to create better strategies faster and more affordably than using consultants.
  • SystemOne - has built and is growing a software-based Internet-of-Things of medical diagnostic devices in developing countries.

 

River Valley Investors Awards Pre-Seed Funding to Tursus Software

Springfield MA: Western Massachusetts angel investor network River Valley Investors (RVI) has awarded pre-seed funding to Tursus Software, Inc., a local point-of-sale mobile software start-up.  

Local entrepreneur Daniel Nelson is founder and CEO of Tursus Software. The company, which develops innovative back-office solutions for the point-of-sale industry, graduated from Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator program in 2015. Paul Silva, Executive Director of Valley Venture Mentors, stated, “Startups at the pre-seed level often have nowhere to turn for initial investment support for their businesses. We hope RVI’s investment in Tursus will be the first of many pre-seed funding efforts, as it helps fill gaps in the funding landscape of Western Massachusetts.”

RVI is the region’s premier angel investor group, investing in potentially high-growth start-up companies in and beyond the region.

About Tursus Software: 
Northampton MA-based Tursus Software provides mobile point-of-sale software technology for businesses. www.tursus.com.

About River Valley Investors
River Valley Investors (RVI) is Western Massachusetts's angel investor network, including successful entrepreneurs and executives dedicated to helping each other find, evaluate, and profitably invest in exciting companies with significant growth potential.  www.rivervalleyinvestors.com.


Media inquiries:

Marcie Muehike for River Valley Investors
marcie.muehlke@angelcatalyst.com
(978) 302-6564

RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for July 20th

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday, 8:45am, offices of MassLive) included three presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Prophit Insight - Helps hospitals to keep the profitable patient and physician relationships that are best for them. A Valley Venture Mentors alum company.
  • Nanotech Galaxy - Healthcare analytics powered by medical images. Also a Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator alum company.
  • InstaFreebie - Having first-mover advantage, this company is publishing's leaders in direct-to-consumer marketing through instaFreebie, their hosted giveaway platform.

Two New Closes at River Valley Investors

Springfield, MA: Western Massachusetts angel investor network River Valley Investors (RVI) has completed two investments in Boston-area startups during the first quarter of 2016. The startups include a consumer appliances company (Miravan) and a fintech company (Cambridge Blockchain).

Miravan designs smart and simple infant and childcare products. The flagship product, Moozi, sets out to become the “Keurig of Baby Formula,” offering parents a quick and easy way to prepare formula bottles. Miravan’s founder Miriam Kutcher is a working mom, and she writes that, “Until now, there has not been a simple, convenient and affordable solution to tackle the multi-step challenges of formula feeding.” Miriam has assembled a “Moozi Mom Board,” an advisory group of mothers, to provide ongoing insights, feedback and recommendations to the company.

Cambridge Blockchain offers proprietary software stack that has the potential to dramatically strengthen identity verification tools. Earlier this year, the company won the Distributed Ledger (DL) Challenge, which included a $15,000 cash prize.

RVI is the region’s premier angel investor group, investing in potentially high-growth start-up companies in and beyond the region.

About Miravan LLC:

Based in Holliston, Mass., Miravan, LLC designs and engineers quality products for parents and caregivers. http://moozibaby-com.myshopify.com/.

About Cambridge Blockchain:

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Cambridge Blockchain sells proprietary software stack designed for the real-world requirements shared by many "enterprise blockchain" applications. http://cambridge-blockchain.com

About River Valley Investors:

River Valley Investors (RVI) is Western Massachusetts's angel investor network, including successful entrepreneurs and executives dedicated to helping each other find, evaluate, and profitably invest in exciting companies with significant growth potential.  www.rivervalleyinvestors.com.

PRE-SEED DEMO DAY EVENT LINEUP (JUNE 15TH)

RVI's June 15th meeting was replaced with a Pre-Seed Demo Day Event at Valley Venture Mentors (Wednesday June 15th, 4pm, offices of Valley Venture Mentors). The event included included ten presentations:

  • AnyCafe - AnyCafé provides those living an on-the-go lifestyle with a coffee maker in the palm of their hand.
  • GovBizConnect - GovBizConnect is the Match.com for government contracting professionals.

  • Lioness - Lioness is the premiere resource for female entrepreneurs. We give women the latest news, tools and resources to launch and scale startups.

  • Name Net Worth - Name Net Worth is a connective platform that leverages trusted relationships, to measure and strengthen your professional networks.

  • NanoTech Galaxy - Healthcare analytics powered by medical images.

  • NEED/DONE - Instant help (for kid & home) from people your parent network trusts.

  • Prophit Insight - Helping to make hospitals more profitable.

  • Social Worker Connect - Connecting Mental health Agencies Patients with Mental Health Agencies.

  • Wine Somme - Wine Somme delivers to wine, beer, & spirits retailers a channels marketing platform that improves customer loyalty and business operations.

  • Wizio - Wizio provides virtual reality to qualify prospective tenants for property managers and brokerages.

MassLive covered the event, and published a short piece available here.