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.

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.

RVI Monthly Meeting Lineup for May 18

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

  • Tank Utility - provides smart meters and software to streamline energy delivery in a $174B market that technology has left behind.
  • Energy Sage - the “Kayak of Solar”, the industry's leading online marketplace for turnkey solar PV systems and related financing.
  • SystemOne - has built and is growing a software-based Internet-of-Things of medical diagnostics devices in developing countries.

RVI Deal Night Lineup for Apr. 20

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday, 5pm, offices of TechSpring) included three presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • SlidRul - Empowers individuals to demonstrate their knowledge to employers and helps employers to identify the best available talent. A UMass Amherst alum company. 
  • Fitivity - A suite of 400+ social-workout apps that help people accomplish their sports and fitness goals. Fitivity is now entering the virtual training space with several strong business advantages.
  • SwiftCalcs - Enables users to effortlessly create and collaborate on interactive computational documents, from any device. SwiftCalcs brings modern cloud-based, user-centric design paradigms to the computational software space -- a market desperate for disruption.

River Valley Investors Obtains Established Angel Group Certification

Springfield MA: River Valley Investors (RVI) announces that it has obtained Established Angel Group (EAG) certification from the Angel Capital Association (ACA). The certification assures stakeholders that RVI has taken reasonable steps to verify that group members are accredited investors as defined under Rule 501 of SEC regulations.

ACA’s Executive Director Marianne Hudson stated, “ACA is proud to count River Valley Investors as one of the first angel groups to become a certified Established Angel Group. In most cases, the certification should eliminate the need for member angel investors to provide financial documentation to help entrepreneurs verify they are accredited investors for generally solicited offerings.”

Hudson added, “EAG certification is a big step forward for the ACA, the angel groups that choose certification and the startup ecosystem because it helps put into practice the intention of the JOBS Act by removing the verification concerns around general solicitation or 506c deals.”

EAG certification precludes the need for individual angels repeatedly to provide documentation of wealth or income to issuers or other third parties for deals and add-on investments. EAG certification addresses SEC rules that issuers to take “reasonable steps to verify” accredited investor status in generally solicited offerings and what are known as 506(c) deals, which permit only accredited investors to participate. EAG certification also protects the angel group and its investors if portfolio companies transition to 506(c) status, and reduces paperwork burdens for entrepreneurs finalizing deals.

About the Angel Capital Association:

The Angel Capital Association is the leading professional and trade association focused on fueling the success of accredited angel investors and portfolio companies in high-growth, early-stage ventures. ACA is the voice of the angel industry, providing comprehensive services in support of members working in angel groups, through portals and individually. ACA provides professional development, public policy advocacy and significant benefits and resources to its membership of 220 angel groups and platforms and more than 12,000 individual accredited investors. www.angelcapitalassociation.org.

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:

Cheryl Isen for the Angel Capital Association, cheryl@isenandco.com, 425-222-0779

Marcie Muehlke for River Valley Investors, marcie.muehlke@angelcatalyst.com, 978-302-6564

RVI Deal Night Lineup for Feb. 17

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday, 5pm, offices of TechSpring) included four presentations: 

  • Closing Presentations from companies we are investing in.  These pitches are so that more members have the opportunity to participate in the round.

    • Rainbank - Revolutionizing stormwater management with an innovative solution that prevents flooding at a fraction of the cost of current solutions.

    • Food On A Truck/Tursus -  A point of Sale, Backoffice, & Marketing Software solution for mobile vendors, a VVM accelerator grant winner. 

  • Initial presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence: 

    • Cambridge Blockchain - A digital ledger offering new and better security for a range online data integrity and security uses.

    • HigherMe - An employment solution for hourly employees especially geared toward the hospitality industry as well as retail. 

RVI Member Steve Mitzel Becomes CEO of Mspark

Congratulations to RVI Member Steve Mitzel on his selection as CEO by MSpark, private equity backed direct mail marketing services company.

Mspark, a results-oriented direct mail and marketing services company with the proven ability to deliver measurable results and positive ROI in markets across America, today announced that it has named Steve Mitzel chief executive officer, effective immediately. Mitzel replaces Albert B. Braunfisch, chairman of the board at Mspark, who has served as interim CEO since April 14, 2015.

Full press release