RVI Participating in Western New England Demo Day

Western New England Demo Day Connects Local Startups to Investors.

This is an invite-only event for active & accredited investors to hear pitches from startups with a connection to Western New England. Startups get an optimized way to meet a room full of different investors, many with a strong interest in companies connected to the region. Investors get a first look at the startups, meet the founders, and network with other investors.

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River Valley Investors Invests in Unruly Studios

Western-Massachusetts based angel network River Valley Investors (RVI) completed an investment in Unruly Studios.

Unruly Studios creates products that empower students to learn critical STEM skills through active, social recess-style play!

Bryanne Leeming from Unruly Studios said, “The RVI process was efficient and enjoyable. These funds will help us expand our sales channels. We are making some key new hires in sales and marketing.”

This is River Valley Investors first investment in Unruly Studios.

RVI Portfolio Company Cambridge Blockchain Announces Private Beta for Privacy-Protecting Identity Platform

On Tuesday the 16th, BusinessWire ran an article about the announcement of a new Privacy-Protecting Identity Platform called IDKEEP being developed by LuxTrust and RVI Portfolio Company Cambridge Blockchain.

Cambridge Blockchain Inc., a pioneer in digital identity enterprise Software, announced the private beta-testing phase for privacy-protecting European identity platform IDKEEP.

Designed to resolve identity and personal-data related challenges faced by many digital service providers — such as banks and financial services, insurance, and healthcare, among others—IDKEEP is a huge step forward towards data ownership and control. The platform provides end users with full control over personal data and over sharing such data with services online, helping digital organizations to effectively manage consent as per GDPR rules and effectively manage validated users’ data, enabling trusted transactions online. In addition, IDKEEP opens a marketplace for data validators who can leverage a network effect of a large customer base, realizing efficiencies and re-use of expensive data validation processes.

RVI invested in Cambridge Blockchain in February of last year.

Read more at BusinessWire here.

Monthly Meeting Lineup for 7/17/2019

At the July 2019 RVI Monthly Meeting, RVI members saw 4 presenters.

  • CloudKPI - CloudKPI is a unique SaaS analytics engine that offers insights into the impact that performance results have on the business.

  • Part Runner - on-demand deliveries for companies in the trades, construction and service industries

  • A World for Good - We transform charitable giving into effective and measureable marketing that strenghtens businesses and the communities they serve.

  • InKind Space - InKind Space wants to help anyone facing cancer, as well as their helpers, friends, and family.

Monthly Meeting Lineup for 6/19/2019

At the June 2019 RVI Monthly Meeting, we saw 4 presenters and didn’t proceed to any due diligence efforts.

  • Bookflow - Bookflow is a mentoring tool that helps writers stay motivated, productive, organized, and connected.

  • Scanifly - Software for solar installers that uses drone imagery and AI to automate solar development and maintenance.

  • Netshield Corporation - Netshield sells cybersecurity solutions to small and mid-sized companies.

  • Luce Farm Wellness, Inc - Creates and sells highly efficacious wellness products using locally grown Certified Organic Hemp and botanicals, fully transparent and source verified.

RVI Participating in Western MA Demo Day

RVI is delighted to be part of the coalition of local investor groups helping put on Western MA Demo Day. Entrepreneurs and investors, please consider joining us for the event.

Western Mass Demo Day Connects Local Startups to Investors.

This is an invite-only event for active & accredited investors to hear pitches from startups with a connection to Western Massachusetts. Startups get an optimized way to meet a room full of different investors, many with a strong interest in companies connected to the region. Investors get a first look at the startups, meet the founders, and network with other investors.

This event is organized by a coalition of the region's startup investors including: Launch413, River Valley Investors, Springfield Venture Fund, Milltown Capital, Alchemy Fund, Golden Seeds, the Maroon Fund, and the event is hosted by our friends at Valley Venture Mentors. For regulatory compliance reasons, representatives of other investment groups & funds who wish to attend need simply request an invitation. Members of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem who wish to observe may also request an invitation.

Value Proposition for Startups

If you want to raise money now or in the near future, Western MA Demo Day puts you in a room full of people with money, who actively invest in companies like you, and who are keen to be helpful. And... there is no fee to apply or participate!

Here is a video walking you through the event and how to apply.

Learn more & apply at: www.westernmademoday.com


Monthly Meeting Lineup for May 15th 2019

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 5/15, 8:00am, offices of TechSpring) included one startup presentation to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Space for Arts, Inc.  - We are an online marketplace connecting photo and video production professionals with available studio spaces around the world.

Monthly Meeting Lineup for April 17th 2019

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 4/17, 8:00am, offices of TechSpring) included three startup presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Unruly Studios - Unruly Studios teaches kids 6+ how to code through active recess-style play.

  • ZIRUI INC. - on-the-go beauty packaging platform.

  • Hilltop BioSciences, Inc. - We are an early stage veterinary biotech company restoring health and function on injured animals through the use of novel regenerative therapies.

Welcoming New Member Don Kozera

Please welcome our new member Don Kozera to RVI!

Don is a senior consultant for FranchiseWell, LLC, partner at Allsport Soccer Arena, former President and CEO at Human Resources Unlimited Inc, and current Chief Strategy Office at Viability Inc. He holds an MBA from American International College and a Certificate in Franchise Management from Georgetown University

We are very excited to welcome Don to the RVI family. You can check out more about Don on his LinkedIn page.

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Monthly Meeting Lineup for March 20 2019

This week's RVI meeting (Wednesday 3/20, 8:00am, offices of TechSpring) included three startup presentations to see if we are interested in starting due diligence:

  • Lumme - Lumme is a digital health company developing an addiction treatment platform

  • Beckon - Beckon is the first premium lactose-free dairy ice cream on the market.

  • Tunnel - Real-Time, Scalable Payments on the Cloud Powered by Tunnel’s Distributed Ledger Technology

River Valley Investors Invests in Pioneer Valley Grows

Western-Massachusetts based angel network River Valley Investors (RVI) completed an investment in Pioneer Valley Grows Investment Fund.

PV Grows takes investments from community members, (individuals and institutions), and uses them to make flexible loans to Farm and Food enterprises that strengthen our regional food system.

“The FCCDC made it easy for us to invest in the traditional small businesses that are the backbone of our community, and to do it with the confidence that the FCCDC is there to help those companies succeed.,“ said RVI Manager Paul Silva.

PV Grows Fund Coordinator Rebecca Busansky said, “We are so pleased to be working with RVI members to strengthen our farms and local food system. We look forward to continuing the relationship! ”

This is River Valley Investors first investment in PV Grows.

Welcoming New Sponsor Jacob del Hagen

Please welcome our new sponsor Jacob del Hagen to RVI!

Jake is the CTO at Big Voodoo Interactive and the founding partner of HelixSix LLC. He holds 20+ years of experience creating internet software & data advertising technology. He is an expert in large scale internet software architecture, data marketing analytics, and mobile app development.

Before his time at Big Voodoo Interactive, Jake was a founding partner at Techistry Inc, and worked as a private consultant for the Earth Day Network out of Washington DC.

We are very excited to welcome Jake to the RVI family. You can check out more about Jake on his LinkedIn page.

Your VC Needs A Billion Dollar Exit. You Do Not.

Crunshbase published this excellent article “Your VC Needs A Billion Dollar Exit. You Do Not.“

Some key quotes for me:

  • “The economics of many VC funds require billion dollar exits. The economics of founders’ lives do not, so don’t let your investor’s business model drive irrational behavior in fundraising, spending, or selling. Remember that selling a company for $30 million can sometimes lead to better returns for the founder than selling for 10X as much.”

  • “Before going out to raise more money, founders and investors should have ‘the talk.’ Is it time to sell?”

  • “Instead of thinking of an acquisition in terms of dollars, think of it in terms of years. How many years would it take you to grow into the valuation being offered or solicited?”

Read the full article here.

If you are a successful entrepreneur or business executive and are interested in joining us in finding and investing in exciting startups, contact us.

Hat tip to Seraf

RVI Invests in 4 Companies Founded in Western MA

In 2018 RVI invested in more companies founded in Western MA than ever before. Those companies were:

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  1. CAMBRIDGE BLOCKCHAIN (VVM Alum, founded in Western MA)

    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.

  2. VALT (based in Western MA)

    Valt Visual Password Manager is a new approach to password management. Based in North Adams, MA.

  3. NEW ENGLAND BREATH TECHNOLOGIES (VVM, based in Western MA)

    New England Breath Technologies provides fast screening of diabetes via breath analysis.

  4. LAUNCH413 (Our manager Paul Silva’s newest startup, based here in Western MA)

    We Are Serial Entrepreneurs And Veteran Executives Dedicated To Helping Startups Become Profitable Engines Of Prosperity In Our Region.

If you are a successful entrepreneur or business executive and are interested in joining us in finding and investing in exciting startups, contact us.