On Thursday, 11 early-stage companies in the fourth class of the Portland Seed Fund program made their final pitches at Demo Day. And, for the first time, one lucky company got an additional $10,000 investment from PSF – with the help of an audience favorite vote.
Portland Seed Fund Class 04 included a mix of innovative tech startups from Bend, Israel, Portland and Seattle, including: Alum.ni; Appthwack; Celly; Indievinos; Measureful; Minetta Brook; Opal; Prestobox; Rally Cause; Simple Emotion; and Smart Mocha.
Before company pitches kicked off, PSF Fund Managers Jim Huston and Angela Jackson gave a snapshot of the accelerator since its founding in 2011, and the results are impressive:
- 36 companies (and 4 classes) are graduates of the Portland Seed Fund program
- 200 jobs have been created by PSF companies locally
- $1.34 million has been invested by PSF
- 25 PSF companies have raised additional capital, totaling $23 million
- $478,000 is the median raise for PSF startups
PSF also announced a new “Founders Fund” as part of its Portland Seed Fund II, giving early-stage entrepreneurs who meet accredited investor requirements to get involved in PSF II with a smaller investment level. Interested founders should contact Angela or Jim for details.
Who’s Who in Portland Seed Fund’s 4th Class
- Alum.ni – Earlier this week, the founders of Alum.ni, who are moving their startup from Israel to Portland, won office space in the Produce Row development and grant money from Portland Development Commission as part of the PDX Startup Challenge. Alum.ni offers a social network platform designed for the special needs of the university alumni community and is currently testing with 10 college alumni groups and 1,300 users.
- Appthwack – Also a graduate of PIE, Appthwack solves the problem of how to test mobile apps on hundreds of ever-changing mobile devices. With the Appthwack solution, developers can test their apps on multiple devices and get results back in minutes. Appthwack already has customers such as Mozilla, Symantec and New Relic.
- Celly – Celly landed a $1.4 million investment round earlier this year, with Oregon Angel Fund as the lead investor and is now ramping up to further grow its mobile social networking solution. Using SMS-like technology, Celly enables groups such as schools, teams, cities and causes to quickly exchange information via mobile phones and devices.
- Indievinos – Also an OEN Angel Oregon finalist company, Indievinos describes itself as a “Shazam-like mobile app for wine.” The app helps enthusiasts find and buy the wine they’re drinking at wine events or restaurants and helps wine sellers connect with their consumers. Indievinos has 80 wineries signed up and is making the app available to the public next week.
- Measureful – co-founded by John Koenig, who previously founded the Portland data analytics agency Swellpath, Measureful is out to automate web analytics with a solution that easily collects online marketing data and delivers users easy-to-understand, visual reports.
- Minetta Brook – based in the Seattle area, Minetta Brook has developed a “knewsapp” to integrate with Bloomberg’s Terminal that delivers financial traders timely, financial news not available on Google or Bloomberg.
- Opal – with so many social network platforms, companies are challenged to manage communications. Opal has developed “purpose-driven social business applications” that allow companies like Nike (their first big customer) to brainstorm, innovate and deliver new social business ideas.
- Prestobox – The first automated branding agency, Prestobox has delivered the “BrandGenie,” a quick and cost-effective way for small businesses (47% of which do not have a web presence) to effortlessly create a brand image for web, stationary and other marketing.
- Rally Cause – This Bend-based company and graduate of Central Oregon’s Founders Pad incubator program says its solution is like “pizza night meets the open table concept.” Rally Cause allows local businesses like restaurants and stores to rally customers to come support the business while giving back to a cause. The company hinted at an upcoming “Rally for Beer” cause event happening in Portland at Deschutes Brewery in the near future.
- Simple Emotion – Founded by a trio of high school graduates who are now studying at Stanford, Reed and MIT, Simple Emotion uses a gaming technology to help people with autism learn to recognize emotion, such as happiness, sadness, anger and fear with 90% accuracy.
- SmartMocha – What if we gave smart phones to machines like trucks, engines and vending machines that enabled them to prevent breakdowns or schedule maintenance? ask the founders of SmartMocha. This “Internet of Things” startup aims to do just that by enabling sensors for agriculture and chemical plants to connect with the Internet and provide services.