Riverside County entrepreneurs have the opportunity to participate in a free program from UC Riverside, EPIC and InSoCal CONNECT called Start-ups for Innovators. These introductory workshops are based on the highly successful Lean Launchpad program created by Steve Blank at Stanford and now offered nationwide by the National Science Foundation.
The InSoCal CONNECT community is mourning the loss of a great champion of entrepreneurs. Stan Harter passed away on Sunday, November 22 after a short illness. Stan has been an enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurs, business professionals, and nonprofits in our community and he will be sorely missed. Stan served on our Executive Committee since inception and his friendly, open and eager to help attitude were a major asset and will be impossible to replace.
Donations in Stan's memory can also be made online: https://www.ldsphilanthropies.org; The Perpetual Education Fund
This fund has held a special place in Stan and his wife Lynne's hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Our Kasual Koffee sessions are running every Saturday from 9 am to noon. Today we had over a half dozen people come by. Mike Purcell with !Shouttag gave a presentation he is preparing for Nov. 9th Pitch the Angels. We all discussed it and provided some feedback, which he incorporated into another session later in the morning. Carl is working on a stealth project that will launch at the Pitch the Angels competition, and gave us some inside scoop on what it is and how it works. Matt Wiley gave his pitch for Smart Doc Finder that he gave at the last TCA competition. Rich Davis joined us and provided some great commentary, and we had a couple of newbies drop in. Bruce Coleman with the City of Murrieta stopped by for a short visit that turned into a long visit!
We always welcome new participants to Kasual Koffee, so the next time you are around the MIC on a Saturday morning, drop in! No structure, no agenda, just people with ideas sharing stories.
Kaiser Permanente has paid $9.3M for a 37-acre parcel in Murrieta, where it plans to build an 824,500 SF complex that will include a hospital, a diagnostic and treatment building, a medical office building and a central energy plant to power it all over the next 25 years. Read more at Bisnow
Amro Albanna, CEO of ieCrowd, presented the company's plan to IPO to an audience of local investors and shareholders this afternoon. The company has five subsidiaries, all of them commercializing technologies that were developed in local universities.
ieCrowd is taking a different approach to an IPO, as they have already filed a full statement (S1) with the SEC and will list on NASDAQ after they have raised up to $20 million. As Amro stated, there are comparables to this company listed with much higher valuations, and the company is looking for technologies that can help reduce suffering.
The five subsidiaries currently looking to develop commercial applications are based on technology that makes humans invisible to misquitoes, one that senses gases and other substances in the air and can go in a mobile device like a phone, one that provides real-time oxygen as needed to people who need extra oxygen, one that can control headache and migraine pain, and one to eliminate sleep apnea.
The company just licensed another 20 patent families. All of the management team has experience in this field, and they plan to bring the first five technologies to market in the next year or so. This IPO is open to any interested investor, not limited to accredited or institutional investors. That's very unusual and an opportunity for the average joe to invest in a real pre-IPO stock.
This is an example of the innovation and growth we are seeing in our region! For more information on the company visit www.iecrowd.com and for information on the IPO go to www.iecrowd.com/IPO.
Murrieta Innovation Center Open House a Huge Success!
Hundreds of people, dozens of companies and tons of enthusiasm were in abundance as the City of Murrieta and InSoCal CONNECT launched the Murrieta Innovation Center on June 23rd. Resource providers and startups alike exhibited at the event, a ribbon cutting ceremony drew a large audience, in which the Center was recognized by virtually every level of local government.
This is just the beginning, as many of the speakers stated. Now the work begins, finding and recruiting the companies, mentors and capital resources to make this the thriving cauldron of innovation that it will become. Anyone interested in becoming a part of the future of our local economy is urged to contact us.
Last night we were fortunate to have an excellent presentation from Michelle McGovern Stewart that explained how demographic trends will impact everyone's business.
When she started showing us the last hundred years in terms of generations and how they affect business, it was like a light bulb went on over everyone's head.
Taken into this context, one can understand the reasons for the housing crash, the Great Recession, and most importantly, the coming boom when Millenials hit their stride.
Understanding how these trends will impact consumer demand, and how each generation responds to marketing messages, can help companies avoid making huge, business-killing mistakes.
This can also provide huge opportunities for businesses who do understand what is coming and how they can position themselves for success. The people who attended really enjoyed and appreciated Michelle's message, and we all agreed that every business owner should listen to her. We will have to schedule another presentation on this topic in the fall, so the rest of the community can hear this important message.
Thank you to all of the companies that pitched the Tech Coast Angels - and to the Angels for attending and giving great feedback to our entrepreneurs!
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is the largest angel investment group in the United States and the most significant source of funding for startup companies in Southern California. They are actively seeking great startup companies to fund.
More than providing money, TCA brings connections, knowledge, mentoring and operational assistance to early-stage entrepreneurs who have game-changing ideas. TCA is very mindful that some of the greatest companies in the US began with angel investments. TCA funding is not limited to the technology industry since TCA members invest in exciting companies in a wide range of industries including medical devices, consumer products, internet, IT, life sciences, media, software and environmental services, among others.
TCA generally funds startup companies that have a very high potential for growth in the next 3-to-5 years. TCA is a non-profit organization. InSoCal CONNECT works closely with the Tech Coast Angels to identify and mentor possible companies that will be considered for investment.
We had nine companies present to the Angels, and over 90 people registered for the event. It was a packed house and everyone walked away happy. The companies received great exposure and feedback from investors, the investors got a chance to see some new companies (and expressed interest in following up with some of them), and the audience had a chance to see polished, professional investment pitches in an educational setting.
Each company was required to submit their original pitch deck to Jay Goth, who then held practice sessions with all of the presenters. After several practice sessions and a "dry run" or dress rehearsal, the companies all did a great job of presenting themselves to the community!
Now brewing in a city near you: How an upstart, grassroots entrepreneurial-education movement is building startup communities locally, nationally, and globally over 1 Million Cups of coffee.
A recently launched program for startups and technology companies, called “1 Million Cups” (1MC) is showcasing innovative Riverside County companies every Wednesday morning at the Altek Media studio located at 21803 Cactus Ave, Suite G in Riverside at 8 am.
1MC was started at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City to connect what was, at the time, a fragmented, isolated startup community. The name came out of one simple question, “Could we change the face of our startup community by connecting local entrepreneurs over 1 Million Cups of coffee?”
This is a local weekly program that gives two startups the opportunity to give a 6-minute presentation and engage in 20 minutes of Q&A with a room full of their peers, mentors, service providers, and potential investors. It’s a supportive, neutral event that provides brainstorming, connections, feedback and exposure to our local startup community.
1MC is created of, by, and for entrepreneurs. Each local event is organized by local entrepreneurs who volunteer their time to recruit a location and coffee sponsor, vet and select presenters, and publicize the event. The event organizers in Riverside County are Jay Goth of InSoCal Connect, TriTech SBDC and JET Recycling America, Inc., Ralph Richardson of Riverside.io, Tribal Wellness and Maven 2.0, Dione Moser of Impact Design and the Coworking Connection, and Dwayne Nelson of ClusteRSS.
“When I attended the 1MC event in Irvine, I immediately realized that we needed this kind of great networking and brainstorming meeting in our area,” Jay Goth says. “The feeling that you get of support and the ideas that are generated are just what an entrepreneur needs. You know you aren’t alone, you can share your challenges and frustrations, and together we figure things out and build better companies.”
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, 1MC was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community. It is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.
The Riverside organization is taking the 1MC concept to a new level by holding the events at Altek Media Group’s video production studios. The six minute presentations and the 20 minute Q&A sessions are recorded on video and streamed live to the Internet on the group’s website, www.riverside.sites.1millioncups.com. This way if people would like to see the presentation but have a scheduling problem, they can watch the event live from their computer every Wednesday morning. The entire presentation and Q&A session for each company is also available on demand at the archive site www.connecttube.org.
Additionally, each presenter is given a professionally produced version of their presentation that they can place on their own website. A copy is also provided to each company’s host city if they would like to spotlight a local startup story. The Riverside 1MC group is working to make sure that a national audience of startups, entrepreneurs, educators, mentors, and investors learns about this new program and begins tuning in.
The event is sponsored by InSoCal CONNECT, a nonprofit dedicated to growing the Innovation Economy in inland Southern California. It is also sponsored by Riverside.io and the Coworking Connection. The first event was held on October 8, 2014 and will be held every Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. Pacific time, excluding holidays. Companies wishing to present and people who would like to attend are encouraged to visit the site at www.1millioncups.com.
InSoCal CONNECT, a Riverside County nonprofit dedicated to the growth of the local innovation economy, has announced the selection of its first slate of Springboard companies. Springboard is a structured mentorship program developed by CONNECT San Diego that assists early stage companies in developing the strategic plan, resources and fundamentals that will attract investors and spur growth. That process has successfully launched over 300 companies and assisted in raising over one billion dollars in private capital since inception.
“It was incredibly difficult deciding which companies to choose for our first class of Springboard companies,” stated Don Warriner, the Springboard Program Director for InSoCal CONNECT. “We had dozens of applications and narrowed those down to nine presentations. There were several companies that we would have brought on board if we had the mentors and resources to adequately service them. These companies are very close to being fundable, and I am confident that with the mentorship and resources we will provide from this program, and the capital sources we want to introduce them to, that they can grow into strong local companies.”
Inviscid Software has a mission to support groups that perform therapy for autistic and learning disabled children by providing the best software and services to enable them to work at peak performance and efficiency. The company has current customers and is generating revenue. For more information visit www.inviscidsoftware.com.
Established in 2009, Twubs.com, the leading hashtag registrar, provides brandable hashtag landing pages and Twitter groups, search and tweet to screen tools for live events used by more than 20,000 organizations globally. Twubs.com allows users to quickly and easily search for social media content via hashtags. For more information visit www.twubs.com.
Picking Duck is an exciting twist on sports betting and handicapping and is currently in stealth beta mode. The company is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015.
“Inviscid Software is thrilled to have been selected by InSoCal CONNECT to be one of the first companies through their program,” said Inviscid Software CEO, Mark Adams. “The mentorship and connections we will receive will surely help our company to grow. And in the process, InSoCal CONNECT will shine a light on the many talented startup companies here in the region, which will further contribute to the emergence of Riverside County as a hotbed of entrepreneurship and job creation.”
The Springboard mentorship program is individually designed for each company. A primary mentor, or Entrepreneur in Residence, is assigned to the company. Both mentor and company agree to a series of goals and milestones, culminating in a “graduation ceremony” during which the company will make a presentation to a group of investors and stakeholders. The process can take from two to six months, depending on the development stage of the company and the work needed to make the company fully investor ready. During this period, the company is presented to a series of marketing and financial professionals for impartial feedback and suggestions.