Category Archives: HPA Portfolio Company

The Ultimate Investor Meeting Toolkit

This post is part of the Hyde Park Angels Entrepreneurial Education Series, which brings together successful, influential entrepreneurs and investors to teach entrepreneurs everything they need to know about early-stage investment through events, articles, videos, and more. If you are interested in learning more about raising a round, save the date for “Early Stage Investment 101on June 17.

At the launch of the Hyde Park Angels Entrepreneurial Education Series, “Are You Ready to Raise,” Genevieve Thiers — the brains behind Sittercity and ContactKarma, outlined the five documents every entrepreneur needs to prepare for an investor meeting (and to keep themselves on track). She also generously promised to share her own templates. And here they are!

These are proven templates from a successful founder for building the ultimate investor meeting toolkit:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Pitch Deck
  3. Competitive Overview
  4. 3 Year Financial Projections
  5. Cap Table and Model

For more guidance and wisdom from top-tier entrepreneurs and investors like Genevieve, watch the full recording of “Are You Ready to Raise,” read the Entrepreneurial Education Series program, and check out our latest post on building the perfect pitch deck.


New HPA Portfolio Company,

HPA has been busy.  We have done a lot of follow on rounds of existing portfolio companies recently but we are always looking for new deals.  We were lucky to find Simple Mills.

Simple Mills won the Ed Kaplan New Venture Challenge at Chicago Booth this year, along with RoomVa.   What are they?  They are the best tasting most delightful gluten free, low glycemic muffin mix that you will ever taste.  Diabetics can eat them.  They are amazingly simple to bake at home.  We loved the leadership team of Simple Mills but I think it’s safe to say HPA enjoyed eating their muffins in the diligence process just as much!

Most gluten free mixes are full of sugar.  Most of them taste like wallpaper and are heavy.  Simple Mills allows you to get all the flavor and texture that you are used to, but still avoid gluten and sugar.  They are light on the palate.  Many HPA members are eating them instead of traditional muffins because they taste so good and are better for you than regular muffin mixes.

Since we started talking to them, they rolled out two new products.  Cookies and flatbread.  Find them in these stores, or order them on Amazon.  If your local store doesn’t carry them, tell the manager to order them!  They are that good.



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YCharts Rolls Out New Features


YCharts has a free version of its product.  But if you upgrade and pay for certain versions, it gets really powerful.

The YCharts Professional platform continues to improve which is increasing our ability sell into the market.  Below are the notable updates:

Give it a try.  Or, better yet, tell your friends that are employed as wealth managers or RIA’s about YCharts.


Like Us On Facebook; Follow us on Twitter

We haven’t been Captain Obvious about social media at Hyde Park Angels, but we have social media accounts.  We would love to interact with you on Twitter or Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter and “Like” our Facebook page.

We use each platform to help educate the community on the nature of startups, the happenings in the tech world, and to educate investors about how to invest in startups.

We also talk about things going on with our portfolio companies.  HPA has invested in a diverse set of companies that are disrupting their industries.  If you want to be on the bleeding edge of ideas, learning about our companies is a great way to inform yourself.


As always, we appreciate introductions for our portfolio companies to potential customers.  Check them out.  They are in financial services, agriculture, big data, marketing, medicine, consumer products, education, government services, logistics, parking, weight loss, mobile tech, wearable tech, and web security.   There is something there for everyone.

If you have a company you think we will be interested in, please review our criteria and then submit your deal.  One of our associates will contact you once you have applied.



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Moxie Jean’s Sharon Schneider on Chicago Tonight: Talking Bro Culture in Tech

Moxie Jean CEO and founder Sharon Schneider was recently on a local television program, Chicago Tonight. The issue was the TechWeek gaffe that was demeaning to women. Sharon articulates the issue extremely well, and if you watch the video you can see why HPA is an investor in her company.

HPA has never focused on gender. We have many women in leadership roles within our organization. Karin O Connor is our managing director and will be stepping down in July. Our group has a large percentage of females that are members. We have backed female lead companies (Brilliant, MoxieJean, Dabble, Supply Vision) Many of our student associates are women.

Why did this happen? Because they were all really damn good.

Chicago is different than other places in tech. We value everyone. HPA is the same. We care about ideas and building great companies. There are a bunch in our portfolio.

The best thing you can do if you want to support women in tech is become a customer of one of their companies. Click the links to their websites and start using their products today. Tell your friends. The more success they have, the more success all women in tech will have.

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InContext Solutions Rolls Out New Software

InContext Solutions is a cutting edge consumer products research company. They created a virtual way for brands to test products. What’s really interesting is they are able to capture pure economics, but also behavioral economic patterns with their software.

“The virtual store research we complete allows us to collect both behavioral and attitudinal metrics that reflect what shoppers purchase and why they purchase it,” said InContext Solutions’ chief research office, Rich Scamehorn.

Scamehorn added: “Our research is extremely accurate and helps retailers understand why they should, or shouldn’t, arrange items in a certain way or install another end display before they actually take the time, money and effort to move forward with ineffective in-store techniques.”

InContext greatly reduces the cost and risk of marketing both new and old products in the store.

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See the Logistical Future With Supply Vision

Supply Vision has been an HPA portfolio company for the last two years now.  Recently Amanda Bohl was promoted to the CEO role.   She is taking the company to new heights.  It’s the fourth HPA backed company that has a female CEO.  HPA recently closed another financing round with them.  The deal was lead by Karin O Connor.

Supply Vision is a cloud based developer of logistical products for freight forwarders and truck brokers. Their TMS, WMS and Portal applications bring value to everyone in the supply chain.  From the company owner to the forklift operator, the system offers features, security and services to segment and deploy across North America.

They are adding customers daily.  Recently they hired a new Business Develoment rep and in early June they will be moving their offices to Foley and Lardner’s Catapult Incubator.

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HPA Helps Land A Big One With Fishidy

HPA has a new portfolio company, Fishidy. It’s the first time HPA has participated in funding a Wisconsin based company. We are excited about that because there are great things happening in Wisconsin. Fishidy is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Paul Budak lead the deal for HPA. Paul says, “It’s a huge market and it’s untapped from a technology standpoint.”  People spend more money on fishing than they do on golf.  It’s a massive industry.

Brian Jensen is the CEO of Fishidy.  He is an avid fisherman, and came up with the idea.  He  was previously an executive at GeoDecisions, a leading Geographic Information Systems (GIS) company.  He likes to say that Google Maps can get you from your home to the fishing hole, but Fishidy takes you from the boat launch to where the fish are biting.

Download the app for your iPhone, or from Google ($GOOG) Play.

Here is a video on how Fishidy works. It’s a tremendous app for anyone that goes fishing. It increases your odds of landing the big one.  Share photos and tips with friends.  Learn from other fisherman about new techniques and what they are using to catch fish.

Not only does it provide great information, but here is how you can use Fishidy to get in depth analysis about where you are fishing.

Related articles

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Are You Brilliant? Here is How You Could Check has made a remarkable transition and pivot.  HPA initially invested in them as Edulender.  Then, after going through the Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago) inaugural program, they became Alltuition.

This recent Techcrunch article explains how they became Brilliant.

Khim says the inspiration for Brilliant came in the realization that the current model to find technical talent who will become leaders in science, medicine and technology is broken. In many countries, high school students are encouraged to focus on studying for one national exam, which will determine where they go to college. In university, these students are measured on rote learning skills that are irrelevant to how they will be using skills to solve real problems.

“There is a mismatch between nurturing intellectual skills in top students versus what they actually have to spend time on to be successful in the system,” she says. But unfortunately, she explains, there is no way to get noticed if you don’t succeed in this system.

So Khim decided to create a place where these students can succeed, challenge themselves and realize their true potential. She has enlisted a number of math professors, scientists and other technical minds to create difficult problems on the site. Brilliant features weekly Olympic-style challenges that offer rigorous problem sets in math and physics. Users can not only solve problems but share their solutions and their processes in solving the sets.

Sue has pivoted her business three times. She has done so by remaining capital efficient.  She sought advice from great mentors, and she has lead Brilliant brilliantly.

Here is how you can help expand their business.  First, tell people with children about it.  Second, tell your local middle and high school teachers about it.  It’s a great way for kids to interact, and learn together.

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Moxie Jean’s Sharon Schneider, Profiled at Gotham Gal

If you don’t know who Gotham Gal is, she is an active angel investor out of New York.  She passionately supports female entrepreneurs.  Recently, she profiled Moxie Jean’s Sharon Schneider.  Sharon has a great company, but also has an interesting background.

You will get a good flavor of why HPA was impressed with Sharon, and why Moxie is a part of our portfolio.  Here is an excerpt:

She decided that she wanted to be an English teacher so she majored in English.  She found the classes very simplistic and so she ended up shifting gears.  Sharon grew up in a white Catholic homogeneous area and at University of Toledo she was fascinated with how many different walks of life people came from.  She gravitated towards the study of Sociolinguistics, the study of dialect and the power of language.  She says she really came into her own in college participating in plays, starting groups and clubs.  She also met her husband there.

Read the whole thing.  If you have children, visit the Moxie Jean website and check out what they are up to.

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