Category Archives: Uncategorized

YCharts Has a New Dashboard

Ycharts, the world’s best financial portal on the web has a new dashboard they rolled out this week.

Ycharts continues to build out the most incredible financial data set for research anywhere. 395,079,047 financial data points in the system, 11,210,000 charts with history dating back as far as 1882, and 41,078,046 views of our charts across the web in 2013. Ycharts helps people make better decisions.

Check them out at ycharts.com

President Barack Obama Signs The DATA Act

Friday evening, President Barack Obama signed S. 994, commonly known as the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act.

After unanimous approval by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill’s signing marks a giant step forward for government transparency, opening up federal spending data that was once locked behind disparate systems and formats. 

A high-level overview is as follows:

  • The DATA Act mandates the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create government-wide data standards for grant, contract and budget reporting.These will rollout over the next few years.

  • Grant managers may not see immediate changes to theirgrant reporting processes; however, down the road, there may be a single portal for reporting by grantees and contractors to the U.S. government.

  • The technology is already available to employ big data analytics and compliance automation once standards are in place. Proactive grant recipients will be able to reap capacity building and compliance benefits early on.

HPA Portfolio company StreamlinkSoftware can help implement the Data Act into your organization.  What comes next? Here is how their product, AmpliFund Can Help

Streamlink has found that only 22% of nonprofits are “very confident’ in their organization’s understanding of changing funding requirements. Proper technology use ensures your organization has the necessary infrastructure to abide by new rules and regulations.

Streamlink’s grant management software, AmpliFund, was used in the initial pilot project that tested the feasibility of grant reporting standardization across government agencies. Schedule a demo to learn how it can help you meet DATA Act requirements.

 

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Power2Switch Acquired by Choose Energy

Today one of HPA’s portfolio companies announced it was being acquired.  Power2Switch was an investment HPA made a couple of years ago.  P2S came out of the Excelerate Labs summer program, which is now Chicago TechStars.  

We are very excited for Power2Switch and wish them well as they move forward.  Here is the content of the press release.

CHOOSE ENERGY ACQUIRES POWER2SWITCH

Deal Accelerates Choose Energy’s Growth Plan as Awareness of Consumer Choice Continues to Develop in Deregulated Markets

PLANO, TEXAS, SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 – Choose Energy, the online energy marketplace leader that helps residents and businesses switch electricity providers, announced today that is has acquired Power2Switch, the Chicago-based energy startup and Techstars alum that also enables consumers to reduce energy costs by comparing rates and switching electricity providers. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

“Power2Switch has a stellar reputation and has made an enviable footprint in the Illinois market,” said Jay Webster, president of Choose Energy. “We are thrilled to welcome Power2Switch. We will now be able to offer more choices to our customers while expanding into new markets and working with additional service providers.”

Choose Energy and Power2Switch both share a commitment to providing significant energy cost savings to commercial and residential customers. Choose Energy aims to strengthen its brand by building on the success of Power2Switch and its industry leading user experience platform. As part of the acquisition, Choose Energy will procure Power2Switch’s products, assets and customers. Two Power2Switch employees will join the Choose Energy team and remain in Chicago.

“We believe this transaction is the best path forward for Power2Switch and its shareholders,” said Seyi Fabode, CEO and co-founder of Power2Switch. “We are committed to working toward a smooth transition for our customers, and we are excited to see Power2Switch continue to flourish.”

Since its launch in Illinois in 2010, Power2Switch has helped thousands of consumers and businesses save over $2.5 million by switching energy suppliers. Power2Switch raised $1.3 million in venture capital from Chicagobased investors. Since then, Power2Switch has expanded to New Jersey, Texas, Ohio and New York. For now, Power2Switch.com will continue to operate as it always has. Stay tuned for future updates.

Choose Energy raised a $4 million Series A investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Stephens Capital Partners in March, 2013, to help advance its technology, accelerate its growth and strengthen its market position as the most visited online energy marketplace. Choose Energy plans to enter all 19 deregulated energy states and 22 deregulated natural gas states.

Bu.mp Is Acquired

A company called Bump was purchased today by Google ($GOOG).  Jake Mintz was a Hyde Park Angels associate when he and a partner developed the idea for Bump.  He left HPA to work on it, and then left Chicago for Silicon Valley.  Four years later he is about to become a Google employee!  

Congratulations to Jake and the Bump team.  

Chicago’s 50 Coolest Startups

Vote for your favorite Chicago based startup.  The CEC in conjunction with the Momentum Awards is trying to identify Chicago’s coolest startup.  There are some HPA companies on the list.

Risk I/O, SimpleRelevance, and Food Genius are ready willing and able to accept your support.  Vote early and often.  It’s Chicago (heh)!

An aside, look at the list of companies. They all are pretty cool.  They all are a part of the ever expanding ecosystem that is Chicago and the midwest in general.   Most of them have deep roots in industries and other companies that are based in the midwest.

If you aren’t aware of the startup scene in Chicago, look at the list.  Become a customer of one of the companies.  Download their app.  Make an introduction to a potential customer.  Talk about it amongst your friends.

Investment is an important part of growing the Chicago startup community, but all of the above help tremendously too.  And it doesn’t cost you a dime!

New SEC Rules Could Kill Angel Investing

The Angel Capital Association has a press release that you should read.  The new rules covering angel investing are exceedingly onerous, and could potentially drive individual investors away.  Here is the interpretation from the ACA:

In final rules published last week, the SEC provided a convoluted, “principles-based approach,” along with several “safe harbors” that issuers may use.  Safe harbors include:  “reviewing pay stubs for the two most recent years and current year;” or “reviewing copies of any IRS form that reports income,” (including Form W-2, Form 1099 or a copy of filed Form 1040).  For married accredited investors, the rule specifies that both spouses would have to divulge such information to an issuer.

Alternatively, a safe harbor would occur if the investor submits a certified statement from a third party such as an “attorney, accountant or registered investment advisor,” provided that the third party could establish that it had also undertaken “reasonable steps to verify” that an investor was accredited.  Third party verification would need to be updated every three months.

“Angel investors provide the fundamental source of start-up capital in our economy,” Hudson said. “Not a single angel I have spoken with is willing to provide personal financial information to an issuer who is asking them for investment.  This violation of privacy is untenable, especially for the angels who do multiple deals a year.  If an issuer has information on total net worth or income of an investor, that provides vast information asymmetry.  This would be like having your bank demand to know your net worth before you could open a bank account to put money in, or the stock market demanding to know your net income before you can trade securities.”

“These SEC rules provide no safe harbor for our angel members, which effectively could kill most angel investment in this country,” said David Verrill, board chairman of ACA.  “Our member angel groups have decades of history investing in startups while self-certifying their accredited status without one single iota of fraud.  Our process works because angel groups know their members well, and focus on the education and skill needed to do this type of investing well.  Angels do not have to invest in start-ups, but we are almost entirely the only ones who do so – some 90% of outside equity raised by start-ups comes from angel ranks.”

HPA is for allowing individuals access to startup investing.  HPA is for the innovative crowdfunding platforms that are being developed.  There are benefits to those platforms and limitations to them.   But, the new JOBS Act rules need to be less onerous, and not an invasion of privacy.  .

Please contact your local elected representative and ask them to make sure that the SEC doesn’t kill angel investing in the US.

Plan Ahead: CATTECH VI is On the Horizon

Plan ahead and mark your calendar.  CATTECH VI is on October 8-9 in Skokie, IL.  CATTECH VI brings together top regional talent, commercialized technologies, and capital in a showcase of emerging high tech startups from leading Midwest universities and accelerators.

Angels, academics, tech transfer officers, and entrepreneurs, and commercialization professionals develop connections and deals that strengthen venture innovation network within and beyond the midwest.

CATTECH VI will take place at the Illinois Science and Technology Park in Skokie, IL.  8045 Lamon Avenue.  Public transportation is available from downtown Chicago to get there via the “L”.

Contact Gary N. Keller at 773 – 251-8214 Fax: 773-584-0868 or email him at, gary.keller@xomix.com  There are sponsorship opportunities available.

 

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