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.



HPA and New Members

HPA has grown very rapidly over the past seven years. We had our 7 year old birthday in April!  We started with a small group, and now have over 120 members, corporate partners, sponsors, student associates, and a cadre of people that help us out.  Hyde Park Venture Partners was established and works with the group.

English: Raspberry and cream sponge birthday c...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are happy that we have been able to grow and have an impact on the local midwestern entrepreneurial community. It makes us really happy to see all kinds of activity that didn’t exist prior to 2007. We want to continue to partner with all parts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the midwest. We love working with entrepreneurs, college students from all places, and large companies that want to learn how to innovate-or maybe become a customer or buy one of our portfolio companies.

One thing we can’t do right now is integrate new individual members into our organization. The entrepreneurial buzz has caught on in the midwest.  This buzz is bringing really great people into the ecosystem.  We like to see those people get involved.  Often, it helps to get active and do some things before you join HPA.  Create a profile at Built In Chicago.  Start mentoring by hosting office hours with startups.  Ohours is a great place to post them.  Get active at the new Polsky Center Accelerator.  Go to networking events with Technori.  Work with companies at the Illinois Technology Association, or at Impact Engine, Chicago Innovation Mentors, TechStars, Gener8tor, or one of the other accelerators in the area.  Use your network to make free introductions for startups so they can build their business.  The community wants people to get involved and there are plenty of places for people to engage.

We will open up membership again sometime in the future. But right now, we want to get to know all of our existing members and let them get to know each other. We also want to integrate our corporate sponsors and industry partners into our process.

We still want to hear from you if you are interested in joining. Email us through our website.  We will let you know when membership opens up again.  Thanks a lot for your interest and we appreciate the continued support the Midwestern entrepreneurial community gives us.

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Don’t Miss This Conference In Chicago

One of the industries the Midwest is extremely strong in is Healthcare.  Some of the world’s top healthcare companies are here. In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made creation of a medical research, innovation and investing hub a priority. The universities that populate the Midwest are engaged in some of the most cutting edge research in healthcare.  Our baby boomer population is aging, and are getting to the point where they will start consuming more healthcare.

All of those forces converge together to create magnificent opportunities for investing and building disruptive companies.

The MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum is designed to inform about recent developments and potential opportunities in the healthcare space.  It brings together venture capitalists, angel investors, tech transfer offices, C level corporate executives, startups, and researchers to interact and help understand how they can create things together in the future.  Here is a link for tickets. You will receive a $400 discount when you use our partner code HPA when registering.

If you are a startup company targeting this space, here is the link to apply.  30 companies will have the chance to pitch.

These events don’t happen in a vacuum.  They require sponsorship. Many big name companies are sponsoring. You can enhance your brand, and get valuable feedback and community recognition if you want to participate.  Here is the link for sponsors.

The last time this event was held, more than 300 people from all parts of the community attended.  The networking and relationships developed at this event have the potential to benefit for years to come. The agenda is dense; packed full of panels, keynotes, and fireside chats by healthcare experts and innovative thought leaders.

If you would like to make a presentation as a speaker, you can apply via this link.

The conference will be in Chicago’s Loop at the JW Marriott.  The dates of the conference are April 22-23, 2014.  There is an excellent lineup of speakers, and you will see Hyde Park Angels at the conference.  Tickets are available online.  Use our partner code HPA to receive the lowest rate on tickets—a savings of $400.

Check the MidAmerica website for more information, or follow MedCityNews for updates.

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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.


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, 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. 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.  

Save Money! Register Now for CATTECH VI

 2013 CATTEC conference theme:
Building relationships across the Midwest and Beyond.

Register before Sept 23 and take 25% off either the member or non-member rate
(see below for promotion code)

Our Hotel block at the DoubleTree Hilton closes Sept 16
Make your reservation by 2pm that day to get the conference rate of $119.20/day. Go to for details.

Who should attend CATTEC VI?

If you are involved in creating, growing or funding high tech new ventures in the Midwest, this meeting is for you. University commercialization professionals, early stage investors, entrepreneurs, accelerators, mentors, service providers who specialize in serving early stage ventures, other who just want to build the Midwest innovation ecosystem.

Agenda Highlights

  • New Models for Funding Startup Innovation (presented in cooperation with the Chicago Chapter of LES)
  • High tech scenes across the region (Chicago, St. Louis, Toronto) – Who’s Who and what’s New?
  • Challenges and opportunities in cross-border business development (presented in cooperation with ACCT Canada)
  • Regional cooperation among Midwest accelerators – are we missing an opportunity?
  • Profiles of global innovation hotspots – If you are Global from Day One, what are you doing to connect with high-energy tech scenes beyond our borders?
  • The Value of telling a compelling story
  • Pitches from selected portfolio companies emerging from innovative communities around the Midwest.
  • Working with the Business Model Canvas and lean Startup principals – even for life science startups

Six key reasons to participate:

1. Identify new connections and potential partners, collaborators
2. Gain insights about best practices on bringing novel products to market
3. Learn from high profile speakers and other attendees
4. Explore startup creation and investment strategies
6. Share experiences and viewpoints

For further information and to register
go to

  • Register by Sept 23 and take 25% off with this Promotion Code:  MRUNSeptspecial.
  • If you are interested in joining MRUN, register at the Member Rate, take 25% and we’ll invoice you after CATTEC VI for membership through Dec 31 2014.


We look forward to seeing you Oct 8-9

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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!

Guidelines from ACA on Who is an Angel

The JOBS Act has thrown some confusion into the world on what an angel is, who can invest in startups and what accredited investors are. Today, the Angel Capital Associationm (ACA) released guidelines that should clarify it all.

Here are the guidelines for Angel Groups:

An “Established AngelGroup” meets the following criteria:
 The group is a private organization of accredited investors organized forthe purpose of
investing in early‐stage companies and includes one ormoremembers who have previously
invested under a Rule 506 exemption.
 Membership is only by invitation orreferralfroma currentmember who has a pre‐existing
relationship with the applicant and isfamiliar with the professional and financialstatus ofthe
applicant, and reasonably believes he orshe is an accredited investor.
 Each applicant completes a questionnaire thatincludes professional experience and sector
expertise, and certifies atleast annually that he orshe is an accredited investor.
 Membersinvesttheir own funds attheir discretion. The groupmakes no recommendation in
regard to any individualmember’sinvestmentin any offering under consideration.
 Neitherthe group nor any ofitsmembers or employees(if any)receives any transaction‐based
compensation in connection with offerings considered by the group.

HPA has met these standards ever since we started back in April of 2007.  If you want to become a member, the best way is to contact one of our existing members to find out more about how we operate, and what our expectations are.

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