Tag Archives: Business

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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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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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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StartupManagement.org

There is a new blog out there for anyone interested in startup management.  Management of a startup is one of the toughest skills to manage.  There aren’t really any places on the web that aggregate and make best practices easy to find.

William Mougayar  has started 3 companies, pivoted 1 (Eqentia), sold 2 (CYBERManagement to Aberdeen Group, and Engagio to Influitive). Worked for 3 sizes of companies: 2 large (Hewlett-Packard ($HP), Cognizant), 1 medium (Aberdeen), and 4 small (startups). In every case, each company was experiencing a high velocity of growth.  He knows what he is talking about when it comes to managing  growth companies.

The blog is going to be a daily destination where entrepreneurs learn about managing, growing and scaling startups, almost like an virtual open university. It’s where startups become grownups.

Their content will focus on management, strategy, organizational and marketing topics, including business models, revenue models and go-to-market approaches. They will extract best practices, case studies and lessons that are practical and usable.

They accept contributions from outsiders, so feel free to contact William and submit a piece.

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Deal Breakers For Venture Investors

One of the functions HPA performs for entrepreneurs is getting companies to a stage where Venture Capitalists will come in and make an investment.    In order to scale, the typical startup will need a life cycle strategy when it comes to funding.  It goes something like this:

1.  Bootstrap

2.  Friends and Family

3.  Seed

4.  Series A

5.  Series B, C, D, E and rounds until exit.

Exits are generally an acquisition, not an initial public offering.

One of the pieces of the company that VCs look at is the capitalization table.  Entrepreneurs want to make sure their cap table is clean.  If it’s not, VCs will have to spend an inordinate amount of time re-negotiating with other members of the cap table in order to make an investment.  That becomes an objection and the entrepreneur could likely lose them.

In conversations that HPA members have had with VCs, they always stress that they want a “clean deal”.  This means a clean cap table and term sheets that aren’t filled with onerous terms.

John Greathouse wrote a nice article about 8 Deal Breakers.  If you have raised money, or are thinking about raising money you should read it.  Here are the 8.

1.  Junked up Cap Table

2.  Untenable Bridge Terms

3.  Band of Brothers

4.  IP Confusion

5.  Legal Landmines

6.  Geographic Dispersion

7.  Way Out Sourcing

8.  Double Agent

It’s great advice.  Read the whole article.  HPA has seen companies from time to time that have some of these mistakes.  They can be thorny to iron out because usually it takes attorneys to do it.  That means spending capital on something that doesn’t really scale the business.

As HPA has said before, it’s extremely important that startups use attorneys that are well versed in Venture Capital.  Lots of attorneys say that they are, but check references before hiring them.

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HPA Portfolio Company Y Charts Raises More Capital

Ycharts has raised another round of capital.  Some came from the old investors, and some from a new Investor.

Image representing YCharts as depicted in Crun...

Image via Crunchbase

HPA was one of the seed investors for Ycharts.  In sum, they have raised $8.625 Million since their inception.  They fit in nicely with the financial services ecosystem here in the midwest.

They have been a great firm ever since they started up.  Shawn Carpenter is the founder and CEO.

The new player in their latest round of financing comes from across the pond.  Reed Elsevier participated in the round.  They also own LexisNexis.  Chicago’s own Morningstar lead the last round, and reinvested in this round of financing.

“We are very bullish on YCharts and its long-term potential to transform the financial information industry,” Kevin Brown, general partner at Reed Elsevier Ventures, said in a statement.

It’s a great measure of success when a firm can raise succeeding rounds of capital at higher valuations.  Ycharts has been able to do that ever since it’s inception.  When you use your computer to check out your stock portfolio, use Ycharts.

 

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