Retooling equity models | Startups hitting the runway | Bay Area co. expands into Michigan | Drug plant coming to Indy
“I made my first investment at age eleven. I was wasting my life until then.” — Warren Buffet
Aug 6, 2020
The Seats team at Thoroughbred Park in Lexington
Startups and longstanding businesses with capital needs typically face a choice between debt and equity, but a Lexington, KY-based fintech wants to offer companies a new way. Seats Capital, founded this year, offers a hybrid middle ground based on future revenue. The revenue-based financing could be ideal for business leaders who don’t qualify for—or simply don’t like—existing debt and equity models.
For investors, it’s an opportunity to invest in a horizontal band of revenue instead of a vertical slice of a company. Investors can also make smaller bets, with investments of as little as $1,000.
Seats’ leadership team believes its system will assuage friction between entrepreneurs and investors and streamline revenue assessment. “We think of it in terms of probabilities," CEO Shane Hadden said. “It’s a lot easier to value the probability of hitting a revenue target than to value a company.”
Seats has just learned that it will be part of this year’s Launch Blue, a non-equity seeking pre-seed accelerator program designed to nurture the most promising Kentucky founders.
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INNOVATIVE HELP WANTED
Build emerging tech for better health outcomes
Peter Margolis, MD, PhD, co-director of the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, and his team at Cincinnati Children's have been transforming pediatric medicine for years. They've been doing it by facilitating Learning Health Networks (LHN).
John Bostick, CEO of Hive Networks, spent three years studying Margolis’ work in order to develop the technology to empower doctors and researchers on their quest to improve health outcomes for patients. Carolyn Wong Simpkins, Senior Advisor of Clinical Strategy at Hive, explains what Hive does:
“Hive created a system in which shareholders could, using software, share measurable goals and available resources and hold each other responsible for making progress toward the goals,” she said.
This includes the patients and their families. Patients bring new perspectives to bear on the problems the group is trying to solve. “That sounds obvious, but it isn’t always so,” Simpkins said.
“One young patient had a condition where he had to have an NG tube inserted frequently. He taught himself how to administer the tube, created a video and posted it to the community to help others,” she said.
Hive is taking this momentum to scale and grow beyond pediatric-focused networks to those addressing conditions that impact a wide array of patients. The company is creating a paradigm shift in the healthcare industry by changing the way clinicians and patients use technology to work together and improve health outcomes.
Hive is hiring for tech positions to help expand software development and adoption of its technology. You can get the details on the open positions here.
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Pittsburgh Pirates announce campaign to help SMBs
The Pittsburgh Pirates have teamed up with PNC Financial Services Group to launch a new campaign called Family Forever. For the rest of the season, the team will offer free promotion to six small businesses and six nonprofits for nine days each.
The Pirates will use various media platforms to feature the small businesses, including social media, “in-broadcast drop-ins,” signage at the park, and 30-second TV and radio commercials. The nonprofits will receive similar promotion via highlight videos and in-broadcast interviews, as well as contributions from the Pirates and PNC during the time they’re featured.
In a press release, Pirates president Travis Williams said, “We have said it before and we truly mean it--as Pittsburghers we take pride in building each other up and helping where we can in times of trouble. That is what makes this community unique."
Making it easier to return online purchases
At a recent virtual demo day hosted by pre-accelerator Startup Boost Pittsburgh, entrepreneur Evgeny Kostromskoy pitched the idea behind his company, PorchShip. The business is based on the concept that while online shopping has skyrocketed, returning merchandise can be time consuming and inconvenient.
PorchShip plans to handle those returns and spare customers that inconvenience—and it hopes to employ drivers working for other services who are out making deliveries anyway.
From the user standpoint, the process couldn’t be simpler. Customers schedule a pickup and put the item (packed or not) on their porch, along with a label identifying the drop-off location. The PorchShip driver will take it from there, and the user will get a same-day alert letting them know that the merchandise has been returned.
Tandem takes the hassle out of babysitting gigs
Columbus-based startup Tandem bills itself as “the free market for care services.” Although it may expand into other services, right now the company is focused on babysitting, facilitated for families looking for a sitter and sitters looking for work. Tandem acts as a liaison, vetting babysitter applicants and supplying parents with optimal candidates.
The platform is indeed free, but with a twist: Parents pay their sitters online through Tandem, which then deposits the proceeds into a special debit card for the babysitters. The card is good wherever Visa is accepted, in person or online. When a purchase is made using the card, the merchant pays the usual transaction fee to the card issuer—which in this case is Tandem.
Digital twinning company expands into Michigan
A Bay Area company that specializes in “digital twinning” is expanding into Flyover Country with an advanced manufacturing space in Ann Arbor. The company, UrsaLeo, helps manufacturers and other customers increase virtual modeling, which is especially valuable during coronavirus quarantines and social distancing.
Cancer drug plant coming to Indy
A biotech company that makes drugs that fight cancer is building a facility in Indianapolis. Advanced Accelerator Applications S.A. has signed a deal to buy land near the Indianapolis International Airport, where it will build a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing plant. The company is a subsidiary of Novartis AG.
FUELING THE FUTURE
Private equity firm announces partnership with Field Aerospace
Dallas private equity firm Trive Capital is acquiring a stake in Cincy’s Field Aerospace, an international aerospace manufacturer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ohio AI company is growing, adding jobs
Columbus-based artificial intelligence startup Seamless.AI has announced plans to expand its headquarters, adding 75 jobs. The company’s AI platform is geared toward facilitating sales automation.
Durham SaaS developer lands investment
ServiceTrade, a software developer for the commercial services industry, has received an investment from Bull City Venture Partners and Frontier Growth. The company says it saw a record number of customers in the second quarter.
It's ... Name that Flyover city!
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