November 15, 2011
CincyTech moving at the speed of innovation
CincyTech is ending 2011 with a burst of investment activity after closing its second fund in late June. Fund II provides CincyTech with $4.4 million to invest in new startups in Southwest Ohio. It builds on the company-creation work of Fund I, which allowed CincyTech to invest $10.4 million in 24 Cincinnati-based companies, which have created more than 150 jobs and raised more than $83 million in private dollars.
The first three companies to receive investment from Fund II are Ilesfay, SoMoLend and Define My Style, bringing CincyTech’s portfolio to a total of 27 investments through Sept. 30.
- Ilesfay offers cloud-based data replication services for corporate product life-cycle management. The three co-founders of Ilesfay have a combined 30 years of engineering experience at Cincinnati engineering firm Alexander & Associates, where they saw clients struggle with information exchange while working on large, data-heavy projects.
- Define My Style is an online, stylecentric community offering teens ages 13-19 the opportunity to design, share, advertise and purchase handbags using the site’s design tools. The company is being founded by architecture and design software professional Kristine Sturgeon, who says her role as mother of three daughters is equally important in founding this company.
- SoMoLend is a Web and mobilebased peer-to-peer software company using patent-pending technology in a hyper-localized geographic scope. The company was founded by Candace Klein, a real estate and consumer and commercial litigation lawyer for Ulmer & Berne and founder of a microfinance organization for women, Bad Girl Ventures.
And along with new investments, CincyTech has a number of recent highlights from CincyTech Fund I:
- Airway Therapeutics, based on research from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is forming
- strategic partnerships to help produce and test its protein surfactant developed for use in premature babies with underdeveloped lungs. Among other goals, the company is focusing on the prevention and treatment of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (nRDS) in very premature infants.
- NanoDetection Technology recently closed a Series A investment round in which the diagnostics company had set out to raise $2 million but closed with $2.3 million. CincyTech led the round with a $400,000 investment and brought six investors into the deal.
- ThinkVine recently received national recognition from Forrester Research Inc. for its marketing software, which helps companies project sales impact based on their marketing spending. ThinkVine also just released an updated version of its marketing optimization software that provides faster business insights and greater comparison abilities.
- Zipscene launched a new initiative in mobile development and analytics, focused on helping restaurants and other consumer-oriented businesses reach out to people looking for easy ways to access dining and shopping information on their smart phones.
- VenturePax attended one of the country’s largest outdoor expos in August, allowing it to create strategic retail partnerships with outdoor retailers across the country. These partnerships will reward VenturePax mobile and web users with retail discounts to participating stores, growing the company’s user base exponentially.
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