With 11 of its first 12 “graduates” still in business, the Triangle Startup Factory opens “class” today for its third round of new companies that it hopes to mentor and guide to breakout success.
Partners Dave Neal and Chris Heivly announced the six latest selections today. Three come from the Triangle.
Each of the startups receives $50,000 in funding as part of the three-month program at the American Underground in Durham. They also receive a great deal of training and mentoring as the new business accelerator preps them for formal launch. And those firms that finish the program are eligible to receive additional funding from the Startup Factory -up to $150,000 through a convertible note.
Through two classes, the Factory graduated 11 firms, and of those 10 remain based in the Triangle, Heivly tells The Skinny.
He also says that those graduates have advanced far enough along that the Factory has provided additional funding through notes of various amounts.
The new class is an interesting mix with three focused on restaurant/bar service.
And they are diverse in origin as well with one coming from New York, another from Washington D.C. and a third is what Heivly calls a “hybrid” – with founders from Pennsylvania, D.C. as well as Australia.
The six start with anywhere from two to three employees in addition to contractors.
Asked what impressed him about the new group, Heivily said it liked the “combination of team, idea and our ability to accelerate.”
In terms of the “secret sauce” for the six, Heivly was more impressed by the teams themselves rather than technology.
“Their personality and team dynamic that enables them to make adjustments as they find their sweet spot” struck him and Neal as reason to invest time and money in the group.
The fact that three are focused on the food/beverage sector led The Skinny to ask heivly if their selections reflected a general movement in “deal flow” with live interaction by device and “app” supplanting and/or seeking to improve the ages-old waitress-bartender-delivery models?
“Yes,” Heivly replied. “This is just one of many ‘old-school’ businesses that are finding new disrupters that want to change/improve old workflows.”
The Factory received more than 100 applications for the spots, with 57 percent coming from the Triangle. That’s down from 70 percent for the previous class. To Heivly and Neal, that means the Factory is gaining a growing reputation.
International applications increased to 10 percent from 5 percent.
However, the percentage of North Carolina applications increased to 11 percent from 7 percent.
“Dave and I are very enthusiastic about the 6 companies that make up this class,” Heivly explained. “The quality of both the applicants and the business concepts are significantly higher than previous cohorts.”
Added Neal: “Our selection process is getting more and more difficult as we consider a greater number of excellent opportunities. It is clear that TSF is building a brand outside of RTP which we view as very favorable for our program and community. These six companies represent a wider diversity of industries, product, and experiences including increases in mobile, food, and education startups.”
The Six Startups
The six selected companies with information provided by Neal and Heivly:
- BringMeThat allows users to quickly and easily order food delivery from restaurants online and have it immediately delivered to their door. We provide a comprehensive list of restaurants that delivers to any particular address with the convenience of never having to pick up the phone and dealing with misplaced orders, being put on hold, or dropped calls. BringMeThat is currently live in over 1500 restaurants in 300 cities in Ohio and will be expanding to other states soon.
- TabSprint is a mobile application, which streamlines the payment process at bars, clubs, and restaurants. TabSprint dramatically reduces the overhead of financial transactions by eliminating time traditionally wasted opening and closing tabs at Point of Sale devices. Payment with TabSprint is as quick and easy as the touch of a finger. Leave your wallet behind and never worry about waiting in long lines when you and your friends are ordering with TabSprint.
- Taggs proprietary software collects image and earned media data from social media images. We show brand managers the image content most valued by their audience so that they can optimize image content strategy to maximize community engagement.
- Tuee is redefining the way restaurants relate to their guests. Tuee provides restaurant owners and managers with real-time, actionable feedback on over 80% of their guests. Moreover, Tuee enables restaurants to customize outreach based on each guest’s specific experience. The end result? Tuee enables restaurants to better allocate marketing spend, reach out to tens of thousands of guests per year, and fix operational problems in real-time.
- VacationFutures is the wholesale rental marketplace allowing homeowners, property managers, and real estate investors to buy and sell future rental rights. Our proprietary listing and auction platform enables homeowners to generate risk-free, upfront income from their homes, with a tiny fraction of the time commitment currently required by other options, and gives property managers and investors access to these properties in a way that limits their upfront capital commitments and risk exposure, but maximizes their income. In short, VacationFutures creates a new way of investing in and managing rental properties that enable all parties involved to walk away better off than they are today.