Each week, we’ll round up startup news from the UNC journalism students behind North Carolina Business News Wire. To read all of the students’ work covering public and private companies around the state, sign up for the daily newsletter.
Greenville-based Game Theory Group raises $140,000
By Bryce Lapping
A Greenville, North Carolina-based company raised $140,000 selling shares in a private stock offering, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Game Theory Group International Inc., better known as Game Plan, filed the Form D on Thursday. The company chose not to disclose the intended use of the proceeds.
It also raised $150,000 in June 2015.
Game Plan describes itself as “the leading student-development platform.” The company works with more than 40 colleges and universities to connect student-athletes to various job markets, according to its website.
Presently, Game Plan partners with several established athletic departments, including those at the University of Florida, the University of Georgia and East Carolina University, which is also located in Greenville.
Chief Executive Officer Vin McCaffrey, who played basketball at Lehigh University, started the company in 2008 after receiving his Master of Business Administration from Indiana University at Bloomington, citing his dedication to the student-athlete experience as his prime motivation.
Companies relying on a Reg D exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but must file what’s known as a Form D electronically with the SEC after they first sell their securities.
The form can be found here.
Durham-based Sense Photonics raises $500,000
By Lindsey Welch
A technology company developing sensors for drones and mobile devices has raised $500,000 in a private equity offering, according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company, Sense Photonics Inc., raised the money from three investors, according to the filing.
Started in 2016, the company specializes in developing “Light Detection and Ranging” sensors, also known as LiDAR. These sensors are necessary for many industries, especially autonomous vehicles that use the sensors to create 3D maps of the vehicles’ surroundings.
Goldman Sachs predicts that the LiDAR industry will grow to more than $100 billion in the next 20 years.
Scott Burroughs is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Sense Photonics. Before the company was founded last year, Burroughs was the executive vice president of manufacturing and technology development at Semprius Inc.
The other founder and chief commercial officer leading the company is Russell Kanjorski, who also worked at Semprius as the vice president of business development before creating Sense Photonics with Burroughs.
Companies relying on Reg D exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but they must file what’s known as a Form D electronically with the SEC after they first sell their securities.
NC Biotech awards $3.6 million to small companies in the fourth quarter
By Luke Bollinger
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center awarded 47 loans and grants in the fourth quarter, totaling $3.6 million, according to a release from the private economic development agency.
The awards were distributed throughout North Carolina to support life science and technology research and to attract follow-on funding from other sources for the universities and small businesses.
The loans to bioscience companies were awarded in three forms designed to research new bioscience ventures, support startups and accelerate the commercialization of technologies.
Six bioscience companies received two loans each, totaling $1.6 million.
According to NC Biotech, 18 bioscience companies previously funded by the center raised $128 million in follow-on funding during the fourth quarter of 2016-2017.
The two biggest loans of $500,000 were awarded to Camras Vision and Locus Biosciences. These loans are purposed to match angel group or venture capital investments to expedite the development of marketable technologies.
NC Biotech also awarded 14 grants for technology, biotechnology and institutional advancement to four different North Carolina universities, totaling $1.4 million.
UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University received the majority of the grants, totaling $416,365 and $561,682, respectively.
North Carolina State University received $171,321 in grants and Wake Forest University received $275,000.
Other awards from NC Biotech included 10 grants of $3,000 to sponsor internship programs in bioscience or business. Durham County and Wake County received four economic development awards totaling $350,000.
The Pitt County Development Commission also received an award of $36,100 to enhance workforce development in the pharmaceutical industry.
Online food ordering company Orchard Systems raises $1.1 million
By Meghan Siegmund
Asheville-based online food ordering company Orchard Systems Inc. has raised $1.1 million in a private equity offering, according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Orchard Systems raised the money from two investors, according to the filing.
The company is still seeking to raise $900,000, totaling an investment of approximately $2 million.
Order Orchard, Orchard Systems core product, is a restaurant support platform that connects food-seeking customers to menu and online ordering options. The ordering website is currently under construction.
Led by Thomas Cecil, a 2017 graduate of Dartmouth College and current CEO, the company is continuing to expand Order Orchard, as well as developing more products, including OrchardPOS and OrchardOS.
This software is currently targeted at multi-location restaurant enterprises, offering point of Sale solutions for the retail and food service industries.
Cecil won the 2017 Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Forum, presenting this business model. The Digital Arts Leadership & Innovation Lab partnered with Orchard Systems throughout 2016 and continues to work with the private company through mentorship.
Companies relying on a Reg D exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but they must file what’s known as a Form D electronically with the SEC after they first sell their securities.