WINSTON SALEM – Five companies, three from North Carolina, won the 2018 New Ventures Challenge and will receive initial investments of $5,000–$25,000 from Flywheel New Ventures 2018, a membership-based investment organization of local entrepreneurs in the Triad Region of North Carolina.

This is the best cohort we’ve seen in the three years of New Ventures,” said Patrick Turner, the principal of Small Footprint and a New Ventures investor who served on the screening and selection committee.  “It’s the most diverse group we’ve had.” The cohort was selected from an applicant pool of 347 startups.

In addition to the initial investment amounts, the five companies will participate in the third-annual summer business accelerator program hosted by Flywheel and led by entrepreneur Joel Bennett.  Upon completion of the accelerator, the companies may qualify to receive additional investments, averaging $50,000 per company.

Including this year’s cohort, the New Ventures program has made investments in fourteen startup companies, which in turn have now received more than $4.2 million in follow-on funding.

The winners are:

The winners included Winston-Salem-based Rent Assured, which receives a $25,000 initial investment. Rent Assured is a software application that helps landlords solve the expensive issues of damage, litigation, payments, and communications.  Rent Assured helps tenants complete the move-in and move-out paperwork digitally, attach necessary documentation and pictures, schedule rent payments, request maintenance, and communicate to landlords easily and efficiently.

Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Bobbi Shrivastav and Jeanna Carr at Triad Startup Weekend in 2017, Rent Assured will automatically enter Winston Starts after completing the New Ventures Challenge summer accelerator program.

Cary-based MotorCo Technologies will receive a $10,000 initial investment. MotorCo is developing a mobile travel platform augmented by virtual reality. It is intended to improve a traveler’s experience while providing customer information to travel service providers. MotorCo will also go from the summer accelerator into Winston Starts.

“The competition has been challenging,” said Neal Simpson, the co-founder of MotorCo Technologies. “The company benefited tremendously through the experience and the interaction with New Ventures and its investors.  Our story, message and value proposition have all improved through the process.”

One Donation, also based in Winston-Salem, receives a $5,000 initial investment. The fintech enables a company’s employees to donate money to nonprofits via payroll deductions.

New York City-based Fixional, which sells AI-powered software that helps editors, writers, media companies and publishers review and improve writing, also receives a $5,000 initial investment.

B-Line Analytics, based in Toronto, Ontario, which receives a $5,000 initial investment as well, uses mobile devices to passively collect users mobility patterns to generate real-time analytics of users’ trip time, distance, purpose, mode, and environmental and health impacts.


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