Newark Venture Partners (NVP), the venture fund catalyzing innovation in Newark, hosted demo day for its latest cohort of startups participating in its NVP Labs program. This class of nine promising startups represents the third cohort of companies to graduate from the program since its founding in the summer of 2015. Past notable graduates of the program include Envested, Claim it!, Bowtie, and Barkly.
Startups in the program receive $100K in funding in return for a 6% equity stake, guaranteed follow-on funding in the next institutional round, dedicated coaching for funding and sales & marketing, mentorship from a number of leading industry professionals, and office space in a state-of-the-art 25,000 square foot dedicated facility that is a quick train ride from NY Penn Station.
While the program is industry agnostic, it does have a sweet spot for B2B technologies that can benefit from partnerships with the main fund’s LPs that include progressive industry leaders such as Audible, Dun & Bradstreet, Prudential Financial, RWJ Barnabas Health, and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Founder Don Katz (Founder of Audible) and Managing Partners, Thomas Wisniewski and Dan Borok set out to build a word class destination for leading entrepreneurs in Newark, a place not traditionally known for tech. Their ambitious efforts and perseverance has led to the creation of a thriving tech ecosystem and this class is a testament to the vitality of Newark and its promise. We had a chance to catch up with founders in the cohort and learn more about their businesses as they hit the stage.
Founded in 2014 by Amanda Weeks (Marvel Entertainment and Mindshare), Industrial/Organic is a waste management infrastructure service to recover nutrients, energy, and water found in food waste. Nearly 50 percent of produce in the United States is thrown away totaling $160B in value according to a recent Guardian report. The Environmental Protection Agency indicates that this food waste occupies half of American landfills.
Industrial/Organic is in the midst of building a network of micro-facilities where this waste can be processed and converted to a reusable form whether it be fertilizer, animal feed, or even energy. The startup’s proprietary process serves as a cheaper and faster alternative to available waste solutions. By creating smaller centers that do not require large footprints, both from a geographic and economic perspective, the startup is poised to scale in urban areas where food waste is becoming a growing concern.
The company is a past graduate of the first cohort of the Urban X accelerator program and closed a $1.3M Seed round in October of 2017 from a roster of notable investors that includes SOSV, BBG Ventures, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Melo7 Tech Partners LLC, Transcendent Holdings, Outbound Ventures, 3G Capital Partners, and Duck Island Holdings.
All to often in the startup world, we hear a company is changing the world. In this case, it’s actually true…
Founded in 2014 in Columbus, Ohio by Brandon Bornancin (Stanford alum, IBM, previous exit with EnMobile) and Granville Schmidt, Seamless.AI is an AI-powered assistant that’s integrated with all the widely-used CRM systems. According to the company, nearly 70% of a salespersons time is wasted on non-selling activity, representing a significant wastage for the essential drivers of any company’s revenue.
The Seamless solution reclaims this time by automating the process of list building, contact research, data entry, and other forms of busy work that is necessary for sales. The platform is already being used by tens of thousands including users in over 1/3 of the Fortune 500. Tech-savvy companies including Google, eBay, IBM, HP, and Amazon are already customers, making Seamless.AI an attractive acquisition target for the right strategic.
Founded in 2016 in New York by Alexander Ohebshalom (Empire Management and NYU alum) and Mark Smukler (Apollo Global Management, Stephens Investment Banking, and NYU alum), Bixby is a web and mobile-based communications and payments platform that allows tenants and property managers to interact. Through the use of the platform, property managers are able to provide best in class service to their tenants and tenants are able to enjoy a host of value-added services and amenities from the building and third party partners that include Lemonade and Cleanly.
The pricing model is determined by number of units and ranges from free to $999 at the enterprise level with various add-ons available including smart locks and virtual concierges. With rents skyrocketing in the city, building managers can spend a small fraction of a single unit’s rental income to keep all their tenants happy with Bixby’s proptech solution. Several property management companies in the city including MD2 Management, Friedland Properties, and Novoum Properties are already customers.
Prior to their acceptance into NVP Labs, the startup had raised $200K in a convertible note from undisclosed investors in 2016.
Founded in 2012 in Hoboken by Ed Paulosky, Michael Phipps (Stryker, Stevens Institute of Technology alum), Peter Verrillo (Stryker, Stevens Institute of Technology alum), Enhatch is a sales-enablement platform that’s tailored for the various touchpoints involved in complex sales like that of medical devices and equipment. The platform can be used by a wide array of stakeholders in the sales process including Sales Reps, Sales Ops, Marketing, IT, Finance, and Inventory Management, ensuring a consistent and seamless experience for customers.
The company is a previous graduate of Blueprint Health and is backed by investors that include FLOODGATE, AltaIR Capital, and Visionnaire Ventures.
Founded in 2013 in New York by Gabe Vorobiof (Cardiologist, Harvard Fellow) and Nir Altman (TheLadders.com, Deloitte Consulting, American Express Travel, NYU MBA), Padinmotion brings the use of tablet technology to the healthcare setting. The company offers practitioners the ability to develop their own patient engagement platforms tailored to their practices. Patients are educated on their treatments, able to coordinate care, management discharge instructions, and even be entertained in a seamless, integrated manner using a tablet to drive their healthcare experience.
The platform is already in use at several leading healthcare institutions including Mount Sinai, Hackensack UMC, and The company is a past graduate of both the Dreamit Health and Blueprint Health Accelerator Programs.
Founded in Israel in 2016 by Netanel Gilad and Yoav Yanovski (both Israeli Military intelligence officers), BOTique.ai is an enterprise-level chat platform that uses proprietary conversational AI to serve as the first touch point for contact requests, reducing the resources necessary for a traditional and expensive call center operation.
Customers can leverage several modules to build their own intelligence assistant that can be used with Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Skype, and WhatsApp. The agent then provides context-based conversational support that leverages advanced AI and Natural Language Understanding algorithms. The company already has several enterprise customers.
Prior to their acceptance into NVP Labs, the company previously closed a $400K convertible note in 2017 from pre-seed firm Right Side Capital Management.
Founded in 2017 by Gabriel Ruttner (Cornell Tech alum) in New York, Ursa is a real time transcription app that provides insights from recorded conversations. Through the use of the platform, conversations are recorded as raw footage, transcribed seamlessly with the ability to custom tag. Teams are then able to access and share insights on specific user behaviors, preferences, patterns, and values to drive actionable intelligence.
Founded in 2015 in New York by Erika Mozes (McDonalds, Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline), Joshua Karam (Rogers, Starwood, Marriott), and Tom Bollich (Zynga, AdExchange), Hyr is a mobile on demand app that connects employers with hourly independent contractors for work in industries like hospitality and retail. The business is predicated on the shift in work that has been introduced by the advent and popularity of the gig economy. As traditional jobs continue to fade, this innovative marketplace is poised to service both businesses and workers, serving as the key connection point for recruitment.
The company previously raised $1M in funding from investors that include Social Starts, Gaingels, and Matthew Kimball.
Founded in 2015 by Marleen Vogelaar (Cofounder of Shapeways), Ziel is a retail service platform that’s targeted towards health and wellness providers, communities and facilities, enabling them to sell their own branded high performance activewear on demand. Ziel allows you to design and produce an entire line quickly and seamlessly without the headaches associated with traditional sourcing and the high initial investment.
The company then manages inventory and fulfillment while providing tools to help you sell and promote both offline and online. Organized as a public benefit corporation, everything produced by Ziel is ecofriendly and made in the USA with a portion of revenue being generated to support various organizations like Herproject, The Ocean Clean Up, and the Coalition for Queens.
The company is a past graduate of the XRC Labs, retail-focused accelerator.