United Aircraft Technologies – We modernize and save money in maintenance of electrical systems for the transportation industry by replacing the metal clamps with our sensing clamps that can map, monitor, and diagnoses faults through AI and AR. Check out an Executive Summary here. Syndicated by Alchemy
IgnitePost – IgnitePost is a handwritten mail service that enables businesses to develop deeper relationships with customers & prospects. We do this by combining software and robotics to send real pen & ink letters that are indistinguishable from human handwriting. Check out an Executive Summary here. Syndicated by Launch413
Western-Massachusetts based angel network River Valley Investors (RVI) has completed an investment in QSM Diagnostics.
QSM Diagnostics provides the only diagnostic instrument-sensor method for identifying and monitoring biomarkers produced by common bacteria in ear pus. In under 2 minutes, electronic sensors are used to detect the unique quorum sensing molecules that each bacteria produces and secretes. Their Pseudomonas sensor has been shown to be effective in pre-clinical human and animal studies, as well as with initial dog ear swabs.
This is River Valley Investors’ first investment in ApprentiScope.
River Valley Investors is the premier angel investor group in western Massachusetts.
Colony Hills Capital – Investment Manager of Multifamily Apartment communities. Led by RVI Founding Chairman
Infinite Composites Technologies – ICT designs, develops and manufactures ultra-lightweight composite storage tanks for aerospace, industrial gas and transportation applications. Syndicated by Village Capitol
QSM Diagnostics Inc – QSM Diagnostics helps veterinarians diagnose and monitor infections in 2 minutes using electrochemistry to measure bacterial communication. ACA Syndicated
Cloud KPI – CloudKPI is a unique SaaS analytics engine that offers insights into the impact that performance results have on the business. Returning RVI Portfolio Company
Startups in Hartford, New Haven, Worcester, Vermont, Western New Hampshire, and my own Western Massachusetts often struggle to get funding from the investors in Boston and NYC. I understand why: there is so much good deal flow in those places that investors don’t need to look farther to find great opportunities.
Meanwhile, because of our low population density and a cultural norm of meeting in person, there are few parts of the CT River Valley (From New Haven, CT up to Burlington, VT) that have enough angel investors to form and sustain a group. The groups that formed are small, so they tend to write smaller checks and have less specialization than our counterparts in Boston and NYC.
COVID-19 has changed everything. Our group, River Valley Investors, switched to meeting online back in March. Originally this was so that we could continue to serve our members and entrepreneurs. But now it is starting to look like the path we should keep. Within a month of switching to online meetings, we signed up our first member from Worcester (an hour away by car). At this month’s meeting, we had more than a dozen potential members from Connecticut attending. I’ve now had conversations with many regional leaders up and down the CT River Valley who have long wished for a way to aggregate enough angel investors to have an impact.
We are stronger together. Our cultures are more similar to each other than they are to the big cities. And perhaps most importantly, we know there are great startups in our region that the big cities are overlooking. If we work together, we can fund these companies and see them create prosperity in our communities and financial returns for us.
If you are interested in investing in startups in the CT river basin, I invite you to learn more about us and attend a meeting.
RVI has two presenters scheduled for our next meeting on April 15th.
Avitus Orthopaedics, Inc. – Avitus Orthopaedics is a medical device company innovating novel surgical instruments for orthopedic surgery. Avitus is an ACA Syndicated company. Check out their website here.
Wavelength – Wavelength is an app the uses behavioral neuroscience to help people stop the yo-yo dieting cycle and heal their relationship to food. Check out their website here.
I am told that the angel groups of the Northeast have one of the best systems for syndicating deals in the country. There are many parts to making that happen. I have the privilege of running the nomination, application, and selection processes.
The process is efficient and fair and might be helpful to other angel groups, or to other groups who see a lot of applications from people seeking money (accelerators, foundations, government agencies, etc). And… no coders or high-tech talent required, we do it all with free/cheap tools we can easily modify to meet our needs!
As mentioned previously, in January RVI pivoted to focus on speed and convenience. Three months in, and despite COVID-19, RVI’s new model is working.
- Membership up 20%.
- Attendance up 33%.
- Invested in a deal every month (or about 4x as many as we did in most years).
COVID-19 is creating massive problems in the world and no one is better suited to adapt and tackle those problems then startups.
But the startups can’t do it alone. They need our investment and support.
If you are interested in investing in the startups trying to change the world and you are near Western Massachusetts, learn more & contact us, we’d love to have you at one of our meetings.