First Growth Venture Network Welcomes Its Inaugural Vintage
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NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- First Growth Venture Network, a mentoring program for high potential seed and early stage start-up tech companies, today announced the selection of 15 seed and early stage start-up tech companies for its first class, or "Inaugural Vintage." At the first day of the two-semester program, selected companies will learn more about the program, meet with advisors and network with other members of the program who have committed to helping accelerate the "first growth" of promising entrepreneurs. The First Growth program (1) connects class members with venture capitalists, angel investors, successful entrepreneurs and advisors, all of whom have spent years in and around technology start-ups; (2) connects each start-up with a First Growth Advisor Team of 3 or 4 successful network members who will serve as mentors to the team; (3) provides regular opportunities for substantive information and networking with the broader First Growth community; and (4) provides a peer group of other high potential tech leadership teams in the First Growth program "We were really inspired by the passion, vision and diligence of the applicant pool, and it was difficult to make our final selections," said Satya Patel, Founding Grower, Chair of the Admissions Committee and West Coast-based partner of Battery Ventures. "Many of the applicants were referred by trusted friends, colleagues and members of First Growth's Executive Committee (the 'Founding Growers'), and we reviewed candidates focused on technology solutions for industries ranging from insurance to apparel to sports. The finalists represent those companies that we believe have the best shot at becoming successful businesses, and together are a compelling and diverse group of entrepreneurs. We are eager to dive in and help them get their businesses off the ground." Selected companies include 20X200, AdHatchery, Capsearch.com, ChallengePost, CB Information Systems, Give Real, GoodCrush, Legolas, MeeGenius!, OrderGroove, Producteev, Sole Envie, StyleHop, Zeevex and Zodah. 20X200 uses digital technologies to bring innovation to the art world, fostering the careers of artists by introducing entirely new audiences to the value and joy of collecting. AdHatchery is creating a simple web platform to help digital media sellers and planners communicate. Agency account teams can share basic objectives in an online profile, and media owners can pitch relevant, informed ideas to get conversations started. Capsearch.com is a web application designed to connect government affairs professionals with legislators and connect legislators with their constituents. Members can make meaningful connections and access critical legislative data to help them work more efficiently. Capsearch.com is Bloomberg for legislative data, built on a social platform. ChallengePost is a marketplace for challenges like the X Prize, the Netflix Prize, and the thousands of user-generated challenges that appear on blogs daily. Individuals can get their problems solved by posting a challenge or joining other challenges, and sponsoring organizations can engage the public in substantive ways that are in line with their branding campaigns. CB Information Services is capturing and structuring information about the innovation economy: a world that includes high-growth, private companies, venture capital firms, private equity firms, angel investors, incubators and universities. CBIS' first offering is ChubbyBrain. Give Real connects online marketing to offline purchases by linking gift credits, purchase incentives, and other promotions directly to the credit or debit cards already in consumers' wallets. The Give Real network currently includes 2,000+ card-issuing banks. GoodCrush started in 2007 as an intra-Princeton, Valentine's Day program drawing nearly 30% of Princeton's student body within 24 hours of its launch. Now, GoodCrush provides web-based and mobile anonymous matching services to all college students. Legolas is a technology platform that will provide marketers (the 'Buy side'), for the first time, holistic and real time management of online display ad spend. The tool, through consolidation of data, advanced targeting and optimization algorithms and innovative ad tag technology, will enable advertisers and agencies to recognize savings, reduce wastage and achieve critical branding and performance objectives. MeeGenius! is a provider of high-quality children's digital media including ebooks and music, enhanced by related learning tools and audio recording to improve children's reading comprehension, literacy, reasoning and other important developmental skills. Parents with children in grades Pre-K to 3 can use MeeGenius!'s enhanced ebooks, music and learning tools via its website, the MeeGenius! player on computers and/or mobile devices. OrderGroove enables online brands to host auto-delivery programs, allowing customers to automatically receive shipments on a recurring basis. OrderGroove's focus is on turning 1 order into 12, maximizing customer retention, and building compounding annuity revenue streams for its clients. Producteev aims at solving the team collaboration hassle by becoming the platform syncing tasks, projects, updates, files and more from all the services we rely on every day: instant messaging, Twitter, e-mail, mobile, desktop and online applications. Sole Envie will revolutionize the way women shop for shoes by enabling them to design and purchase their own custom-designed shoes online and share them with an online community of like-minded fashionistas. StyleHop is helping the fashion industry re-capture $23 billion currently lost in markdowns from demand forecasting error. StyleHop provides the fashion industry with a consumer-driven forecasting tool to capture value currently lost in markdowns. Scalable, fast-turnaround forecasts designed exclusively for the fashion industry systematically improve merchant-driven demand forecasting leading to significantly lower markdowns and increased profits. Zeevex is the future of virtual currency. Zeevex sells the only gamer reward currency through the Zeevex Xtreme Game Card which is available in over 22,000 top retailers across the USA. Zeevex's virtual currency is accepted by a growing ecosystem of online game and social application publishers, from hits with millions of users to start-ups in beta. Zodah helps enable consumers to streamline the monthly billing process by creating a web-based platform that successfully allows user to view, pay and manage all their bills from a single location ("a Gmail for bills"). The trend towards paperless billing is inevitable, and Zodah's creation of a consumer friendly platform not only increases adoption of electronic billing but also increases the speed at which paper bills are suppressed for paperless bills. For more information on the program and the Inaugural Vintage, please visit www.firstgrowthvn.com First Growth Venture Network, a mentoring program for high potential seed and early stage start-up tech companies, is comprised of leading venture-related players including venture capital firms - Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Charles River Ventures, First Round Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, North Bridge Venture Capital, Valhalla Partners, and Venrock; angel investors - Grape ArborVC and AngelVineVC; the Tech Group at law firm Lowenstein Sandler and the tech investment banking firm GCA Savvian. SOURCE First Growth Venture Network Lowenstein Sandler PC, Ed Zimmerman, +1-973-597-2568, email@example.com; or Rubenstein Associates, Robin Wagge, +1-212-843-8006, firstname.lastname@example.org
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