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Vegas Tech Startup OrderWithMe Raises $6 Million

It’s always great when a startup company in Las Vegas raises a round of funding, but a $6 million series b round of funding is event better. Congrats to OrderWithMe for closing the $6 million round of funding from Vegas Tech Fund, BaseVC, Tony Hsieh, and other local Las Vegas investors along with previous investors Infinity Venture Partners, SOS Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

For those not familiar with OrderWithMe, here’s a short summary of what they do:

With operations now in China and the US, OrderWithMe helps small businesses more effectively compete by streamlining their purchase orders and payments to all their vendors on one easy business-to-business platform. The business owners save substantial time by centralizing their inventory purchasing and payment activities. More importantly, businesses can then negotiate much bigger volume discounts from their suppliers by aggregating their purchase volume with others in the same industry.

December 4, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

Vegas Startup Company Sport-Social Wins $100k from Project Vesto

A big congrats to Las Vegas startup company Sport-Social for winning the Project Vesto competition. I couldn’t be happier to see a Las Vegas startup company take home the $100k prize. The following is the full press release that details the announcement.

CARSON CITY, Nev. (June 28, 2013) – NIREC is proud to announce Sport-Social as the winner of Project Vesto. Sport-Social, a Nevada startup servicing the needs of children with autism and other special needs, will be awarded the business competition’s top prize and opportunity for $100,000 in seed funding and support. Andrew Devitt, a 22-year old therapist for children with autism, started Sport-Social in 2011 with just $15,000. In the past 20 months Sport-Social has grown to employing 20 people and servicing 225 children per week using action sports, team sports, and the arts to provide an ideal environment for social interaction.

As the winner of Project Vesto, Sport-Social will receive a $25,000 check during an awards ceremony at its place of business during the next month (date and time to be announced). The Las Vegas startup will then be required to achieve important milestones established by Project Vesto and experienced industry mentors in order to receive the full prize.

“For startup companies like Sport-Social, it is extremely important to couple hands-on mentorship with seed capital to help ensure their success,” says Ian Rogoff, Chairman of the Board of NIREC. Through Project Vesto, Sport-Social will gain access to a distinguished network of angel investors, experienced entrepreneurs and consultants who will work hands-on with Sport-Social over the coming months to take their business concept to the next level. “We look forward to helping Sport-Social become an even bigger success story for Nevada than it already is,” says Rogoff.

“Start-ups are an important component of Nevada’s economic development plan,” said Steve Hill, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Project Vesto is one example of the innovative investments that GOED is making to build a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem that ensures Nevada remains a ‘Top 10′ state for entrepreneurs for years to come.”

Sport-Social was selected as the winner of Project Vesto by popular vote on the Project Vesto website at www.ves.to out of 232 Nevada entrants and 12 finalists selected by high-profile judges in Reno and Las Vegas. The 2012-2013 Project Vesto competition was administered by the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization(NIREC), with sponsorship and support from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the City of Reno, Rob Roy’s InNEVation Center powered by Switch,Wedgies real-time web polling, Brennan Capital Partners, the Growing Worldwide Opportunity FoundationSierra AngelsHelioPower, the Law Offices of Snell & Wilmer, and Mr. Robert C. Anderson.

More information about Sport-Social is available at lasvegasautism.com.

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About GOED: Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and Governor Brian Sandoval to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development. More information on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can be viewed atwww.diversifynevada.com.

About NIREC: The Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) is an independent private 501(c)3 nonprofit actively involved in igniting innovation, driving commercialization and fueling acceleration as an innovation intermediary in Nevada. More information about NIREC can be found at www.nirec.org.

June 28, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

Vegas Publisher and Event Company Tech Cocktail Raises $2.5 Million

Tech Cocktail just announced a $2.5 million investment from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project. Congrats to Tech Cocktail on raising a great round of funding.

Those in the Vegas Tech startup community are likely familiar with Tech Cocktail. I’d say they’re best known in Las Vegas for their monthly Tech Week events that they hold on the second week of every month. When I talk to entrepreneurs and investors outside of Las Vegas, I’ve started suggesting they come visit what’s happening with startup companies in Las Vegas during Tech Week.

Another interesting part of the Tech Cocktail funding announcement is this little tidbit, “We’ll soon be announcing an exciting new national platform for startups and their regions around the country.” We’ll have to see what kind of platform they’ve created. I guess they didn’t read the latest tech buzz about building a platform is a lazy pivot. Or maybe it’s a logical one given their audience. It will be fun to see how it plays out.

It’s been great to have Tech Cocktail as part of the Vegas Tech community. They’ve embraced the community with open arms and done a lot to contribute to it. I look forward to many more great Tech Cocktail events in the future.

May 15, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

Hotel Revenue and Big Data Company Duetto Research Raises $10 Million

I know a lot of us in Vegas Tech know the guys behind Duetto Research really well. I still remember meeting them a number of times at /usr/lib/ as they worked to start and get funding for their company. You could tell they were working in an area that they knew about more than the rest of us. At Tech Cocktail week, Raj Kappor classified two types of entrepreneurs. The second type of entrepreneur was the more seasoned worker who had deep domain expertise in a certain area. I think the guys behind Duetto Research epitomize this type of entrepreneur.

With all of this said, I’m excited that Duetto Research was able to raise $10 million. Here’s some more details on the raise:

The Series A round was led by Battery Ventures and Altimeter Capital and includes current investors Thayer Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Salesforce.com Inc . Chief Executive Marc Benioff. Battery Ventures and Altimeter Capital founder Brad Gerstner were seed investors, according to Duetto co-founder and Chief Executive Patrick Bosworth , although Mr. Gerstner participated in the Series A round through Altimeter….

Congrats to the Duetto Research team!

December 17, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

$100k Nevada Business Competition – Project Vesto

Many of you have probably seen some tweets floating around about a $100k business competition called Project Vesto. It’s a great project being managed by NIREC and funded by the State of Nevada and other private sponsors. Many might look at this as a business plan competition, but Project Vesto has made a concerted effort to format the competition in a way that’s much different than a business plan competition. Most investors won’t read the business plan anyway, so Project Vesto focuses on what investors really care about.

With this in mind, Project Vesto requires a company to put together a Business Model Canvas. I think this is a genius approach since the business model canvas has been getting a lot of traction lately. Plus, it’s a simple way to show all the functioning elements of a successful business without the fluff of a business plan. You can find out more details about the Business Model Canvas on the Project Vesto website.

Another interesting twist to Project Vesto is that they’re starting the business filtering process with the pitch to judges (mostly VCs and private investors) up front. Then, they’re taking the best companies selected by the judges and letting the final winner of the $100k be determined by online vote.

Here’s the important dates and details to get started:
December 31, 2012 – Business Model Canvas Deadline
January 11, 14, 2013 – 5 minute pitches (in Las Vegas, Reno & Elko)
February 1-28, 2013 – Online Voting

I’m looking to see the companies that participate in Vesto. I hope that Vegas Tech has a great showing and comes home with the $100k.

November 26, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

$5 Million from Sequoia Capital for Vegas Tech Company Romotive

The first company that Vegas Tech Fund ever funded, Romotive, has just recently announced a $5 million round of funding led by Sequoia Capital and includes Crunchfund, Ron Conway’s SV Angel and others. This is a great achievement for Romotive and a great next step for Vegas Tech as well. So much for the myth that Silicon Valley firms don’t want to invest in Las Vegas startup companies.

Romotive has been killing it as they’ve grown the company to 18 employees based out of downtown Las Vegas. They also have worked hard to move their second robot production run out of their apartment and into a factory in China which can pump out thousands of Romos a week. The article about Romotive by Tech Cocktail also highlights that you can even by a Romo featured in the Neiman Marcus catalogue.

At $150 price point, the Romo is at a low enough price point that it makes for a great gift. Where else have you seen a $150 robot that can do what Romo does? Plus, it seems that they’re poised well to take advantage of the Christmas shopping season where Romo could be a great gift. Let’s hope Romotive can get their Romos out there and can handle the Christmas demand.

Romotive originally raised about $115,000 from a $32,000 Kickstarter campaign. While $5 million of funding will help them grow the company, Romotive made the decision to do another Kickstarter campaign as a great way to get Romos in more people hands. It looks like this was a good plan, since they’ve already raised $109,290 on the new Kickstarter campaign.

For those not familiar with Romo, here’s the Romotive Kickstarter video which does a good job showing the product:

October 22, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

Vegas Tech Startup Company EcoMom Raises $4.7 Million in Funding

Great news for another Las Vegas Tech startup company EcoMom. As was reported on PandoDaily, EcoMom just closed a $4.7 million round of funding.

Ecomom just closed a $4.7 million round, bringing its total raise since inception in 2004, to $10.7 million. All of the funds which previously invested came back, which is a good sign. I always worry when I don’t see any returnees in follow-up rounds. It’s a red flag. But in the case of Ecomom, they had all and more: Crosslink, Cueball Capital (which led the last round), Blue Pacific Ventures (leading this round), Chamath’s Fund (Embarcadero Ventures, invested for third time), Vegas Tech Rhodium, 500 Startups, Siemer Ventures, and Rising Tide.

Major angels also participated including Rohan Oza and Walter Kortschak. The new major investor is Daher Capital. That’s ironic, because Daher is one of GRP’s largest LPs, and GRP had previously passed on Ecomom.

It’s great to see more and more investment happening in Las Vegas tech companies. EcoMom has been a great addition to Las Vegas and with this new funding I’m sure they’ll continue to be a major boon to everyone in the Las Vegas startup scene.

I love the list of investors in EcoMom. I sometimes have people ask me if you can get major VC investment in Las Vegas. Looking at the list of investors in EcoMom, the answer is clearly Yes!

Congrats to the team at EcoMom!

August 15, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

Pitch Your Startup for a Chance at $500k from the Vegas Tech Fund

Many of you who attended Startup Weekend and the Vegas Jelly have likely already heard about this, but I wanted to make sure that all the Las Vegas startup companies that were interested heard about this opportunity.

Here’s what’s happening if you’re a startup company interested in a chance at $500k in investment:

  • Create a Company Profile on CrowdFunder: win community votes and Supporters
  • Contest Judges pick 10 startups to pitch at live event to the Vegas Tech Fund
  • Winner meets with the Vegas Tech Fund partners for up to $500,000 in funding*

See all the details on the CrowdStart LV Startup Competition page. One caveat worth mentioning is that in order to get the funding, you’ll have to relocate to Las Vegas to be part of the Vegas community. Of course, if you know anything about the Vegas Tech Fund, then you’ll understand why this is a requirement.

Best of luck to those startup companies that plan to participate.

August 14, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

5 Vegas Tech Fund Companies…and Counting

We’ve written about the Downtown Project a few times before. One of the major components of the Las Vegas Downtown Project is the $50 million Vegas Tech Fund. This fund is designed to fund tech startup companies that will join the Las Vegas Tech community.

The best part of the Vegas Tech fund is that the cash is already starting to flow out to startup companies. The Vegas Tech fund has posted 5 companies that are part of their portfolio to date:
Not Safe for Work Corporation – This is Paul Carr of Techcrunch fame’s startup company. They do a weekly news magazine, published daily.
LaunchBit – Simply put they’re an ad network for email.
Local Motion – This is a smart network of shared electric vehicles. If you know about the Downtown Project you’ll understand why this is so interesting.
Digital Royalty – Put simply, they help national and international clients grow their brands by bridging the virtual and physical worlds.
Romotive – Simple affordable robotics platform.

The most exciting thing is that this is just the start of the investments that the Vegas Tech fund is going to be making in startup companies. I can’t wait to see what other companies get funded by the Vegas Tech fund and join the growing Vegas Tech community.

If you’re a company that’s interested in raising money for your startup, check out the methodology and process deployed by the Vegas Tech fund.

May 31, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

Rumgr Raises $500k from Tony Hsieh, Arun Rajan, Fred Mossler and Andrew Donner and Launches Officially

It’s been a big couple days for the team behind Rumgr: Dylan Bathurst, Ray Morgan and Alex Coleman. They officially launched Rumgr and they announced their first round of funding as well. This is the first Startup Weekend Las Vegas company to get funding. I still remember when I heard Dylan first pitch the idea. It’s come a long way since then.

As part of their official launch they’ve added some great new features like splitting comments and offers into two distinct actions. This might seem like a subtle change, but it’s a really smart move for Rumgr since it also sets the stage for them to build in a number of other features around paying for an item based on the offer that’s accepted.

I also love a number of the website features that have been added to Rumgr.com as they seem to have embraced what Mark Suster has recently called a Web Second, Mobile First strategy. As I think back on my chats with Dylan and Ray I think they’ll continue this thoughtful approach on what to add to the app and what to add to the website that will make Rumgr work better on both platforms.

According to Techcrunch, Rumgr raised $500k from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Zappos CTO Arun Rajan, Fred Mossler, and Andrew Donner, CEO and owner of Resort Gaming Group.

Congrats to Dylan, Ray and Alex on their official launch and funding. All of Vegas Tech is looking forward to where they take the app from here.

February 1, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

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