Akron, OH – Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - The Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF; www.neosvf.com), is pleased to announce Paragon Robotics, LLC (http://paragonrobotics.com/) has completed repayment of a convertible loan from NEOSVF.
“When we selected Paragon, we were very excited about the potential of the company,”
said NEOSVF Executive Director Dan Hampu. “Since then, their team has executed extremely well on their product development and go to market strategy. We are impressed by the progress they have made, and we look forward to their continued success.”
When NEOSVF funded Paragon Robotics, they were in the process of engaging with government contracts and competing for commercial projects that had the potential to accelerate their growth. With funding from NEOSVF, Paragon was able to expand these opportunities into revenue producing projects while winning additional contracts.
Several University of Akron students have also played direct roles in the company’s growth, including project engineer Jeff Schreiber—who worked as an intern for Paragon while studying biomedical engineering—and engineering graduate, Kevin Kline (BS EE 1990), who leads the Paragon Robotics’ sales and marketing efforts.
“The NEOSVF relationship and funding was an integral piece in assisting us during our system development and customer procurement stages,” said Paragon Robotics President Julian Lamb. “Due to the additional NEOSVF funding and our ability to execute on opportunities that were in front of us, Paragon is well positioned with an advanced wireless technology, solution oriented products and service capability for further growth.”
Paragon Robotics continues to expand their wireless monitoring and control product lines and also plans to introduce cutting-edge microgrid controls for building resiliency this year. Meanwhile, NEOSVF continues to provide students with experiential learning opportunities by reviewing and funding scalable startups.
The Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF) is a 501(c)(3) student focused organization that funds high potential, tech-based startups in Northeast Ohio. Students from the University of Akron, Kent State University, Walsh University, Notre Dame College, The College of Wooster, and Case Western Reserve University take selected companies through a due diligence process to decide which will receive funding. Since 2012, over 600 students have participated in NEOSVF; 14 startups have been funded; and startups have raised more than $7 million in follow-on funding, which has resulted in 81 jobs created.
About Paragon Robotics
Paragon Robotics wireless monitoring and automation solutions provide significant cost savings in remotely monitoring sensor data in building automation, energy auditing/management, building resilience and energy metering applications. Their sensors are used throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe in energy efficiency programs, air quality studies, life sciences/ medical applications, greenhouse environmental monitoring and a broad range of Industrial Automation applications. The company has their headquarters in Bedford Heights, OH. Paragon continues to expand its product line with additional remote sensor measurements and wireless control/ automation capabilities along with custom software applications for their customers. For the latest product information and company news, visit our website – www.paragonrobotics.com.
Collaboration is Key!
The start to a good collaboration is beginning with the end in mind. If two people or two organizations share similar goals and ways of achieving the goals, it could be a great opportunity for collaboration. Disclaimer: I am not a collaboration expert. But with that being said, the first ever joint meeting of the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF) and the Akron Regional Change Angels (ARCHAngels) was a success and it did not disappoint! The six NEOSVF chapters (University of Akron, Kent State University, Walsh University, Notre Dame College, The College of Wooster, and Case Western Reserve University) came together with the ARCHAngels for a meeting where more than 200 people decided to join us for a portion of their Valentine’s Day celebration! Hiram College and the University of Mount Union also had a number of students and faculty attend the event. So, how did it work? Both organizations have a desire to help entrepreneurs: the ARCHAngels through connecting startups to a variety of resources in the community and NEOSVF through potential access to capital and interns. We smashed the ARCHAngels event and the NEOSVF deal flow presentations together for a great meeting. People from all backgrounds, professions, and many universities gathered to hear five, pre-selected startups pitch and respond to initial diligence questions. If you are excited about what is going on and want to get more engaged with either, contact NEOSVF Executive Director Dan Hampu at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gordon Schorr at email@example.com.
Valentine’s Day Pitching
Five awesome startups did a great job presenting. The companies were: Projitech, which is creating the best new mobile application for the transportation project management industry; Turning Mode, which is accelerating health-tech and life sciences innovations through its Sentinel visualization and illumination product for operating rooms; Hyr Medical, which is working to solve a critical problem in the healthcare practitioner supply chain, where there massive shortages of physicians and nurses, through their online and transparent marketplace with no agency middle man; VetGuardian, which is creating the first true non-contact vital signs monitor for cats and dogs, measuring pulse and respiration rate in real-time using ultra-wideband Doppler radar; and SplashCPQ, which sells a complete order management system to independent manufacturer representatives and distributors who want to simplify their quote, payment, and order processes. PetraPower, which is leveraging the efficiency and versatility of solid oxide fuel cells to reduce fuel costs and environmental impact for the transportation and shipping industries, was also selected to advance but could not attend the event on February 14th.
Coffee with Komae
It is always fun catching up with startup founders. Audrey Wallace (CEO) and Amy Husted (COO), of Komae, are no exception. They sat down with us to discuss their progress since launching. Spoiler alert: it’s remarkable! Komae is applying the sharing economy in a safe way to babysitting. After only launching in 2016, they have had a lot of success. In northeast Ohio, they presented to the ARCHAngels, have been funded by NEOSVF, the GLIDE Innovation Fund, and private angels, and have won pitch competitions and participated in programs from the Midwest to the east coast including “Project Entrepreneur,” which was founded by Rent the Runway co-founders, Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss to ignite bold ideas by providing women access to tools, training, and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful tenants. They are also tenants of an exciting, new innovation hub in Akron, Ohio, called, the “Bounce Innovation Hub.” This facility, its programming, and its team are sure to cause a major impact to the Akron region!
As is customary with ARCHAngels events, there was a lot of beneficial networking. There was a healthy mix of students from all over northeast Ohio, entrepreneurs, investors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, commercialization experts, and many more. I had the opportunity to connect with people from all different backgrounds and look forward to connecting more with all of you in the future.
NEOSVF Funded Companies Have Been Up to a LOT!
As we put on this meeting, we were contacted by quite a few organizations about upcoming events. They are below for those that are interested.
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS!
But for the support of the organizations below, the ARCHAngels and NEOSVF collaborative meeting would not have been possible.
On Wednesday, February 14, The ARCHAngels Network—A group that meets quarterly for selected startups to present and connect for much needed resources—will join forces with the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF)— a group of six regional universities where students review, analyze, and select companies for funding—for a unique collaborative pitch event.
The event, which will be held from 3-5pm at the Quaker Station on the University of Akron’s campus, has already attracted more than 100 signups. Attendees will include students from a number of regional universities, individuals from Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial support organizations, accountants, lawyers, economic developers, innovation specialists, and many more. Register to attend here or on the NEOSVF home page.
At the event, five pre-selected companies will pitch to student managers from NEOSVF chapters and respond to initial questions with the hope of being funded. Following the presentations, there will be networking and refreshments.
After the event, NEOSVF student managers will continue working through questions with the startups until mid-April, when the student managers prepare and deliver funding recommendations to the NEOSVF Board of Directors.
If you are interested in the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation, and higher education, you will not want to miss this event! Register today here or on the NEOSVF home page!