In-Nevator boot camp puts 3 startups into market
Three revolutionary ideas are being propelled to the marketplace thanks to In- NEVator 2017, a six-week boot-camp for startup companies collaboratively hosted by The Innevation Center University of Nevada, Reno-Powered by Switch, Breadware and Watershed Growth Ventures.
“We are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were three months ago,” said Shourjya Sanyal, CEO and founder of Think Biosolution, one of the program’s three startups developing new Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and building networks to interconnect various computing devices.
Think Biosolution has raised more than $100,000 and is in talks with additional investors. The company from Dublin, Ireland, is working to combine its patented QuasaR sensor technology with custom-written AI algorithms to help a wide range of users from athletes who want to achieve their performance goals, to patients on telemedicine platforms who want to monitor their health and well-being. During the last three months, it also onboarded five clients with letters of intent for trial launches worth more than $2 million.
Another participating company relocated to Reno from Cleveland, Ohio, because of the InNEVator and now has three purchase orders for its beta product. SimpleSense builds tools for retail stores to help track live customer analytics through simple sensors that can be placed on grocery store shelves.
“The last year has been a series of stops and starts for us,” said SimpleSense CEO and Co-Founder Mark Lorkowski. “InNEVator helped us overcome months-long hurdles in a matter of weeks. The network of experts here really helped us get to a place where we can fulfill orders and put our product to work.”
Lorkowski and his partners are focusing on seed-round fundraising and will continue to work out of The Innevation Center in downtown Reno.
The third startup, NCS Cylinders, is a homegrown company driven to improve the mechanisms that track and control oxygen tanks for use in settings from bars to ambulances. Its mentors include Scott Levy of Watershed Growth Ventures.
“It’s companies like these that we’re here to help,” said Levy. “They have a ton of promise and they’re right under our noses. We are able to bring go-to market strategy, operational expertise and resources to help get them problem solution fit to product market fit to scale.”
NCS Cylinders is currently focusing on increasing its beta customer base and will focus on fundraising after gaining some additional traction.
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Innevation Center Director Jim Sacherman, who helped spearhead the six-week boot camp. “There are a few things we will do differently next year, but we successfully fostered each team’s ability to thrive within their prospective markets. It will be exciting to see what their future holds.”
Jacob Warwick, CEO of Discover Podium, says the company that launched only a year ago in Reno recently surpassed $1 million in revenue and has big plans for growth in the coming months.