Reno startup SimpleSense closes $230K tranche of pre-seed funding |

Reno startup SimpleSense closes $230K tranche of pre-seed funding

NNBV staff report
SimpleSense founders Eric Kanagy, Mark Lorkowski, and Alex Brickner present their alpha sensors at the 2018 Startup Grind Global Conference in Redwood City, Calif.
Courtesy Sierra Innovations

RENO, Nev. — Sierra Innovations on Aug. 20 announced the close of SimpleSense’s tranche of pre-seed funding.

Sierra Innovations, along with individual members, invested $135,000 to close the $230,000 tranche of pre-seed funding, according to a news release provided by Sierra Innovations.

“Northern Nevada’s innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem is rapidly expanding,” Bob Goff, founder and CEO of Sierra Angels and co-founder of Sierra Innovations, said in a statement. “We created Sierra Innovations two years ago to combine experiential mentoring and pre-seed funding to enable conceptual to early formation startups to become successful, high growth companies.”

Leonard Lafrance, an early investor in SimpleSense, co-founded Sierra Innovations in 2016.

“Raising funds is the hardest when companies are at a very early stage,” Lafrance said in a statement. “We created (Sierra Innovations) to support them at this risky stage and to create a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northern Nevada.”

According to the news release, SimpleSense is testing its technology with first responders in communities across the U.S. to measure operational improvements in response times for facility evacuation in the case of a fire or active shooter incident.

SimpleSense was founded at the InNEVator IoT accelerator in Reno in 2017. Their sensor-software solution detects human presence. Data collected is reportedly anonymous and “complies with all privacy standards.”

Investors in this tranche included Sierra Innovations, the Secure Erie Accelerator, a security-focused program run by Singularity University out of Erie, Penn., and other angel investors.