Upstart Accelerator graduate Feather raises $250K in follow on funding

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More than $15 million in funding raised for Start Co. client and portfolio teams since 2011

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 9, 2016) – Start Co., a member of the Global Accelerator Network that operates industry-specific accelerators each summer, today announced a new $250,000 investment for Feather, a women-founded online service that helps families find, hire and manage quality in-home care for seniors. Feather, formerly CareCurrent, graduated from the 2015 Start Co. Upstart accelerator program.

The investment comes from Hayseed Ventures, a Fayetteville, Ark. based venture capital firm that focuses on turning startups into thriving businesses through a combination of capital and mentorship to help those early stage companies develop profitable online customer acquisition strategies. Hayseed Ventures was founded by John James, M.D., a serial entrepreneur who has built half a dozen consumer internet companies, most notably raising over $100 million in venture capital as Founder and CEO of Acumen Brands.

“We are proud that startups like Feather have grown post acceleration by connecting with the right resources and partners necessary to raise their next round of funding,” said Mara Lewis, managing director for Accelerators at Start Co. “Feather is a success story from our women-led accelerator program and stands as an important example of the startup momentum happening in Memphis and the broader women-in-tech movement.”

Feather plans to use the investment to scale their operation in Fayetteville, Ark. and further optimize service delivery to seniors and those family members that care for them. The company’s software matches screened caregivers with families based on the needs and interests of seniors providing a higher quality experience at a lower price.  Feather currently offers service in Tennessee and Arkansas with plans to expand to the rest of the MidSouth and Delta Region in 2016. The company was founded by Rachel Fuller with cofounders, Nick Fuller and Evan Black, and now includes Christopher Williams as CFO.

“As a former practicing physician, I recognize a tremendous problem with the quality of in home care,” said John James, M.D. the Founder and CEO of Hayseed Ventures. “Feather has an innovative solution to solve the continuity of care problem that plagues the industry. We are excited to make an investment in Feather and work closely with their team to build a platform that will almost certainly revolutionize the industry.”

Feather has maintained offices at the Start Lab and participated in Start Co.’s post accelerator program since Demo Day in August 2015 including business development preparation sessions and various other workshops and strategy sessions led by Start Co. to help them prepare for investor meetings and term sheet development. Since 2011, the Start Co. team has helped its post-accelerator client and portfolio companies raise just more than $15 million, inclusive of Feather’s latest round.

Rachel Fuller cites Start Co. and her experiences with Upstart as one of the key reasons they quickly progressed to secure this latest round of funding. Fuller said, “The team at Start Co. has helped us prepare for this next level of investment by providing mentorship, networking guidance and business plan development. We are so grateful to have the support and guidance of both the Start Co. team and the Memphis startup ecosystem, and are excited that Hayseed Ventures has invested in us so we can expand our business in the Mid-South and Delta in the coming year.”

Start Co. will run simultaneous accelerators during Summer 2016 focusing on technology (Seed Hatchery), social impact (Sky High) and women-led tech (Upstart) in Downtown Memphis beginning May 2, 2016. The programming includes streamlined integration of resources and mentorship for all founders and teams participating in the 100-day program and will feature mentorship, weekly training sessions, business development, cohort reporting sessions and actionable milestones.

About Start Co.:

Start Co. is a nationally recognized nonprofit 501(c)(3) venture development organization based in Memphis, Tennessee, that relentlessly builds founders and companies, promoting entrepreneurship for everyone with a focus on digital startups. Start Co. is a member of the Global Accelerator Network and aims to advance Memphis’ economic growth through entrepreneurship. The organization is supported by partners including American Airlines, Archer Malmo, Baker Donelson, The Marston Group, Mosaik Solutions and Softlayer (an IBM company).  More information can be found at neverstop.co.