News Release on Seed Hatchery’s Boosterville

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Boosterville Receives $830K Investment to “Boost” Offers and Loyalty Platform Growth

ZIONSVILLE, IN  —  Boosterville, an award-winning, offers and loyalty platform that seamlessly connects merchants with cause-driven buyers, announces the completion of the company’s seed round of funding.  The round, which will be used to accelerate the rollout of the platform to new markets, totaled $830,000 and was co-led by 316 Investments and VisionTech Angels with a matching investment from Elevate Ventures.

Greg Willman, co-founder and CEO of 316 Investments who will be joining the Board of Directors, stated, “Our excitement for Boosterville stems from our long history in the retail space and understanding of the innovative marketing solution that Boosterville brings to merchants who want to support non-profit groups in their communities as well as grow their customer base.”

Boosterville works with all existing payment card processing and POS systems with no new hardware, integrations or training required.  An immediate text message at the time of purchase notifies the buyer of the merchant’s contribution to their selected non-profit, resulting in increased engagement and loyalty for platform merchants.

Ben Pidgeon, executive director of VisionTech Angels, said, “Merchants have long been challenged by measuring return on investment of local marketing dollars spent. Boosterville has developed an elegant, yet powerful solution for businesses to engage with customers in supporting local causes, help local groups raise funds they need to be successful, and in the process, build a more loyal customer base. VisionTech Angels is pleased to have Boosterville as our first investment of 2017.”

Boosterville CEO Pam Cooper stated, “We’ve seen great interest this last year and are thrilled to have these leading retail and technology experts join our team. We’re excited that they recognize the value of our technology and the tremendous opportunity to help the millions of merchants across the country increase their revenues while enhancing their relationship with their local community and non-profits.”  Cooper added, “It’s wonderful to join the rising tide of Indiana’s tech startup community and prove that founders don’t need to leave the state to secure angel investment or talent for their growing companies.”

During 2016, Boosterville established a technology partnership with one of the world’s largest credit card networks, secured agreements with national non-profit and faith-based organizations, was selected for Facebook’s FbStart program, and visited with now-Governor Eric Holcomb to introduce Boosterville and discuss fostering entrepreneurial growth in Indiana.  Most importantly, Boosterville received overwhelmingly positive response during a pilot program in Zionsville after months of testing by local development partner merchants: WB Pizza, Cobblestone Grill, and JiffyLube of Indiana.
Prior to launching from Zionsville’s entrepreneurial and coworking center zWORKS, Boosterville graduated from two tech accelerators — the SeedHatchery in Memphis, TN and Prosper Women Entrepreneurs in St. Louis, MO.  The company is currently operating in previously vacant commercial space owned by the Town of Zionsville.

About Boosterville

Boosterville is an offers and loyalty platform that seamlessly connects merchants with cause-driven buyers to raise funds for their favorite non-profits simply by using their credit card.  The company was founded by successful serial entrepreneur Pam Cooper and husband Tom Cooper, a visionary data security and integrations expert who was founding CTO for several high growth companies.

Boosterville’s platform converts charitable donation requests into increased revenue for participating merchants, acquires and retains new customers, provides multi-channel communications loop between merchants, non-profits and cause-driven buyers, and delivers a new funding source for school-based organizations and other non-profits.

About 316 Investments

316 Investments is a group of private investment companies focused on early stage opportunities with high potential companies with strong leadership/management. Our investments center on industries and niches where we have expertise, including food and beverage, medical, consumer products, engineered solutions, manufacturing, real estate, entertainment/publishing, and technology.

About VisionTech Partners I VisionTech Angels

Founded in 2008, VisionTech Partners is a privately held company focused on linking investors to high-potential early-stage companies. Headquartered in Indianapolis, one of the nation’s most vibrant innovation regions, VisionTech is where inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, universities, and strategic partners convene to share, fund, and launch innovative technologies. VisionTech Angels has chapters in Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lafayette, and an Affinity chapter, AngelBom.

Contact: Pam Cooper (317) 446-9177 or Andy Weixler (317) 324-8004

10 Reasons to Join the Party in the CLOUD!

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10 Reasons to party in the CLOUD at the Memphis Public Library:
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The Memphis Library Foundation is hosting their annual event, Party in the CLOUD, in their teen room on Saturday, November 5th at 7pm! Here are the 10 reasons why you should definitely make an appearance:

1). Get lost in virtual reality games!
2). Join a photo shoot in the video lab!
3). Paint your own wine or beer glasses!
4). Dance & Groove to the awesome DJ!
5). Play old-school video games!
6). Watch 3D printing in the makerspace!
7). Sip on craft beer and wine!
8). Enjoy tastings from local restaurants!
9). Hang out with Ralph Cahoun in the audio lab!
10). Watch SEC football on the big screen!

They will have door prizes and more! Get your tickets here! Tickets are $50 per person until October 28th, then they go up to $65 per person after that date! If you are interested in purchasing more than one ticket contact Shelley Thomas at sthomas@memphislibraryfoundation.org.

If you’d like to donate to the Memphis Library Foundation, click here.

Hope to see you all there!

AgLaunch Virtual Pitch Competition

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AgLaunch Virtual Pitch Competition
We’re opening up the opportunity for any ag entrepreneur to upload a pitch video and win some cash! All pitches will be reviewed by the experts at Ag Innovation Development Group and our accelerator partners at Start Co.

The Prize:
Winner of the pitch competition will receive $1,000. Second place gets $500. Both will have an opportunity for an extended pitch and feedback session with a panel of investors, farmers, corporates, and entrepreneurs.

Guidelines:
Generally follow content outlined in Start Co.’s template
Do your best in under 5 minutes (if you are over you will be disqualified).
Relate to in-field agriculture, agricultural supply chain, food safety & integrity, livestock production, dairy production, or food supply chain.
Be submitted by 6pm EST on October 27th, 2016.

What You Have to Do:
Upload your video on the F6S application page.
Fill out the short associated application.
There is no cost to you.
Winners will be announced by November 1st, 2016.
We look forward to hearing about your innovation! Contact Rebekah Veldhuizen if you have any questions.

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New Propel Accelerator Open for Applications

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The application for the new Propel Accelerator is now open!

Propel is a 12-week minority business accelerator run by the partnership of Start Co. and The City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance. It focuses on the enhancement of business models through hands-on programming, mentor opportunities, technical resources and more with an objective to further enhance capacity with existing minority companies. There is a stringent criteria for companies that apply, as we are looking for the following:

 2 or more full-time employees
 At least $400,000 in annual revenues
 Established for more than 3 years

Learn more about the expected outcome and review the timeline of the accelerator at this link.

Apply here.

News Release on Partnerships and Initiatives

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STRICKLAND HIGHLIGHTS PARTNERSHIPS TO STRENGTHEN SMALL, MINORITY, AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES

Sept. 28, 2016 — Mayor Jim Strickland today highlighted a handful of partnerships and initiatives that are integral to his administration’s goal of assisting small, minority, and women-owned businesses in Memphis.

“My administration absolutely means business when it comes to small, minority, and women-owned businesses,” Mayor Strickland said. “The initiatives we’re highlighting today show that we’re putting action behind those priorities.”

The four highlighted initiatives are:

The “Start Up In Day” website, smartstartmem.com. Made possible by a grant from the Small Business Administration, this online “one-stop shop” seeks to streamline the process for citizens to establish and legally form a business, thus enabling them to get off the ground quicker. This website is the result of a partnership among the City of Memphis, EPIcenter, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the Shelby County Clerk’s Office, and the Memphis & Shelby County Office of Planning and Development.


Propel, a minority business accelerator partnership with Start Co. Propel seeks to help existing businesses by strengthening their business models, the delivery of their business models, and their access and engagement of customers in particular contracts with governments and other corporations. Visit memphistn.gov for more information.


The Equitable Economic Development Fellowship, an initiative of the National League of Cities, PolicyLink and the Urban Land Institute. Through this fellowship, Memphis leaders will get a rare opportunity to learn more about how to increase economic development tax breaks and incentives for small, minority, and women-owned businesses.


The signing of a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) with the Small Business Administration. This formal partnership will increase opportunities within the city for the common goal of expanding small business development.


Said Joann Massey, the city’s Director of Business Diversity and Compliance: “These great partnerships demonstrate how our team, through the Office of Business Diversity & Compliance, is being very intentional about leveraging resources to try and make it easier to do business with the City of Memphis under Mayor Strickland’s administration.”

Link to copy of News Release: final_wemeanbusiness