Local startups land $1M from city, HUD

23 LOCAL start up companies - including Betaspring graduates Sproutel (above) - received $50,000 in individual funding through an equity investment program supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Posted 6/1/12

PROVIDENCE – Twenty-three local start up companies received $50,000 in individual funding through an equity investment program supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras announced Thursday.

The 23 start ups – 22 from the Betaspring startup accelerator and one from Slater Technology Fund – were awarded the funds at an event celebrating Providence’s Innovation Investment Program.

“As Providence strengthens its fiscal ground and makes moves forward on a path for progress, we need to make every effort to foster an economic climate that promotes job growth and makes use of our creative capital,” said Taveras in a release announcing the awards.

“The businesses that participated in the Innovation Investment Program will help create new jobs in our City,” said Taveras, adding that these companies would “serve as ambassadors for other business owners and other entrepreneurs who will look to Providence as a land of opportunity.”

The city used $1 million of designated HUD funds to provide $50,000 of seed payments to upstart, entrepreneurial ventures. In return, businesses must headquarter in Providence, remain in the city for at least one year and create one full-time position for every $35,000 of funding.

The IIP program allows Providence to take an equity investment share in startup companies with the directive that the companies create at least two new full-time positions.

“Helping to launch new companies is one of the smartest things we can do to stimulate economic growth,” Allan K. Tear, co-founder of Betaspring, said in prepared remarks. “Our entrepreneurial community is getting stronger every day and the IIP program has significantly accelerated our efforts to launch more companies in Providence.”

The following companies received grants:

  • A Curated World: On-line retailer for handcrafted home and luxury goods

  • Agile QR/121 Nexus: Helps politicians & campaign managers

  • Alektrona: Energy efficiency communications and infrastructure

  • Autoshag: Helps car-buyers access dealer auctions

  • Consano/Care Thread: Patient–centered communications platform for Web and mobile

  • Conversation Media: Equipment for teaching on guitars

  • Fluid Life/ThumbsUp: Platform for viewers to rate TV in real-time

  • Gorb: Mobile Gaming Platform

  • JumpOffCampus: Streamlines off-campus housing for students

  • LessonWriter: Turns media into teacher lesson plans

  • Markethound: Streamlined multi-channel marketing platform

  • MoSec/Spectacle: Mobile secretary

  • MoveableCode: Building a mobile entertainment platform

  • Nest 4 Less: Realtorclient, a 21st century welcome wagon

  • Prepmatic: Test prep tools for standardized testing

  • RecoVend: Streamlines purchasing for universities

  • Revenizer: Digital marketing/marketing scorecards

  • StudyEgg/Zendo labs: E-learning software - on-line collaboration

  • Socialping: Real-time Twitter analytics

  • Splitwise: Helps people fairly share expenses

  • Sproutel: Interactive teaching toys for children w/chronic illnesses

  • Thryve: Healthier living by tracking food/emotions

  • Translate Abroad: Smart phone app translates to Mandarin

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