05.05.15 | mwithers
What feels better than closing a round? Not much! Congrats to alum Modelo on closing a $1M Seed round that will enable the venture to take their 3D design management platform to the next level.  If you haven’t seen it, Modelo is like “GitHub for designers,” allowing architects, industrial designers, and 3D artists to visualize and manage their design projects online and in real-time. This makes it possible for teams who collaborate around a design—a building plan or a product for manufacturing, for example—to instantly and easily offer feedback without having to jump back and forth between tools or design environments. Modelo currently has 1500+ designers using the beta version. Most importantly, when Modelo users comment on a 3D objects, the feedback gets tagged to a specific “place” on the model, making it crystal clear what component a commentor is addressing. The platform also...
04.24.15 | mwithers
Are you on the East Coast this June? Then check out the Nantucket Conference on June 4-6--it's one of the most exciting innovation meetups of the year. Betaspring will be there, via our accelerator director and chief of staff Melissa Withers and Teespring CEO (and Betaspring alum) Walker Williams. Now in its 15th year, the Nantucket Conference brings together a small group of creative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, and executives. There's nothing stuffy about this meetup--all of the agenda unfolds in a relaxing, informal environment. Conference organizers are bullish about acknowledging that much of the value of the Nantucket Conference comes from impromptu conversations, serendipitous seatings at lunch, and walks around town.  They also fend off conference boredom by limiting the use of PPT and forbidding blatant company pitches. The room...
03.06.15 | mwithers
This may have been one of the coldest winters on record in New England, but that didn’t stop alum Mavrck from burning up the joint with some big moves and strategic wins, including a $2.5M Series A led by Grand Banks Capital. The growing team turned up the heat in December, when the company rebranded from Splashscore to Mavrck, a switch that mirrored their shift toward helping big brands engage with their customers. With Mavrck's Influencer Activation Engine, brands are able to identify and activate their most influential customers to create branded content at scale.  Using Mavrck, companies can launch VIP communities that customers join for exclusive content, rewards and experiences. Up-to-the second analytics help these brands see what hot—and what’s not—among their super fans. Companies can enlist these customers to become powerful brand ambassadors that research shows are far...
03.02.15 | mwithers
If you find yourself walking by the newstand this week, pick up a copy of the March 2015 issue of Inc. Magazine. Casually flip to page 26 and you'll find us in "The Field Guide to Accelerators." We were psyched to be one of the only eight accelerators Inc. featured in this cool spread. We were honored to be included alongside some of our favorite platforms!                 
12.16.14 | mwithers
Congrats to alum Splitwise on closing a $1.4M seed round! Splitwise was founded in 2011 by Jonathan Bittner, Ryan Laughlin, and Marshall Weir to make it easy to deal with shared expenses with friends and family.  Participating investors include Andrew Chen, Cyan and Scott Banister, Great Oaks Venture Capital, IDG Ventures USA, Rocketship.vc, Silicon Valley Bank, and others. The funding will be used to expand the software engineering team and accelerate the growth of the company’s financial management platform. Splitwise has raised $2MM to date. “Our vision is to remove the stress and awkwardness money places on our interpersonal relationships, ” said Splitwise CEO Jonathan Bittner. “No one likes talking about money with friends or family. We’re excited to have a great team of investors to help us accelerate growth, and proud to be building our team in the Providence tech ecosystem...
11.17.14 | mwithers
“Imagine a world where lamp posts double as 911 operators and solar-powered trash cans compact waste on city streets. Where public park benches serve as phone-charging stations and robots go to school on behalf of ailing children. It’s an urban prophecy that could be here sooner than you think.” Those were the opening words in Geoff Weiss’ recent piece in Entrepreneur Magazine on five breakthroughs being championed by the Verizon Innovation Program. Among the featured companies is Betaspring alum HealthID Profile.  The HealthID Band utilize NFC (near-field communication) technology to transmit detailed information about a patient’s medical condition in the event of an emergency. Medical conditions, allergies, and medications are all accessible with the tap of a smartphone, streamlining resources for first responders and potentially saving lives. Check out Geoff’s full story here.
11.17.14 | atear
2014 is the year when mobile takes over the internet. Industry projections for both the number of users and overall web users show that smartphones have overtaken the desktop for good. Social network usage and engagement is mobile-dominant; Facebook alone sees 68% of its usage via mobile devices!  Yet many startups still launch their products for desktop users first, leaving mobile as a product add-on to be developed later. Startups make this choice because the desktop is more mature and has widely-known development tools and third-party services which accelerate early product development. Often, a startup will choose the desktop-first path because they haven’t deeply explored their customer’s needs and behaviors. Often, this is costly mistake, that not only adds unnecessary development and maintenance costs, but causes a startup to miss their initial market altogether.  Here...
10.17.14 | mwithers
We are looking for a high energy project manager who knows how to get a lot of things done (and done well). This position is public facing with opportunities to interact with startups, investors, mentors, corporate partners, students and other folks who orbit around entrepreneurial communities. From events to keeping our coworking community humming, our projects range from quick and easy to big opportunities that take time--and creativity--to build out.  Requirements: Passionate and knowledgeable about the regional and national startup scene and interested in learning more. Strong organizational and communication skills essential. A process-oriented and tools-savvy approach to problem solving, and the ability to work both solo and as a team, is a must. Some evenings and weekends required. 3-5 years experience in a relevant role expected. Interested? Send resume, cover letter, and...
10.17.14 | mwithers
After accelerating 90 companies, we have seen just about everything, from unexpected victories to painful losses, magnificent pivots to total strikeouts. Consumer behaviors and market trends change like the wind. The qualities and benchmarks investors look for before writing a check are always shifting. Meanwhile, startup knowledge and tools keep getting better and more accessible.  Despite all this flux, here’s one thing that hasn’t changed: Building a startup is a grind. Sure, one in a thousand ventures gets discovered its infancy and bought for a zillion bucks. But the rest slog it out for months, often years, before anything resembling a big payoff happens. And the stuff between starting and winning can be pretty grueling.   I was recently asked by Verizon to help put toegther a series of blogs for early stage founders. We asked some of our mentors and friends to...
09.16.14 | mwithers
Betaspring is excited to be among those speaking, mentoring and judging at this year’s TechCocktail Celebrate conference in Downtown Vegas on October 6-7. This two-day conference brings together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, startup founders, creative technologists, designers, investors, community builders, and media to learn, inspire and be inspired, collaborate, and grow - and celebrate together. The payoff for attendees? To learn and collaborate with others who are turning their communities into startup cities, and building ideas into successful companies. Betaspring will be represented by Melissa Withers and Allan Tear, who will be talking about building startup communities, as well as mentoring startups and sharing a little bit of what they’ve learned after accelerating 90 companies. The line-up looks boss, with folks like Tony Hsieh (Zappos), David Cohen (TechStars), Akhil...