VGV Invests Nearly $400K in 7 Months for Ohio Technology Startups
Youngstown, Ohio – Local VC Fund, Valley Growth Ventures has invested nearly $400K of funding for its portfolio companies within the past several months as part of attracting total capital exceeding $5.3 million.
"We at VGV are proud of the portfolio we have built to date and are excited that each company is positioned to navigate the current environment and drive toward a successful future. The support we have received throughout the Mahoning Valley has been tremendous, and we look forward to rewarding our investors with strong financial returns," said Ernie Knight, Managing Director.
Valley Growth Ventures (VGV) is a $6 million "micro" venture capital investment fund created to support high-growth, early-stage companies across the state of Ohio, with a preference for those in the Mahoning Valley. Founded as a strategic collaboration between five regional Mahoning Valley organizations, VGV serves to aid in the growth of companies across Ohio, but particularly to those in the Valley. The Fund leverages the industry expertise, personnel, facilities, talent network, and operations of our investment team and partner organizations to produce high growth companies and generates substantial returns for investors.
While Silicon Valley is known as the “capital” for technology startups, a growing trend is emerging in the Midwest. According to a 2018 report, Ohio, particularly Northeastern Ohio, has the highest growth of entrepreneurship in the Midwest.
"When you're building a startup, you need all the help you can get! Valley Growth Ventures has fully rolled up their sleeves to help us in a multitude of areas like company strategy, business development, and marketing," said MedPilot Cofounder Matt Buder Shapiro.
Since initiating investments in 2018, the fund has four portfolio companies across multiple industries, which include:
· S4 Medical - S4 Medical is a medical device company focused on innovative solutions for cardiac procedures to treat atrial fibrillation.
· DAtAnchor-DAtAnchor is a data security solution, which provides seamless and easy to use strong encryption, automated data governance, and dynamic access control and revocation capabilities, enabling businesses to protect their sensitive data.
· MedaSync- MedaSync provides innovative real-time, predictive business intelligence and decision support software to help nursing homes stay financially sound.
· MedPilot-MedPilot is a leading patient financial engagement platform working with outpatient facilities, hospitals, revenue cycle management companies, and practice management systems.
VGV serves as an active investor within each startup, providing strategic guidance and operational resources to help pave the way for successful businesses to grow and scale their companies.
"Valley Growth Ventures has been extremely strategic for our company. They've done everything from introducing us to one of our largest customers to helping us best position our company for investors. We're very fortunate to consider Managing Director Ernie Knight, a true partner of our company," said Shapiro.
After receiving funding for startups, leaders often create strategic plans to invest in the company. From a company location, product investments, and employment companies develop these plans to develop short-term and long-term growth. Another key area of investment is in a company’s advisory board.
Leaders can’t reach success for their company alone. Advisory boards come in many variations as they relate to the organization, and they provide outside skill, advice, and expertise to help keep companies intact. Formal or informal, consulted once a week or once a month, advisory boards help mentor and guide organizations on how to grow, scale, and how to create strong relationships in the industry.
But there are many factors to consider when selecting the best advisory board for a company. Size, meaningful contributions to the company, and costs are just a few. Here are three good tips to consider:
Create your visionary plans for the organization, first
Before bringing any employees or board members to the table, make sure you have foundational elements for the company in place. Your board members are going to want to consider your sound and strategic plan before committing to the growth of the company. Provide them with a strong mission, your target audience and clientele, your values, and your current plan of scale – give them something strong to consider.
Select board members that fit the stage of your company
Time is of the essence, and it’s important to select members that will help you reach your current or short-term goals. While visionary thinkers are excellent additions, you’ll want to find members that can help you maximize the company’s immediate business objectives.
Establish terms for your advisory board members
Similarly, to the first tip, setting term limits help create a board that reflects the current needs of the company. Limits help board members transition in and out smoothly – meaning, if the board member serves excellent purpose through their first term, it makes sense to renew their second term. If the board member turns out to not be a great fit, or if life happens and they aren’t able to contribute as well as when they first started, the term sets the precedence for their exit.
Just starting your business? Get creative with compensation
Advisory board members often have other primary streams of income. For new startups, a bartering system may work better for advisory board members than monetary compensation. Can your company offer connections or resources? Opportunities for your members? Cut back on immediate costs by exchanging value.
Advisory boards are meant to provide organizations with solutions to challenges, and help them execute their strategic plan. Being intentional about your member selection and setting a strong foundation beforehand is one closer step to reaching company goals.
CLEVELAND, OHIO-S4 Medical, a medical device company focused on protecting the esophagus from damage during catheter ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation (AF), announces that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its Investigatory Device Exemption (IDE) for a human clinical study of the ESOLUTION esophageal catheter. The study is a prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled, single-blinded clinical study to assess a reduction of esophageal lesions attributable to catheter ablation treatment of AF.
Dr. Raul Weiss, MD, FACC, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Electrophysiology Fellowship Program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, will serve as principal investigator of the study. "This is an interesting study as it will provide the first FDA randomized study of a device for protecting the esophagus from injury by ablation energy. This device also uses vacuum suction to hold the esophagus and then moves the entire segment, solving the issue with the trailing edge. Finally, the device is designed to provide for controllable degrees of bidirectional deflection," says Dr. Weiss.
The chief medical officer and co-inventor of the device, Emile Daoud, MD, Electrophysiology Section Chief at The Ohio State University, is equally enthusiastic: "It has taken some time, but we have developed a simple but clever way to safely and successfully deviate the esophagus. If successful, this will be well received by electrophysiologists as an added benefit for managing patients undergoing AF ablation."
Since its founding in 2017, S4 has achieved several exciting milestones towards bringing the ESOLUTION device to market, including a successful first in a human study, an issued patent, and now this IDE approval. "We are delighted the FDA has granted this IDE and excited to kick off this study and evaluate the ESOLUTION device in a larger study. This IDE is proof of the excellent progress we've made at S4," says co-founder and CEO William Fuller.
About S4: S4 Medical Corp. is a medical device company focused on innovative solutions for cardiac procedures. The company's primary focus is a simple, yet comprehensive solution for reducing complications to the esophagus during catheter ablation treatment for atrial fibrillation. S4's team is motivated by providing advanced solutions for superior healthcare. For more information, visit S4 at www.S4medical.com on LinkedIn and Twitter.