Dana Elementary students reduce lunchroom waste with composting

Blue Ridge Now: Dana Elementary students are piloting a school composting program using Atlas Organics, sponsored and organized by Henderson County Solid Waste.

Last year, Christine Brown, environmental programs coordinator with the county, visited Dana and explained the composting process to students and conducted a waste audit at the school.

“We found that 90 percent of their waste in the cafeteria was compostable,” Brown said.

The school officially began composting in the cafeteria on the third day of school, Aug. 28, and saw results that first week.

“On that Friday, we had one bag of trash, whereas we’d normally have 15,” said Principal Kim Morgan. “We are saving a tremendous amount of trash.”

Click here for full article.

KIYATEC Assay Hits the Mark in Study to Predict Patient Response to First Line Ovarian Cancer Drugs

Business Wire: KIYATEC, Inc. today announces that results from its prospective, multi-center pilot study, to investigate their assay’s predictive accuracy and correlation to outcome among newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients, have been published in Scientific Reports. Study findings represent both a preliminary clinical validation for the company’s ovarian cancer assay and a significant developmental milestone for the assay’s technology platform, known as Ex Vivo 3D Cell Culture (EV3D).

To read the full article, click here.

KWIPPED receives $1.3 million investment

Greater Wilmington Business Journal: Wilmington-based KWIPPED Inc. has received an investment of $1.3 million from Live Oak Ventures, Wolfpack Investor Network, VentureSouth and the Angel Roundtable, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Previously, Live Oak Ventures announced it was investing an undisclosed amount in KWIPPED to be used by the tech startup for recruiting new talent and adding suppliers.

Rob Preville, CEO and founder of KWIPPED said earlier this year that Wolfpack Investor Network, Venture South and the Angel Roundtable participated alongside Live Oak Ventures in the investment.

The startup raised all its goal funding amount through a private stock and equity offering, according to the filing.

Click here to read the full article about our Portfolio Company, KWIPPED.

KIYATEC Announces New B2 Financing and New Investor LabCorp

We are very pleased to pass along news of KIYATEC’s Series B2 fundraising, led by VentureSouth with participation from LabCorp and several co-investment partners.

You can read more on KIYATEC’s site and below. Congratulations to Matt Gevaert and the team for their continued hard work and success.


KIYATEC Announces $3 Million Initial Closing of Series B2 Preferred Stock Financing and New Investor LabCorp

GREENVILLE, SC. – May 1, 2019 – KIYATEC, Inc., today announced the initial $3 million closing of the company’s series B2 financing round. The round was led by VentureSouth and included LabCorp® (NYSE: LH).

“This validation and confidence by our investors, coupled with the exciting progress of our clinical trials, puts us on the path toward the next phase of growth and development,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC. “We are particularly excited to welcome LabCorp as a new investor because of the depth and breadth of their expertise in oncology. With the preclinical and clinical development strengths of LabCorp’s Covance Drug Development business, and their corporate position as a world leader in clinical testing, there is great potential synergy across the many ways KIYATEC’s technology can be used to improve cancer care.”

Proceeds from the financing will go toward KIYATEC’s ongoing clinical study, 3D-PREDICT, to validate KIYATEC’s proprietary assay as a patient-specific predictor of response to cancer therapies for solid tumors. The test analyzes a patient’s live cancer cells, grown in KIYATEC’s laboratory within a biologically relevant 3D microenvironment, to determine whether those cells respond to guideline-recommended cancer drugs. The 3D-PREDICT study is a fully prospective, multi-institutional effort to validate the predictive accuracy of the test and correlate response predictions to clinical outcomes among patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed ovarian cancer, glioblastoma and certain rare tumors.

The company has gained significant momentum in 2019. Recently, at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), KIYATEC demonstrated leading capabilities in modeling and predicting response to immuno-oncology therapies including checkpoint inhibitors. On April 10, KIYATEC was one of 20 companies recognized nationally on Capitol Hill as part of the 2019 University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Showcase. In the first quarter of 2019, KIYATEC added three clinical sites to its 3D-PREDICT study and expects to continue its momentum by adding additional sites in the second and third quarters.

About KIYATEC, Inc.
KIYATEC is dedicated to accurately modeling and predicting cancer patient response to drug therapies, using ex vivo 3D cell culture technology, in order to inform clinical decision making and drive drug development. Our predictive clinical tests provide oncologists with patient-specific response profiles to current standard of care drugs prior to treatment selection. Our predictive 3D models are being used by leading biopharmaceutical companies to increase the success of their preclinical and clinical drug development programs as they develop the cancer therapies of the future.


Baebies Establishes Partnership with CureDuchenne

We would like to congratulate portfolio company Baebies on their new partnership with CureDuchenne.

Baebies is delivering innovative products and services for newborn screening and pediatric testing. As part of the deal, Baebies will add Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common and lethal form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects young boys, to its expanded newborn screening service.

You can read more about it here.

Proterra receives $155 Million Round from Daimler

We are pleased to congratulate portfolio company Proterra for closing a $155 million round led by Germany’s Daimler, the top maker of commercial vehicles and the parent of Mercedes-Benz.

Proterra is a fast-growing maker of battery-powered buses that’s finding new uses and partners for its particular brand of heavy-duty electric vehicle expertise. The new funding boosts total investment in Proterra to about $600 million. Additionally, Burlingame, California-based Proterra will also develop new types of heavy-duty vehicles with Daimler, starting with school buses from its Thomas Built Buses division, the companies said in a statement.

You can read more about it here.

UVision's FDA approval

We are very pleased to congratulate portfolio company UVision on successfully receiving approval from the FDA for its Luminelle hysteroscopy system. 510(k) clearance, with indications for both hysteroscopy and cystoscopy, was granted last week.

Receiving FDA clearance for a medical device is no small accomplishment. Getting it in two years from the initial concept is a remarkable feat. A testament to the grit of the founding team and the brainpower of the medical advising team.

You can read more in UVision's press release here and press coverage here.

Congratulations to Allison London Brown and the rest of the team.

VentureSouth portfolio news - summer 2018

KIYATEC led the big news this summer, with the admittance of the first patients to its first clinical trial. Learn more here and in Bloomberg.

Other portfolio companies continued their impressive momentum too:

Kwipped - featured in Hypepotamus, a tech start-up site, and are entering the metrology equipment market.

Proterra - announced a sale to Toronto Transit Commission, are offering high-powered charging systems, are helping create double-decker electric buses, and are delivering buses in Dallas, to the Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, and in Chicago. Keep rollin'.

Spiffy - New portfolio company (announced here) launched its Spiffy Blue, an on-board diagnostics sensor that will monitor your vehicle's health information. This announcement was also picked up by the Triangle Business Journal.

New portfolio company Emergo Therapeutics was featured in The Triangle's WRAL TechWire - another stellar entrepreneurial management team that we're pleased to add to the VentureSouth portfolio.

TiO - has teamed up with Level Homes in the Triangle. Their product was also added to a new home for a wounded veteran and his family through Operation Coming Home.

Threatswitch continues to roll out new features - this month smart filtered views.

Livi is a life-saver - and available on Amazon.

And Reveal Mobile and Proaxion are on the main stage at the CED Tech Conference in September.

VentureSouth investment in Spiffy

Today VentureSouth is pleased to announce its members have invested in Spiffy.

Spiffy's press release on its $9 million funding round is below (and picked up in PE Hub, Markets Insider, WRAL Techwire, and other places). The Triangle Business Journal has more.

A cliche of angel investing is you "back the jockey not the horse." The Spiffy team is one of the most impressive group of entrepreneurs we have ever had the opportunity to back.

Scot Wingo's track record of ecommerce success is unequalled in the Carolinas; coupled with Karl Murphy's operational capacity and expertise in the car maintenance world, and the wider team's breadth, depth, and capability, the team scores higher in our diligence evaluation than virtually any other company we've seen. We look forward to working with, and learning from, them as they grow Spiffy.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Get Spiffy, Inc. (Spiffy), an on-demand car care, technology, and services company, today announced the closing of a $9m fund raise led by Bull City Venture Partners.

The new capital infusion will enable Spiffy to broaden car care services, expand geographies, and develop additional channels.

All existing Spiffy investors, including IDEA Fund Partners, participated in the funding and new investors were added including strategic investor MANN+HUMMEL. Other investors included Visionary Private Equity Group, the North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN), and VentureSouth.

"Since our first investment, Spiffy has grown from three to five markets, added several new services like mobile oil change, and dramatically expanded their fleet business. With this financing, we are excited to continue to support Spiffy on their very impressive growth trajectory," said Jason Caplain, general partner Bull City Venture Partners.

"Just as e-commerce changed the retail landscape, on-demand services are changing consumer expectations around every touchpoint in a service interaction. Investing in Spiffy gives us the opportunity to explore the fascinating intersection of our products and their on-demand services," said Charles Vaillant, MANN+HUMMEL Chief Technology Officer.

"We continue to experience over 100% y/y growth and incredibly high customer satisfaction. We look forward to using the proceeds of this round to roll out more 5-star services, geographies, and channels," said Spiffy CEO, Scot Wingo.

Dr. Ron Zamber, Chairman of Visionary Private Equity Group commented, "VPEG is excited to be an investor in Spiffy as they are capitalizing on their unique approach to market in a methodical and precise manner. Beyond the rapid rise in on-demand services, Spiffy via Spiffy Blue (a proprietary on-board diagnostics solution) is also well positioned to capitalize on the explosion in the IoT market which is predicted to generate $300 Billion annually by 2020 being led by manufacturing, transportation, and logistics."

About Spiffy

Spiffy (www.GetSpiffy.com) is an on-demand technology and services company with the mission to redefine the car care experience everywhere. Anyone can schedule a service in less than two minutes with the Spiffy app. Spiffy currently operates in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Los Angeles, California and Dallas, Texas. Spiffy washes, details, and changes oil using the Spiffy Green environmentally-friendly system that is the eco-friendliest way to care for your vehicle. Spiffy's innovative technology allows clients to schedule, track and pay for services at the time and location of their choosing. The Spiffy Blue on-board diagnostics solution puts Spiffy technology in customers' hands nationwide.

VentureSouth investment in Threatswitch

We are delighted to announce officially VentureSouth's investment in Threatswitch. You can learn more from the Charlotte Business Journal here (thanks Caroline Hudson for your interest!) and below is a copy of the press release.

This is an exciting transaction for VentureSouth. The first and most important reason is to be able to work with John Dillard and his team of "JCs" - Jessica, Jonathan, James - and others, to make NISPOM compliance easier and all of us a little more secure!

We're also delighted to have led the round based on a major investment from VentureSouth Charlotte, which is really hitting its stride; to have invested with the Venture Capital Multiplier fund and other new partners; and to have oversubscribed the round in record time, so John can move from fundraising to execution quickly.

This investment demonstrates the power of the VentureSouth model: lots of angels bring capital and expertise + thorough but rapid diligence + efficient investment structuring = capital deployment + wealth creation + job growth.

Best of luck John...



VentureSouth invests in Threatswitch, a Charlotte-based compliance software platform


Contact: Mac Lackey

Charlotte, N.C. – VentureSouth and Threatswitch are pleased to announce that the angel investment network has led an investment in the Charlotte-based software platform.

VentureSouth is an angel investment firm that invests in early stage companies across the Carolinas. Its Queen City affiliate, VentureSouth Charlotte, was launched in 2016 and its members have already invested in over a dozen companies.

The most recent was in Threatswitch, a security and compliance software platform for defense contractors and other heavily-regulated companies. VentureSouth led, and were the largest investors in, an oversubscribed investment round of $1.2 million. The round included both existing investors and new supporters including the North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Chapel Hill investor Alston Gardner, and Washington, DC-based Riverbend Capital.

John Dillard, Founder and CEO of Threatswitch, announced the investment. “We are delighted to have completed a substantial capital round to grow our business, and to be working with VentureSouth. Their thorough but efficient diligence process, their investment structure, and their connections and fundraising guidance have already been immensely valuable to Threatswitch. I’m excited about using this capital to continue growing a great business.”

Mac Lackey, Venture Partner at VentureSouth and leader of VentureSouth Charlotte, commented that “Having been an entrepreneur in Charlotte my whole life, I was excited to launch a VentureSouth group here. Since our first meeting in 2016, our members have been able to build a diverse portfolio of investments, including several in Charlotte. John and the Threatswitch team are talented entrepreneurs of the caliber we need to continue growing Charlotte’s entrepreneurial community.”

VentureSouth has invested over $25 million in 60 companies to date. To learn more about VentureSouth please visit www.venturesouth.vc; to learn more about Threatswitch please visit www.threatswitch.com.



KIYATEC's clinical trial milestone

We are proud to celebrate KIYATEC's announcement that it has begun admitting patients to its first clinical trial.

You can learn more about the new trial studying KIYATEC's ability to predict treatment outcomes for certain cancer patients in its press release, on KIYATEC's website, and in other coverage.

This is a major milestone for KIYATEC, and the culmination of several years of painstaking and groundbreaking work developing and validating its technologies and predictive capabilities.

As the coverage in Bloomberg notes, it is also a great story of collaboration between hospital systems, state/funding entities, private capital like VentureSouth's members ($1.5M invested and counting!), scientific talent, the National Cancer Institute, and many more.

Many years of hard work are ahead, but being able to predict which drugs will be most effective on an individual's cancer will be worth the effort. Keep up the good work!

VentureSouth portfolio news - Spring 2018

The VentureSouth portfolio continues to blossom in the spring of 2018. Here are a few highlights from the last few weeks.

Zipit - announced that it has joined Amazon Web Services' partner network.

Atlas Organics - continues to grow in Chattanooga, this time on commercial food waste collection with EPB. They received the James B. Thompson Small Business of the Year Award for their growth and innovation in Spartanburg, and were featured by GVL Today* for an article informing readers how to compost in Greenville. 

*GVL Today is a product of 6AM City, another VentureSouth portfolio company. You should definitely be on their list...

Baebies - March's BaebieTalk newsletter tackled Pompe and raises awareness of Fabry Awareness Month, and the May letter covered more on baby diagnostic issues.

Reveal Mobile - Brian Handly, CEO of 2017 investment Reveal Mobile, has a regular feature in Forbes. Last month's covered how mobile data helps measure retail foot traffic.

Emrgy - its hydropower design and frictionless magnetic gearbox was featured in Clean Technica and CEO Emily Morris was interviewed by Renewable Energy Magazine

TiO Home - informative and detailed feature in Florida Today

Avadim - announced that its patent applications have been allowed in the U.S. and Japan relating to a method for reducing the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Kwipped - launched a new version of their website to simplify their users' experience. CEO Robert Preville sat for an interview with PYMNTS for their latest "Topic TBD" podcast. They pitched at the Silicon Valley Open Doors Tech Conference at the end of May, Robert was interviewed by Business North Carolina to discuss their participation there, and they were featured on WECT news regarding the Silicon Valley conference.

KIYATEC - expanded its leadership team with the appointments of Vice Presidents of Clinical Affairs and Commercial Operations

Brightfield Transportation - Tuck Social Venture Fund (TSVF), a student-led impact investing fund at Dartmouth, has invested in Brightfield


VentureSouth portfolio news - January and early February 2018

2018 has started at a blistering pace. We were delighted to start the year with a good exit at FarmShots, but our portfolio companies continue to develop quickly. Updates include:

An exit! FarmShots acquired by Syngenta!

Investing in early stage companies pays off in many ways. The most tangible is when they are bought by bigger companies. We're delighted to start the year off with "an exit" - with FarmShots acquired by Syngenta.

You can see Syngenta's press release here, and a nice profile of Josh and the FarmShots team in the Triad Business Journal.

VentureSouth members invested in FarmShots in September 2016, attracted by Josh's technological skills and persistence, FarmShots' technology and market opportunity, and the cost saving and efficiency improvements for farmers.

Financial terms have not been disclosed, but we are happy to say that the investment definitely hit our return targets! This investment is a case study on how angel investing should, and does, work - so look out for more on our blog to come.

Though our part on the entrepreneurial journey is over, we wish Josh and Syngenta the best of luck in continuing to develop a great business.

Portfolio news - Wrapping up 2017

2017 was a very productive year for VentureSouth portfolio companies. We are proud of their progress and achievements, so wanted to pass along a few additional awards, links, self-promotion, and recognition of them.

Bring on 2018!