Atlas Organics

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


Portfolio news - August / September 2017

Avadim: announced its partnership with Rite Aid and other pharmacies for Theraworx Relief, and was recognized as the 2nd-fastest growing company in NC and 13th-fastest growing healthcare company on the Inc 500 - quite an achievement. Awesome work Avadim.

Plum Print: featured on Good Morning America as a way to preserve those summer memories (and release all of the guilt).

Proterra: more CATbuses as Clemson acquired its second fleet of Proterra buses, they're coming to RDU airport - learn more here and here; five Proterra buses will begin serving New York City; and this long list of partnerships just announced with DoT grants is impressive

Altas Organics: learn more about recycling with Compost House from Atlas Organics - and about the new pilot program in Henderson County.

Emrgy: See more video of Emrgy's Denver installation, including four new installations, and the team behind "the first distributed hydropower installation in the United States."

Portfolio news - Summer 2017

More milestones, awards, and good publicity over the last few weeks for the entrepreneurs working hard over the summer.

Emrgy: Emrgy's installation of a turbine in a canal for Denver Water generated plenty of local press and coverage in trade publications. You can even enjoy live footage from several news outlets.


ActivEd: SCRA announced additional funding for ActivEd through SC Launch.

UVision: Enjoy Allison London-Brown's presentation of UVision and its Luminelle hysteroscope at CED's Life Science Conference earlier this summer.

Atlas Organics: After success with its residential collection program Compost House in Greenville, Atlas Organics is beginning its efforts in Chattanooga.

Baebies: Received a CE mark in Europe for SEEKER, which is great news, and announced new assays for FINDER. They also inked a new deal with Trivitron's Labsystems Diagnostics to deliver a wider range of newborn screening solutions.

Zipit: Wins a 2017 IoT Security Excellence Award from IoT Evolution magazine.

Proterra: Read about Greenville's grant application to have Proterra buses on Upstate streets.

Avadim: Announced the showcasing of PHUEL at the National Athletic Trainers' Association Clinical Symposia & AT Expo at the end of June in Houston.

Portfolio news - Early June 2017

There is no quiet winding down for summer at VentureSouth - with two diligence teams working hard, multiple investments closing, and strategic planning for improvements to our processes in the fall.

There is even less of a decrescendo at our portfolio companies. Here are the most recent updates:

Pharmright: new customers flooding in during May, including new pharmacy customers like The Medicine Shoppe in South Dakota and PharmNet in Mississippi.  Vote for them in the AARP Innovation Challenge here.

Avadim: continuing its partnership expansion, Avadim announced its partnership with Briggs Healthcare and with GPA.

Vendor Registry: added Dorchester County to its portfolio of governments in SC, joining Florence County, North Charleston, City of Spartanburg, and many others.

Atlas Organics: launched its consumer food waste collection business, Compost House. See this introduction from Greenville Online.

Proterra: World's most amazing bus company Proterra added a new chief legal officer and a new CFO.

And Kwipped's new equipment leasing program continues to add partners, like Balboa Capital today.


Portfolio news - April 2017

Partnerships are crucial to early-stage companies to help them scale more rapidly. April saw the announcement of three example partnerships in our portfolio:

Other companies launched new products and hit milestones on their own:

And Proterra just keeps on rolling:


Atlas Dirtbags

Atlas Organics Dirtbags hit the market! You can find the first available bags at the following locations tomorrow afternoon. Please help spread the word! Certified SC Product and STA Certified.
Clean, high-quality compost - made with all organic materials - Not made with manures - we say, “No Doo Doo, No Kidding!”

  • Carolina Garden World, 1020 S Pine St, Spartanburg, SC 29302
  • Piedmont Farm and Garden, 7043 Howard St, Spartanburg, SC 29303
  • Hub City Co-Op, 176 Liberty St, Spartanburg, SC 29306
  • ACE Landscapers Supply, 1620 N Pleasantburg Dr Greenville, SC 29609

Portfolio news - October 2016

Each month we convey some of the achievements of some of our portfolio companies. There is plenty of good news already this month, so here is an early October portfolio update.

Avadim: Announced its plans for a $25 million investment to create 500 jobs in a new HQ in Western North Carolina. This helps to explain why early stage companies create all net new jobs.

Atlas Organics: delivered the goods - in the form of 20 tons of organic compost. Much more to come.

Pharmright: Announced a partnership with Med One to help finance purchases of the new Livi, and became a finalist in Med City News' patient engagement competition.

Target PharmaSolutions announced very exciting news about its first disease state communities and first industry partnerships.

And Baebies received unanimous approval from the FDA panel for its SEEKER screening.

Some really impressive milestones in several different areas. And on a lighter note, Growjourney helped Paul boast impressive rows of broccoli, kale, lettuce, chard, and bok choy in his vegetable garden for the first time. Baby kale pairs well with (VentureSouth sponsor) RJ Rockers' Bellringer. Who knew?

Portfolio news - August 2016

Many people may have been at the beach in South Carolina in August, but the VentureSouth portfolio companies continued to make waves.

First some product launches:

Servosity: Released its new generation disaster recovery platform

Pharmright: Reached a key milestone with the successful registration of Livi with the FDA. This should pave the way for sales in the fall, and will help start making prescription drug regimens easier to follow.

Baebies: Exhibited its novel FINDER platform at the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo.

And secondly some well-deserved recognition:

We're proud to have not one, but two, portfolio companies nominated for 2016's Innovision Awards! - Atlas Organics and Crowdr TV. Impressive competition, but these are high caliber entries.

Avadim: named to the Inc 500's list of fastest growing companies: #234, with three-year sales growth of 1,675%!

Atlas Organics Grand Opening in the News

Many congratulations to Atlas Organics for the success of its grand opening. We are pleased to be part of an entrepreneurial team that has been able to bring together public entities, economic development, private capital, and others to attempt something new.

You can see recent press from GSA Business, Spartanburg Herald Journal, and Waste360. We are usually a fairly articulate group, but in Matt's defense it was very hot out there...


An Upstate venture hauling and processing bulk food waste from grocery chains, restaurants, hospitals, schools and others to make soil enriching compost has opened with funding from the S.C. Angel Network and is looking for customers. At the Atlas Organics grand opening today, the owner-operators said the operation at Greenville County’s Twin Chimneys Landfill is the first such public-private venture in the Southeast.

Atlas Organics COO Gary Nihart said that he, CEO Joseph McMillin and Vice President of Business Development Jim Davis are among eight employees in the business that is already collecting bulk table scraps in Greenville and Spartanburg counties and in the Midlands to be blended with compostable materials and used as compost instead of being dumped at landfills.

“We are looking at other opportunities in other markets throughout the Southeast,” Nihart said. “We are taking something that is done very commonly on the West Coast. The Northeast is starting to get into it, and right now the Southeast is kind of wide open.” He said MacMillin has operated a company called Junk Matters in Spartanburg and “we realized it was a better deal for investors if we kind of packaged the deal. So basically we merged Atlas Organics and Junk Matters under the name Atlas Organics so we now have collection and processing. So we are vertically integrated.”

Nihart and MacMillin said they collected 420,000 pounds of compost in May, including some from Greenville Health System, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, multiple school districts in Spartanburg County and companies such as Michelin and GE.

“We’ve still got about two months or three months before we have any finished compost, so we’ve still got to prove that we can sell compost,” Nihart said. “We have proven we can collect food waste. Now we’ve got to prove that we can sell the compost.” He said they are starting with bulk sales and eventually may also bag the compost.

Nihart, McMillin, Davis and S.C. Angel Network Managing Director Matt Dunbar declined to provide the total amount invested. Greenville County is providing the space and did some grading at the site.

Dunbar said the network includes eight angel networks across the state and in Western North Carolina. He said the investment is unique for them, “so far. Most of our investments tend to be a little bit more, not that this is not a technology, but a new technology. This is a known technology, but we’re really investing in a business model here more than a technology. Most of what we invest in is a technology that we think has an opportunity to make an impact on the market. In this case, it is the application of the known technology to an underserved market that we think has a lot of opportunity.”

McMillin said there are no other such “private-public partnerships” in such an enterprise.

“We can service basically within a 100- to 150-mile radius,” including Western North Carolina, McMillin said. He said Atlas Organics “is still pretty unknown, especially on the compost sales side of things. We have already pretty much got all of our product that we are able to make this fall wrapped up in letters of intent, so right now we really need that extra food waste coming through this facility to generate more finished product.” McMillin declined to identify the compost customers.

“We do have a partnership with the feed and seed in Greenville,” McMillan said. “It is going to be opening the food co-op area. So we are working with a lot of their farmers, and they work closely with Clemson Extension, some of the farmers in that program.”

Spartanburg Angels Leads VentureSouth's Investment in Local Company Atlas Organics

See story from Spartanburg Herald Journal here. 

See story from GSA Business here. 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The South Carolina Angel Network (SCAN) is pleased to announce a new investment led by Spartanburg Angels in Spartanburg-based food waste recycler Atlas Organics.

Atlas Organics takes food waste from grocery stores, hospitals, school districts, and restaurants, converts it to compost at its new facility, and provides the resulting product to farmers and landscapers. SCAN’s investment will fund the construction of the composting facility and expansion of collections across South Carolina and beyond.

Joseph McMillin, CEO of Atlas, explained: “As we are headquartered in Spartanburg, we were excited to work with Spartanburg Angels to help expand. Thanks to their investors, we have fully funded our expansion plans – and with the group’s mentorship, connections, and professional guidance we look forward to reaching our full potential across South Carolina and the southeastern United States.”

Spartanburg Angels was formed at the beginning of 2015 and now has over 30 members. Atlas is the group’s sixth investment and largest so far, following investments in ActivEd, Rival Health, Nirvana Sciences, Pharmright, and Servosity – some of the most innovative early-stage companies across the Carolinas. Sixty SCAN members from across the state invested in Atlas, along with SCAN’s co- investment vehicle, the Palmetto Angel Fund.

Paul Clark, director of Spartanburg Angels, added, “Spartanburg Angels launched in February, made its first investments in April, and led its first major funding of a Spartanburg company before the end of 2015. This impressive record testifies to the impact a professionally-managed angel group combined with talented entrepreneurs and committed investors can have.”


The South Carolina Angel Network (SCAN) is an affiliation of angel investor groups from across the Palmetto State that provide capital and expertise to early stage, high growth businesses in the southeastern United States. Through its 200-plus members and full-time professional staff, SCAN has invested nearly $16 million in 46 companies, generating positive financial returns, helping attract over $200M in additional capital, and supporting the creation of over 400 jobs. Visit for more information.