Yearly Archives: 2017

BPV Invests in Pensacola-based Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems

Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems Raises Series B Growth Funding

SOURCE: Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems, LLC

PENSACOLA, Fla.—June 20, 2017Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems, Inc. (IRIS), the industry leader in early detection systems for diabetic eye disease, today announced the company successfully closed a round of Series B financing. The round was led by Ballast Point Ventures, a later-stage venture capital and growth equity firm that invests in rapidly growing, privately owned companies in the health care and technology industries. The round also includes investments from two healthcare system funds, Providence Ventures and current IRIS customer, CoxHealth. Funds raised will be used to support the company’s expansion and growth strategy as well as to support IRIS’s goal of developing the next generation of products that detect eye disease and improve the monitoring and care of patients in diabetic populations.

“IRIS was founded with the idea that through innovative and forward-thinking preventative care systems, we could save the sight of millions of patients,” said IRIS Founder and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sunil Gupta. “Everyone deserves a lifetime of sight. I am pleased that Ballast Point Ventures, Providence Ventures and CoxHealth have joined IRIS to improve the lives of patients with diabetes and see the value in our goal to develop the next generation of solutions.”

“With the capital from this financing, IRIS will be able to build on its leading position in the market while continuing to innovate and serve its forward-thinking health system clients,” said Matt Rice, Partner at Ballast Point Ventures. “We are excited to partner with Dr. Sunil Gupta, Jason Crawford, and the entire IRIS team to execute on the company’s mission of ending preventable blindness.”

“IRIS is emblematic of Providence Ventures’ investment strategy. Our fund’s interest was driven by deep insights collected from our Providence St. Joseph Health operating colleagues, and their enthusiasm regarding IRIS’s diverse and important value proposition. Providence St. Joseph Health’s clinical leaders are excited about the potential of the IRIS solution to dramatically enhance our ability to care for diabetic patients,” added Jeff Stolte, Partner at Providence Ventures.

“CoxHealth and IRIS have developed a partnership that has produced meaningful outcomes for our patients,” said Jake McWay, Senior Vice President and CFO of CoxHealth. “In recognition of the results we achieved over the last year, we were jointly awarded a 2017 Microsoft Health Innovation Award. We are excited to see the impact of this expansion and investment, and believe great things are ahead for this collaboration.”

The IRIS retinal telemedicine platform was developed to help end preventable, permanent blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy through early diagnosis. The IRIS platform is in place at 94 health systems across 28 states. IRIS seamlessly sits within a primary care physician’s existing workflow, dramatically increasing a health system’s ability to achieve superior annual diabetic retinopathy compliance rates. IRIS enables health systems to increase access, improve care coordination, lower costs and achieve 5-Star outcomes. In four years, IRIS clients have examined 183,498 patients with diabetes and found sight-threatening disease in nearly 31,624. One-third of the patients examined with the IRIS technology have been diagnosed with some form of retinal pathology.

“Great strides have been made to unseat diabetic retinopathy as the leading cause of blindness worldwide. The only barrier to success is early detection. IRIS closes the care gap for those patients that do not receive annual diabetic retinal exams. This investment will allow IRIS’s committed team and partners to execute to our vision of preventing blindness both here in the U.S. and worldwide,” added Dr. Gupta.

“Ballast Point Ventures, Providence Ventures and CoxHealth bring a deep understanding of the importance of population health management,” said IRIS CEO, Jason Crawford. “This investment will help us continue to improve the infrastructure, technology and services we deliver to our customers. It will lead to innovation that will place IRIS in a strong position to fuel the future of our product and improve the lives of every patient with diabetes that we touch.”

Matt Rice from Ballast Point Ventures and Jeff Stolte from Providence Ventures will join the IRIS Board of Directors, and Dr. C. Mark Costley, M.D. of CoxHealth will serve as Chair of IRIS’s newly established Clinical Advisory Board.

IRIS was advised by Ziegler, a healthcare-focused investment bank headquartered in Chicago, Ill.

About Ballast Point Ventures

Ballast Point Ventures is a later-stage venture capital fund established to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies in diverse industries, with a particular emphasis on companies located in the Southeast and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 70 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, business services, communications, technology, financial services and consumer. BPV has $360 million under management and seeks to make equity investments ranging in size from $4 million to $12 million. www.ballastpointventures.com

About Providence Ventures and Providence St. Joseph Health

Providence Ventures was founded in 2014 to manage a $150 million venture capital fund on behalf of Providence St. Joseph Health. Providence Ventures aims to drive innovation across the health care system to improve quality and convenience, lower cost and create better health outcomes. Providence St. Joseph Health is a new organization created by Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health with the goal of improving the health of the communities it serves, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. Together, its 111,000 caregivers (all employees) serve in 50 hospitals, 829 clinics and a comprehensive range of services across Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

About CoxHealth
CoxHealth is the only locally owned, not-for-profit health system based in Springfield, Mo., and is nationally accredited by DNV GL – Healthcare. Established in 1906, the organization serves a 25-county service area in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, offering a comprehensive array of primary and specialty care through five hospitals and more than 80 clinics. CoxHealth also serves the unmet needs of its friends and neighbors by providing more than $148 million annually in community benefit. The health system includes Cox Medical Center South, Cox Medical Center Branson, Cox North Hospital, Meyer Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, Cox Monett Hospital, Oxford HealthCare (the nation’s second largest hospital-based home health agency), Home Parenteral Services (home infusion therapy), CoxHealth Foundation, Cox College, Cox HealthPlans and more.

About Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems

Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) is the industry leader in early detection systems for diabetic eye disease. The company’s IRIS solution is an end-to-end FDA-cleared, telemedicine system that has improved quality, expanded access and reduced costs for diabetic retinopathy exams across the U.S. IRIS was founded in 2011 by nationally recognized retina surgeon Dr. Sunil Gupta, with a vision to end preventable blindness through the development and deployment of retinal diagnostic services in the primary care setting. The IRIS team of physicians, technicians and best practice client success experts partner with forward-thinking providers and payers to enhance patient outcomes by closing care gaps in healthcare systems. IRIS is the recipient of the 2017 Microsoft Innovation Award and the 2016 Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award in Diabetic Retinopathy. For additional information, visit www.retinalscreenings.com

More subtle than the California Gold Rush or Irish Potato Famine but is just as significant

Two stories came to our attention over the weekend:

Illinois may be the first state since 1933 to declare bankruptcy because they’ve chased off too much of their tax base with public policies hostile to entreprenuers, while…

Our home state of Florida has 3 of the top 20 cities in the country for tech job growth:  Orlando (6th), Jacksonville (9th) and Tampa (17th).  ZipRecruiter looked at 8 million active job postings and concluded:

The study listed tax breaks, government policies and cost of living as reasons tech companies are moving to Florida cities.

Huntsville, Ala., was first on the list.

“The tech industry is no longer bound to the coast,” said ZipRecruiter’s Chief Economic Adviser, Cathy Barrera. “As a result, we’re seeing the tech industry expand out of the major metropolis areas, and into smaller regional cities that have since flown largely under the radar.”

In The Spirit of the Laws Montesquieu posited that the invention of The Letter of Exchange was politically transforming because capital could now travel.   In his view it has always been true that:

Commerce is sometimes destroyed by conquerors, sometimes cramped by monarchs; it traverses the earth, flies from the places where it is oppressed, and stays where it has liberty to breathe.

The migration of talent and capital to the high-tech corridors of the Southeast has been more subtle than the California Gold Rush or Irish Potato Famine but is just as significant.  Some states are chasing away their earners, workers, and entrepreneurs; this is their tax base.

The growth corridors of the high-tech South would have a mercantile-like advantage but for the fact that employers can (and do!) simply move in order to thrive under our growth-oriented tax policieslower public sector debt burdensstronger job creation, excellent climate for entrepreneurs, and a superior overall business climate.  (The actual climate happens to be conducive to a great quality of life as well.)

Iconixx Named among ‘50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2017’ by The Silicon Review Magazine

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Iconixx today announced that The Silicon Review Magazine has named it among the ‘50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2017.’

“We are honored to be recognized by The Silicon Review Magazine as the one of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2017”

Tweet this

“The Silicon Review 50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2017 program identifies companies which are revolutionizing the decision making and business growth process, and winning a spot on this list indicates the company has not only distinguished itself from peers by proving itself as one of the fastest growing companies but also helping other companies to gain momentum in the marketplace,” said Sreshtha Banerjee, Editor-in-Chief of The Silicon Review Magazine. The publication has selected Iconixx based on its financial growth, ability to retain customers, frequent innovation, and contribution to the IT sector at large.

“We are honored to be recognized by The Silicon Review Magazine as the one of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2017,” said Derrik Deyhimi, Founder and CEO at Iconixx. “We are very proud of our product, sales and customer service accomplishments, and expect to see that accelerated in the next year.”

Iconixx has increased its sales force significantly to continue its momentum of growth. The team is focused on making their customers’ lives better through product innovation and its unrivaled customer support.

About Iconixx

Within every sales professional is a primal, quota-crushing beast. If you’re responsible for managing compensation, you are the beastmaster. The beastmaster has no time for tedious compensation routines using inferior tools like spreadsheets. The beastmaster, meanwhile, cannot abide the irritation of manual commission reconciliations. No. The beast cares only for the hunt. Iconixx is a sales compensation solution that automates commission plans and eliminates sales downtime caused by trivial administration. So get Iconixx – and unleash the beast. Iconixx is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is online at www.iconixx.com.

How to recruit a Board of Directors, continued

A recent article in Forbes offers excellent advice for recruiting a board of directors – in the form of the Top 10 Questions High Performance Directors Ask Before Joining a Board.

We think looking at the subject from that point of view is a very useful exercise that can help entrepreneurs with one of their most critical tasks.  Here’s how we ourselves once put it, in a 2012 post entitle How to recruit a Board of Directors:

While the “owners” of public companies often get to pick their board members more in theory than in practice, owners of private companies get to pick both their investors and their board members. Choosing partners who best fit over the long term requires as much rigor and thoughtfulness as any decision an entrepreneur makes.

Many small private companies have no or underdeveloped boards.  We encourage all our portfolio companies to build great boards and then use them constantly.  Entrepreneurs are almost always surprised how much value a good board can bring to their companies, and the best boards are a function of both the quality of the people involved and, just as importantly, how they operate.

We encourage you to read the entire Forbes piece, but for our purposes we chose 2 of the 10 and offer a handful of supporting links to related posts here at NVSE.

2. Will your management team be open to listening to board level input? Is resistance futile? Is dissent embraced in discussion?

Recruiting strong board members gives an entrepreneur the opportunity to create an environment of mutual accountability in which team members trust and challenge each other and compensate for the all-too-human tendency to learn only after it’s too late.

7. Does your company have institutional or professional systems and processes in place? Does the machine run smoothly, or is it held together with chewing gum?

While professional systems and processes are (of course) required to grow a high-growth company out of the garage, it’s also important for leadership to remember to also build the ‘robust social systems’ in which board members’ informal modus operandi ensure that all those well-designed systems function properly.

HotSchedules Announces New CEO, Changes to Leadership Team and Record Usage Numbers

News Provided on May 16, 2017 by HotSchedules

AUSTIN, TX – MAY 16, 2017 – HotSchedules®, a leading provider of technology solutions for the restaurant and hospitality industries, announced Mike Arenth as Chief Executive Officer. Arenth started with the company in late 2016 and implemented key leadership changes to better support innovation and growth. Prior to joining HotSchedules, Arenth was a Senior Advisor to Silver Lake, an Executive Vice President at SAP and before that spent 10 years at Ariba as General Manager and Senior Vice President.

“Restaurants remain economic powerhouses but technology is rapidly changing the industry and I’m confident that Mike is the right person to lead HotSchedules forward,” said Kevin Costello, Chairman of HotSchedules. “He is a seasoned executive with proven ability to create strategic clarity, focus an organization and drive innovation and growth particularly in industries facing transformation.”

“HotSchedules is built on a solid foundation— great products, strong financials, very engaged users, world-class customers and a talented team dedicated to meeting the ever-changing needs of this evolving industry,” said Arenth. “I’m honored and excited to lead HotSchedules to create the next generation of intelligent back-of-house solutions that will help our customers drive into the future—thoughtfully, efficiently, successfully and profitably.”

The company also announced record usage numbers for its popular platform designed to streamline back-of-house operations including training, scheduling, time & attendance, shift communications, task management, inventory, financials and analytics. HotSchedules serves over 2 million users in over 130,000 locations across 26 countries.

In 2016 alone, HotSchedules customers:
  • Scheduled 1.6 BILLION hours
  • Exchanged 224 MILLION messages
  • Traded 12.5 MILLION shifts
  • Completed over 5 MILLION online training courses
  • Completed over 1 MILLION online training certifications
  • Generated over $65 BILLION in restaurant sales
  • Purchased $24 BILLION in inventory through the platform

To further strategic momentum, the company has expanded its leadership team to include a dynamic group of executives to compliment the deep restaurant industry experience of Co-Founder David Cantu and the existing HotSchedules team.

The new leadership team includes:
  • Ted Kondis, Chief Revenue Officer who brings experience in general management and sales from Ariba, Arthur Anderson and SAP.
  • Neville Letzerich, Chief Marketing Officer who previously served as CMO at Forcepoint, LLC. Prior to that Letzerich held executive, product, marketing and consulting roles at EMC, Bazaarvoice and Accenture.
  • Sean Fitzpatrick, Chief Operations Officer has been with the company for 3 years and is promoted to COO. Fitzpatrick previously served as Global Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Oracle and has held senior leadership at BearingPoint, BroadVision and Lucent Technologies.
  • Brian Gaffney, Senior Vice President of Engineering: After more than three years of engineering leadership within HotSchedules, Gaffney has been promoted to SVP Engineering. Prior to that, he spent fifteen years at software start-ups including, AmberPoint, App Dynamics, Symplified, and Emotive Communications.
About HotSchedules

HotSchedules provides mobile, cloud-based technology for the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. The company is committed to serving those who serve others through a comprehensive suite of solutions that make working for and in restaurants – and beyond – more rewarding and efficient. The product suite solves the challenges associated with training, scheduling and managing labor, back-of-house operations and communications. HotSchedules is proud to serve more than 2 million users in over 130,000 locations across 26 countries. For more information visit: https://www.hotschedules.com.

Media Contact: Ryan Bearden, ryan.bearden@hotschedules.com

The only thing he ever made fly was government money

On this day in 1906, the Wright Brothers were granted a patent for their “flying machine.” In honor of the anniversary, we reprint this – one of our most popular, most-read pieces.  

(Original publish date: April 17, 2013)

The process of productive capital allocation is a critical ingredient of innovation and job growth.   Entrepreneurs spending their own (and their partners’) money will create more jobs, more innovation, and a more vibrant economy than politicians picking winners and losers based on cronyism, campaign contributions, and constituent pork.

When government strays out from funding basic research into either applied research or the means of production, the results range from poor to scandalous.  Ideas are infinite, and in the absence of competent execution, they are worth nothing.  Even if the idea has merit, the true expertise is crowded out.  There are better ways policymakers can help encourage innovation.

The invention of the airplane provides an excellent example.  While we’re all aware it was the Wright Brothers, many interesting details about funding the innovation don’t make it into school textbooks.  In A Tale of ‘Government Investment’  Lee Habeeb & Mike Leven recount the race between the bicycle shop owner/operators and the government-backed head of the Smithsonian.

Who better to win the race [to powered flight] for us, thought our leaders, than the best and brightest minds the government could buy? They chose Samuel Langley. [The War Department gave Langley $50,000, an enormous sum at the time, which The Smithsonian augmented with taxpayer funds of its own.]  You don’t know him, but in his day, Langley was a big deal. He had a big brain and lots of credentials. A renowned scientist and a professor of astronomy, he wrote books about aviation and was the head of the Smithsonian.  It was the kind of decision that well-intentioned bureaucrats would make throughout the century — and still make today. Give taxpayer money to the smartest guys in the room, the ones with lots of degrees. They’ll innovate and do good for us.

For that Solyndra-type investment the country got the “Great Aerodrome,” which “fell like a ton of mortar’ into the Potomac River – twice.  Representative Gilbert Hitchcock of Nebraska remarked, “You tell Langley for me that the only thing he ever made fly was government money.”

Samuel Pierpont Langley’s Aerodrome  and launching apparatus.

Nine days after that second failed test flight, a “sturdy, well-designed craft, costing about $1000, struggled into the air in Kitty Hawk.”

How did two Ohio brothers accomplish what the combined efforts of the War Department, The Smithsonian, and other people’s money could not?  The authors cite James Tobin’s To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and The Great Race for Flight (2004) to provide a few answers:

  • Langley saw the problem as one of power:  how to go from zero to 60 in 70 feet, the stress of which was too great for the materials used.  The Wright Brothers, inspired by the practical skills and insights gained from tinkering in their bike shop, understood the problem was one of balance (on a bike, balance+practice = control).  They invented the three-axis control (pitch, yaw, roll) still standard on fixed-wing aircraft today.  Their entrepreneurial technical expertise was an advantage neither the government nor other private competitors (Alexander Graham Bell) could match.
  • Since they couldn’t afford repeated test flights the Wright Brothers were forced to develop a wind tunnel to test their aerodynamics.  This saved money and time, since they weren’t bogged down repairing the wrecks of a flawed design.
  • No government money also meant no government strings.  They were freer to experiment and innovate without worrying about non-essential requests and hidden agendas.  They also managed to do more with less since they couldn’t afford subsidy-induced waste.

Habeeb & Levin also offer this fascinating, if not unexpected, coda:

Though the Wrights beat Langley and the Smithsonian, the race didn’t end there. Powerful interests vied for the patent to this revolutionary invention and, more important, for the credit for it. With Smithsonian approval, a well-known aviation expert modified Langley’s Aerodrome and in 1914 made some short flights designed to bypass the Wright brothers’ patent application and to vindicate the Smithsonian and its fearless leader, Samuel Langley.

That’s right. The Smithsonian’s brain trust couldn’t beat the bicycle-shop owners fair and square, so they used their power to steal the credit. And then they used their bully pulpit to rewrite history. In 1914, America’s most esteemed historical museum cooked the books and displayed the Smithsonian-funded Langley Aerodrome in its museum as the first manned aircraft heavier than air and capable of flight.

Orville Wright, who outlived his brother Wilbur, accused the Smithsonian of falsifying the historical record. So upset was he that he sent the 1903 Kitty Hawk Flyer, the plane that made aviation history, to a science museum in . . . London.

But truth is a stubborn thing. And in 1942, after much embarrassment, the Smithsonian recanted its false claims about the Aerodrome. The British museum returned the Wright brothers’ historic Flyer to America, and the Smithsonian put it on display in their Arts and Industries Building on December 17, 1948, 45 years to the day after the aircraft’s only flights. A grand government deception was at last foiled by facts and fate.

As for Samuel Langley, he died in obscurity a broken and disappointed man. Friends often noted that he could have beaten the Wright brothers if only he’d had more time — and more government funding.

Some things never change.

The Wright brothers’ airplane business never took off (groan) due to a combination of poor business decisions and sloppy patent work.  Wilbur sadly died young (in 1912 at age 45, of illness that some suspect was contracted due to exhaustion from the patent battles) and Orville sold the company in 1915.  So the industry grew under the leadership of other companies and other men.  (Although the Curtiss-Wright Corporation remains in business today producing high-tech components for the aerospace industry.)   One can’t help but wonder what the original inventors might have done had they been the beneficiary of a strong partnership with a VC fund…

Iconixx Software Closes $4.2 Million Equity Financing

Posted May 2nd, 2017 by Business Wire

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Iconixx software announces today it has closed $4.2M in new capital. This round of funding was led by existing investors Ballast Point Ventures, Harbert Growth Partners, S3 Ventures, and the Iconixx management team, resulting in $24 million in capital raised to date.

Iconixx, a global leader in enterprise class incentive compensation software, will use the funding to accelerate growth initiatives. The company has plans for product advancements and continued increase in market share by expanding its robust sales team.

“Our solid sales pipeline, proven customer success accomplishments, and product enhancements have propelled our rapid growth and award-winning customer support team. The hard work of our skilled team has driven our successes, and we expect to see these accelerated,” said Derrik Deyhimi, Chairman and CEO of Iconixx. “We are excited about our future growth and making the lives of each of our customers better.”

“We are proud of the accomplishments Iconixx software has achieved in product enrichments, customer acquisition and customer success. Our overwhelming confidence in the Iconixx compensation management solution leaves us excited for the continued partnership with the team,” says Matt Rice, Partner at Ballast Point Ventures.

About Iconixx

Iconixx software listens intently to every customer’s challenge – treating every interaction as an opportunity to understand the unique compensation needs of each customer. We carefully diagnose the problem and prescribe an automated path by configuring our software to remedy critical compensation issues. Your cure is our success! http://www.iconixx.com/

About S3 Ventures

S3 Ventures is an early, expansion and growth stage venture firm with $200 million under management. The firm is focused on information technology solutions that solve large business problems and in medical devices that improve the human condition. S3 invests across all stages of a company’s growth and partners with the team to help focus methodically on what it takes to build a successful company. www.s3vc.com

About Harbert Growth Partners Funds (the “HGP Funds”)

The Harbert Growth Partners Funds are emerging growth stage investors focused on rapidly growing technology and healthcare companies headquartered in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The HGP Funds are affiliates of Harbert Management Corporation (“HMC”), an alternative asset management company which manages approximately $4.4 billion in Regulatory Assets Under Management as of June 30, 2016, from offices in 11 locations across the United States and Europe. http://www.harbert.net/

About Ballast Point Ventures

Ballast Point Ventures is a later stage venture capital fund established to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies in diverse industries, with a particular emphasis on companies located in the Southeast and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 70 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, business services, communications, technology, financial services and consumer. BPV has $360 million under management and seeks to make equity investments ranging in size from $4 million to $12 million. www.ballastpointventures.com.

Successful people invest in relationships

Good article in Entrepreneur about how true success is not possible unless you build great relationships.  The piece hits several themes that we believe are critical to a successful vc-entrepreneur marriage: maintaining long term relationships, communicating good news and bad, promoting honesty in business, how useful failures can prevent epic ones, and maximizing board effectiveness.

The chemistry between entrepreneur and venture partner in private companies is more cooperative, longer-term, and (mercifully) not subject to the quarterly reporting pressures of public companies.  Both will have real “skin in the game” and the same incentive to understand the nuances of the business and focus on long term value creation.

You will spend a great deal of time, effort, and money together with a new partner, so the chemistry ought to be productive and enjoyable. It should add conviviality in the good times and take the edge off the bad times.

Here are a few highlights from the article “How Successful People Build Exceptional Professional Relationships.”

They help without having to be asked.

People who build great relationships pay close attention so they can tell when others are struggling. Then they offer to help… but not in a general, “Is there something I can do to help you?” way. Instead they come up with specific ways they can help.

That way they can push past the reflexive, “No, I’m okay…” objections and then roll up their sleeves to make a difference in another person’s life.

And they do it not because they want to build a better relationship — although that is certainly the result — but simply because they care.

They take the undeserved hit.

She’s willing to accept the criticism or abuse because she knows she can handle it — and she knows that maybe, just maybe, the person who is really responsible cannot.

Few acts are more selfless than taking the undeserved hit. And few acts better cement a relationship.

They answer the question that was not asked.

Where relationships are concerned, face value is usually without value. Often people will ask a different question than the one they really want answered… Behind many simple questions is often a larger question that goes unasked. People who build great relationships listen carefully to discover what lies underneath so they can answer that question, too.

They step up when they have acted poorly.

Responsibility is a key building block of a great relationship. People who take the blame, who say they are sorry and explain why they are sorry, who don’t try to push any of the blame back on the other person… those are people everyone wants in their lives, because they instantly turn a mistake into a bump in the road rather than a permanent roadblock.

They know when to dial it back.

People who build great relationships know when to have fun and when to be serious, when to be over the top and when to be invisible, and when to take charge and when to follow.

Great relationships are multifaceted and therefore require multifaceted people willing to adapt to the situation — and to the people in that situation.

They value the message by always valuing the messenger.

Smart people strip away the framing that comes with the source — whether positive or negative — and consider the information, advice, or idea based solely on its merits.

People who build great relationships never automatically discount the message simply because they discount the messenger. They know good advice is good advice, regardless of where it comes from.

And they know good people are good people, regardless of their perceived “status.”

 

The migration of talent and capital to the high-tech corridors of the Southeast

Good article from Technet about how the startup economy has spread across the country:

The American startup ecosystem — the envy of the world — has spread outside of the coasts and high-profile tech hubs, such as San Francisco, Boston, and New York City, to other parts of the country.  Startup activity is happening everywhere in cities and towns across America.

More than that, the startup culture of entrepreneurship, fueled by scalable technology, is spreading as well.  Around the country, an increasing number of companies are describing themselves as “startups” when they advertise for workers.

This is the most recent item in a long run of stories describing a geographic analog to the process of creative destruction.  Those states who spray “startupicide” on the economy –  suffocating regulations, inflated business taxes and fees, lawsuit-friendly legal environments, and political classes uninterested in business concerns, if not downright hostile to them – lose economic clout as people and capital migrate to other states with more favorable environments in which to work and live.

Local evidence of this trend can be found in this story, in which the U.S. Census Bureau reports

Three metro areas in Florida were among the nation’s 10 biggest gainers in the number of people moving there last year, and another three Florida metro areas were in the top 10 for overall growth rates.

Our hometown Tampa was #5 in the nation in 2016 population growth.

This migration of economic clout within the US has been more subtle than the California Gold Rush or Irish Potato Famine but is just as significant.  Some states are chasing away their earners, workers, and entrepreneurs; this is their tax base.

The growth corridors of the high-tech South would have a mercantile-like advantage but for the fact that employers can (and do!) simply move in order to thrive under our growth-oriented tax policieslower public sector debt burdensstronger job creation, excellent climate for entrepreneurs, and a superior overall business climate.  (The actual climate happens to be conducive to a great quality of life as well.)

BigTeams, StateChamps partner to provide online ticketing to high schools

Posted March 17th, 2017 by StateChamps

BigTeams, the leading high school sports software platform in the US, has announced that it has partnered with Birmingham, Alabama-based StateChamps.com to provide online ticketing services to BigTeams client high schools.

“Increasingly, our clients and their fans have been asking for an online ticketing solution for high schools,” said Jeff Gilbert, BigTeams Founding Partner and Chief Product Officer.  “In looking for a partner, we evaluated multiple ticketing companies’ ticketing solutions to high schools. In the end, StateChamps’ team and technology made it obvious to us that they are the winning solution” said BigTeams CEO, Joe Romano.

StateChamps’ patent-pending Share and TearTM Technology delivers electronic tickets to an app on the ticket purchaser’s smartphone. The ticket buyer then presents their phone at the gate, and the digital ticket is “torn” on screen by gate staff.  “We designed the digital tearing process to be almost identical to the paper ticket redemption process;” StateChamps Chief Marketing Officer Eric Housh explained, “it requires neither ticket scanners nor internet, and gate staff can be trained in seconds.”

In addition to Share and TearTM, StateChamps’ team of over 60 ticketing professionals power an “Omni-Service” approach. After the school sends the schedule and ticket price information, StateChamps does the work to set everything up.

“The school gets secure, powerful, and hassle-free online ticketing at no cost, with no work required,” Housh said.

The StateChamps online ticketing solution will be included at no additional cost for new and existing BigTeams and ScheduleStar client schools, and will integrate seamlessly with BigTeams and ScheduleStar. StateChamps will also provide free printed tickets to BigTeams clients.

About StateChamps

StateChamps is the exclusive online ticketing solution for hundreds of high schools nationwide, including seven state high school athletics associations. StateChamps was also recognized as a preferred vendor and online ticket supplier of the National Interscholastic Association of Athletic Administrators. For more information, please visit www.statechamps.com.

About BigTeams

BigTeams is the leading provider of technology designed to streamline communication for high school athletic communities.  BigTeams offers official websites for high school sports programs, time saving tools such as Schedule Star™, and other products designed to eliminate administrative burdens on AD’s and coaches, while connecting student athletes and fans through a single platform.

© 2017 Ballast Point Ventures. All rights reserved.