Yearly Archives: 2018

“Health Ambition” on the diagnosis & effects of sleep apnea

This interesting article in Health Ambition provides an excellent summary of the potentially serious risk factors of sleep apnea, which they estimate affects 26% of adults – 80% of which goes undiagnosed.

The corresponding reduction in sleep quality can lead to common symptoms in the short term such as fatigue and irritability, but over the long term the consequences could include increased risk of many serious conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke.

If you’d like to learn if you might be part of the undiagnosed population, our portfolio company SleepMed offers a free online preliminary sleep risk test that is quick and easy.  They also offer home- and lab- based sleep diagnostics services as well as outcomes-based sleep disorder treatments and support.

Check out the article at Health Ambition.  One of the many fascinating things we’ve learned since our investment in SleepMed is how critical a good 7 hours/night of sleep is to a whole range of health outcomes.

Will voters split The Golden State into Three Californias?

“Cryptocurrency Billionaire” Tom Draper is trying, once again, to split California; and as of this morning, his “Cal3” initiaitve has officially earned a spot on the November 6 ballot.

This time he’s proposing 3 states; last time he pitched the idea it was 6.  What we said then:

These pages have often extolled the virtues of doing business in the Southeast and Texas, the best climate for entrepreneurs and where we have focused our investment efforts for over twenty years.  Along the way we may have poked gentle fun at our friends in California whenever the state’s business environment fared poorly in surveys or did something like retroactively tax entrepreneurs.

So we can try to imagine the frustration engendered when a large and diverse geographic area strains under distant and schlerotic governing institutions…  Hard to see how this becomes a political reality though.

With the mood of the electorate today, anything might be possible.  But whatever one thinks of the notion, he has his work cut out for him. A May 8 article in Bloomberg points out that CA’s differences run deep, making it difficult to structure the break-up in a fashion that would be politically palatable across-the-board.

***

In related news…

The Orange County Register writes that California lacks a job-friendly economic policy.  The letter Gov. Jerry Brown wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, pleading the case for “HQ2” to be located in his state, promised a long and complicated list of incentives, breaks and assistance.

It reads like a confession of everything California is doing to kill businesses” and “(would be) a useful list for the next governor, and for anyone who wonders why there’s no gold rush of businesses moving to California.”

The best (and worst) states for business

Last month CEO Magazine produced its annual ranking of the best states in which to do business, and, as with previous surveys, our region does very well.

The best place to do business in the United States is Texas, followed by No. 2 Florida and, in a tie, No. 3 North Carolina and South Carolina, according to Chief Executive’s 2018 “Best and Worst States for Business.” CEOs ranked Indiana No. 5, rounding out the top five states.

The worst place is No. 50 California, bested only slightly by No. 49 New York, No. 48 Illinois, No. 47 New Jersey, No. 46 Connecticut and No. 45 Massachusetts.

Seem familiar? That’s because those are the exact same positions each of these states has occupied in each of the last four years in our annual poll of CEOs about business climates.

The entire ranking includes TN & GA in the Top 10, at #6 & #7 respectively.  Those at the top tend not to change much because they have a consistent philosophy about how to approach the business climate, and they don’t see significant leadership changes.  There’s a similar dynamic at the bottom of the list as well:

Meanwhile, the high-tax, high-cost environments created by the bottom states also tend to be self-reinforcing. Mostly, those places are kept afloat economically by legacy advantages such as strong education and healthcare systems, as well as by the fact that in-demand, digitally skilled millennials enjoy living in their cities.

But states like Massachusetts risk eroding even those advantages as the cost of living skyrockets in big cities and traffic and other annoyances mount. … The situations of bottom feeders could get worse before they get better, in part because of a particular effect of federal tax reform on high-tax states—like the basement dwellers. “The exit numbers of companies and owners are going to be higher,” McGuire says, “because people won’t be able to deduct as much in property and income taxes. They’re being taxed into oblivion.” Also, the coasts are losing some of their perceived edge in talent and lifestyle amid sharply higher costs of living—and facing steadily increasing digital capabilities in the heartland.

“It’s getting to the point now where if you’re a digital marketing specialist, you can move to Nashville or Omaha and have three or four opportunities,” says David Hall, vice president for investments at Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based seed fund. “Before it was so scattered. You’re seeing the density of the tech and startup ecosystem build on itself and create great network effects within a region.”

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 “startupicideon 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.

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 creationexcellent climate for entrepreneurs, and a superior overall business climate.  (The actual climate happens to be conducive to a great quality of life as well.)

Related stories:

Honored to have two of our portfolio companies, PowerChord and Symphonic Distribution, mentioned in this list!

The Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa

Source:  Full Stack Talent

We’ve been wanting to put together a list of the top 10 tech companies to work for in Tampa for a while now. These are companies we love because they embody the spirit of tech and use tech to power their business, and because the culture is amazing and they really value their teams. This is gonna be a long one, so get a drink before you strap in!

ConnectWise

What they do:
ConnectWise is a community-driven software company dedicated to the success of Technology Solutions Providers. Their suite helps you manage your business, sell more efficiently, automate service delivery, and remotely control technology so you can consistently deliver amazing customer experiences.

Established in 1982, ConnectWise began as a full-service IT solution provider to small- and mid-sized businesses. After discovering a need to better streamline and automate processes in their own business, they built the ConnectWise business management solution to manage all of the core functions of any technology business in one integrated solution.

Today more than 10,000 technology organizations rely on ConnectWise to achieve greater accountability, operational efficiency, and profitability in their businesses.

Why they’re great to work for: 
ConnectWise has consistently been named one of Tampa’s Best Places to Work. They have lots of culture events, and volunteering opportunities.


On the benefits side, they offer:
-Medical, Dental and Vision benefits
-401k plan
-Flexible PTO
-A daily lunch stipend, and stocked kitchens with free snacks
-Foosball table
-Fun events like Star Wars Day, huge Holiday parties, Halloween costume contests, and annual picnics

Want to learn more?
I have 3 friends that currently work or have worked at ConnectWise and all have great things to say about the company and how they’re treated there. So, go ahead and learn more here: https://www.connectwise.com.

Nielsen

What they do: 
Nielsen is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in over 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. Their office in Oldsmar is incredible. See for yourself:

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Nielsen

Why they’re great to work for:
-Medical, Dental and Vision benefits
-Life insurance
-Health Savings Account
-401k plan
-Unlimited PTO
-Performance bonuses
-Remote work options
-Free snacks
-Discounts on cell phone plans

Want to learn more?
Head on over to http://www.nielsen.com/ for more info on the company.

KnowBe4

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - KnowBe4

What they do: 
KnowBe4 is the world’s most popular integrated Security Awareness Training and Simulated Phishing platform with over 17,000 customers. Based on Kevin Mitnick’s 30+ year unique first-hand hacking experience, you now have a platform to better manage the urgent IT security problems of social engineering, spear phishing and ransomware attacks.

With world-class, user-friendly new-school Security Awareness Training, KnowBe4 gives you self-service enrollment, and both pre-and post-training phishing security tests that show you the percentage of end-users that are Phish-prone. KnowBe4’s highly effective, frequent, random Phishing Security Tests provide several remedial options in case an employee falls for a simulated phishing attack.

Why they’re great to work for:
Won 1st place for the 2017 Tampa Best Places To Work – Midsize Business Category. Earnings are uncapped, everybody gets a bonus at the end of the quarter if the company did well, they love promoting from within, and the dress code is quite relaxed. The office is in Clearwater, real close to the beach – the view is insaaaane. Oh, and there’s rooftop cornhole, so…


On the benefits side, they offer:
-100% covered Medical
-Unlimited PTO
-401k plan
-Free snacks
-In-office Yoga on Wednesdays
-Lots of team-building activities, Holiday parties, movies, dinner cruises, howl-o-scream tickets, catered lunches, beach parties, etc.
-Free gym membership

Want to learn more?
Go to https://www.knowbe4.com to find out more about this awesome Clearwater company.

Powerchord

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Powerchord

What they do:
PowerChord’s digital platform helps manufacturers grow online engagement and in-store sales through their dealer networks.

Working with leading brands from around the world, they’ve combined years of industry expertise with advanced technology to provide easy-to-use, scalable tools that help your dealers compete against large, online retailers.

They are a team of forward thinkers, happy hour enthusiasts, musicians, and results-driven marketers dedicated to helping consumers find and engage with your brand.

Their office is home to innovative ideas, impromptu jam sessions, and a group of individuals with spirited ‘can do’ attitudes.

Why they’re great to work for:
Good culture with lots of company events, like Rays games, Halloween celebrations, birthday celebrations, shuffleboarding outings, etc.

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa

Benefits:
-Medical
-IRA with 3% company match
-14 days PTO your first year, and an additional 2 days every year after
-Free snacks
-Relaxes dress code
-Company events like tech talks and happy hours
-Relaxed management (read: no micromanagement)

Want to learn more?
Go to https://www.powerchord.com to read more about the company culture and what they do.

The HOTH

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - The HOTH

What they do:
The HOTH is a white-hat SEO leader. They provide SEO services such as guest posts, link building, press releases, local business packages, on-page optimization, keyword research, blog post writing, video, etc – all at affordable prices, and with insane results.

They continue to develop constant upgrades and testing to ensure the best possible results. You can find them at national and international tradeshows like SMX, BrightonSEO, Pubcon, AdTech, Affiliate Summit, and their own HOTHCON!

Why they’re great to work for:
Office dogs, yacht days, conferences, a company kickball team, the list goes on and on. The HOTH seems more like a family than anything else.

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - The HOTH Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - The HOTH

Benefits:
-75% covered Medical
-Vision
-2 weeks of PTO
-Company-wide bonuses
-Flexible hours, and remote days
-Free lunch on Fridays
-Free snacks
-Dog friendly – yes, you can bring your dog to work
-Wellness plan options: gym membership, yoga studio membership, or monthly massage program
-Awesome office with standing desks, swinging chairs, etc – they actually made Tampa Bay Business Journal’s coolest office spaces
-Cool team-building events and huge holiday parties

Want to learn more?
Go on over to https://www.thehoth.com/ to learn more about The HOTH’s incredible growth history. You’ll need to create an account to access parts of the site, but it’s worth it. If your company needs any SEO services, they actually have some cool free services, and the blog is a fount of free knowledge. Their paid services are quite affordable as well.

Greenway Health

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Greenway Health

What they do:
Greenway Health connects providers to the right information and insights, at the right place and time, so they can make patient-driven care a reality while navigating the ever-changing healthcare system. Their mission is to expand possibilities in care. They’re contributing to the success of customers in ways no one else in the industry is. They focus on these 3 areas:

Designing solutions and services that delight
Inspiring practice transformation
Restoring the care in healthcare

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Greenway Health

Why they’re great to work for: 
-Great salaries
-Medical, Dental and Vision
-401k plan
-15 days PTO
-Health Savings Account
-On-site gym
-Free snacks
-Flexible hours
-Frequent cultural events, like employee picnics, company lunches, volunteer events, etc
-Wellness programs where participants get discounts on their health insurance
-They also have a cool walking club where employees meet weekly and earn points for walking

Want to learn more?
Go to https://www.greenwayhealth.com – they have a whole sections on their benefits, cultural values, etc., and you can learn so much about the company. They’re doing something great for the healthcare system.

Sourcetoad

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Sourcetoad

What they do:
Sourcetoad is a technology consulting and software development firm. Their domain expertise in cruise software has helped their clients launch complex projects around shore excursions, hotel booking, onboard management, and customer-facing web and mobile applications.They specialize in large-scale infrastructure projects with lots of moving parts. Middleware applications controlling large IoT rollouts? They do that. Mobile apps that connect to 12 APIs through a custom control system? Yup. Data collection from 20 distinct government databases to produce water-quality scores for an entire county? You get the pattern.

Why they’re great to work for: 
OFFICE DOGS. Gaming room. Company-sponsored trainings. Opportunities to go on cruises when a new deployment is being done.

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - SourcetoadTop 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Sourcetoad

Benefits:
-Medical, Dental and Vision benefits
-401k plan with company match
-Flexible PTO
-Cool office with gaming systems on site
-Fun events like catered lunches, parties, etc

Want to learn more?
Head over to https://www.sourcetoad.com/ to learn more about this company.

Pikmykid

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Pikmykid

What they do:
PikMyKid is the first and only smart dismissal solution and car line management tool for school districts, charter / private schools, after-school programs, YMCA’s, bus transportation, and daycare facilities. It connects schools, teachers, and parents through real-time tools to make dismissals safer and more efficient. Schools subscribe to PikMyKid for a small annual fee. The App is free for teachers and parents to use!

Why they’re great to work for: 
Along with generous salaries, pikmykid offers many benefits, both standard and culture-based.

-50% covered Medical and Dental
-14 days PTO
-Great office space with amenities like:
-Gym corner
-Unlimited snacks
-Fully-automatic espresso and cappuccino machine
-Free onsite parking
-Free gourmet lunch every Friday
-Collaborative work space
-Employee stock options offered after 6 months of employment
-Flexible working hours – make your own schedule

Want to learn more?
Head on over to https://www.pikmykid.com to discover more information about pikmykid.

Symphonic Distribution

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Symphonic Distribution

What they do:
Symphonic Distribution is a 100% independent music distribution and marketing company founded by music producer Jorge Brea in 2006. Headquartered in Tampa, FL with offices in major music markets throughout the world, Symphonic provides thousands of new and established record labels, managers and individual artists with global digital music distribution to hundreds of retail and streaming platforms, as well as playlist pitching, release promotion, and a comprehensive suite of label services.

Artists and Record Labels that have had their content distributed through Symphonic Distribution include: Bassnectar, Deadmau5, Waka Flocka Flame, Datsik, The Movement, Tommie Sunshine, Richie Hawtin, Play Me Records, Moody Recordings (Bad Boy Bill), and many more of various genres and music focuses.

Why they’re great to work for: 
The company is currently seeing a great amount of growth, and the culture remains the shining star; the company does cool stuff like Kart racing days, park days, brew bus, etc. So you know how in May, there are 2 super important holidays? May the 4th and Cinco de Mayo? Well, they combined both last year and made it their first annual Margarita Wars day. See picture to the left. The picture to the right is a booze cruise (well, really, it was a pedal boat cruise) they did on Tampa river. Pretty darn cool.

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Symphonic Distribution Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Symphonic Distribution

On the benefits side, they offer:
-50% covered Medical and Dental
-100% covered Vision, Short and Long Term Disability
-PTO accrued on every paycheck, including new employees
-1 week additional PTO during Christmas holiday (does not affect PTO)
-401k plan with 3% match

Want to learn more?
Visit them at http://symphonicdistribution.com.

Gooee

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Gooee

What they do:
Gooee is deployed via Lighting-as-a-Host to dynamically capture building activity data.

Gooee’s Data Brain drives software applications for building-occupiers, property owners, and managers around 3 core areas: Lighting Control and Analytics, Beacon Networking + Space and Occupancy Analytics.

Their IoT ecosystem provides wireless lighting control and a full stack data and analytics platform to capture the 4 dimensions of building activity data: people, objects, place and time.

Why they’re great to work for:
HOW COOL IS THIS COMPANY?! Gooee was founded in 2014 and they’ve already seen explosive growth. They invent their solutions, and have grown their portfolio of patents to over 20. We see great things in the future for Gooee, as they’ve made themselves the leader in this niche. The company’s culture is pretty awesome. It’s not unheard of that the entire St. Pete office will leave together to go have lunch. The employees also have creative time where they can work on fun stuff not related to their current projects. Plus, they support awesome causes – they recently worked with Suncoast Developers Guild to help kids learn to code.

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Gooee Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Gooee

Let’s talk benefits:
-Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits
-15 days PTO + separate sick day quota
-401k plan
-Exciting startup, strong cross-team collaboration
-Hack days
-Stock options
-Flexible working environment; remote working, flexible hours
-Open to experimenting with new technology and concepts
-Regular team-building and socializing
-Dev expo attendance budget

Also, look at their office. The space is absolutely gorgeous.

Top 10 Tech Companies To Work For In Tampa - Gooee

Want to learn more?
Go to their website to find out more about the coolest niche everhttps://gooee.com.

MolecularMD and Genoptix Enter into a Definitive Agreement to Market the MRDx® BCR-ABL Test, a Companion Diagnostic for Treatment-free Remission in Ph+ CML-CP Patients Treated with Tasigna®

Source:  MolecularMD

PORTLAND, OR and CARLSBAD, CA – June 4, 2018 – MolecularMD Corporation and Genoptix, Inc. announced today that they have entered into an exclusive agreement to market and perform diagnostic testing services and distribution of the MRDx® BCR-ABL Test. The MRDx® BCR-ABL Test is a companion diagnostic that is indicated as an aid in identifying Ph+CML patients in the chronic phase who are on Tasigna®* and are candidates for the initiation and monitoring of Treatment-free Remission. The test received  FDA authorization in December 2017 in concordance with the priority review and subsequent label update for the Novartis drug Tasigna, the first and only CML therapy with Treatment-free Remission data in its label. Under the terms of the agreement, Genoptix will exclusively provide MRDx Testing Services and Kits in the United States market.

Treatment-free Remission (TFR) is the ability for eligible patients to sustain major molecular response (MMR) or deep molecular response (DMR) after discontinuing Tasigna, an FDA-approved BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)1. These patients no longer take daily oral therapy but continue to be actively managed through frequently-scheduled monitoring of molecular response with the MRDx BCR-ABL Test.

The MolecularMD MRDx BCR-ABL Test was clinically validated in conjunction with the ENESTfreedom and ENESTop clinical studies. These trials evaluated the potential to maintain deep molecular response (DMR) after stopping Tasigna therapy among eligible patients 18 years of age or older with Ph+ CML-CP. The trials demonstrated that nearly half of the Ph+ CML-CP patients who discontinued Tasigna remained in TFR nearly two years after stopping treatment.

Genoptix is one of the largest hematopathology centers in the U.S. and is a leading clinical oncology laboratory specializing in hematology and solid tumors. For nearly 20 years Genoptix has served cancer care teams and over 1.7 million patients by delivering fast, accurate vital answers about diagnosis and treatment in hematology and oncology.

“Genoptix is a recognized leader in personalized and comprehensive oncology diagnostic services.  The addition of MolecularMD’s MRDx BCR-ABL Test as a Companion Diagnostic with Tasigna enhances Genoptix’s portfolio of minimal residual disease (MRD) clinical monitoring tools and strengthens our position as a leader in hematology oncology,” said Joseph M. Limber, President & Chief Executive Officer, Genoptix.

“Following MolecularMD’s FDA authorization of the MRDx Test for TFR, the commercial partnership with Genoptix will provide broad market access and ensure that CML patients and their healthcare providers receive timely and accurate test results in the management of therapy discontinuation,” stated Dan Snyder, CEO of MolecularMD.

About MolecularMD

MolecularMD Corporation is a diagnostics company that enables the development and commercialization of precision medicines in oncology. Its tests are designed to allow appropriate selection, monitoring and management of patients treated with molecularly-targeted and immuno- cancer therapies. MolecularMD integrates gold standard and innovative platform technologies with custom clinical assay design and validation to accelerate all phases of clinical development, including FDA approval and commercialization of in vitro companion diagnostic tests for novel anticancer agents. MolecularMD is the exclusive manufacturer of the MRDx BCR-ABL Test. For more information, please visit wwwmolecularmd.com and www.mrdxtest.com.

About Genoptix, Inc.

Genoptix is a leading clinical oncology laboratory specializing in hematology and solid tumors, and operates one of the largest hematopathology centers in the U.S. It provides personalized and comprehensive diagnostic services to hematologists, oncologists and pathologists, with a specialization in diagnosing cancers and disorders in bone marrow, blood and lymph nodes, as well as in solid tumor workups using molecular testing. Through an integrated approach to case management, Genoptix delivers individualized, actionable results for each patient to help the referring physician make the best treatment decision. Genoptix is a portfolio company of Ampersand Capital Partners and 1315 Capital. For more information, please visit www.genoptix.com.

Notes: Genoptix is a registered trademark of Genoptix, Inc. Any other names of actual companies, organizations, entities, products or services may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

*Tasigna is a registered trademark of Novartis AG.

References:

1.Tasigna (nilotinib) Prescribing Information. East Hanover, New Jersey, USA: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; December 2017.

 

Symphonic Distribution Makes Senior Hires in New York and Los Angeles

Source / by:  MusicBusiness Worldwide

Independent distributor Symphonic Distribution has hired former Orchard exec Nick Gordon and Jaime Feldman, who previously worked at Universal Music, in the US.

Gordon joins the company as Chief Client Officer & GM in New York.

He was previously VP, Client Services at The Orchard, and was pivotal to the company’s client and technology growth that led to its acquisition by Sony Music.

Prior to that, Gordon was a Distributed Labels Manager at Caroline Distribution, where he focused on hip-hop and electronic music clients.

In his new role, he is tasked with defining Symphonic’s core client strategy and expanding the company’s footprint in New York.  

As Content Development Specialist, Feldman is Symphonic’s first hire in Los Angeles.

He was previously Senior Director, A&R at Universal Music and Director, A&R at Capitol Music.

In his new role, Feldman is tasked with growing Symphonic’s client roster in Los Angeles and drawing from his experience to shape its future A&R strategy.

Jorge Brea, CEO of Symphonic Distribution, said: “I am thrilled to have Nick as a part of Symphonic.

“NICK BRINGS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE, ENERGY AND CREATIVITY TO THE ORGANIZATION AND HAVING JAIME AS A PART OF SYMPHONIC WILL HELP [US] REACH NEW HEIGHTS.”

JORGE BREA, SYMPHONIC DISTRIBUTION

“He brings a tremendous amount of experience, energy and creativity to the organization and will help make the New York region a major and important part of the company’s future.

“Alongside Nick, having Jaime as a part of Symphonic will help the organization reach new heights and connect us to a new and exciting client base.

“Jaime’s experience and track record speaks for itself and we’re excited to see what he will contribute to us.”

Gordon said: “I’m delighted to be joining Symphonic at this exciting moment in their trajectory.

“Jorge and his team have built an amazing foundation, and I’m excited to help them build a growth strategy that aligns with the current needs of the independent artist and music community.”

Feldman added: “I’m tremendously excited to come on board at Symphonic at a key time for them and help add to the growth and prosperity they have seen over the past several years.

“At a time in the music business when artists and independent labels have thrived the most outside of the major label system, Symphonic is a great company for those that wish to keep their autonomy yet have a stellar team behind them to support in every way possible.”

Behind the deal: Two Orlando biz owners share thoughts on being acquired and landing equity

SOURCE:  Orlando Business Journal 

By Matthew Richardson  – Staff writer, Orlando Business Journal

Orlando Business Journal zeroed in on two M&A deals in Central Florida, talking to the top local executives to get insights on what led to the decision to sell their companies — or a majority stake in it — and more:

Josh Brown, founder and CEO, PowerDMS

What led to the decision to form a partnership with Frontier Capital? We were about three years into our investment with Ballast Point Ventures and we saw a lot of growth through that investment. We were aware of the market opportunity for software and services companies. We serve a very niche customer base, like law enforcement. The knowledge of the growth and being well-connected to the opportunity that was in front of us in terms of the market as it was scaling helped us know it was the right time.

Full text here

People Are Leaving Silicon Valley and Orlando Might Be the Next Hot Spot

SOURCE: Inc.

By: Jeff Barrett CEO, Barrett Digital

Affordability, tech talent pools and access to capital top the list.

It costs $2000 to rent a U-Haul in San Francisco. Rent one anywhere else and it’s roughly $100. This year the Bay Area will lose more people than any other region in the country. The reason is a variety of factors; affordability, access to opportunity and technology making it increasingly easier to work from anywhere.

The consolidation of talent bubble in Silicon Valley has burst. It was a great run. Where do people and companies go next?

When you’re considering where to relocate, which I’m in the process of doing myself, access (both to capital and talent) is key. What I look for in a destination city are strong existing companies, a large talent pool and capital that exists but may not be investing in tech yet.

Think Outside of Conventional Tech Hubs

I toured Orlando in January. In the last six years the city has grown 16.31 percent. And at first blush you may think theme parks, retirees and tourism. But they have the largest university in the country, based on enrollment, in UCF. Downtown is young. And there’s a pipeline of talent both from universities and strong existing companies like Disney, Lockheed Martin and EA Sports.

Orlando has already seen the Silicon Valley exodus pay dividends, with fast-growing Fattmerchant. The young payment processing company is growing rapidly. Founder Suneera Madhani and her brother Sal Rehmetullah, who worked in Silicon Valley, intentionally chose to plant their flag in Orlando.

“Fattmerchant is where we are today because of the support of the Orlando community,” said Suneera Madhani, CEO, Fattmerchant?. “We are proud to be Orlando born and bred and find that as we expand Orlando continues to have the infrastructure we need to not only achieve our growth but to continue to surpass our goals.”

Enter on the Upswing

“We’ve stayed ahead of the curve by testing and implementing bleeding-edge cleantech solutions, such as floating solar power, electric buses for public transit, and even positioning ourselves as a national research hub for autonomous and connected vehicles,” said Chris Castro, who leads sustainability and smart cities initiatives for the City of Orlando.

If Orlando wants to attract those leaving Silicon Valley it starts with the same things most cities pitched to Amazon for HQ2. Castro anticipated this years ago and has Orlando already prepared.

Donna L. Mackenzie, Executive Director, Canvs, Starter Studio, FireSpring Fund has worked to deliver a similar infrastructure to Silicon Valley in Orlando. Her space offers a variety of education programs that are open to the public, accelerator programs that take founders from idea to a scalable venture, collaborative work spaces, seed funding, and access to angel and venture capital.

Make Sure a City Invests in Education

Otronicon, Orlando’s annual tech conference, is different than anything I’ve ever attended. It’s for kids, rather than adults. It’s interactive, educational and full of plenty of Esports tournaments.

“It’s a great venue that introduces students to the high-tech world and gives them the opportunity for high-tech careers right here in our community,” said Adam Breed, Engineering Project Manager, Lockheed Martin?. “A software development panel at Otronicon featured a lead Lockheed Martin engineer and opened the eyes of a recent college graduate. He was quickly interviewed and brought into Lockheed Martin within weeks to help develop some of our most advanced simulators.”

Assess the Network

Full Sail University, which prepares people for work in entertainment, has also been paramount in this youth movement. Last year 66 Full Sail graduates worked on 10 Oscar winning films.

Chance Glasco, the co-Founder of Call of Duty is an alum. His latest venture Doghead Simulations is creating VR meeting space and is partnering with Full Sail University with its HQ on site. Having access to state-of-the-art and graduating talent was key in Glasco’s decision to stay local.

This rise of highly-trained entertainment talent has also translated in to a growing film industry. “Last year, the Orlando region saw a 78 percent increase in commercial productions when compared to the previous year. While Florida currently lacks an Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive Program,” said Sheena Fowler, Orlando Film Commissioner, and also a Full Sail alum.

What to Consider Most

Orlando’s challenge will be migrating real estate investors to startups and high tech. The success of Fattmerchant and the work Donna Mackenzie and others are doing in the incubator space will help.

If I’m a young company that wants to create a longer runway–keep costs low to buy time before success–I would chose Orlando. The young talent is there. There’s an Orlando tech ecosystem already in place that wants you to succeed.

There’s no state income tax, no inflated wages or housing and there’s a growing, young, downtown community.

Orlando is a lot like Bitcoin was five years ago, you should get in while it’s still cheap.

Ballast Point Ventures Announces Majority Recapitalization of PowerDMS

Ballast Point Ventures III, LP (“BPV”) is pleased to announce that Frontier Capital has led a majority recapitalization of its portfolio company PowerDMS, an Orlando-based policy management software company. BPV invested in PowerDMS in 2014 to help the Company grow its sales and marketing team and further enhance its technology platform by offering new features to its customer base.

Founded in 2001 by Chief Executive Officer Josh Brown, PowerDMS offers a software as a service, cloud-based compliance and content management solution that helps organizations reduce risk and liability. The Company provides software tools to organize and manage all of a company’s critical documents and respective industry accreditation standards, as well as allow for training and testing of employees. PowerDMS serves customers in law enforcement, public safety, and healthcare and has achieved significant organic growth in these markets during BPV’s investment period.

Robert Faber, a Partner with BPV, will continue to serve on PowerDMS’s board of directors subsequent to the majority recapitalization. He remarked, “We are very pleased to have partnered with Josh Brown and his team as they have built a successful software company in Florida. We are proud of the growth that PowerDMS has shown during our investment period and want to thank Josh and his team for their excellent work since we invested. We think that PowerDMS has found a great partner in Frontier Capital to help the Company reach its goal of being the market leader in crucial content management, and we are excited about remaining shareholders for the next leg of the journey.”

“Ballast Point Ventures has been a great partner throughout our relationship. Their expertise and thoughtful leadership helped us mature without compromising our culture or customer satisfaction,” said Josh Brown, Founder and CEO of PowerDMS. “The team at BPV was immensely helpful in bringing its strong Florida network to bear as we scaled our operations, and we added numerous key team members as a result of BPV’s introductions. Now, with Frontier Capital as a partner, we are enthusiastic to expand this growth and continue to provide our customers with a world-class product.”

About PowerDMS
PowerDMS, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a cloud-based policy management software company. The platform provides practical tools to organize and manage crucial documents and industry standards, train, and test employees, and uphold proof of compliance, thereby helping organizations reduce risk and liability. PowerDMS simplifies document management through powerful collaboration, process, and automation. For more information on PowerDMS, please visit https://www.powerdms.com/

About BPV
Ballast Point Ventures, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is a later stage venture capital and growth equity firm founded in 2002 to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies, with a particular emphasis on companies located in the Southeast and Texas.  The BPV partners have more than 80 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in several industries, including health care, software, technology-enabled business services, communications, and consumer. BPV has $360 million under management and seeks to make initial equity investments ranging in size from $4 million to $10 million. For more information on Ballast Point Ventures, please visit http://ballastpointventures.com/

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