Oct/November Newsletter 2014

Oct/November Newsletter 2014

17:00 02 November in Uncategorized


This is a regular update of events and deal news for BWA members. We respect your time: if you do not desire updates please simply unsubscribe – we wish you nothing but success!
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Welcome New Members!

The BlueWater Angels ‘WELCOME’ New Member, Kevin Lupton!

Kevin’s application was sponsored by BWA member, Dave Romenesko …kudos to Dave!

Please mark your calendar and join Ken!

BWA’s Executive Director, Ken Kousky, invites new members to join him for breakfast or lunch at MMIC on one of the following dates. To RSVP, contact Judy Morrison, jmorrison@ip3inc.com, 989-771-1007.

November 3 (Mon) – 7:00am, Breakfast, or 12:00pm Lunch

November 11 (Tues) – 7:00am, Breakfast, or 12:00pm Lunch

November 14 (Fri) – 7:00am Breakfast Only Special

Thanks to our Program Sponsors!

A special “Thank YOU’ goes out to BWA members, Mike Bierlein, sponsor of our September Dinner Deal Review Meeting at Apple Mountain, and to Terry Duperon, sponsor of our October Pitch Night at The Saginaw Club! Their continuing support and contributions to our entrepreneurial community are greatly appreciated!

Silicon Valley vs. Saginaw Valley – Blog by Ken Kousky

I’ve been making trips around the state talking about the unique aspects of BlueWater Angels. As an angel network, we apparently are quite innovative. I really didn’t realize the extent to which our industry relies on cookie-cutter deal structures. That’s fine, since it leads to greater operating efficiencies, but it often leads to other problems. The trouble seems to be from not understanding where the tools of silicon valley apply and where there are strong differences in our markets that require different approaches. Read the rest of Ken’s Blog 

Chairman’s Campaign at MMIC

Next year will mark a decade since the founding of MidMichigan Innovation Center. Over these years, MMIC has played a vital role in the growth and development of our entrepreneurial community and regional economy, helping commercialize important technologies and addressing the challenges faced by startups. In fact, MMIC was the catalyst for the formation of BlueWater Angels, providing entrepreneurs with critical access to capital through investors like you. Now MMIC is growing to meet the needs of startups in our region and needs your help. MMIC Chairman and fellow BWA member, Dave Kepler, will match contributions to MMIC up to $25,000. With your help, we will exceed our goal of at least 25 contributions of $1,000 each from BWA members for a $50,000 total after Chairman Kepler’s match.

Open Deals

Advanced Battery Concepts, LLC

ABC Group VI Series A-2 bridge round remains open.

Advanced Battery Concepts, LLC, is a battery technology development company focused on making better batteries. The company’s first go-to-market technology is branded GreenSeal® which generates significant cost and weight benefits for today’s lead acid batteries.

ABC is currently working with existing lead-acid battery producers in parallel with installing its own capacity to introduce GreenSeal® batteries into the market. Additional research is continuing to broaden the company’s technology portfolio into other rechargeable battery chemistries including lead-carbon, lithium-ion and metal-air. ABC’s team believes these new technologies will help all of us.

The company’s Battery Research & Engineering Development Centre is based in Clare… Better Batteries Better World©

Deal Lead: Ted Skinner, BWA, spcskinner@sbcglobal.net

RetroSense Therapeutics 

RetroSense Series A follow-on round is expected to close in the coming weeks; approximately $1M remaining in the Series A.

RetroSense is a biotechnology company at the forefront of developing optogenetic therapies for vision restoration. These game-changing gene therapies are designed to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration (advanced dry-AMD). RST-001 is the company’s lead product. There are currently no FDA approved drugs to improve or restore vision in patients with these retinal degenerative conditions. In preparation for IND-enabling safety studies, RetroSense initiated and completed manufacturing and testing of vector suited to these studies. Since then, the first of two stages of clinical “GMP” manufacturing has been started with a completion of both stages anticipated in Q1 2015. The company is on pace to finish IND-enabling work in Q1 2015 and initiate human clinical studies in Q2 2015. RetroSense Therapeutics is led by a team of seasoned veterans with experience in developing some of the most successful drugs on the market and numerous successful new business ventures.

Deal Lead: Ken Kousky, BWA, kkousky@ip3inc.com

Harrietta Hills Trout Farm 

A syndication led by Northern Michigan Angels.

Harrietta Hills Trout Farm is in the process of raising $500,000 of new capital for a significant expansion of the Trout Farm. “Our years of professional experience in aquatics means that we know what works and how it works”… Dan Vogler, Founder. The Trout Farm is located in rural Harrietta, Michigan, in the heart of the Manistee National Forest. The Vogler family has operated this farm since 2001, and it is the primary source of Michigan farm raised rainbow trout in the Michigan marketplace. Despite the small size of its business, HHTF is the largest aquaculture farm in Michigan and has been an industry leader focusing on development and growth of the potential for farm-raised fish in Michigan. The company is now undergoing a major expansion of its production capacity from less than 200,000 lbs. per year to over 600,000 lbs. per year.

Deal Lead: Ron Hurd, Northern Michigan Angels, ron.r.hurd@gmail.com

Deals in the Pipeline – Updates from the Screening Committee

The Screening Committee met on Thursday, October 16, at MMIC. Committee members reviewed companies from prior Dinner Deal Review meetings, the October 9 Pitch Night, CMU summer events, and direct web submissions. Active companies the committee supported and the follow-up actions are indicated below.

45th Parallel Lighting – BWA has drafted a $25k term sheet. The committee and comments at the October Pitch event reflect concern regarding serious competition. Committee member, Chris Moultrup, will request a rigorous competitive analysis from the company as well as placement in Amazon (few competing products). A larger raise will be explored if the competitive advantages prove to be substantial.

AIRS – Committee member, Ron Beebe, will provide additional feedback on commercial market, nursing homes and medical markets. Joint Purification Systems – Committee members, Ken Kousky and Terry Lerash, will meet with the founders to establish a term sheet.

Arborlight – Committee Chair, Ted Skinner, will setup company contacts with Cobblestone and other contractors in the community for review.

foodjunky – BWA members, John Strobel and Terry O’Brien, are leading the diligence work. The company’s business model which charges the end customer rather than the restaurant differs from others in the space by accommodating the needs of both restaurants and customers.

Save the Date!

Please mark your calendar and join us for the BlueWater Angel’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 20, at the H Hotel in Midland, from 5:00pm-9:00pm! This event is a closed forum where BWA members, sponsored/qualified guests, syndication partners, and Angel groups are invited to attend. Our portfolio companies will join us. Please feel free to invite potential new members and contact Judy Morrison, jmorrison@ip3inc.com, with the names of your special guests.

Highlights from Our October Pitch Night

BWA’s October 9 Pitch Night was sponsored by BWA Member, Terry Duperon, and hosted at The Saginaw Club in downtown Saginaw. We had 30+ in attendance with 5 companies presenting:

45th Parallel Lighting – Manufacturing LED Lighting Kits for Sporting Equipment. 45th Parallel Lighting is a company created by two young entrepreneurs, Dakota Porter and Garret Porter, with a patent pending product called Action Glow. Action Glow is a patent pending LED lighting kit for your sporting equipment. The Kit comes with everything you need, and can be easily applied offering a chance for consumers to add a stylish lighting design to individualize their sporting equipment while expressing their personal style.

Advanced Interactive Response Systems (AIRS) – A company dedicated to the development of oxygen safety systems for use in the hospital, home and remotely. Advanced Interactive Response Systems (AIRS) has developed patent protected alarm systems for all oxygen sources to monitor pressure, flow and concentration. They can even automatically switch to a backup supply when needed. AIRS systems also have the ability to transmit information such as alarm status and pressure/flow/concentration data via a variety of communication modes. These communication modes include texts, downloads, emails, mobile devices and other alerts which can be sent to the caregiver or other necessary personnel.

Joint Purification Systems (JPS)  – The company is founded by a local Orthopedic Surgeon, Brian de Beaubien, MD, who specializes in replacement of artificial knee and hip joints that have become infected. He has invented a device that has captured the attention of both European and American surgical experts. The device provides a perfusion solution to infected joint spaces to expedite replacement joint surgery. With an aging population the incidence of joint replacement therapy is predicted to continue with significant growth.

Psyched by Mg – Bringing counseling into the 21st Century through Technology. Psyched by Mg has begun to use technology to take counseling into the 21st Century. By leveraging the combination of Marigrace Randazzo-Ratliff’s expertise as a therapist & her unique voice, and AB Mobile Apps’ expertise in app development and marketing, Psyched by Mg is re-defining the counseling business model by delivering advice to the public through use of ‘interpersonal media’ (mobile, web, video, ebook) in order to serve broader demographic and global geographic markets with personalized, professional relationship advice that is affordable, relevant, and convenient.

Secure Healing – Safeguarding Healthcare Privacy & Security. Secure Healing is a healthcare privacy monitoring and reporting software platform that helps hospitals and physician practices comply with healthcare regulations. The platform provides a central point for investigative and auditing capability for HIPAA/HITECH/Omnibus compliance on storing and accessing patient health information; enabling healthcare providers to quickly and accurately monitor for breaches within their systems.

Angel Capital Association – The latest on the SEC’s Consideration of Accredited Investor Definition

The Investor Advisory Committee approve recommendations, SEC hasn’t acted…. Last week, the Investor Advisory Committee to the SEC approved several high level recommendations on the accredited investor definition. You can download a copy of the recommendations here. The good news? There are no new rules from the SEC that change who can be an accredited investor at this time and there appears to be interest in expanding the accredited investor class. This is part of a long process in which any changes are likely months or years away rather than days or weeks. Get the other details from Marianne Hudson’s blog. ACA will keep you informed. The Angel Capital Association is the leading professional and trade association supporting the success of angel investors in high-growth, early-stage ventures. ACA provides professional development, industry voice, public policy advocacy and an array of benefits and resources to its membership of more than 200 angel groups and more than 10,000 individual accredited investors. ACA’s mission is to fuel the success of angel groups and private investors that invest in high growth, early-stage ventures.

Upcoming Events

November 5-6 (Wed-Thurs): The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is an international business competition designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity. Competition Winners are announced on November 6, 2014. The competition is open to any early stage business. To Register: http://www.acceleratemichigan.org/ (See venues below.)

Multiple Venues: (Wed-Thurs) Westin Book Cadillac, 114 Washington Blvd., Detroit: Company & Student Presentations. (Thurs) Ochestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit: 5:00-9:00pm – Reception, Student Awards, Finalist Pitches, Strolling Dinner, Keynote

November 18 (Tues): MMIC Speaker Series, “Innovators Spotlight”, Monthly, third Tuesdays, Noon to 1:00pm / light lunch provided – donations welcome. To register, visit, www.mmic.us, or call MMIC Receptionist at 989-839-2333.

November 20 (Thurs): BWA’s Annual Meeting, H-Hotel, Midland, 5:00-9:00pm. To RSVP, contact Judy Morrison at 989-771-1007, or via email to jmorrison@ip3inc.com.

December 9 (Tues): New Date! MMIC’s Holiday Open House, 4:008:00pm, 2007 Austin St., Midland, MI 48642. To RSVP, contact MMIC’s Receptionist, 989-839-2333.

December 10 (Wed): New Date! BWA Dinner Deal Review Meeting, 5:00-9:00pm, (Angel Overview, 4:00pm, precedes reception and dinner meeting). Non-Members $40pp, Location TBD. To RSVP, contact Judy Morrison at 989-771-1007, or via email to jmorrison@ip3inc.com. ​


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Karen Letain

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