Our efforts have always been to follow a disciplined approach to reviewing opportunities, and assembling a select group of investor members and partners that provide meaningful contributions to companies in the form of both direct investment as well as advisory support.
Through our efforts since our launch we have built a portfolio of 38 companies, with 29 still active in the portfolio. Our portfolio companies have raised in excess of $1.5 Billion in aggregate funding. Five have been acquired/merged and two have gone public, and with many companies having received follow-on capital from leading venture capital firms or strategic investment partners.
Here is a list of our portfolio companies along with a brief outline on each:
Edison DC Systems (WI):Edison DC Systems (EDCS) designs and builds equipment that improves end to end power efficiency in data centers. EDCS captures the energy savings of direct current (DC) over alternating current (AC) while addressing space and scalability costs traditionally associated with DC systems. EDCS’s patent pending, modular AC to DC converter racks. EDCS’s solution that can be implemented at rack, row, or entire building level.
Are you a Human (MI):Are You a Human (AYAH) provides a solution to remove online interruptions by replacing difficult CAPTCHAs or giving users an alternative to pre-roll video ads, while benefitting advertisers. The company has developed a patentpending human verification algorithm that analyzes user behavior within an interactive ad to determine whether or not a user is human with remarkable accuracy.
Trumarx Data Partners (IL):TruMarx Data Partners designed and manages COMET, a virtual private market that allows energy market transactors (“ETs”) to electronically negotiate and execute customized, bilateral, structured OTC transactions. The platform creates a one-to-many Request-For-Price process, which leads to a one-to-one, confidential negotiation in a controlled and auditable forum. There are over 250 COMET subscribers that can transact custom energy contracts.
Right At School (IL):Right At School (RAS) is an educational services company focused on child-care programs and recess supervision before, during and after school.
CDI (IN):CDI develops and markets stabilizers that improve shelf life and performance of diagnostics, nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, and foods.Companion Diagnostics (CDI) replaces low performance reagents with high performance clean label Proprietary Stabilizing Products (PSPs) that are easily incorporated into customer’s in vitro diagnostics, supplements, nutraceuticals, and foods. Customers include diagnostic firms Alere, Bio-Rad, Quidel and others.
Boostup.com (formerly Motozuma.com) (MI):Boostup.com is the first-of-its-kind automotive social savings website where prospective car buyers can set up a free, personalized account to save for a vehicle down payment and use social media to share and grow savings. It’s as easy as Click. Save. Drive. Boostup users may fund their account through regular savings contributions and by receiving monetary gifts from family and friends.
Chronos Research (CA):Chronos Research is building a suite of mobile financial services under the Robinhood brand. The first product, Robinhood Community, launched as an iPhone and was featured by Apple in the App Store. It received coverage from Techcrunch, VentureBeat, FastCompany, TheNextWeb, and others, picking up tens of thousands of users since launch. The next product they are working on is a mobile-first stock brokerage, codenamed Robinhood Brokerage.
Techstars Chicago (IL):TechStars Chicago (formerly Excelerate Labs) has launched 30 companies that have raised $30 million. The TechStars program has launched ~200 companies and raised over $288 million across 4 markets since 2007.
EatStreet (WI): EatStreet’s (formerly UConnect) one-stop shop platform gives restaurants the ability to connect to their customers for online ordering through multiple apps, white label websites and services with no upfront costs. The company is currently in 15 cities with over 525 restaurant partners, with 18 cities targeted at the end of the year, and growing to 126 cities with over 6,300 restaurants by the end of 2015.
Pursuit Vascular (MN): Pursuit Vascular aims to become the standard of care in preventing costly and deadly catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) associated with long-term catheters. The simple, elegant ClearGuard device represents a breakthrough technology for clinicians who currently rely on time consuming techniques that yield inconsistent results.
Intellihot (IL): Intellihot Green Technologies, Inc. (Intellihot) has developed and is now commercializing a tankless water heater that reduces installation and operating costs as well as decreases the impact of heating water on the environment.
Physician Software Systems (IL): Physician Software Systems is commercializing Mayo Clinic’s innovative approach to managing the anemia experienced by patients undergoing dialysis. Mayo’s innovative approach is a novel software system that improves patient outcomes while dramatically reducing the use (and therefore costs) of a very expensive drug.
Endotronix (IL): 20+ million people suffer from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), costing healthcare payers >$40B/yr for hospital stays that only treat symptoms. Endotronix’s wireless sensor, safely implanted by catheter, gives doctors the critical pulmonary pressure data they need to prevent CHF events, keeping people healthy & saving >$10B/yr.
Inovus Solar (ID): Inovus Solar (Boise, ID) has integrated solar energy collection, wireless management capabilities, LED lighting and advanced energy management to redefine outdoor lighting through a broadly patented system. Inovus’ products are more cost effective to install and operate and far easier on the Earth’s atmosphere. Inovus Solar has 115 installations in 11 countries and is growing sales very rapidly.
Liquid Cool Solutions (MN): Liquid Cool Solutions (MN), formerly Hardcore Computer, has developed patented liquid submersion cooling technology to remove the main barrier of electronics performance—heat and is focused on cooling a number of computer server platforms to dramatically reduce energy costs.
Lumec Control Products (IL): Engineers, manufactures, and sells flow control valves for vapor and liquid fluids from its Central Illinois HQ. Engineered in-house, L3Flow technology is leveraged across several flow control valve products.
Agrivida (MA): Developing proprietary crops and processes to transform the economics of producing renewable chemicals, fuels, and bioproducts from non-food cellulosic biomass. The company’s patented approach is designed to provide an integrated solution for delivering the lowest-cost sugars that are essential for industrial bioproducts. The basis of Agrivida’s integrated solution is engineering the feedstock to contain cell wall-degrading enzymes, and other valuable traits, which are activated following harvest.
10x Technology (IL): Develops and manufactures micro- and nano-structured polymers for applications ranging from solar systems to flat panel LCD displays.
Advanced Diamond Technologies (IL): Synthetically produced smooth diamond that provides powerful performance characteristics for a variety of industrial, electronics and medical applications.
Cartup (CA): Fully-hosted solution focused on improving e-commerce cross-selling by improved conversion from “Thank You” pages.
Digital Acoustics (IL): Creating and exploiting developments in the converging areas of speech, data, and semiconductor technology.
Fisker Automotive (CA): World’s first sports luxury plug-in hybrid car.
Gearbox Express (WI): Maintenance and services company to the wind turbine marketplace.
IMH (AZ): Lender to commercial and residential real estate developers.
Jiminy Snacking (IL): Easy-to-use, self-contained patented machine which produces chips ready to be seasoned and packaged from fresh vegetables.
Neuros Technology (IL): Manufacturer of Neuros LINK, a device that enables playing all local content and access of TV shows, movies and clips available on the web with no fee or subscription.
OurStage (MA): Platform for new artists and allows people to listen to new music and help discover the best emerging artists by voting for favorites.
TelaDoc (TX): National network of board certified, licensed primary care physicians (PCP) that diagnose illness, recommend treatment, and prescribe medication, when appropriate, for its members over the telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Vasc-Alert (IN & IL): Proactive monitoring access site solution for hemodialysis patients.
Kiwi Solar (CA): Kiwi Solar (CA), formerly PV Power (IL), is bringing homeowners the simplest, most valuable way to own solar. The JuiceBox, Kiwi’s first product, brings together the best equipment, local installers, financing and software to make solar easy for homeowners to understand and buy. The company has been creating software for the solar industry since 2009.The company was acquired by Juhl Energy – JUHL.
Turin Networks (CA): Merged with FORCE10 Networks in 2009. Acquired by Dell Computer for $700 million in July 2011. Turin was global provider of innovative Wireless Backhaul, Carrier Ethernet and Converged Access solutions for wireline and wireless network operators.
Amyris, Inc.: Initial public offering in September 2010 raising $85 million. Genetically engineered yeast for the production of bio-based fuels and chemicals.
Organic To Go: Provided fresh, natural and organic, Chef created foods from box lunches to full service. Went public in reverse merger, then taken private.
Power.com: Social inter-networking company across various social networks using one account and login.
Syrus Global: Acquired by SAI Global Limited (ASX: SAI) in April 2009, a publicly traded company in Australia. Syrus was a Helpline, Ethics Reporting and Case Management Company.
A partial list of venture capital and private equity co-investors include: Amerindo Investment Advisors, Baker Capital, Bright Capital, Cardinal Partners, DAG Ventures, DCM, DFJ, HLM Venture Partners, Illinois Ventures, Independence Equity, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Millenium Private Equity, New Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Palo Alto Investors, Presidio Ventures, Qatar Holdings, S-Group Capital Management, Sumitomo Corporation, Sequoia Capital, Tudor Ventures, Trident Capital, Worldview Technology Partners, and US Venture Partners.