Connect Launches CapitalMatch Program, Enrolls First Four Startups
Connect, San Diego’s nonprofit group for technology innovation, said it has enrolled four local startups in its new CapitalMatch program, which is intended to develop relationships between investment-ready companies and investors throughout the country.
Connect identified the startups as:
—Fragmob is a mobile software developer that has created a Web platform for supporting independent sales reps for multi-level marketing companies like Utah’s LifeVantage. Fragmob raised $3.2 million in convertible debt funding in October to fuel its growth and develop additional software-based products and services. Fragmob says its automated software takes sales reps through programs for effective direct selling practices. The company wants to raise additional funding for working capital as Fragmob builds its team.
—GRI Bio is a drug development company using natural killer T cells to treat inflammatory diseases. The company’s lead drug candidate is in a mid-stage clinical trial for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. The company is seeking investor funding to support a proof-of-concept trial that would completed in late 2017.
—Guru is creating apps that enable a museum to turn visitors’ smartphones into interactive tour guides that works by using beacon technology. The company is in the process of raising $500,000.
—Jaan Biotherapeutics is a life sciences company developing a microRNA-based compound to activate an endogenous process to regenerate damaged heart muscle following a heart attack. The initial focus is on post heart attack therapy, but Jaan says its approach could be applied in other heart diseases where muscle regeneration is required. The startup is seeking funding to advance new treatments for heart disease.
In a related move, Connect rolled out a CapitalMatch education seminar in February for entrepreneurs and angel investors to learn more about the fundamentals of early stage funding deals. Shawn Richardson, senior director of Match Programs at Connect, said at the time the all-day seminar was a first in a series of education classes for entrepreneurs and their mentors. She described the fundraising track at the time as “a natural next step for us as we work to identify and create ways to support the fundraising efforts of startups in San Diego.”
With the CapitalMatch program, Richardson said the goal is to develop an investor network for San Diego startups, and “work to understand their investment interests and then introduce them to the vetted San Diego companies that meet their investment criteria.