November 30, 1999 in ATDC News

CapVenture Success Stories

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New ATDC member companies SoloHealth and FluxMedia took full advantage of their CapVenture experience to accelerate their company’s progress.

CapVenture is an intensive ATDC bootcamp program delivered over 7 weeks last Fall whose purpose was to prepare this selective group of 15 companies for more productive fundraising.  Companies were matched with serial entrepreneur coaches who brought a wealth of experience as a strategic advisor and successful angel or venture capital fundraiser.

ATDC new member companies SoloHealth and FluxMedia took full advantage of CapVenture.   They completed the fundraising preparation assignments diligently, leading to an enhanced business and fundraising strategy.  SoloHealth’s top quality exec summary and fundraising pitch earned CEO Bart Foster one of the few 5 minute pitch slots in the CapVenture forum attended by dozens of investors, where Solohealth received significant investor interest. 

SoloHealth and FluxMedia also secured the ongoing advice, support and connections of CapVenture coach Mike Eckert as a company advisor.  Incidentally, ATDC also snagged Mike as an ATDC Entrepreneur-in-Resident, being so impressed with his positive impact and his commitment to assisting young companies. 

Mike Eckert, former CEO of PathFire and former CEO of Weather Channel, has been instrumental in accelerating the progress of both ATDC members.  Eckert has provided wise counsel to the respective CEO’s, Bart Foster of SoloHealth and Eric Brier, of FluxMedia.  He also has provided a significant credibility boost to assist in the fundraising process for each of these companies.  Eckert took both companies to his Colorado angel group of friends where he strongly advocated on their behalf.  He also brought both companies warmly into local angel groups and accompanied them in meetings with venture capitalists who have high respect for Mike and the ideas that he backs.  SoloHealth is closing out a successful angel round and FluxMedia secured a term sheet contingent upon completing a milestone in progress.  Eckert also advocated for these companies as candidates for ATDC membership, a strong factor in their application.

As paraphrased by Eric Brier of FluxMedia in a recent presentation to ATDC’s staff, “CapVenture was an incredible learning experience.  I did not know what I didn’t know before CapVenture.  My CapVenture mentor Mike Eckert, now key company advisor is a true angel and an incredibly valuable mentor to me.”  SoloHealth’s Bart Fosters adds, “CapVenture was the perfect program that I jumped right into after spinning SoloHealth out of Ciba-Vision.  There has been incredible momentum for my company which began with SoloHealth and is continuing with the benefit of ATDC and Mike Eckert as valuable advisors.” 

Moreover, Foster also credits Lee Herron, ATDC venture catalyst who leads ATDC’s biosciences activities, with providing valuable advice two years back that helped Bart take advantage of marketing and R&D resources of Ciba-Vision.  Lee’s advice allowed Bart to make significant progress on the business without giving much up (a small royalty and a period of time for a targeted exclusive) which made him a much stronger candidate to secure a beta customer and early stage capital.

What stories can you share about the benefit of experience or advisors that have helped you be more successful in your entrepreneurial career?

To find out how you can build a productive advisory council, see ATDC’s best practices in recruiting and utilizing advisors.

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