NH resources for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business venture
COMPETITIONS AND PROGRAMS
SOCIAL VENTURE INNOVATION
Founded by the University of New Hampshire and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, the SVIC was designed to be different from other traditional business plan competitions. Rather than full business plans, the Challenge is interested in jumpstarting innovative thinking among students and community members who design novel, sustainable, business-orientated solutions to some of
society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Winners receive awards that help bring needed resources to advance these promising models. The November event attracts more than 700 people to hear the keynote speaker and finalists’ pitch competition. For more information, visit unh.edu/sustainability/student-education-engagement.
SPEED VENTURE SUMMIT
Startups can apply to participate in a 90-minute speed pitch session to investors representing angel groups, various funds and VC firms from all over New England. Participating startups represent bio tech, ed tech, diagnostics therapeutics, and software and consumer products. The event also includes a featured speaker and networking reception with more than 140 attendees. Applications are available at nhtechalliance. org. Investors interested in participating can email [email protected] for more
STARTUP SHINDIG/ACCELERATE NH
Startups participating in Accelerate NH, a 12-week accelerator program, have the opportunity to pitch for potential investments from Millworks Fund II. The pitch-style competition and networking
event caps off the program each year. By participating in Accelerate NH, startup founders receive one-on-one mentoring from leading entrepreneurs with experience in a related industry as well as introduction to venture capitalists, angel investors, the greater tech community and weekly
seminars. Applications are typically accepted in February, with the program starting in March. Only early-stage startups that have raised under $500,000 in outside funding is eligible. Visit www.nhtechalliance.org/accelerate-nh/ for more information.
TechOut is a startup competition organized by the NH Tech Alliance that identifies talented tech entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and awards them capital investments to advance their business. The fast-paced event features live pitches by finalists and displays of their innovations with networking opportunities among like-minded entrepreneurs and investors. The competition is for startups
that have been in business for less than five years, have raised less than $250,000 and have earned less than $250,000 in revenue. Visit www.nhtechalliance.org/nhhtc-events/techout-3 for more information.
THE PITCHFORK CHALLENGE
The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship runs an annual pitch competition with the purpose of boosting startups in the Monadnock region. Over the summer local entrepreneurs are coached to create a compelling pitch describing their business opportunity in pursuit of a cash award. Ultimately, one business winner will be chosen to receive a prize of $10,000 in cash along with national print and digital media coverage. The final event is part of the Radically Rural Summit. Eligible applicants must have businesses with no more than $250,000 in revenue or funding, must be a for-profit and currently earning revenue, and is located in a town with a population of 30,000 or less. For more information or assistance developing required materials, contact www.hannahgrimes.com/pitchforkchallenge or [email protected]
TORY C. MARANDOS
Entrepreneurs with exemplary business ideas submit their business plan to be considered a finalist in the pitch competition that determines the winner of a $5,000 grand prize from the Tory C. Marandos Foundation. Entrepreneurs with startups less than three years in business or who have not yet started
a business but have a well-thought-out idea are eligible to submit a two-page concept paper in PDF format to [email protected] More information can be found at www.alumni.snhu.edu/community-events/marandos-entrepreneurial-challenge.
ANGEL INVESTORS AND VENTURE
10X VENTURE PARTNERS
10X Venture Partners invests predominantly in mobile, internet, wireless, security, med tech and
green tech. A typical investment ranges from $50,000 to $500,000, but 10X is capable of larger investments. 10X invests in companies ranging from the idea stage through $5-10 million in revenue, for profitable companies.
Alumni Ventures is a co-investor whose network can help with connections, capital, and customers, offering alumni entrepreneurs a smart, simple way to back the ventures of fellow alums. Alumni Ventures typically invests $100,000 to $500,000 per deal, with the opportunity for up to $2
million when several of its sibling Alumni Ventures Group funds participate. Key investment
considerations: a Dartmouth alumni connection (on the executive team, board or investing group) and a strong co-investor in place. Alumni Ventures does not lead rounds, set valuations or take board seats; they aim to be a transparent, low-friction, value-add partner to its portfolio companies.
Borealis Ventures partners with entrepreneurs who aim to create new markets or redefine existing ones, especially in areas such as life science platforms, digital health and animal health. Borealis seeks an initial institutional round of financing, including seed funding, and will invest anywhere from $100,000 to $2.5 million initially, with the potential for more over time.
ECOAST ANGEL NETWORK
eCoast Angel’s focuses on early-stage companies involved with advanced technology, e-commerce, healthcare, and industrial products and services, principally located in the New Hampshire coastal region. The group is most interested in companies requiring $250,000 to $2 million at pre-money
valuations of less than $6 million, who have a credible, multi-option exit strategy and are led by an experienced core management team.
HARBOR LIGHT CAPITAL PARTNERS
Harbor Light Capital Partners focuses on investments in the $1 million to $5 million range. They target the “funding gap” for early- and growth-stage companies. Unlike institutional investment funds, they are not limited to traditional holding periods of 4 to 6 years. Harbor Light’s growth stage criteria: $5 million to $20 million in revenues; strong historical/projected revenue growth; companies with passionate, loyal
customers; exceptional management teams with proven entrepreneurial leadership and vision.
VESTED FOR GROWTH
Vested for Growth, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, provides
risk-tolerant capital up to $1 million, business education and peer-learning opportunities
to help owners of established small businesses increase profits and create higher-quality jobs. For investment needs greater than $1 million, VFG may be able to draw from other lending partners. The only business financing program of its kind, VFG creates sub-debt and royalty financing packages when banks and equity sources can’t provide enough capital to meet their needs. Training or technical support may be provided by some combination of a business performance coach, consultant, an advisory board or a business peer group.
WASABI VENTURES PARTNERS
Wasabi Ventures is a venture capital, incubator and consulting firm that specializes in
building and advising early-stage technology companies. In the last decade, Wasabi Ventures has built, financed and advised over 200 startups including some wildly successful ventures like RightNow Technologies, User Testing, Ustream and EtherPad.
Source: NHBR Research