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Chicago-based Mother of Two Takes a Bite at the Growing Crowdfunding Industry with Mom-Focused Mumzy.com

22 Aug

Mumzy will also provide small business development resources so a mom’s journey to entrepreneurship doesn’t end when her funding goals are met

By Robert Hoskins

Chicago, Illinois – Chicago-based startup, Mumzy.com, launches new crowdfunding site for creative moms that want to bring brilliant ideas to life by raising capital to launch and grow their businesses. It is a well-known fact that moms are inventive and resourceful and Mumzy’s mission is to support moms whether they are starting a company, developing invention new product, creating a non-profit, or simply looking to raise funds to help a fellow mom.

Mumzy Crowdfunding Platform for Creative Moms

Mumzy Rewards-Based Crowdfunding Platform for Creative Moms

Mumzy was founded to solve one of the biggest problems for innovative moms while harnessing the growing popularity of the crowdfunding industry which had a projected growth of 81% year-over-year and, according to a World Bank report, could be a $90 to $96 billion dollar industry by 2025. This explosive growth has created the need for the industry to become more niche to cater to specific audiences, and Mumzy is the only platform geared towards moms, catering to their unique needs and challenges.

In addition to helping moms raise capital, Mumzy will also provide small business development resources so a mom’s journey to entrepreneurship doesn’t end when her funding goals are met. Furthermore, Mumzy has a built-in community where entrepreneurs can ask questions, connect with like-minded moms and source auxiliary help from people in a similar situation.

Mumzy was founded by Catherine Merritt, a Chicagoan, mother of two boys and vice president at Olson Engage, a Chicago marketing and public relations firm which championed her efforts. When Catherine had her oldest son, Teddy, she had her first mom-inspired invention – and it was a great one! – but with a lack of resources and funding options, her idea never took off. It did, however, pave the path for Mumzy. Having spent over a decade working in marketing, and five years as a mom herself, Catherine brings both personal and professional expertise in helping solve problems for moms.

“By creating a rich, engaged, resourceful platform designed with moms in mind I am confident Mumzy will prove what I already know – moms with great ideas and the support of other moms is not something to take lightly,” said Catherine Merritt.

In partnership with Olson Engage and Juice Interactive, Mumzy was brought to life by some of the best in the business. Mumzy is a dynamic crowdfunding platform with the full capacity to raise funds, promote ideas and engage in a like-minded community for support and encouragement. While mom entrepreneurs are the target user for Mumzy anyone can utilize the platform to further their entrepreneurship goals.

Mumzy has an experienced advisory board made up of Melinda Kramer, CEO of KloudVenture, LLC and one of this year’s “Crain’s Tech 50,” Peter Shankman renowned speaker and author of numerous books including the most recent “Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans,” Eric Sheinkop, the founder and CEO of Music Dealers and author of “Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands,” and Bryan Specht, President of Olson Engage, a marketer and communicator with almost two decades of experience who guided the agency’s initial work supporting Mumzy.

“Mumzy is a perfect example of a great idea borne of insights, technology and creativity in a way that can deliver real value and benefit to a community,” said Specht. “Our people are able to connect the dots and generate ideas like Mumzy and we are proud to provide them the freedom to develop and realize unique ideas that have community and business value.”

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Onevest Sets $2 Million Self-Crowdfunding Record; Uses Funds to Hire Top Talent

22 Aug

Financial technology company currently operates one of the leading startup investing marketplaces with over 80,000 entrepreneurs and 15,000 investors registered

By Robert Hoskins

New York City, New York – Onevest announced that reached $2M in financing for its Series A round after self–crowdfunding on its own platform.   The financial technology firm launched the 506c offering to celebrate the implementation of Title IV of the JOBS Act. In one month alone the company has been able to close what would normally take on average between 4 to 8 months in the offline world for a tech startup of its size.

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

New Equity Crowdfunding Platform, OneVest, Creates One-Stop Shop for Investors Seeking Startups in the United States

The company is currently operating one of the leading startup investing marketplaces with over 80,000 entrepreneurs and 15,000 investors registered.

Onevest has a unique approach, as it captures deal flow at the formation stage via its cofounder matchmaking property site, CoFoundersLab, which gives Onevest six months to one year in advance to build the relationship with the company before the entrepreneur is ready to seek a round of financing. Via CoFoundersLab, Onevest is onboarding over 2,000 registered entrepreneurs to its ecosystem every month.

“Today we have put a dent in the universe by changing the game of fundraising online. We are lucky and honored to be part of an industry that is revolutionizing what has been an old and outdated model that clearly needed a healthy disruption,” said Onevest’s Executive Chairman Alejandro Cremades.

The company is already putting the capital to work as it has hired a new CFO, Barry Shereck. Barry has more than 30 years of experience in financial management with early stage companies and has taken four companies public.

Onevest also announced the hire of Erica Duignan as the Head of Deal Flow to hone in on bringing high quality startups on its marketplace and to build a world-class team of venture associates. Erica is joining Onevest from the renown accelerator program Dreamit Ventures, where she was a Managing Director focused on company recruiting, fundraising and developing investor relationships.

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Miami’s ClassWallet Raises $1.9 Million to Fund Ed-Tech Digital Wallet Technology

22 Aug

Investment Signals Introduction of Digital Wallet Technology in Education; Another Success Story Emeres from Miami’s Startup Scene

By Robert Hoskins

Miami, Florida – ClassWallet, fast-becoming the leading platform for school funds disbursement and tracking, has closed a $1.9 million round of seed financing. Total funding raised to date is $2.53MClassWallet is a leading end-to-end digital solution to manage funding within school systems.  The platform combines funds disbursement, e-commerce, a reloadable debit card and tracking in a fully integrated manner designed for maximum simplicity and accountability.

ClassWallet brings accountability to a $23 billion system that relies heavily on cash, checks, and purchase orders that add up to 40 percent transaction costs and a fund-spend-track lifecycle that takes weeks. ClassWallet reduces these transaction costs to less than 5 percent, and the transaction lifecycle to same day.

ClassWallet platform for school funds disbursement and tracking

ClassWallet platform for school funds disbursement and tracking

Investors include NewSchools Venture Seed Fund, Kaplan Ventures, William Guttman, as well as several edtech and fintech angel investors. Accelerated Growth Partners and other leading Miami-based angel investors, including MaverixLab, founded by former Noodle CEO Joe Morgan, continued their support by contributing to the round. ClassWallet is a graduate of the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

ClassWallet is a platform for school systems to disburse and track funds. The company will use the funding to fuel sales and accelerate its product roadmap. The team plans to release the next version of its platform this summer, which will include a reloadable ClassWallet debit card and a Pay by ClassWallet API for vendors to integrate.

“As school budgets shrink, an increasingly larger portion of procurement is being funded by corporations, foundations, parents and teachers to meet student needs,” said Jamie Rosenberg, ClassWallet’s founder and CEO. “The size of this market, up to $23 billion annually, and the amount of inefficiency and lack of transparency is staggering.”

Organizations and school districts using ClassWallet include Harrington Park School District, Albuquerque Public Schools Education Foundation, Reading is Fundamental, Broward Education Foundation, as well as many others.

Companies including Amazon, Office Depot, Best Buy, School Specialty, Scholastic and 40 more accept ClassWallet as a form of payment. Each provides ClassWallet with SKU level purchasing data, which makes tracking and reconciling of purchases seamless. Most recently, Marqeta, the program manager behind Facebook and eBay’s card platforms, joined forces with ClassWallet to power the ClassWallet debit card for offline purchases such as professional development, field trips and more.

“Getting accurate accounting from all of the cash and receipts that come through the business office is time as a school leader I would like to use moving the agenda forward,” said Adam Fried, superintendent, Harrington Park School District, Harrington Park, N.J. “ClassWallet has created a solution to a problem that we thought could never be resolved. It is giving me the ability to lead my district rather than manage a problem.”

Founder Jamie Rosenberg is no stranger to tackling school funding issues. His first venture, AdoptAClassroom.org, which he launched in 1998, is considered to be the first crowd funding site on the Internet and the first national education philanthropy online platform. ClassWallet President Neil Steinhardt has 20 years payments experience, most recently as managing director of the U.S. division of Skrill, the second largest digital wallet platform in the world, behind PayPal.

“What excites us the most,” stated Mr. Rosenberg, “is being able to leverage digital wallet technology to more closely align education procurement decisions with the actual users and beneficiaries….the teachers and students.”

“When ClassWallet approached us, we were able to look at the current process with a fresh perspective and realized how inefficient it was. Literally, ClassWallet took an entire box of paperwork from my desk and made it go away,” said Coco Burns, program coordinator, Broward Education Foundation, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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