Elevate Ventures has awarded five companies in North Central Indiana High Potential Startup Grants (HPSGs) totaling $92,500. HPSGs are a pre-seed program awarding up to $25,000 to high-potential startups.
The companies most recently awarded include:
BioLine, manufacturer of a fully biodegradable and compostable body bags, replacing standard plastic pouches in the death care market.
General Ledger, a simple online cash basis accounting system designed for small to midsize real estate investors and non-employee businesses.
Impowerus, a startup that connects juvenile immigrants with pro bono legal services
Mindful Projects, a healthcare startup that develops innovative products and services related to smart devices.
SIMBA Chain, a cloud-based Blockchain as a Service platform, enabling users across a variety of skill sets to implement decentralized applications that connect users and providers directly without third parties
"All of these companies saw a real need in the marketplace and are working to provide effective solutions," said Gavin Ferlic, Elevate Ventures North Central Entrepreneur-in-Residence. "HPSGs are a critical resource in helping startups get to the next step of raising a seed round, whether that's assistance with product development or market validation."
BioLine has created a way to bring environmental consciousness to the forefront of death care. For the green funeral market, leakage and odor are problematic, especially using cloth or other natural absorbing materials. In the death care industry at large, disposal of regular plastic is achieved only through burial or incineration, both with environmental hazards. BioLine makes biodegradable (water soluble) and compostable (bioactive) plastic body bags or human remains pouches that solve both issues: leakage and odor containment is controlled by the body bag design and sealing component, and the film leaves no residue or harm to the environment in ground burial or under incineration.
General Ledger noticed real estate investors are using Excel as their primary accounting tool. It lacks automation and is inefficient. Because of this, most investors don't regularly track their cashflow until taxes are due, leading to poor insight into their businesses. General Ledger's goal is to help make the process of cash basis accounting simple and easy for the millions of small to midsized investors.
"The HPSG was the final resource we needed to complete development of our minimum viable product and launch General Ledger in the summer of 2018," said Joel Florek, General Ledger Founder. "Beyond financial support, the network available through Elevate Ventures and the South Bend - Elkhart entrepreneurial community has been fantastic in helping us put the necessary pieces together to create a new and exciting business in Indiana."
Impowerus lowers the cost of pro bono work and minimizes the amount of time needed to acquire pro bono clients. While firms typically spend around $8,500 per attorney per year on pro bono work, Impowerus offers firms a cheaper, more efficient alternative. Impowerus also benefits young immigrants who are in the legal system. Receiving representation in immigration court increases an immigrant's chances of avoiding deportation or receiving a successful outcome in their case.
"For the Impowerus team, receiving the HPSG signifies the hard work that we've done creating ties here in the Indiana area, as well as the growth we hope to achieve on a national level," said Katelyn Ringrose, Impowerus Founder.
Mindful Projects focuses on the science of weight loss by addressing the obesity epidemic. Their first product, Breathe, is a precise weight control program for smart phones and smart watches. Rather than counting calories, which has been shown time and again not to work in the long-run, Mindful Projects uses the laws of physics and chemistry to learn how each user's body responds to diet and exercise. By tracking mass loss versus time through carbon dioxide exhalation, users can more accurately control their fitness level. Further, the program quantifies insulin release and offers custom dietary solutions.
SIMBA Chain enables the government or enterprise user control over their data. Companies can bring their business logic into the platform and it will auto-generate a custom API for them; they call it, BYOL, or "Bring Your Own Logic". SIMBA Chain secures transaction payloads, so all information is encrypted across every part of the communication pipeline. They also provide the performance scalability to allow applications to become decentralized and distributed.
"Until SIMBA Chain, Blockchain has been an enigma to many. What is it? How can I use it? Why would I use it?" said Joel Neidig, SIMBA Chain CEO. "SIMBA Chain is a user-friendly platform that enables the implementation of Blockchain to government and enterprise customers. With all the recent privacy and data leaks, we want to put the power and security of Blockchain into the hands of the user."
Through a partnership with Startup South Bend - Elkhart, Elevate Ventures provides HPSGs to help entrepreneurs overcome hurdles to attain a specific measurable milestone. This pre-seed program awards up to $25,000 to high-potential startups in regions where communities have invested in entrepreneurism.
These companies plan to achieve a variety of goals with this funding. Bioline will purchase new materials and recalibrate existing machinery, General Ledger and Impowerus plan to move their launch dates forward, Mindful Projects will refine their app and SIMBA Chain will further market engagements as well as develop new features to their platform.
Some companies have recent accomplishments to add to their resume. BioLine was awarded two US government contracts with the Defense Logistics Agency in excess of $105K, along with two regionalized contracts with local hospital systems for about $30K. At the Notre Dame McCloskey New Venture Competition, Impowerus won $40K in cash awards, the most money received by one company. SIMBA Chain has signed an agreement with Microsoft to use their Government Azure cloud platform and HealthSpace Data Systems has signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate. Most recently, SIMBA Chain was awarded a contract by Dow Chemical to integrate its SIMBA API with the company's SAP ERP system for the use of Blockchain in tracking and logistics.
About Startup South Bend-Elkhart
Startup South Bend-Elkhart was formed by the Regional Development Authority with a mission to promote and foster the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the South Bend-Elkhart Region by stimulating the entrepreneurial spirit and culture in our citizens, identifying and nurturing new business startups and supporting the growth of existing high potential businesses. Learn more about Startup South Bend-Elkhart at
About Elevate Ventures
Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.
About General Ledger
Users can connect all their credit and checking accounts to General Ledger for automated transaction uploading of income and expense records. Our flexible structure allows for users to easily categorize transactions by property, business, or personal use. With General Ledger, business owners track their cashflow in real time and with easy CSV exports all the data needed for tax time is setup in an easy to review format. Learn more about General Ledger at getledgers.com.
For the green funeral market, leakage and odor are problematic; especially using cloth or other natural absorbing materials. In the death care industry at large, disposal of regular plastic is achieved only through burial or incineration, both with environmental hazards. We make biodegradable (water soluble) and compostable (bioactive) plastic body bags or human remains pouches that solve both issues: leakage and odor containment is controlled by the body bag design and sealing component; and the film leaves no residue or harm to the environment in ground burial or under incineration.
Impowerus is an online platform connecting young immigrants with pro bono legal aid. Our primary goal is to help young immigrants successfully navigate the complicated immigration and naturalization process while assisting lawyers to maximize efficiency. Impowerus provides a solution by streamlining pro bono efforts. Without ever leaving their office, attorneys can connect with juveniles through our video chat platform, allowing them to help clients more effectively and with greater ease. Participating firms will pay a subscription fee, but save money on overall expenditures.
About Mindful Projects
Mindful Projects is a technology company that works in the healthcare sector. Products specialize in software development for smart devices, such as phone and watches. We develop custom solutions for customers so that they can make informed decisions about diet and exercise based on scientific principles. For more information, visit breathe-fit.com.
About SIMBA Chain
SIMBA Chain Inc. is a cloud-based, blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, enabling users across a variety of skill sets to implement dapps (decentralized applications). These apps allow direct connections between users and providers, eliminating third parties. The platform is tailored for both government and enterprise networks. For more information, visit simbachain.com.