Launch413 Completes Seed Round

My thanks to the many people who put their faith in Rick Plaut and my new venture, Launch413. A special thanks to the many members of River Valley Investors who provided the pre-seed funding to get us started and then played a big part in finishing our seed round.

For those that don’t know Launch413, we are an alternative venture fund that takes startups from Launch to their first $10 million in revenue. We are serial entrepreneurs and veteran executives dedicated to helping startups become engines of prosperity in our region. We accelerate our entrepreneur’s progress by investing our expertise & networks to provide strategies and introductions that would have taken years to acquire on their own.

Launch413 uses a royalty-based model instead of equity, allowing our entrepreneurs to keep 100% ownership of their venture.

We are now actively seeking companies to invest in. If you know any great startups with a connection to Western Massachusetts and who want to scale to at least $10 million in revenue, let me know :).

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Launch413 Begins Phase 2, Investing in More Companies!

Launch413 Logo 2018

Launch413 is itself a startup, and like all startups has lots of hypothesis to test. I’m proud to share that we just completed Phase 1 and validated all of our core hypothesis:

  • With our help startups accomplish in months what would have taken them years to do on their own
  • Our Venture Advisors can provide that help in a scalable-way
  • There are enough startups connected to our region that want our kind of investment

Time for Phase 2: take on twice as many startups to make sure our systems scale. If everything works as we expect (within the bounds of startup land :)), then in a few short years we will, every year thereafter, help 4-8 local companies reach at least $3 million in revenue. Do that for a few years and the jobs, wealth, and prosperity created starts to get really exciting!

So we’re looking to add 3 more companies to our portfolio. If you know a great startup past the I-have-an-idea / VVM stage and raring to reach their first $10 million in revenue, please send them to our spiffy new website: www.launch413.com.

Launch413 invests in WoofTrax

WoofTrax Logo, a person walking a dog

I am proud to announce the latest addition to Launch413‘s portfolio: WoofTrax. Led by Doug Hexter, WoofTrax helps pet parents and their dogs stay healthy and generate donations to their favorite animal shelter… just by going for a walk and reading relevant pet-health information. WoofTrax has facilitated over 10 million walks on behalf of over 7,000 animal shelters across the country.

Some of their customer testimonials:

“I love using the app, and have actually lost 32 lbs. and 5 inches off my waist by walking my dogs and the shelter/rescue dogs. I promote you every chance I get! Thank you 😊” —Kimberly, via Facebook

“One of a kind app! As a Nonprofit Leadership and Management student, fundraising is imperative for the survival of any nonprofit organization. By creating a practical app that is user friendly fundraising can be done by anyone, and better yet, you get to hangout with your dog while you do it! The design of this app is professional and very easy to maneuver. I love how easy it is to create an account, and get started, raising money right away! The content of this app is very minimal, it tells you who you are walking with, who you are walking for, how long you have been walking, and how far you have walked. This app is very innovative. It is literally one of a kind. The app is very easy to use and navigate. There are not many functions, and everything is clearly labeled and easy to find.” —adgilles, iOS App Store review

We are excited about WoofTrax’s potential to do well by doing good and are delighted to be working with them.

For those that don’t know Launch413, we are an alternative venture fund helping startups go from launch to their first $10 million in revenue.

Launch413 Announces First Investment Cohort

One of the two new ventures I launched in the fall is Launch413, an alternative venture fund helping startups get from launch to their first ten million in revenue.

We hoped to find four great companies to invest in by the end of 2018. I am delighted to announce that filled our cohort (see the list here) by the end of February.

We’re an alternative venture fund for many reasons, one of them is that we roll up our sleeves and really help the companies grow. Over the coming months I look forward to sharing some of our entrepreneur’s successes. Stay tuned!

Western Mass Business Show Interview: Innovation in Western Massachusetts

My thanks to Ira Bryck for a wonderful interview on his Western Mass Business Show radio program on WHMP. We chatted about the various ventures I have had the joy of being a part of, especially the River Valley Investors, Valley Venture Mentors, and my new startups Launch413 & the Lean Innovation Institute. You can here the full interview here: Western Mass Business Show 3.31.18 | WHMP-AM – News – Information – The Arts

Introducing Launch413

I am excited to announce my latest venture, an alternative venture fund called Launch413.

Over the past few years I have watched many entrepreneurs graduating from concept-stage accelerators like MassChallenge and Valley Venture Mentors hit a wall when they get into the market or try to raise a seed round. They have proof of a strong business concept but the investors feel there isn’t enough “gray hair” to execute. And the investors are often right :(.

Launch413 helps fantastic entrepreneurs get the help they need (connections, experience, strategy, etc.) to climb that wall, execute, and scale.

I’ve also watched as many entrepreneurs work to build excellent businesses that are not necessarily a great fit for traditional equity financing.

Launch413 doesn’t use equity. Instead, like Indie.VC, LighterCapital , Vested For Growth, and others, we take a share of future revenue. This aligns our interests with helping the business make money. We’ve heard that is an important thing for businesses to do :).

We invest in companies within a 2 hour drive of Springfield, MA and with a connection to Western Massachusetts (having participated in our entrepreneurship ecosystem counts :)).

Learn more at www.launch413.com