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Startup announces $1.25M in investments at Demo Day

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Compat.io LLC, one of five startups participating at yesterday’s Demo Day event at the Efactory, announced it raised around $1.25 million in investments over the past several months for its cloud-based software.

Tim Baynes, founder and CEO, said nearly $900,000 of the total was raised during a three-month accelerator program at the Efactory, Missouri State University’s business incubator. Baynes didn’t disclose the funding contributors during Demo Day, the culminating event for the program.

He said his company over the past 14 months has been building its software platform, which enables dealers and merchants to sell customized products and services. It initially will focus on the $15 million annual bicycle industry in e-commerce, with future plans to expand to retail platforms. The software is now available as a plug-in on e-commerce platform Magento, he said.

“The world is changing and it’s changing fast,” he said. “E-commerce is now taking up over 10% of the market share for products sold every year and it’s growing at over 1% per year.”

Compat.io’s announcement wasn’t the only one made during the event, as all the companies represented had updates to provide attendees. The five startups, Collaboarator LLC, Compat.io LLC, Fletch, ModBox LLC and Optikal Care Inc., make up the accelerator program’s fourth cohort.

Fletch announced its attendance system for schools is set to debut at Missouri State University this month. The system helps schools take attendance via Bluetooth technology, and already is established at several universities, such as University of Akron and University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said Marquett Burton, founder and CEO.

At Demo Day, each had representatives provide 10-minute presentations to introduce their companies to the public, but to also pitch to potential investors. The event was held at the Efactory for the second straight year, after its first two were at the Gillioz Theatre.

Optikal Care co-founder and CEO SueAnn Hollowell announced a corporate partnership with OnSight Vision Inc., a mobile eye care clinic for workplaces. She noted the company’s subscription service for glasses and contacts seeks to tap into the $2.7 billion contact lens industry.

“This is made up of 45 million contact wearers in the U.S.,” she said. “So we’re focused on the 18 million millennial contact wearers out there.”

Collaboarator founder Seth Kitchen said his company’s social media platform aims for musicians to write music embedded posts for others to see, collaborate with or buy within a certain GPS distance. As of mid-July, the app was released on iOS, Android and Windows, Kitchen said.

Justin Cordoza, founder and CEO of ModBox, said the company he runs with his wife Chelsea was formed just prior to the beginning of the accelerator. Since then, the company’s smart accessories for drones have generated $30,000 in preorders. It’s scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter.

Efactory Director Rachel Anderson said two of the companies, Compat.io and ModBox, are locally based. The other three, Optikal Care, Collaboarator and Fletch, chose to relocate to Springfield to be part of the accelerator program.

Companies that participate in the accelerator program receive $30,000 in startup capital in exchange for 8% equity held by a subsidiary of Springfield Innovation Inc., an MSU-affiliated program.

Applications for the fifth cohort of the Efactory program open Dec. 1 and close Feb. 29, 2020, Anderson said. It’s scheduled to run May 11-Aug. 10, 2020.

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