Friday, May 9, 2014

Inside TechCrunch Disrupt, courtesy of three RevTech startups

Charlotte-based accelerator RevTech Labs sent three promising startups -- eCampus, Paradine and Inovance -- to New York City this week for the TechCrunch Disrupt, a technology conference for startups. 

The conference is a magnet for angel investors and venture capitalists looking to find the next big thing, said local venture capitalist Amish Shah, the companies' adviser through RevTech. 

"It was amazing for them," Shah said. "Being around investors, going nonstop...People loved their products." 

See all of the companies in RevTech Labs at Demo Day, 2:15-6:30 p.m. at Packard Place, 222 S. Church St.

Here's more on the three who went to TechCrunch Disrupt: 

    e-Campus co-founders at TechCrunch Disrupt:
     Dan Thibodeau (left) and Justin Gaither (back)
  • E-Campus, a Charlotte-based company founded by Justin Gaither and his college fraternity brother Dan Thibodeau in 2009, has drawn national attention and hundreds of thousands of users with its three operations:, which helps college students find compatible roommates, and, a price-comparison site for textbooks. And on April 19, it launched JoinU, a app to connect students with classmates who have interests in common, whether it’s a major or dreams of starting a band. More than 8,000 students have already installed the app across the country, Gaither said. 
 JoinU was developed with the $25,000 prize money eCampus won in the Charlotte Chamber's 2013  Power Up Chapter Challenge, a Duke-Energy-sponsored competition between promising area startups and small businesses. 

    Paradine co-founders:
    Jake Farmakis (left) and Chuck Casella
  • Paradine, based New York City and founded by Jake Farmakis and Chuck Casella, is designed to change the way professionals save and share restaurant recommendations. 

Inovance co-founder Tad Slaff
Inovance Financial Technologies, founded by Tad Slaff and Justin Cahoon, offers an automated trading program that gives individuals the ability to adjust their trading strategy based on goals, without the arduous and risky process of manual trading. 

  • Read more here:

These are three of the 10 companies selected to be in the third class of RevTech Labs, Packard Place’s 12-week startup incubator and accelerator program. For the first time, eight of the 10 participating companies are from outside the Charlotte region, hailing from Silicon Valley, New York, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

And now, accredited investors eying RevTech companies have a new way to fund their operations: a 506(c) index fund created by Dan Roselli of Packard Place and Shah of Sierra Maya Ventures. Shah, who moved to Charlotte in 2008, runs a venture capital firm that was recently ranked as one of the top early-stage firms in the world.

The fund will allow accredited investors – with either an annual income of $200,000 or a net worth of $1 million – to invest a minimum of $2,500 across all 10 companies, increasing their chances of a higher return.

Read more here: