Many companies could benefit from better market sizing, more market validation and better product/market. These are all areas that can easily prevent an investment deal from happening. The Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) Accelerator helps companies get Investor Ready through our free accelerator program (no cash or equity).
A few of our companies even receive funding offers the very night of the big TVL Expo event held every semester. Our TVL Accelerator companies pitch in front of an audience filled with hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs.
As part of the Spring 2017 semester, the halfHelen Foundation joined the TVL accelerator to obtain market sizing consulting and other help towards growing and securing needed funds.
The TVL Accelerator provided the halfHelen Foundation with a cross-functional team of UT Austin graduate students for a 10-week long startup consulting project. Without giving up equity, the company participated in the rigorous market validation process and our students researched to identify their needs. At the end of the semester, halfHelen was offered an opportunity to present to Austin’s investor community at our bi-annual TVL Expo event.
Hosted twice a year, the TVL Venture Expo connects investors to our TVL Accelerator companies and provides a premier event for meeting active investors across Austin. This allows our companies to network, find the perfect investor fit and sometimes even land a deal all in the same evening!
Say it isn’t so… For halfHelen Foundation (halfHelen), the Venture Expo evening social was a good night as they, along with at least one other company, got an offer for investment the very night of the expo.
Fireside chat with Chelsea Elliott – CEO and Founder of halfHelen Foundation
- How would you describe your TVL Accelerator experience leading up to and at Venture Expo? “hH was most fortunate to work with an exceptionally engaged TVL team. Our Principal made contact 48 hours after I received an email from TVL that explained how communication would work between teams and companies. After first contact, the team and I arranged to meet, in person every two weeks to check in and answer questions. In addition to face time, hH’s Principal and I exchanged between three to five emails each week.”
- What surprised you most? “I was most surprised by the immense quality of each member of hH’s TVL team. The seven men and women on our team had extensive subject matter knowledge in their respective fields and were wholly invested in hH’s success. It was clear from the first meeting that each TVL student was thoroughly vetted and intentionally selected.”
- How did the investment offer talk spring up? Who approached who? “In the lobby after hH’s pitch, one investor approached me about funding for hH. Another investor later tweeted that “@halfHelen is an impact investor’s dream. What a great story and such a great way to improve society.” I was grateful to have hH’s TVL Principal, Phil Trench, on hand after the pitch. Phil answered questions regarding the team’s market sizing research and analysis while I connected with the line of attendees waiting to speak with me.”
- Where are you now with the offer? Still negotiating? Accepted? “The offer is still under negotiation. Details of the negotiations are not yet public.”
- What other connections did you make? “In addition to learning about hH’s TVL team, I connected and established a rapport with a few of the other ventures: VIPatient, myRollCall, DiscoverLOLA, CoachTube and Zync Up.”
Interested in having an experience like halfHelen’s? Applications for TVL’s Fall 2017 Accelerator are open until June 30, 2017 at 5:00 PM!
Led by Founder and CEO, Chelsea Elliott, halfHelen Foundation originated from her own experiences with in-school screenings that revealed she was both blind in her left eye and deaf in her right ear. Associating herself as “half Helen” or half Helen Keller who was both blind and deaf, Chelsea has diligently worked towards improving children’s vision and hearing through innovative screenings, research and advocacy.
halfHelen understood that 40% of those who fail vision screenings do not receive appropriate follow-up care and 25% of children aged 5-17 have a vision problem. halfHelen Foundation’s new vision screening technologies screen and provide preliminary reports in seconds for six of the most common vision impairments in children and adults: Nearsightedness (Myopia), Farsightedness (Hyperopia), Blurry Vision (Astigmatism), Gaze (Strabismus), Unequal Refractive Power (Anisometropia) and Pupil Size Deviations (Anisocoria).
Apply now for the Fall 2017 TVL Accelerator – Deadline June 30, 2017 at 5:00 PM CST