The city tagged the “most unique” in America has some interesting startups
When you hear the words “New Orleans,” images of Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, and the French Quarter pop into mind. Tourist magnets aside, the city, founded in 1718 where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico, has major oil money managed by multiple financial institutions.
Bought from Napoleon in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, New Orleans became an important port for early America. A French foothold in North America even today, New Orleans’ mix of French, American, and various Caribbean influences make for a dynamic city bursting with energy.
Tourism and other forms of entertainment may drive the New Orleans story in popular culture, but Tulane and Loyola Universities lead a group of a dozen major schools. The largest employer is the Ochsner Health System. History, money, education, and energy combine in New Orleans into a surprising startup gumbo.
Businesses need to know how to keep their customers happy and find new ones, and Lucid provides “human answers on a massive scale.” In other words, they employ global market research using the Fulcrum platform, a worldwide marketplace for market research samples.
Founded in 2010 as Federated Sample with $355,000 in seed money, Lucid got $2.8 million in Series A in November 2011. After a few smaller rounds, North Bridge Venture Partners & Growth Equity arrived with a whopping $60 million in Series B financing. Their pile of funding now totals around $65 million to date.
In today’s world of tiny devices with tinier batteries, people forget that lead acid batteries are the industrial resource that keeps the lights on and the computers up in case of power loss. Servato monitors, manages, charges, and extends the life of banks of lead acid batteries for technology and industrial companies.
A relatively new company, they launched in 2014 with $630,000 in seed money. Servato received nearly $4 million in venture funds a few months later, along with some debt financing. In August 2015, a year later, they raised a $3.86 million venture funding round, making their total funding to date more than $8.5 million.
Billed as a next-generation gradebook-as-a-platform, Kickboard does more than just track grades and absences. The cloud-based suite of tools collects and analyzes critical educational data like behavior, discipline, parent communications, and positive reinforcement for the student.
The bell rang on Kickboard, sometimes called Drop the Chalk, in 2009. One hundred thousand dollars in seed money appeared the summer of 2010, followed by an undisclosed amount of seed support in April 2011. In February 2013, $2 million in Series A money arrived, followed by $5.2 million in August 2014, and then $600,000 less than a year later. They have raised nearly $8 million to date.
Construction may not be high tech, and contractors swinging hammers and paintbrushes lag far behind big companies wielding lawyers but not checks. So zlien applies cloud-based technology and mobile devices to even the score and help out the little guys get paid and help them file liens when they don’t.
Founded in 2008 by lawyer Scott Wolf, who tired of seeing his construction clients get cheated, zlien got angel money in June 2012 ($450,000) and an undisclosed amount of seed money in July 2015. May 2016 bloomed with $1.3 million in angel funds from Brick & Mortar Ventures, followed by Altos Ventures leading a group of Series A investors with $5 million in July 2016. When constructed, that totals over $6.75 million.
5. Better Day Health
Too many patients misunderstand or ignore doctor recommendations, causing unnecessary pain, complications, and expense. Better Day Health is a web-based platform using predictive modeling and apps from third parties and devices to better manage health, fitness, and chronic diseases.
The web was going strong in 2010 when Better Day opened their doors, but health care remained stuck in the 20th century. After a few years, an undisclosed investor put a stamp of approval on Better Day with $3.3 million in venture funding.
Politics aside, the technology and details behind most gynecological procedures remain pretty old-fashioned. Bioceptive hopes to update at least one area of medical services for women with a patent-pending IUD that greatly simplifies proper installation without extensive training.
Founded in the fall of 2010, the first funding came in the form of $135,000 in seed money in August 2011. In April 2013, New World Angels flew in with $1.1 million in venture funding. That was followed by unnamed investors in April and December 2013 for a total of $2.35 million. Two more rounds in August 2015 and February 2016 give a grand total of $3.15 million.
7. Fluence Analytics
One reason manufacturing employs fewer people today is they are constantly improving automation and management. This includes services like Fluence Analytics and the industrial and laboratory monitoring systems that produce real time continuous data streams for improved process control. Let’s hear it for advanced polymer monitoring technologies.
Beginning in 2012, Fluence finally received seed money totaling $1.1 million in April 2016. An undisclosed amount of Series A money in May 2017 added to the total which must be somewhere above $1.1 million.
8. Pine Biotech
Opening their doors in 2014, Pine Biotech works to improve agtech and biotech by commercializing a machine learning biomedical data analysis platform for better results in clinical studies, academic research, and education.
Some investors in exclusive processes keep a low profile, and that may be the case with Pine Biotech. One unnamed investor provided $1.03 million in seed funding in June 2017.
3D printing only works as well as the source material and that often means scans of real-world objects. Scandy makes this difficult chore simpler, easier, and more liable, using an attached Structure Sensor to iPads and certain Android-based smartphones.
Clicking into business in the summer of 2014, Scandy received $1 million in seed money from Callais Capital in April 2016.
Renewable energy seems an odd focus for a company like Advano, which is so close to the Gulf off-shore oil platforms. But Advano combines nanotechnology with fundamental chemical engineering principles to speed the energy revolution. Think batteries.
Starting in 2014 (workable nanotechnology is pretty new), Advano grabbed $150,000 in seed money in May 2016. Ten months later, three investors partnered to fund another seed round of $620,000. Last on record is famed Y Combinator startup accelerator, which gave $120,000 more in seed money in July 2017. Now, they are close to $900,000 raised so far.