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Hey Everyone, welcome back to another edition of The Buzz. Lots going on this week. Before we get started, want to give a shoutout to our friends over at the Boston Tech Deals & Happenings newsletter. If you are looking to continue to stay up to date on venture financing trends in the Boston area, follow Boston Tech Deals for a weekly roundup and analysis of Boston startups that have raised money from angels, accelerators, and VC firms. Seriously, it's a tremendously insightful read.

Also, want to give a shout out to some startups formerly featured in The Buzz that have raised seed rounds recently. Host Events, a digital platform that connects insured bartenders with corporate event hosts, raised $450,000 from a consortium of private domestic investors. And IndustrialML, a platform that augments the human eye and brain with cameras, sensors and machine learning, recently closed a $500,000 angel round. Congrats to both companies! If you are a startup formerly featured in The Buzz that has raised financing, please let us know.

Now, to the startups. Lab Me Analytics, a blood testing platform that allows customers to better monitor their health, is in growth mode and looking for intros to customers, advisors and financial institutions. Feast & Fettle, a Rhode Island-based gourmet meal delivery platform, is in growth mode and looking for connections as it begins to expand. And Sampoll, a Connecticut-based platform for creating and managing multiple brand activation events and data collection, is also in growth mode. That's all for this week. Tell your friends to subscribe, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Medium, and drop us a line anytime at bb@ourbuzzmedia.com. See you next week!
Lab Me has created a blood testing platform that allows customers to monitor their health more effectively.

Problem

On average, Americans spend four weeks and more than $500 in time and cost to take and get results from a blood test. Due to the inconvenience, many people get their blood taken once per year, offering a small snapshot into their overall well being.

What The Company Does

Lab Me is making blood testing simple by delivering a blood collection cartridge to the customer, who collects blood at the comfort of their home with no need to fast and travel to physician’s office hungry. The cartridge is then mailed via a pre-addressed and pre-paid envelope. Within 48 hours of receipt of the sample, the company uploads the results to a personalized dashboard that the customer can see on their PC or phone.

Business Model

Each test sold carries a gross profit margin of 50% to 60%. The team is also plans to target health enthusiasts tracking their fitness through DTC/digital marketing efforts and patients with chronic condition through direct sales to physicians.

Market

The team estimates the market is around $12B for fitness trackers and up to $200B in monitoring acute and chronic medical conditions. Some of their competition includes Everlywell, Let’s Get Checked, Inside Tracker, and Wellness FX. Lab Me is different due to superior accuracy, gamification/social sharing, dynamic subscriptions/playbook, and proprietary algorithms in tracking medical conditions and predicting health outcomes.

Traction

Lab Me currently has 200 subscribers, 26 purchases and 17 active subscriptions since Sept. 1, 2019.

Founding Team Background

Lab Me is led by CEO Dr. Anthony Close, a physical therapist with 12 years clinical experience, degrees from Harvard and MIT and a background in molecular genetics and chemistry. The rest of the team consists of Ivy league biostatisticians. COO Andre Harrell who is an ex-Johnson and Johnson executive and has over 30 years in biological life science experience. CFO Aleksey Krylov led a Medtech company IPO that raised over $1.6B and deployed over $500M in revenue. He has also been an advisor to numerous healthcare technology firms.

What They Need Help With

Lab Me is in growth mode and would love intros to customers, advisers and financial institutions. They also welcome strategic partnership intros to individual health/medical service providers and organizations.
Connect With The Lab Me Team
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A gourmet meal-delivery service for those that don’t have the time to cook

Problem

Busy families simply no longer have the time to prepare fresh, healthy meals to sit down to each evening. People desire high-quality, home-cooked meals that are catered to the individual needs and dietary preferences of every single member of the household.

What The Company Does

Feast & Fettle is a full, vertically-integrated meal delivery service (source, prep, cook, deliver) that is specifically designed for families and professionals who don’t have time to prepare dinner, yet are unwilling to sacrifice on quality. The company is a food company, a logistics company and a technology company all in one, and has combined its offerings to develop a service that is unique in the ‘meal delivery’ space.

The Market

The market is extremely large with lots of competitors, but Feast & Fettle has honed in on a specific demographic. Its buyers are 90 percent women and its brand and reputation is predicated on serving a high-touch customer. Competitors range far and wide but in the meal delivery space you have the do-it-yourself meal kits from players like HelloFresh and BlueApron; typical grocery stores like Whole Foods and delivery takeout services like UberEats and GrubHub. Although the space may seem crowded, Feast & Fettle has honed in on a niche segment of an enormous market. Their strategy is quite different from the race to the bottom that many of the other meal delivery services out there are implementing.

Business Model

Direct-to-consumer.

Traction

The company has essentially doubled in size each year since inception. Current revenue is north of $1M per year. Company is based in Rhode Island and launched Massachusetts in late Q3 of 2019. Received financing from a local RI accelerator Social Enterprise Greenhouse back in 2018. After moving into its first commercial kitchen in January of 2019, the company is profitable.

Founding Team Background

Co-founder and Executive Chef Maggie Mulvena has worked as a personal chef, where she developed her appreciation for fine home-cooking. She is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Nutrition Program. CEO Carlos Ventura has a background managing high growth food-tech businesses and experience in financial advisory. Nicole Nix is co-founder and general manager.

What They Need Help With

Feast & Fettle is in growth mode and looking for connections as it expands and grows its brand across New England and beyond.
Connect With The Feast & Fettle Team
The Buzz is powered by FastCTO, a network of real CTOs that consult startups that neither need nor can afford full time CTOs. Startups get access to experienced, high valued CTOs for a few hours a week from formation through Series A and beyond.
Create and manage multiple brand activation events and drive consistency of data collection. 

The Problem

CPG brands and promo staffing agencies are demanding a more dynamic and granular reporting platform to help measure and optimize retail brand activations. Currently, the tools used to generate reports are static and one-dimensional, leaving CPG brand managers and promo staff agency managers frustrated having to make sense of all the data. They are demanding a more robust, “real-time” reporting tool that will automate the reporting.

What The Company Does

Hartford County, CT -based Sampoll is an all-in-one platform for promo event management, reporting, and recaps. The PEPR “real-time” insights reporting engine will provide context around the data and drive intelligent business decisions for CPG brand managers. Sampoll makes it simple to create and manage multiple brand activation events and drive consistency of data collection by providing easy “to-do” actions for your staff.

Business Model

Sampoll charges promo event staffing agencies on a “per event” licensing fee. They typically scale the price down if an agency customer wants to purchase over 500 events in a 30-day period. They also charge a $750 set-up fee (four hours of training) to the agency to train and on-board their staff members on how to properly use the Sampoll mobile staff app. They start the pricing at $5 per event.

The Market

The primary target customers are small to mid-size promotional event staffing agencies in North America. The typical customer is an owner or executive at a promotional event staffing agencies. Secondary targets are CPG Direct customers who are brand managers. Main competitors are PromoMash and MainEvent. Sampoll differentiates itself by being an “all-in-one” tool for promotional event reporting and recaps. According to Sampoll, one competitor is focused on being an event scheduling tool, while the other is a high-priced, custom platform for large promotional staffing agencies that is not built for scale and mass distribution like Sampoll. 

Traction

They have acquired 10 promotional event staffing agencies to join their closed beta group. This was done through a key partnership deal with event scheduling software powerhouse, PopBookings. Sampoll has already graduated from the Newchip Accelerator Fall 2019 Cohort and will be presenting their pitch at the Newchip Accelerator Startup Expo Q1 between Monday, Jan. 27 and Friday, Jan. 31. 

Founding Team Background

CEO and Co-founderJustin Lutz, CMO and Co-founder Matt Riccardi, COO and Co-founder Joanne Keller, and COO and Co-founder Drew Pasler.

What They Need Help With

The team is in growth mode so be sure to connect or introduce to anyone you think may be a fit. It would be an added bonus if an investor has experience investing in the food and beverage industry or CPG space.
Connect With The Sampoll Team
     

ABOUT THE BUZZ

The Buzz covers pre-funded early-stage ventures in New England and profiles the organizations that support them. The Buzz is powered by FastCTO, a network of real CTOs that consult startups that neither need nor can afford full-time CTOs. Startups get access to experienced, high valued CTOs for a few hours a week from information to Series A and beyond. FastCTO is not a dev shop, an agency, or a staffing company. 

OUR MISSION

All of the startups we profile are up and coming innovative companies, many of which require or will require capital to grow.  Our mission is to connect them with mentors, potential investors and others that can help get them to the next level.  The Buzz does not and will not receive any form of compensation as a result of startups receiving funding.

     

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