North Bridge Venture Partners announced two winners of its inaugural seed capital competition. Magoosh, an online multi-media test preparation company, and Profitably, a web-based business intelligence and improvement service for small, medium businesses, were selected from a group of ten finalists based on the quality of their founding teams, potential for industry disruption, and large addressable market size.
"North Bridge has demonstrated a strong track record of partnering with great entrepreneurs to create innovative, early-stage companies and helping them identify and successfully target opportunities in emerging markets," said Cali Tran of North Bridge Venture Partners' San Mateo office and responsible for the competition. "We were so impressed with the quality of the ideas submitted that we doubled the prize fund so we could recognize two groups of the entrepreneurs."
The winning companies, Magoosh and Profitably, will each receive:
- $50,000 in seed capital
- $25,000 of in-kind development support from Aeturnum Software Development and Services and Technology Propulsion Labs
- Up to 6 months of incubation space in North Bridge's San Mateo or Boston office
- Access to and mentorship from the North Bridge investment team
North Bridge is not new to the seed capital market. More than half of the companies funded over the firmâ€™s 16 year history were initially funded at the seed stage. It was also among the first investors in industry leaders such as Starent Networks (recently acquired by Cisco for $3 billion), A123 (NASDAQ: AONE), Humedica, OfferPal Media, Foro Energy, and Acquia. North Bridge invests in five core areas: digital media/Internet, SAAS/open source/software, wireless/infrastructure, materials and healthcare.
"Successful companies are built around passionate people with transformational ideas," said Dayna Grayson of North Bridge Venture Partnersâ€™ Boston office, who co-led the competition with Tran. "We believe collaborating with entrepreneurs in their earliest days can provide a critical advantage in shaping their ideas and expanding their opportunities for success. This program reflects our continued commitment to early stage companies and the seed capital market. We are looking forward to expanding the competition to reach more early-stage entrepreneurs in the coming years."
Other finalists in the competition included:
- Bizstro â€“ social media marketing management tools and services for small businesses
- Cause Itâ€™s Cool â€“ an ecommerce product review and referral solution delivered via social networks
- DPL Health Games â€“ social gaming service and online support groups for healthcare
- Launchtime Mom â€“ an online platform connecting Moms for local shopping deals, savings and product/service recommendations
- MobileMob â€“ an online community for consumer wireless services
- Neoflect â€“ a cloud-based personal computing platform
- Ubiqi Health â€“ mobile health management tools for chronic disease patients