Raleigh startup FilterEasy raises more than half of $3M goal

FilterEasy, a Raleigh-based startup that delivers air filters to your doorstep, has raised more than half of its $3M fundraising goal. Co-founder and CEO Thad Tarkington remarked that the company closed on “a majority” of its funding goal last week, and said the rest will be raised in the coming weeks. Thad noted that the company recently converted around $1.1M of debt to equity.

Lister Delgado of IDEA Fund Partners commented on how impressed he was by the company’s sales growth. “This is just getting started, but I see the traction there,” said Delgado, adding that he believes “the market is four or five times bigger.” Delgado added that he has also been impressed with the strength of the company’s leadership, despite their young age.

FilterEasy initially raise $1.5M from investors and began operating in May of 2013. The company aims to expand in the coming months by adding harder-to-find filters to its lineup, along with custom-sized filters. It also plans to expand its business to Canada.

Read the full story from The News and Observer

Orlando Startup to Join High-Profile Accelerator

JOICASTER CEO Rudy Ellis will participate in TechStars Cloud, a high-profile San Antonio-based accelerator. As a young and relatively new entrepreneur, he explained that he is always looking for new opportunities with accelerators with exposure to experienced and well-connected mentors.

Ellis will move from Orlando’s Starter Studio accelerator, which he says was essential to his quick and rapid entry to the tech scene. Already, JOICASTER has served conferences across the country, and even a Dick Clark Productions-backed awards program.

TechStars, which has the backing of entrepreneurial expert and critically-acclaimed author Brad Feld, marks the most high profile accelerator Ellis and Joicaster have participated in to date. The program has been known to attract high-profile mentors.

Read the full story from The Orlando Sentinel

Announcing the 11 Companies for Cloud 2016

San Antonio accelerator TechStars announced its selection of 11 companies for its Cloud 2016 program today. Joicaster, a recent addition to IFP’s investment portfolio, was selected among a diverse group of startups that includes companies from the United States, Ireland, Spain and Taiwan. All 11 companies work on a variety of technical and innovative businesses in the cloud space.

The class of 2016 marks the program’s fourth iteration. It began this week and will continue until mid-February, when it will conclude with a demo day. Alumni from the first three session include successful companies such as Cloudability and IFP portfolio company Distil.

Read the full story from TechStars

The New Science of Customer Emotions

When companies connect with customers’ emotions, the payoff can be huge. Consider these examples: After a major bank introduced a credit card for Millennials that was designed to inspire emotional connection, use among the segment increased by 70% and new account growth rose by 40%. Within a year of launching products and messaging to maximize emotional connection, a leading household cleaner turned market share losses into double-digit growth. And when a nationwide apparel retailer reoriented its merchandising and customer experience to its most emotionally connected customer segments, same-store sales growth accelerated more than threefold.