VC Nation: The Most Active Venture Capital Firm In Each U.S. State

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IDEA Fund Partners was recently named the most active venture capital firm in North Carolina, in a list of the country’s most active VC firms released today by CB Insights.

The top VC firm in each state was determined by the total number of investments made in unique tech companies, excluding debt deals and follow-on financings. IDEA Fund Partners was named among other prominent firms such as Colorado’s Foundry Group, Maryland’s New Enterprise Associates, South Dakota’s Bessemer Venture Partners, and Georgia’s BIP Capital.

Read the full story from CB Insights

In consumer industries, including retail, packaged goods, financial services, consumer electronics, hospitality, healthcare and technology, growing an emotional connection with customers is driving 30%-100% gains in customer value, and is the key input to accelerating revenue profitably.

To achieve meaningful growth, the C-suite must go beyond traditional tactics, adopt emotional metrics as a growth strategy, and translate the emotional connection factor into measurable action that drives customer value and sustainable competitive differentiation.

Ceterus Raises $4.2M to Provide “Bookkeeping-As-A-Service” for Franchise Owners

Charleston-based Ceterus today announced the close of a $4.2 million Series A investment. The round was led by TechOperators, the largest venture technology investor in the Southeast, with participation from IDEA Fund Partners of Durham, NC, and Alerion Ventures of Charleston, SC.

With deep accounting experience in working with franchise owners and an innovative bookkeeping-as-a-service solution, Ceterus provides franchise owners a better, faster, and more affordable solution for their core bookkeeping needs. “We have grown rapidly this past year and our customers love how we help them manage and grow their businesses,” said Levi Morehouse, Ceterus CEO and Founder. “Our investors understand the market potential for cloud-based bookkeeping-as-a-service and they have the strong operational backgrounds to help us scale.”

The Ceterus Insight offering enables a “Do-It-For-Me” solution for franchise owners to get accurate financial reporting and operational metrics in a timely, consistent basis. This includes providing business owners valuable operational perspectives by integrating data from their point-of-sale, human resources and accounting systems into one accessible dashboard. “Not only do we do the actual bookkeeping for our customers, we help our customers learn how to run their businesses better,” Morehouse said.

This is Atlanta-based TechOperators’ first venture investment in South Carolina. Said Mohammadioun, who will be joining the Ceterus board of directors, affirmed, “All franchise business owners need good financial information and operational benchmarks and Ceterus has a solid track record and very happy customers. While bookkeeping isn’t new, Ceterus’ cloud-based platform and how they deliver excellent service and results is a powerful combination. We are excited to be partnered with Ceterus as they execute their vision to reinvent bookkeeping for franchise businesses through innovative automation.”

Ceterus will be using this funding to build its technology and sales teams in Charleston, SC. The company is actively hiring to grow their downtown Charleston headquarters.

About Ceterus

Founded in 2008, Ceterus provides bookkeeping services for its franchise owner customers, using Ceterus’ cloud-based platform and processes. Ceterus frees its small business owners from mundane accounting work, enabling them to focus on growing their businesses. By integrating data from customers’ point of sale, human resources and financial systems, Ceterus also gives its customers valuable operational insights and benchmark data. Ceterus is located in Charleston, South Carolina.

For more information, visit http://www.ceterusinc.com.

Why All Startups Should Practice Their Investor Pitch at IDEA Pitch

Any budding entrepreneur should attend IDEA Pitch, EvitEvent’s Laura Baverman reports.

IDEA Fund Partners’ IDEA Pitch is a bimonthly event wherein entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to the firm’s managing partners and a special guest in 2 minutes and then receive feedback on their pitch. The last event, held in April, occurred at Bunker Labs and featured the NC IDEA Foundation’s new CEO, Thom Ruhe.

“The men represent important funding sources in the area. They are also brutally honest, but in an unintimidating, helpful way,” she writes. “There may not be an event as constructive as IDEA Pitch.”

Founded in 2007, IDEA Fund Partners has invested in 27 companies and become one of the most active seed and early stage venture capital firms in the Southeast. They are currently investing out of a $15.1 million IDEA Fund II. Some notable portfolio companies include names such as WedPics, Windsor Circle, Reveal Mobile, Pendo, FilterEasy and Sift.

Read the full story from ExitEvent

GaAs & Silicon: A New Proposal for Power

Startup says its modules reduce switching loss by 30%

“Sarda Technologies heterogeneously integrated power stage module combines CMOS power drivers with GaAs output transistors in the same QFN package,” writes Ohr. The idea seems quite intuitive, he suggests, adding that it is a wonder it hasn’t been done before. Ohr explains that the crux of Sarda’s technology is “us[ing] gallium arsenide (GaAs) as the power driver for modules in compute servers and communications switching stations. Traditionally used for basestation transmitters, GaAs transistors automatically improve switching power supply frequencies: This enables higher densities for server power transmission applications, reduces heat dissipation, and helps shrink the size of power chain bricks and modules.”

Ohr is a former director for Semiconductor Research at Gartner.

Sarda is a Durham-based, ventured backed company led by Bob Conner. Connor who has 15 years of experience with large corporations and 18 years with startups is joined by team members that include power-management veterans from companies such as Intersil and Harris Semiconductor.

Read the full story from EE Times