Red Rocket's Best Startups of 2015
Red Rocket gets introduced to hundreds of startups each year. We wanted to honor the best of the startups that we met in 2015, in Red Rocket's 4th Annual "Best Startups of the Year". This list is not intended to be an all-encompassing best startups list, as there are many additional great startups that we are not personally exposed to each year. And, this list is not intended to be only for businesses that launched in 2015, it is open to startups of any age, that they or their advisors had some personal interaction with us in the last 12 months. The business simply needed to have a good idea, good team or good traction, that caught our attention. Congrats to you all!!
Red Rocket Client Looking to Buy a Company
Red Rocket has a private equity firm client on the hunt for a lower-middle market business to buy, or several synergistic businesses to buy, which can be rolled up into one larger firm. They have up to $100MM to invest into any one platform investment (the initial acquisition, follow on acquisitions, and growth capital from there). Growth plans can be organic or via acquisitions over time. Target companies should be in the B2B or B2C digital technology space. Target financials should be in excess of $10MM in revenues and $2MM in cash flow out of the gate, either stand alone or post the rollup of known targets. And, live within a market sector that can easily support growing into at least a $100MM revenue business within 3-5 years. They most likely will put their own CEO in place, to help scale the business to the next level and to work with the current team, if desired. Thanks for helping us spread the word to your connections or portfolio companies, and please have interested parties contact us here.
FireStarter Fund Invests in Built In and Routific
Red Rocket is an investor and one of the member-managers in the FireStarter Fund. We are excited to add Built In (localized business networking sites in the digital tech space) and Routific (delivery route optimization software) to our portfolio this quarter. Congratulations to their founders and CEOs: Matt Moog (Founder Built In), Maria Katris (CEO Built In) and Marc Kuo (Routific). You can see the full FireStarter Fund portfolio here.
Push for Technology Coding In Your K-12 Schools
George Deeb has recently been working with his local school administrators to emphasize the importance of kids learning to code technology, which he feels is a major void in the current core K-12 curriculum, one which is designed for a different era. He was invited to present this concept to the fourth graders in the school, which is shown in this video. Although the message was delivered in a student friendly way, the message should equally resonate with parents, teachers and school administrators. We share this video with you, because we feel every student in our country needs to learn the basics of coding technology by the time they graduate high school. If this message resonates with you and you want to make a difference in your own schools, please share this video with your local school administrators.
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year
Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season. May your best in 2015, be your worst in 2016. If Red Rocket can help you better accelerate your growth efforts in the new year, do not hesitate to call.
Most-Read Blog Posts of the Quarter
We hope you are enjoying our growing list of 222+ Startup Lessons and case studies, which has attracted over 550,000 reads to date. Be sure to check out these most-read posts of the quarter:
For a more complete list, be sure to bookmark the calendar of events at the Built In Chicago, Illinois Technology Assocation or 1871 websites.
(a) Red Rocket's Best Startups of 2015
(b) Lesson #219: Stock Option & Incentive Plans for Startups
(c) Lesson #221: The Internet of Things is Coming--Hang On to Your Hats!!
(d) Lesson #220: Venture Debt Financing--A Hybrid Between Debt & Equity
(e) Lesson #222: Measuring Your Company's Culture Can Pay Big Dividends
(f) Lesson #218: You Don't Know, What You Don't Know
And, don't forget, for easier reading offline, you can now freely download our "Startup Lessons #1-#202" at your favorite eBookstore.
Upcoming Chicago Entrepreneurial Events
Here is a list of some of the bigger upcoming events for Chicago's startup community. Hope to see you all there:
Thanks again for all of your continued support. Let us know how we may be able to help you, your colleagues or your portfolio companies with their growth strategy and execution.
george@ RedRocketVC .com
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To learn more about Red Rocket (Growth Strategy, Team & Capital):
Check out http://www.RedRocketVC.com
To learn more about George Deeb and Jay Stocki:
Check out http://www.RedRocketVC.com/content/ourteam