Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
The founder and CEO of AppCityLife in Albuquerque hopes the upcoming Deal Stream Summit – New
Mexico’s premier annual equity capital event – will help launch her app-hosting service on a global scale.
AppCityLife is one of 10 local startup companies chosen by Technology Ventures Corp. to present at this year’s summit, which will be held Oct. 7 at the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
The event, now in its 21st year, gathers investors and entrepreneurs from across the country to hear funding pitches by aspiring New Mexico technology firms seeking private equity and other assistance to move their businesses forward.
AppCityLife presented at last year’s summit as well, which helped it raise just under $500,000 from angel investors. The company used that money to further develop its app-hosting technology, which provides a platform for cities and local civic organizations to make apps available to communities on mobile devices, CEO Lisa Abeyta said.
The apps allow people to access information on everything from urban transportation and museums to public schools and cultural events, while conducting everyday activities like checking out library books or receiving discount coupons for local businesses through smartphones.
The company hosts a slate of apps for Albuquerque, and it just launched its first one for New York City to allow people to browse frequently asked questions about the Big Apple.
Now, it’s preparing to test a new app that will take it global by allowing all open public information from cities worldwide to become accessible on mobile devices. It’s seeking $1.5 million from investors to help do that.
“Last year, the Deal Stream Summit helped us raise angel investment to consolidate our technology into a single platform,” Abeyta said. “This year, we want to raise money to move to the next level, expanding into national and global markets.”
Like AppCityLife, nine other startups will seek funding at the summit to continue commercializing technology that was either licensed from the national laboratories and research universities, or built independently in private labs and work spaces. They include:
• Cognitive Assessment Technologies, which created a mobile app to allow athletic trainers, coaches and medical professionals to rapidly assess mild traumatic brain injury on site in real time.
• InnoBright, which is marketing a software system that helps animation technicians greatly speed up the rendering process.
• Medici Technologies, which is developing a new medical device for noninvasive, optical testing to detect early indications of diabetes.
• Real Green Building Systems, which offers an affordable, integrated system of green technologies for homes and communities.
• Seed Worthy, which offers a platform for software developers to immediately launch a fully functioning online
business in hours, rather than months.
• TransMix SafeLock, which is marketing a new device for underground storage tanks that blocks the wrong type of fuel from being delivered.
• UbiQD LLC, which makes inexpensive, nontoxic “quantum dots” that absorb light and then emit it back out in specific colors for potential applications in things like luminous paints for signage, or in plastics to make them glow.
• VeriTran Inc., which is commercializing an “Infinitely Variable Transmission” system that can optimize production in oil-field pump jacks.
• Zocere Inc., which has developed a first-of-its-kind peptide to protect brain cells against damage from traumatic injuries and strokes.
New Mexico ties
About half of the startups were created either at New Mexico’s national laboratories or the University of New Mexico, or the developers received significant technical assistance from scientists at those institutions.
Zocere’s technology, for example, was created by neurology department researchers at the UNM Health Sciences Center. Scientists there used a naturally occurring protein that works to protect brain cells to create a
peptide with the same functions, plus characteristics that make it bind to brain cells.
The company has raised nearly $500,000 to date and now is seeking $3 million to establish commercial production of the peptide and begin the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval process, said Zocere Chief Financial Officer Alan Kolod.
TVC President and CEO John Freisinger said summit organizers pick companies like Zocere to present because they are very likely to attract investor interest.
“Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies usually take a long time to mature, but Zocere is getting to where it looks like a good investment target,” Freisinger said. “We expect it to draw a lot of attention.”
A new venue
This year’s event is being held at the Balloon Museum during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to provide an added incentive for out-of-state investors to attend, Freisinger said.
Last year, about 370 investors, entrepreneurs and technology commercialization professionals came to the summit.
“The event can do amazing things for companies like ours to tell our story, network and build resources,” Kolod said. “It will get us in front of a good number of potentially interested investors.”