Each year, Upstate Venture Connect and the venture community in Upstate NY recognize the companies whose exits created wealth for investors and founders/employees. Through these exits and significant fundraises, these companies have become stronger contributors of the local economy.
Here are the 2018 nominees for Deal of the Year!
American Fuel Cell (Rochester) – AFC is a premier developer of Membrane Electrode Assemble (MEA) technology – the key catalyst for fuel cells to create power. The company was acquired by Albany-based Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of energy solutions. Through this acquisition Plug Power will immediately have a facility in Rochester, NY, and create more job opportunities for talent in the Finger Lakes region.
Anaren (Dewitt) – Anaren is a leading global designer and manufacturer of high-frequency RF and microwave microelectronics, components, and assemblies for the space, defense, and telecommunications sectors. The company was acquired for approximately $775 million by TTM Technologies, Inc. “This is a compelling strategic combination that makes for an exiting new chapter for Anaren,” said Larry Sala, CEO. Anaren currently employees ~600 people in Central NY.
Bio-Optronics (Rochester) – Bio-Optronics is a producer of software and services focused on clinical research, automated scheduling, and patient safety. The company received $30 million in funding from growth equity firm Mainsail Partners. The new funding will be used to accelerate product development, improve customer service capacities, and boost sales and marketing efforts. Dan Kerpelman is the CEO of Bio-Optronics. He acquired the company 7 years ago. Bio-Optronics will remain and continue to grow in the Rochester area.
CaterTrax (Rochester) – Hospitality 101, Inc, doing business as CaterTrax, is an industry leading catering management software company that is built by caterers for caterers. The company was acquired by Volaris Group. CaterTrax was founded in 2004 by Rich Rund and Dan Welch as a result of streamlining their family-owned catering and restaurant operations. Today, over 7,500 operators, across multiple lines of business, use CaterTrax to manage their business. “We have enjoyed incredible success over the past decade,” said Rund, CEO. “As we consider the next decade and beyond, we want to align ourselves with a partner that can elevate our ability to execute our vision and mission.”
CloudCheckr (Rochester) – CloudCheckr is the leading cloud management platform. The company recently received $50 million in institutional funding. This Series A financing catalyzed an exceptional year for CloudCheckr. In 2017-18, CloudCheckr saw its direct client roster grow to manage over $1B+ in cloud spend for leading enterprises such as Nasdaq, Siemens and Regeneron. Founder and CEO Aaron Newman will be a featured speaker at the Upstate Unleashed Conference. Learn how to raise $50 Million. Get tickets ->
CommerceHub (Albany) – CommerceHub is a technology company that helps retailers manage e-commerce inventory. Clients include Walmart and Best Buy. CommerceHub was acquired for $1.1B. This acquisition comes off the heels of CommerceHub becoming a publicly traded company in 2016. For this deal, CommerceHub received last year’s Deal of the Year Award. Founder and CEO Frank Poore shared his plans for the future with UVC. Watch 5 Questions with Frank Poore ->
Datto (Rochester / Albany) – Datto is the leading provider of total data protection solutions for businesses around the world. The company was acquired at the end of last year, and simultaneously merged with Autotask. Autotask is located in East Greenbush, NY and was founded by Upstate NY angel investor Dick Frederick. Datto and Autotask combined have 1,400 employees, with a presence in 125 nations worldwide. Following the announcement of the acquisition and merger, Datto Founder and CEO Austin McChord donated $50 million to the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 2009. This is the largest donation in the university’s history. About $30 million of the donation will go toward entrepreneurship development at RIT, including a new facility and supporting “entrepreneurial gap year” fellowships.
EagleDream Technologies (Rochester) – EagleDream Technologies is a veteran-owned business, and a leading IT technology firm that delivers measurable business improvement through a variety of IT services, including custom-built cloud solutions and website and app development. The company was acquired by Troy-based GreyCastle Security, the industry’s leading provider of cybersecurity risk assessment, advisory and mitigation services. Through this strategic partnership, GreyCastle will expand its existing footprint in Rochester, where 10 of the company’s 75 cybersecurity experts are located.
iCardiac (Rochester) – iCardiac Technologies is a leading provider of centralized cardiac safety and respiratory solutions. iCardiac was purchased by Norwest in 2014. Through this partnership, the company rapidly grew to meet the needs of its pharmaceutical and medical device clients worldwide. In December, Norwest sold iCardiac to ERT, a global data and technology company that minimizes uncertainty and risk in clinical trials. Alex Zapesochny, President and CEO of iCardiac, has joined ERTs executive team to lead the company’s iCardiac Safety business. Zapesochny co-founded iCardiac in 2006, based on technology developed at the University of Rochester. iCardiac has grown to more than 200 employees since.
MadGlory (Saratoga Springs) – MadGlory is a gaming studio that builds legendary platforms, including several major AAA gaming platforms. The company was acquiredby PUBG Corporation. Together these companies will launch the PUBG Developer Portal as a place for community developers to create tools, websites and add-ons. MadGlory Founder and CEO Brian Corrigan will deliver a CEO Talk on how he’s helping to create an international gaming hub in the Capital Region. Don’t miss the update! Get tickets –>
Node40 (Albany) – Node40 develops a cryptocurrency reporting software that integrates directly with a few major bitcoin exchanges. This helps American bitcoin users, traders and miners disclose their transactions to the IRS for tax liability purposes. The company was acquired by Canadian cryptocurrency mining company Hashchain Technology Inc. (TSXV: KASH) for $8 million. What’s this? Perry Woodin, co-founder of Node40, has new developments to share. HashChain Technology will now spin off Node40 into a stand-alone, exclusive blockchain company. Woodin says this deal with boost the company’s plans to hire more developers in the Capital Region.
SpaceOutVR (Troy) – SpaceOutVR develops apps and software for virtual reality users. The company was acquired by Thus Valuesetters, Inc. SpaceOutVR Co-founder and CEO, Dennis Adamo, told UVC that through this deal, SpaceOutVR shareholders will receive 3:1 VSTR shares. Adamo said he’s excited about operating a wholly-owned subsidiary that will allow his team to leverage capital markets for the company’s project financing. “We now plan to migrate out platform to PC Virtual Reality, which would give us a major and competition position in the consumer market for premium Virtual Reality content,” said Adamo. “We hope to continue leveraging our academic and regional partnerships when we re-start our development in 2019.” Fun Fact: You may remember that SpaceOut changed its name from DayDream in 2016 after Google paid $850,000 for the trademark IP.
Specdrums (Ithaca) – Specdrums is a music technology company founded by Cornell graduates Steven Dourmashkin ’15, M.Eng. ’15, and Matthew Skeels ’18. Specdrums makes “smart rings” – app-connected wireless rings that turn colors into sound. A Specdrums user can make music by tapping onto any surface after assigning sound to different colors on their mobile device. The company was acquired by Sphero, a national robotics firm. With support from Sphero, which has products in 20,000 schools around the country, Specdrums hopes to expand its offering in the education sector, supplying students with new and exciting methods to study music. Dourmashkin and Skeels are also alumni of the Rev: Ithaca Startup Work’s Summer Hardware Accelerator program and Cornell University’s eLab program.
VoicePort (Rochester) – VoicePort is a provider of intelligent, interactive voice response patient engagement systems. The company was acquired by healthcare technology company PrescribeWellness. This acquisition will allow pharmacists, doctors and payers to connect with patients via voice, text, email and mobile. Chris Mann, VoicePort President and CEO said, “Our focus remains on providing customers with the highest-quality solutions as we build a strong foundation for the future.”
WorkOrder.es (Saratoga Springs) – WorkOrder.es is mobile work-order ticketing platform. The company was acquired by Bixby, a NYC startup. WorkOrder Founder and CEO Chris Thompson is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. What started as a way for him to manage his real estate investments quickly resulted in an better way to manage the influx of tenant, broker and vendor communications. With the acquisition, Bixby adds several hundred clients that rely on WorkOrder.es to submit and assign maintenance issues and repairs. Get the full story in this exclusive: Relationship building leads to exit for Upstate NY entrepreneur, investor ->
Winners and finalists were announced during the Upstate Unleashed Conference on October 2 in Syracuse, NY. Congratulations to iCardiac on winning the 2018 Deal of the Year award. CommerceHub and Datto were also recognized as finalists.