During HackOut 2020, organizers Robbi Katherine Anthony and Taylor McCaslin discuss what it means to be underestimated founders on a journey fundraising. Robbi shares her perspective as the Executive Director of Solace an app launched at HackOut 2019 to help trans people roadmap their transition. Taylor shares his experience as an angel investor running his small angel fund, Product Trust Investments.
May 1, 2020 – Product Trust Investments is thrilled to announce angel investment in a seed funding round for SeekWell.
SeekWell automates the most painful parts of analytics.
Analysts spend too much time re-writing queries they–or someone on their team–have written before, and copy/pasting results to update reports.
With SeekWell, when a business owner asks a question, Analysts and Product Managers can quickly find SQL queries that have answered similar questions in the past, send the data from the company database to Google Sheets, and schedule that data to refresh daily, hourly or every 5 minutes. Simple answers can be shared, and collaborative dashboards can be built in a fraction of the time.
In early 2020 SeekWell launched a redesign of their service and intends to leverage these pre-seed funds to grow its user base.
A Chance Encounter
Product Trust Investments first learned of SeekWell as Product Trust Investments’ Taylor McCaslin was evaluating data manipulation tools to connect Snowflake data warehouses with google sheets to handle simple data extract, transform, load (ETL) processes. Vendors frequently wanted $20k-50k for that feature. Taylor stumbled across SeekWell by chance and was able to create an account, connect to his snowflake instance within 5 minutes– it just worked.
For modern data science companies, creating accessible tooling to access, interact with, and manipulate data is critical to democratize data insights. SeekWell puts the power of business intelligence and data science workflows into the hands of business users who know how to use Google Sheets or Excel.
Easier Access to Your Data
SeekWell connects to all the major data warehouses a typical business has including MySQL, Postgres, Snowflake, Redshift, and SQL Server. It allows users to quickly query data, interact with it in a simplified python and SQL environment and then pass that data to Google Sheets, Slack, or Email.
SeekWell was co-founded by Daniel Fisher and Michael Ritchie. Daniel previously was a VP of Sales Operations, Strategy and Channel Sales at Rosetta Stone. Mike spent 15 years leading analytics teams at Bank of America and at startups. His goal is to change the way analytics teams share code by offering them an analytics platform and common code repository, allowing them to share and reuse SQL queries. SeekWell was part of TechStars NYC’s 2018 startup accelerator summer program.
October 1, 2019 – Product Trust Investments is thrilled to announce its participation in Diligent Robotics Series 2 Seed fundraising.
Austin, Texas-based Andrea Thomaz and Vivian Chu co-founded Diligent Robotics in 2017. They create robot assistants that assist people with chores so they can focus on the work they care most about. Moxi is their first hospital robot assistant that helps clinical teams with their routine, non-patient facing tasks so they have more time for patient care.
During its beta test, Diligent Robotics tested Moxi at four U.S. hospitals. It was received positively. Moxi also received recognition as one of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas in 2019.
“Our vision is to improve the way people think about their work by giving them more time to utilize their unique human skills, and let friendly robot assistants efficiently take care of their chores,” Andrea Thomaz, CEO and Co-Founder of Diligent Robotics, said in a news release. “We are proud to have the full support of our past investors as well as new key investors to accelerate the roll-out of Moxi robots into hospitals.”
True Ventures and Ubiquity Ventures led the funding round, with participation from North Coast Ventures, Capital Factory, Pathbreaker Ventures, Boom Capital, Grit Ventures, and angel investors including Product Trust Investments. Diligent Robotics plans to use the funds raised to continue investing in product strategy and development in both hardware and software. It is also using the funds to support the launch of Moxi into the market.
“Over the last year, Diligent Robotics has made rapid progress in delivering and testing Moxi in multiple hospitals,” Rohit Sharma, partner at True Ventures and board member for Diligent Robotics, said in a news release. “The team continues to demonstrate unmatched robotics-specific innovation by combining social intelligence and human-guided learning capabilities. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Vivian and Andrea as they build a world-class, leading robotics company.”
In addition, Diligent Robotics has reached key milestones in the last year including hiring Josh Tippy, Head of Clinical Integrations. Additionally, Diligent Robotics’ CTO and Co-Founder, Vivian Chu, received MIT Technology Review’s highly prestigious 35 Under 35 for 2019 award, and Thomaz was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders in 2019 Building America’s Most Innovative & Ambitious Businesses.
“Over the last year, Diligent Robotics has made rapid progress in delivering and testing Moxi in multiple hospitals,” said Rohit Sharma, partner at True Ventures and a member of Diligent Robotics’ board. “The team continues to demonstrate unmatched robotics-specific innovation by combining social intelligence and human-guided learning capabilities. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Vivian and Andrea as they build a world-class, leading robotics company.”
Moxi is available in a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model. “Cost is based on the customized utilization of each Moxi robot for every hospital’s particular needs,” explained Thomaz.
“As the first robotics company to introduce a social robot into a hospital full-time, we’re laser-focused on quality, not quantity, when it comes to our first few full-time hospital implementations,” she said. “We will have other exciting news to share later in 2019 and 2020.”
Today Product Trust Investments contributing up to $1,000 to match donations as part of Solace’s 100 Days of Funding campaign. Solace is a free first-of-its-kind mobile app for the transgender community. It allows users to create a custom roadmap and timeline for their transition, providing verified and credible resources to inform their decisions, and tracking progress towards user’s goals.
Solace was conceived and pitched at HackOut the world’s only LGBTQIA-themed startup weekend, an event created by nonprofit StartOut’s Austin team in its 4th year. In a 5-minute pitch, ending with tears and standing ovation from the crowd, Solace won 1st place.
Since winning HackOut, the small team of five consisting of Robbi Katherine Anthony, Patrick McHugh, Juan Pablo Delgado, Ari Martinez, & Diego Hernandez have secured a fiscal nonprofit sponsor. This means all donations will be tax-deductible while Solace works to establish its own nonprofit 501(c)3 status. Their fiscal nonprofit sponsor, QWELL Community Foundation, a fund of Austin Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity, was also present at HackOut where the two organizations first met.
Taylor McCaslin–founder of Product Trust Investments–volunteers on the programming board of StartOut Austin and was an organizer of the HackOut’s event where he met the founding team and fell in love with their passion and drive. “Our goal is to use technology to augment that phase ‘it gets better’ into ‘how it gets better,’” says Robbi Katherine Anthony, Solace’s Executive Director, herself a transgender woman. “For anyone going through transition, this application will hopefully make the process significantly easier since all of the necessary, accurate information will be centralized in one place. Right now people are resorting to forums full of anecdotal experiences regarding transition, which can contain a lot of inaccurate and inconsistent information,”
Taylor, himself identifying as queer, hopes that this matching donation will help Solace accelerate its funding goal and ensure that Solace makes it onto the App Store and Google Play Store. “We need more technical leaders like Robbi and team who don’t just seek to build profitable companies, but who want to inspire meaningful and impactful change in their communities,” Mr. McCaslin explained. “Product Trust Investments invests angel seed funding in small diverse startup teams building inclusive and responsible technologies to help them get off the ground. Returns from investments will drive donations in the arts and nonprofits for social good.”
You can learn more about Solace and make a tax-deductible donation by visiting http://solace.lgbt