This past May marked the graduation of Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs’ fourth class of partner companies. Market validation, competitive analysis, and financial analysis prevailed as the dominant needs that were addressed by this semester’s class. A few of these companies are in discussions with investors to close their current rounds of fundraising. A brief overview of what each company does, and the value TVL Associates were able to add is listed below.
We are currently accepting applications for our fifth class of partner companies, which will kick off at the end of August. If you’re an entrepreneur interested in putting your startup through TVL, go to our website to apply.
Additionally, we’ll be hosting office hours from 11am - 1pm at the ATT Conference Center Coffee Shop on Wednesday, June 13. Come talk to our Accenture Venture Partners about TVL and your startup.
AgileLaw develops mobile applications for lawyers, allowing them to focus on their cases without being encumbered by administrative tasks. AgileLaw’s flagship product removes the unnecessary step and hassle of printing deposition exhibits by replacing reams of paper with mobile tablet devices. AgileLaw is developing a tablet application that will allow every attendee in a deposition to view, search, and annotate their own copy of the documents, while still allowing the lead counsel to direct the witness to specific pages during their testimony.
This semester’s projects for AgileLaw included case law research, market validation and competitive analysis. Case law research involved searching for previous rulings, laws or statutes that would defend a lawyer’s use of AgileLaw’s product as well as mandate its use by all other deposition participants. Market validation was performed through the implementation of a phone survey of twenty practicing litigators and a web survey with over 180 respondents. These data were analyzed to help AgileLaw size the addressable market, identify the initial target customer and prioritize the best ways to reach the target customer. The competitive landscape for all legal software was sifted and categorized into four groups: close competitors, future competitors, non-competitors and potential acquirers. Detailed product descriptions, business models and pricing were found for each of the close competitors, while acquisition history and business model were found for the potential acquirers.
For more information, visit their company website.
CLEAR Tech entered TVL trying to bring a new lead recycling process to market that had been developed by researchers in Mexico. Their focus was on undeveloped and developing countries that had no formal lead recycling industry.
Texas Venture Labs’ primary focus for this Stage II deal was to validate the technology and business model. On this front, the amount of lead produced in most developing countries was found to be too low to justify the large capital expense of building a recycling plant. In addition, the technology was billed as being game-changing and green, but the original inventor was unable or unwilling to discuss questions regarding the accuracy of these presuppositions.
CLEAR Tech has now pivoted into Portico - a company focusing on infrastructure development projects in the developing world. Their new focus is on road-building and waste management solutions.
Datical creates database schema automation software for the $22B IT Systems Management (ITSM) market. Datical customers will see fewer downtime incidents related to database updates, a quicker time to market for new and updated business services and savings on both headcount and missed revenue due to downtime. Texas Venture Labs assisted Datical by performing primary market validation. Specifically, the team surveyed database administrators, examined open source software arrangements, and explored the current competitive landscape.
Enerlyte helps consumers and utilities decrease energy consumption using behavioral analytics and innovative reporting. Enerlyte was also brought to TVL via CTAN, so TVL conducted due diligence at their request. Our main deliverable was a report confirming Enerlyte’s stated market size; TVL conducted in-depth market research to make sure the market was indeed as large as claimed. In addition, we participated in product demonstrations to verify functionality of the technology.
Physicians Angels, Inc. is a data management solutions company for doctors, which enables health care professionals to run more efficient and profitable practices. Physicians Angels helps doctors provide better quality patient care by handling their data care. Virtual medical scribes perform services that do not require more expensive, ‘hands-on’ staffing, like transcribing patient visits for doctors in real time using VoIP software, document clinical information and help with prescriptions by interfacing with a medical practice’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software in real time, and managing and archiving data using a practice’s existing IT systems.
The Texas Venture Labs team helped the firm by preparing detailed financial statements, exploring domestic and international growth strategies, and researched potential funding options.
GAME TIME ARENA
Game Time Arena (GTA) LLC provides gamers with the opportunity to compete in online virtual matches against other gamers from around the world. By utilizing this platform, online gamers will be able to interact, communicate, and meet up with other gamers to arrange and setup competitive matches for cash with friends or any other gamer within the community.
TVL performed an in-depth market validation for Game Time Arena to help the company identify which market segment they should target with their first offering, using a combination of primary and secondary research. In addition to market validation, TVL also performed a competitive analysis to identify similar companies and the feature sets offered, with recommendations to the company on how to differentiate from the competition. Lastly, TVL explored the legality of wagering on competitive gaming to provide recommendations on where the company can operate as well as best practices to avoid punitive legal action.
GE WATTSTATION PROJECT
With the launch of the WattStation, GE continues a century of innovation in the design and manufacturing of electrical distribution systems. GE’s WattStation enables fast Level 2 charging at home and on the road. The modular design by renowned industrial designer Yves Behar is upgradable as more communication options become available. This allows customers to stay current with the latest technology in a rapidly changing space, while providing the ability for commercial property owners to qualify for LEED points.
TVL was asked to investigate alternative revenue streams for the WattStation, using the mobile application as a platform. The team brainstormed many different ways for GE to use the Watt Station mobile app in engaging with electric vehicle users, and performed in-depth analyses on those ideas which seemed to have the most potential for producing incremental revenue. The team analyzed revenue opportunities in mobile advertising, data analytics, location-based services, and integration into rewards programs, and provided GE with recommendations on how best to implement those solutions.
For more information, visit the WattStation website
Terra Pave is a startup commercializing specialty chemicals developed at UT with applications in road construction. The founders have close ties to TxDoT and existing distributions agreements in South America. Terra Pave primarily needed to raise money to fund operating expenses and satisfy existing demand.
TVL’s primary focus was on Terra Pave’s marketing strategy: identifying the total addressable market both domestically and internationally, conducting a thorough competitive analysis to include sales volume and utilization of competing products, and laying out a go-to-market strategy in the US.
Currently, Terra Pave is in discussions with several local investors as they look to close out its Series A. Its next move will be to ramp up production through its contract manufacturers, build out its own production capacity, and finish filing for international patent protection.
Titralyte was brought to TVL via CTAN. The company has licensed technology from the University of Texas to create a simple and fast method for testing water from hydraulic fracturing operations. The TVL team members with scientific backgrounds researched product viability and applications. TVL also conducted numerous interviews with industry experts and potential customers in order to validate the market and determine an approximate market size. In addition, TVL analyzed the company’s financial model and business plan. Our final deliverable was a detailed report summarizing all analysis, interviews, and findings.
VChain Solutions is a value chain solutions provider that enables companies to create a seamless supply chain across multiple software applications. VChain creates solutions that bring value through mass information analysis and advanced data modeling techniques.
TVL focused on market validation, competitive analysis and financial benchmarking. Market validation was performed through the development of an online survey that focused on cataloging existing frustrations in supply chain management and then measuring the corresponding level of frustration. This survey was administered to supply chain managers in various industries and helped VChain redirect their marketing focus towards high pain areas. Analysis of the competitive landscape included more than 50 companies in supply chain management and supply chain analytics. Each competitor was graded on a range of criteria to determine both gaps in the market as well as opportunities for differentiation of VChain’s product offering. VChain’s financials were reviewed and compared with a number of industry metrics found in market reports or developed from competitor data. Based on these comparisons, a number of changes to VChain’s projected use-of-funds and projected growth were made.
VecturaLux is an Austin-based fabless semiconductor startup with technology allowing 10G communication up to 40km over multimode fiber. Through our proprietary technology and use of digital signal processing we will bring 10G and 100G products to the market that will dramatically improve performance and reduce power.
TVL conducted market validation through several different approaches; first, we worked with several college campus’ IT departments to generate a market sizing and adoption report. In addition, we contacted data centers to distribute a survey in order to gain a deeper understanding of network upgrades in data centers. Results were aggregated in the form of a report. We also produced a report outlining key products and buyout transactions in the VecturaLux competitive space. Additionally, we analyzed and refined their financial model, and created separate pro forma financial statements. Finally, we analyzed and researched various key assumptions in the financial model (such as inventory levels and R&D expenses) to provide advice as to reasonable estimates.