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June, 2010

Excelerate Mentioned in Tribune!

This past Sunday, Excelerate Labs was featured in an article in the business section of the Chicago Tribune. Check it out!,0,2606456.graphic

We are so grateful for all the support we’ve received in the past month. Thanks go out to all who have written about us!

Excelerate your life,
Sam, Brian and Allie

Filed under: Excelerate in the News — June 21, 2010

Mentor Month Madness

Since the inception of the Excelerate program, we’ve been lucky to attract some of the brightest, most experienced minds in Chicago to our headquarters at 57 W. Grand Ave. In the past two weeks, we’ve had dozens of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists visit and work with our ten teams on topics ranging from marketing to product development to fundraising. Right now we are averaging about 2-3/day.

These are just some of the people who have stopped by:

Ben Aissa – American EPAY Inc., Founder
Raman Chadha – DePaul University Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, Executive Director
Kapil Chaudhary – I2A, Partner
Martin Clifford - Venture Partner at Sittercity and Former CEO of
Matt Downs – Sandbox Industries and BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Managing Director
Kevin Efrusy – Accel Partners, General Partner
Harry Eschel – Research In Motion
Mike Geiss – Highland Capital Partners
Mark Glennon -
Leo Capital Holdings
Sam Guren – Hyde Park Angels, Managing Director
Kris Hackney – M2C1 Limited, Founder
Mac Harman- Balsam Brands, CEO
Troy Henikoff- OneWed CEO, SurePayroll, Founder
Zach Kaplan – Inventables, Founder and CEO
Alex Kormushoff
Adam Koopersmith - New World Ventures, Partner
Paul Lee – Playboy
Michael Lyons – Image Advantage, President and CEO
David Marco – EWSolutions, President
Sean Marsh – Point Judith Capital, Co-Founder and General Partner
Jeffrey Moss – ETS
Brendan Mulligan – Artist Data
Nick Rosa – Sandbox Industries, Co-Founder and Managing Director
Ira Weiss – Chicago Booth and Hyde Park Angels, Faculty Director
Pete Wilkins – Serial Entrepreneur

But that’s not all! What’s even more impressive are all of the mentors who have us booked completely solid for the remainder of the month, and we’re adding more every day. We would like to thank everyone who has given their time, energy, and knowledge to our ten companies.

Excelerate your life,
Sam, Brian, and Allie
Filed under: Status Updates — June 16, 2010

Last Week’s Kickoff Events – A Huge Success!

Gathered around silver trays of food, platters of fruit, and boxes of pizza, the ten selected companies in the Excelerate program mingled among some of the most esteemed mentors and venture capitalist in the Chicagoland area last week. Nerves and anxiety were replaced with smiles and handshakes and the excitement in the room was palpable. Over the course of two days, an estimated total of 100 mentors graced the 2nd floor of the ExcelerateLabs Headquarters, eager to meet and hear initial presentations from our companies.

The meet-n’-greet events were a huge success and each mentor made their rounds, talking at length with each company, sharing stories and chatting about their goals for the summer and how each group could benefit from the knowledge of Excelerate’s distinguished guides. It was clear that the companies were absorbing information after only talking with representatives of major investment firms for a short amount of time. Members of WeGather, Edulender, PVPower, and Noblivity were blown away by the “relatability of the mentors”, the suggestions they received on their product, and the mentors’ “interesting stories that gave [them] tips to success.”

It was an environment unlike any other that I’d been in. I could feel the buzz of excitement all around me, hear the laughter resonate through the expansive space, and watch business cards pass from palm to palm with a pleasant smile and a promise to call if guidance was needed.

We, the Excelerate Team, are beyond excited to see the progress that all of our companies make this summer and are eager to aid them in the development process.

Here are some pictures from last week’s events:

Mentors and companies introduce themselves

Members of Edulender chat with a mentor

ScholarPro discusses goals with a group of mentors

Sam looks on as TransFS grabs the attention of a few mentors

WeGather presents their current work to a mentor

Companies and mentors gather to listen to Sam's opening remarks

More pictures and videos to come!

Excelerate your life,
The Excelerate Team

Filed under: Events — June 7, 2010