VentureSpur Companies 2014 – 5 Million Shoppers

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It’s no secret that China has experienced rapid growth in the past couple of decades that have launched it to becoming the second largest economy in the world. It’s also no secret that businesses and investors alike have profited greatly from the opportunities presented by China’s rapid growth. A lesser known fact is that China now sends more tourists abroad than any other nation on earth. Growing up in Beijing and working in the United States, Jie Hao was in an ideal position to observe and understand the many cultural differences between Chinese and Americans as they began to interact commercially far more frequently – and the many opportunities that this presents.

Before founding his company, Jie worked as a deal maker, helping Chinese investors to find good investment opportunities in the US. While working, he noticed two recurring problems. First, Chinese visitors to the U.S. had no idea where to go shopping. The knowledge that Americans take for granted including where to find shopping outlets and what is popular is information most Chinese tourists do not have access to. Second, once they have arrived in the U.S., most Chinese tourists do not know how to navigate within the country. Access to public transportation in most U.S. cities, combined with their layout and design, makes transportation for Chinese tourists not intuitive.

Seeing this enormous hole in the market, Jie decided to launch his company 5 Million Shoppers, named after the number of Chinese tourists projected to visit the U.S. in the near future. Through the company, Jie will be able to leverage the unique experiences of himself and his team to help these tourists navigate through the stops on their itinerary and connect with the retail outlets they are looking for. 5 Million Shoppers will bring to these tourists the local knowledge of the United States that they lack. Simultaneously, it will provide an invaluable marketing channel to brands and retailers. While tourism from China is exploding, retailers currently have few tools to market to them, as all marketing and advertising is tailored for a local American population. 5 Million Shoppers offers retailers a unique access that they can leverage to attract Chinese tourists to their establishments and increase sales.

Jie and his team have all spent considerable time in the United States, learning and understanding the market. Come out to Gilley’s on October 29, from 1:00p.m. – 5:00p.m. to meet Jie and his team in person and learn more about the incredible potential of this flagship company.

JOIN US AT PITCH DAY! Register at PitchDay.VentureSpur.Com

Andrews Kurth Announced as Presenting Sponsor

We are very excitedAKlogo to announce Andrews Kurth LLP as a presenting sponsor of VentureSpur!

Andrews Kurth LLP is a leading law firm with 10 offices globally in the United States, the United Kingdom the UAE, and China. Working across a diverse range of industries, Andrews Kurth prides itself on a diverse workforce consisting of the best and the brightest, pursuing everything with “straight talk” rather than legalese. In addition to bringing considerable value to their clients, Andrews Kurth also makes itself a pillar of the communities in which it operates, supporting local initiatives and non-profit organizations by contributing its resources, expertise, and manpower.

No matter what you are pursuing, Andrews Kurth is a valuable partner to work with, and we are delighted to partner with them in our mission to support the entrepreneur community in Dallas. Please join us in thanking them for their support!

To learn more about Andrews Kurth, please visit their website: http://www.andrewskurth.com/

VentureSpur Companies 2014 – 5 Screens Media

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When VentureSpur announced it was seeking applications for its 2014 class of start-ups, it received hundreds of applications from all over the world. However, only a select few were ultimately chosen to travel to Dallas to be a part of the VentureSpur accelerator. One of those selected was Sam Hijazin, and his company, 5 Screens Media.

While traveling and working throughout the country, Sam has lived mostly on the east coast and recently in New Jersey, where he developed an extensive background in the telecommunications and mobile industries, working specifically in leading the areas of Mobile Product Innovation, Network Rollout, Data Analytics, and Mobile Marketing for companies like Telcordia Technologies, Comsearch, and with major wireless operators in the US including services to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Sam has been on the front lines of the technology development fields, and observed the enormous commercial effects cutting-edge advances. New innovations and technologies, specifically the universality of smartphone ownership, was providing new channels through which retailers and customers could interact. Sam noticed that users still do not have full cross-screens experience and would benefit from seamless engagement on the mobile and the other digital screens. He also felt that such engagement will be increased if businesses take advantage of the growing capabilities within mobile networks for sponsoring end users data access. Thus, the idea for 5 Screens Media was born.

5 Screens Media enables retailers to ubiquitously increase the two-way engagement with their customers through sponsoring the data access that customers use when they are on their mobile sites. This increases interactive engagement, awareness and loyalty between the customer and the retailer. By sponsoring the customer’s data, the length of engagement between the customer and the retailer is extended, increasing the chance of sales conversion. It is also a message of appreciation from the retailers and a good business practice with their customers.

Sam has built an excellent team to execute this vision. His CTO, Dr. Thimios Pangos has a strong background in telecommunications , mobile technologies, and data distribution systems. Mr. Ehab Hijazen works alongside him, managing the operations of the company. He also has significant advisory board that includes Dr. Adam Drobot and Mr. Scott Ericsson, both are leaders with successful track record in advancing technologies, business operations, and applications in the telecommunication fields. Sam, a pragmatic leader, continues to carefully build and expand a collaborative culture within the organization. Drawing on his wealth of experience and extensive background in wireless technologies, media, and other diverse industries where he lead large corporate teams as well as started early startups, Sam leads the company as the CEO.

Sam and his company 5 Screens Media will be among the companies showcased at the Venture Spur final pitch event on October 29. Come out and join us from 1:30p.m. – 5:30p.m at Gilley’s to meet Sam in person and to learn more about his company, 5 Screens Media.

JOIN US AT PITCH DAY! Register at PitchDay.VentureSpur.Com

VentureSpur Announces 2014 Pitch Day!

To our VentureSpur mentors, investors, and strategic partners, to everyone working in the restaurant and retail space here in Dallas/Fort Worth, and to any other entrepreneurs in the metroplex, we would like to invite you to our annual VentureSpur Pitch Day!

Pitch DayPostpic1 marks the highlight of the 2014 class of VentureSpur Accelerator. At Pitch Day, Founders from this year’s class will share their innovative visions with the industry’s top investors, executives, media representatives, and the greater Dallas entrepreneurial community.  Pitch Day will feature investment and product pitches from our six early-stage technology companies, coming from all over the world, who have completed the 12-week VentureSpur acceleration program. This year’s startups are focused in technology for the restaurant and retail industries, and come from Mexico, China, New Jersey, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas.

Last year’s VentureSpur Pitch Day was attended by more than 200 angel investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and business owners from throughout the US and we expect this year to be even greater.

Asif Khan, Executive Director of the Location-Based Marketing Association (LBMA) will be our Keynote speaker.  Asif is a vePostpic2teran tech start-up, business-development and marketing entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience. He is currently focused on working as a consultant, educator and speaker to the location-based marketing services community. Prior to launching The LBMA, Asif worked with companies as diverse as Limited Brands, IBM, Baxter Pharmaceuticals, Molson-Coors, Communispace, BestBuy, American Airlines, ScotiaBank, and Sears.  An avid technology evangelist, Asif also holds degrees in economics and management sciences from the University of Waterloo.

 

To reserve your seat at Pitch Day, please visit PitchDay.VentureSpur.Com

Transwestern Announced as Silver Sponsor

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We are delighted to announce that Transwestern is now a VentureSpur Silver Sponsor!

In 1978, Transwestern launched as a Texas-based company in Dallas, Houston and Austin. In that time, it has grown to become one of the leading international real estate companies, specializing in agency leasing, property and facilities management, tenant advisory, capital markets, research and sustainability. By drawing on extensive experience in office, industrial, retail, and healthcare properties, Transwestern is able to bring considerable added value to owners, investors, and occupiers of real estate.

To learn more about the services Transwestern offers, visit them at http://www.transwestern.net/.

Please join us in thanking them for their  support of VentureSpur and the Dallas entrepreneurial community.

Welcome Nheim Cao!

Nhiem2We are excited to welcome Nhiem Cao, President and CEO of cycleWood Solutions as a mentor in our program!  Nhiem has over 10 years of experience in manufacturing, process engineering, and consulting.  He is the President & CEO of  cycleWood Solutions, a sustainable solution to conventional single-use plastic bags.

Nheim brings valuable startup and manufacturing experience to the mentor roster!  Follow him @NhiemCao

Sonny Garcia Joins As VentureSpur Mentor!

Sonny Garcia

We are excited to announce the addition of Sonny Garcia to our Mentor Roster!  Sonny is the Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at Zirtual. He has an impressive background in growing businesses and has lead his previous team at Research Now to become a market leader in the digital data collection space!  Sonny is active in the Dallas community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Great Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce!

You can learn more about Sonny Garcia on our mentor page!

Silicon Valley Bank Announced as a 2014 Presenting Sponsor!

logo-svb-blockWe are pleased to announce Silicon Valley Bank as a Presenting Sponsor to our 2014 program!

For over 30 years, SVB has been at the epicenter of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, supporting in their earliest days companies that grew to become industry leaders — Cisco, Intuit, Electronic Arts, and countless other game-changers. They partner with startups in technology, cleantech and life science centers around the world.  Silicon Valley Bank proudly offers SVB Accelerator; specialized solutions that combine comprehensive banking services with expertise, connections within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and guidance to help clients at every stage of growth.

SVB offers a host of comprehensive banking and entrepreneur services, find out more at  http://www.svb.com.

Please join us in thanking them for their continued support of the entrepreneurial community.

Meet our 2014 Accelerator Companies!

VentureSpur Announces 2014 Accelerator Participants

DALLAS, TEXAS (August 5, 2014) – VentureSpur, the seed fund and venture accelerator in Dallas, announced the 2014 participants today. The participants include startups from across the globe including New Jersey, China, Georgia, Mexico,  and Texas.

“With our refined focus on retail technology, we worked hard to find and recruit great teams with great ideas from around the country and beyond to join us in Dallas for VentureSpur 2014” said David Matthews, Managing Director of VentureSpur. “We are extremely pleased with the talented group of entrepreneurs participating in this year’s program.”

  5mslogo5 Million Shoppers helps Chinese tourists arrange shopping tours when they travel in the US. This is the very first mobile online-to-offline service that brings Chinese shoppers directly to US retailers.
5screens logo5 5 Screens Media is innovatively connecting businesses and consumers through Sponsored Data which leads to increased traffic, better  engagement, and greater sales within a rewarding consumer experience.
Brandfitters Logo SnipBrandfitters is a mobile app that connects consumers with brands when, how, and where they want–giving the consumer a voice and control of the relationship and engagement level.
Hostspot LogoHostspot provides insights that help brick and mortar businesses optimize the performance of their customer engagement to create a unique shopping experience by leveraging marketing, merchandising and analytics tools.  Hostspot does for the offline business what Google analytics does for the online world.
Jjma_logooinMe@ is a mobile app that empowers merchants to cheaply and easily market themselves.  Through JoinMe@, merchants can both preserve and virally grow their customer base using our proprietary digital word-of-mouth system.
JoopLoop LogoJoopLoop is mobile software that monetizes the value of a consumer’s social network in sales transactions at retail brick and mortar and allocates a value to each consumer via their Social Networth(tm) Index (SNI). Retailers can then target consumers based on their SNI with subsequent mobile campaigns.

 

 

TriNet Recognized as a 2014 Silver Sponsor!

trinet_logo_mediumWe are delighted to announce TriNet as a Silver Sponsor to our 2014 program!

TriNet provides HR outsourcing services, including payroll, health benefits and human capital management for small to medium-sized business owners. They specialize in industries such as technology, advertising & marketing, venture capital, and consulting services.  TriNet services help businesses contain HR costs, minimize employer-related risks, and reduce the administrative burden of HR, affording clients the ability to focus on developing their products, services and employees.

Please join us in thanking TriNet for their continued support of the entrepreneurial and startup communities.

More information about TriNet can be found on their website at www.trinet.com.

Lisbeth McNabb Joins Mentor Roster!

lisbeth mcnabbPlease join us in welcoming new mentor, Lisbeth McNabb!  Lisbeth has an extensive background in digital media, retail and ecommerce.  She has held executive positions with such companies as Match.com, PepsiCo, AT&T, American Airlines and Sodexo.  She currently serves as President of DigiWorks.

Lisbeth was recently named to the Financial Times Agenda List of Top 50 Digital Board Directors, and honored as one of North Texas’s Top Women in Technology.

Follow Lisbeth on twitter @lisbethmcnabb

Montgomery Coscia Greilich, LLP Announced as 2014 Presenting Sponsor!

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We are pleased to announce Montgomery Coscia Greilich, LLP as a Presenting Sponsor of our 2014 program!

Montgomery Coscia Greilich is a full-service, professional accounting firm with expertise in traditional accounting services as well as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and systems consulting.

Montgomery Coscia Greilich LLP began in 2003 and currently has over 240 professionals including sixteen partners. MCG is ranked as the 6th largest accounting firm in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex by the Dallas Business Journal. MCG is a member of the Alliott Group, a worldwide alliance of independent accounting, law, and consulting firms with more than 176 member firms in some 71 countries.

Please join us in thanking Montgomery Coscia Greilich for their continued support of the entrepreneurial community.

For more information on MCG, vist their website at http://www.mcggroup.com.