Summerville, S.C.—SCRA announces SC Launch, Inc. investments in two South Carolina early-stage companies — a $200,000 investment in BandwagonFanClub, Inc. and a $300,000 investment in tForm, Inc. Greenville-based, Bandwagon joined SCRA’s entrepreneurial program, SC Launch, in April 2016; tForm, based in Williamston, became a SC Launch Client Company in February 2018. Both Bandwagon and tForm are graduates of the inaugural cohort of the Founder Institute, an early-stage incubator headquartered in Silicon Valley, in Fall 2015.
Bandwagon is a sports and live event analytics company that aggregates fan identity data for teams and event organizers. Their proprietary platform utilizes a permission-only blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric, to allow stakeholders to collaborate in a distributed ledger to create round profiles of fans to elevate their game day experience, increase revenues and curb ticket fraud.
“For years, the live event industry has thrived on exclusive agreements with ticketing companies that have created challenges with visibility of which fans are in the venue on the day of the event,” said Founder and CEO Harold Hughes. “We use our proprietary technology, powered by blockchain, to gain audience insights – regardless of where fans buy their tickets. Bandwagon has set out to provide trust and transparency to the more than $30B ticketing industry. Our goal is to help live event organizers leverage actionable data to create personalized once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their fans and attendees and that all starts with identity and curation.”
Said Hughes about the process of becoming an SC Launch Client Company and now becoming a portfolio company. “I have so much respect for it. When we started this company years ago, we talked to just about everyone in the State of South Carolina – from angels to institutions – and it was SC Launch that first believed in us when they gave us a grant to prove out our hypothesis. Since then, we’ve been able to grow the team, hiring technical talent in the Upstate while delivering our solution both domestically and abroad. I have to thank Mark Housley, Lee MacIlwinen and the entire group that has supported us. We’re excited to have SC Launch, Inc., join us on this journey and look forward to 2020 where this investment will help us expand into professional sports leagues and further commercialize our product to allow for ease of onboarding.”
“Harold is an exceptional entrepreneur and a real pleasure to work with,” said Lee MacIlwinen, Investment Manager for SCRA. “He has done a remarkable job building and guiding Bandwagon through the challenging stages of growing a technology startup, and we look forward to working alongside Harold and his team to grow his company in South Carolina!”
tForm is an advanced manufacturing company created to address a need in the market for custom engineered packaging solutions for manufacturers of consumer, medical and industrial goods, a $20B market segment in the US. By combining software technology with vertical integration, tForm is able to significantly reduce the time-to-market for these products. “My background is in engineering design and manufacturing, and through that experience, I really saw a problem in industry where other manufacturing companies were struggling to get custom packaging made,” said Benjamin Moore, CEO. “We provide packaging solutions by automating the process and using sustainable core materials.”
“SCLaunch is proud to make this investment in tForm,” said Steve Johnson, SC Launch’s Upstate Investment Manager. “They are at the perfect intersection with an excellent innovative line of products in a market that has matured to the point that it is seeking out the very products tForm has developed. The days of non-degradable packaging materials like bubble wrap and Styrofoam® are truly limited. tForm developed a fabulous alternative, Bubble Paper™, offering environmentally-friendly innovations that also meet the high-quality packaging performance standards.”
“SCRA is a state-chartered organization that fuels job creation and grows South Carolina’s innovation economy,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA’s Executive Director. SCRA provides early-stage technology companies mentoring and grants through a variety of programs, and companies may be eligible for an investment from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc. “Bandwagon and tForm are wonderful examples of why South Carolina is a draw for new business formation, investment and growth,” said Jill Sorensen, SC Launch, Inc. Executive Director. The SC Launch program is open to qualified South Carolina companies in the Advanced Materials/Manufacturing, Information Technology and Life Sciences sectors.
Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, non-profit corporation, SCRA fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in research, academia, entrepreneurship and industry.
About SC Launch, Inc.
Established in 2006, SC Launch, Inc., is an independent, non-profit corporation affiliated with SCRA, which provides loans and investments to selected South Carolina-based companies participating in the SC Launch program.
Communications Manager (interim), SCRA
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