10X Tuesday: Businesses Building Ground in ColumbusBusiness Profiles — By Susan Post on October 29, 2013 at 8:00 am
The final installment of 10X Tuesday features four more businesses vying for a place in the Columbus market. From retail to news to trading, innovators are coming together through the accelerator to bring new ideas to Central Ohio.
Unparalleled access to mentors and advisers that are experts in their fields have helped each team grow. Teams already in their markets, like many featured this week, have used 10X as a valuable time to refine their business for future success.
Fly Apparel wants to keep young men in Columbus looking sharp. The online retailer produces men’s shirts aimed at the 25 to 35 crowd. Founder Daniel Espinosa sees the Fly Apparel man as someone who is social, likes to go out, and likes to dress and live well.
Fly Apparel shirts are already in production and manufactured in Huntington Beach, CA. While currently only available online, Espinosa is in talks with boutiques in Short North and California. Valuable customer feedback that men want to try on the shirts led Espinosa to check out brick-and-mortar stores.
Espinosa started Fly Apparel after working as a fashion buyer and thinking that he could design something better. He created a button-up shirt with unique details like contrasting inner-collar fabric, zippered cuffs and buttons made from natural materials.
With the inventory and sales already nailed down, Fly Apparel has used the accelerator to hone in on their brand and focus on one-on-one customer interaction.
For more information, visit wearflyapparel.com.
Watching the local news can be less than uplifting. But, media technology company ConnectToHome is highlighting the positive things that happen in our communities everyday. Will Zell founded the series of sites on the idea that there are a lot of great things happening that never make the news.
“It connects people to where they live, beginning with the news they read,” Zell says. ConnectToHome wants to hear the fun, inspiring stories of their neighbors. The company is currently running sites for community news in Logan and Union counties.
Zell grew up in Bellfontaine in Logan county and placed his roots in the community through a run at city council while still in high school, and eventually a seat on the chamber board.
As for his experience, “The accelerator has been phenomenal,” Zell says. Like any startup, he says the company has experienced ups and downs, but the value is in the network of people.
For more information, visit connecttohome.com.
A new online marketplace is finding that last garment on the sale rack a new home. Last Size helps boutique retailers sell their last size and last season merchandise. Boutiques upload the merchandise they wish to sell and will ship the items directly to consumers. Consumers register then search by size to find special items.
Founder Patrick Hicks started the site after research showed a lack of something similar in the market. Other options for one-off and last-season items didn’t match the niche-market vibe of boutique retailers.
The site will launch soon with eight local beta retailers. Hicks is targeting boutiques around the country with over 50 he has his eye on. Last Size will work with as many boutiques as possible.
Being in the accelerator has given Last Size access to a vast network of mentors and investors. Funding has helped them to test, validate and grow the concept.
For more information, visit last-size.com.
At-home traders have a fighting chance with StockLeap. Institutional investors incorporate information from a wide range of sources to create automated trading algorithms, giving them advantage over someone trying to analyze everything themselves. StockLeap provides an algorithm that helps at-home traders make more informed and faster decisions. The algorithm understand breaking news articles and what they mean for stock prices.
Founder Chris Castro is a seasoned entrepreneur. His big family and five kids proved to be his inspiration for the entrepreneurial life. He realized he couldn’t provide for them on just a nine-to-five schedule. Through his ventures, he also hopes to teach his son about creativity, innovation and bold thinkers.
Castro’s latest venture of Stock Leap sprouted from his day-trading experience. He noticed the gap between the informational access of a at-home trader and a big company. So, he decided to find a way to, “to give the little guy a chance.”
The accelerator has been educational for Castro, but he values the hands-on experience it has provided. The program has been more application-based, giving the teams a chance to apply what they are learning right away.
For more information, visit stockleap.com.
Interested in hearing more about the 10X teams? 10X will host Demo Day on Friday, November 15th at The Ohio Union US Bank Conference Theater. Each team will give a 10-minute presentation about their company and experience in the accelerator to a group of investors, mentors and community leaders.
Guests will also hear a keynote speech from seasoned entrepreneur and investor Paul Singh. Singh is Founder of Dashboard.io, Partner at 500 Startups and currently serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and DHS/USCIS. Through his work he has been a part of over 525 investments in 35 countries. Before is current list of accomplishments, he also founded several other startups.
The public is welcome to attend, but space is limited. For more information, contact Alex Purtell, Program Coordinator 10X Accelerator, Alex@foundersfactory.com.
Susan is a Staff Writer for TheMetropreneur.com. She has completed several assignments as a Freelance Writer & Editor for clients throughout Central Ohio and loves all the random, fun facts she has learned from them along the way. She holds a degree in Communication with a minor in Professional Writing from The Ohio State University. Susan lives in Victorian Village and loves to run, write, drink coffee and explore all of the great restaurants and bars throughout Columbus.
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