Economic Development, Small Business & Startups, and Technology

Start Garden invests $50,000 in four new ideas

December 5, 2012
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Start Garden invests $50,000 in four new ideas
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The Start Garden team has been busy, funding a total of $50,000 between their monthly Update Night and two new weekly ideas.

Two ideas, Sitting in a Tree and Petsplore, reached the $20,000 funding level during Update Night last week. One idea, Strong Man Coffee, a coffee-packaging company for mainstream customers, received a “not now.” The others will no longer be considered for additional funding.

Sitting in a Tree, created by Laura Vaughn, is a wedding-planning website that allows users to harmonize beautiful and simple custom designed wedding coordination.

Although there are hundreds of wedding websites, Sitting in a Tree kept its idea fresh by listening to user voices about how to keep the process of getting married simple, said Julie Jamieson, Sitting in a Tree co-founder and web designer.

“We talked to couples getting married and asked what are the problems they’re having,” she said, “And that’s something we want to keep doing is mapping out the full-time wedding process.”

Petsplore, created by Darren Stover, provides starter kits for owners of new pets. The idea originally started out as asearch engine designed to help pet owners find the most relevant content for their animals, said Paul Moore, Start Garden marketing director.

“(Stover) adopted a dog, and it came home pretty sick from the adoption agency. So he was first going to share information, but what he actually found through this great channel of moving around looking for opportunity was a way to provide pet supplies in a kind of birch-box situation where the pet supplies come in a box,” Moore said. “When you adopt the pet, you get the box. There’s a retail value to the box, and he’s selling these in a few pet shelters.”

Start Garden also announced two more $5,000 initial investments last week.

The idea selected by the Start Garden team was Klynt Marcusse’s Marcuski, a newly designed wakeboard allowing for slaloming.

“The Marcuski is different from a wakeboard in that it is longer and narrower,” he wrote on his Start Garden page. “Also, the curve along the bottom is concave whereas wakeboards are convex. Currently, slalom skis only allow the feet of the rider to be placed one in front of the other, whereas the Marcuski allows for a sideways stance.”

Public endorsement selected John Grace’s idea of Cunable, a platform that allows users to share and transfer digital content like apps, music and ebooks in an easier fashion.

“We have a patentable tech/legal ‘hack’ that will allow consumers to legally move their existing apps, music, ebooks from one device to another,” Grace wrote on his Start Garden Page. “For example, moving apps from iPhone to Android or ebooks from Kindle to Nook. We want to build a platform that lets anyone anywhere sell any digital content.”

Start Garden’s next Update Night is Dec. 20. 

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