South Bend Company Secures Funding

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A South Bend-based software company has secured more than $1.3 million in financing. The funding for Vennli comes from several investment groups, including Elevate Ventures.

March 4, 2014

News Release

South Bend, Ind. -- Vennli, a privately held, Indiana-based software company and recognized thought leader focused on driving organizations to create, plan, and execute growth strategies, announced today it has secured over $1.3 million in financing.

The company has built a software program that centers on building strategic and tactical plans for growth in specific markets using customer and competitor choice analysis. Joe Urbany, a University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Professor, created the original intellectual property upon which the Vennli software is based. Joe has been published in the Harvard Business Review, has a book on Amazon, "Grow by Focusing on What Matters" (co-authored with Jim Davis, formerly at Notre Dame), and has 6+ years of classroom experience teaching his 3Circle Model to Notre Dame MBAs. The classroom experience has proven to be the laboratory for validating the business model.

"I am pleased with our successful raise in capital." said Gary Gigot, Co-founder & CEO of Vennli. Gigot added “By providing a real time pulse on a company’s market and the needs of its customers, our software can help better serve any company that looks to grow. The amount raised is a testament to our team and this product.”

In February of 2013, co-founders Joe Urbany and Gary Gigot, a Notre Dame Alumus and benefactor of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship, launched the company. Operating out of Innovation Park at Notre Dame with 12 full time employees, the company expects to release its beta version of the software on May 1st of this year targeting 75 companies with 2-3 users per company. As part of its initial promotion, the beta version will be free to all users.

The company has as its goal for the software to become a weekly use tool for marketing and sales executives around the country. "We consider this software the QuickBooks of sales and marketing. The intuitive and highly visual interface uses your customers’ voice to focus brainstorming. The result is an actionable and prioritized strategy aimed at driving continuous growth." said Pooya Ghiaseddin, VP of Marketing & Product Management.

The financing was provided by several investment groups including Elevate Ventures, 1st Source Bank, and Jim Larkin of Magnet Investors. Elevate Ventures' investment was made through the Indiana Angel Network Fund, a seed and early-stage co-investment program under the U.S. Department of Treasury's State Small Business Credit Initiative in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

"Vennli is yet another high potential startup company that has chosen South Bend, Indiana as its place to call home." said Larkin. Larkin added, "Indiana is quickly becoming a breeding ground for startup companies like Vennli and it is critical that groups like Magnet and Elevate Ventures continue to foster this growth and support entrepreneurs like Gary."

Gigot agreed "There’s a buzz around this area. South Bend is not Silicon Valley, but it doesn’t mean we can't create a Silicon Valley style company. This state, and this area, has quickly developed a reputation for its entrepreneur friendliness…and of course, you just can't beat the intellectual property that comes out of Notre Dame. Our team is comprised of some of the best; educated right here in South Bend."

More information on the beta trial can be found at www.vennli.com

About Elevate Ventures

Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long-term. As a not-for-profit organization, Elevate Ventures is able to offer unbiased, in-depth perspective and recommendations. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, its team and its funds under management, visit www.elevateventures.com.

About Vennli

Vennli is a private, Indiana based company providing SaaS. The software is targeted to be the platform for creating and executing growth strategy for businesses of all sizes by integrating competitive, customer, and company analysis to determine the critical choice factors in driving growth. Vennli was co-founded by Joe Urbany and Gary Gigot in 2013. To learn more about Vennli, visit www.vennli.com.

Source: Elevate Ventures