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Nebraska Angels invest $450,000 in Austin, Texas-based VolunteerSpot

The Nebraska Angels announced today that several of the group’s members are investing a total of $450,000 into the Austin, Texas-based company VolunteerSpot, which makes an online scheduling and sign-up tool for recruiting and coordinating volunteers.

Nebraska Angels vice president Steve Clinch said 14 of the Nebraska Angels, including himself, invested in VolunteerSpot at amounts of $25,000 or more. Others who participated include Nebraska Angels President Bart Dillashaw, Jay Wilkinson, Lou Halperin and Robert Slezak.*

The funding, which totaled to $1.5 million, was led by ff Venture Capital of New York, with help from several other members of Angel networks, including the Central Texas Angel Network, the Baylor Angel Network and AngelList. Jay Wilkinson said the Nebraska Angels contributed the largest portion of funding out of the other participating angel groups.

Clinch (left) said he always invests in deals based on the jockey and the horse – the jockey being the person founding the company, and the horse being the product.

He said when he met VolunteerSpot founder Karen Bantuveris after picking her up from the airport, he immediately liked her “go-getter” spirit. And Bantuveris’ business idea, which launched in 2009, was promising as well.

“We like to look at scalability. Does it have that?” Clinch said. “VolunteerSpot, from my investment standpoint — and I think I speak for a lot of other angel investors — does.”

Clinch said Dillashaw, who is originally from Texas, found out about VolunteerSpot through networking and brought it to the Nebraska Angels’ screening committee, which decides what deals will be presented at the monthly Angels meeting.

“She had traction,” Clinch said. “By that I mean she had an up and coming business. It had revenue. It had proof of concept.”

Several other Nebraska Angels involved in the deal shared their thoughts on it with Silicon Prairie News.

Bart Dillashaw, VolunteerSpot investor & President of Nebraska Angels:

“The Nebraska Angels are excited about the investment in VolunteerSpot. VolunteerSpot provides a fantastic service to an attractive demographic, and we were incredibly encouraged by the strong loyalty and support of their users.”

Jay Wilkinson, VolunteerSpot investor & Nebraska Angel board member:

“My company, Firespring, works with thousands of nonprofits across the U.S. and we’re always evaluating tools in the sector. It took about 5 seconds after evaluating VolunteerSpot to see that it’s a homerun for anyone who needs to organize volunteers.“

Lou Halperin, VolunteerSpot investor & Nebraska Angels board member:

“The VolunteerSpot is an exciting investment opportunity for a number of reasons. First, it is targeted towards a key group of consumers, parents who have busy schedules, want to support charitable or volunteer activities, and who have disposable income. Second, there is a great management team in place. Karen and her peers are experienced and passionate. There is also an experienced and credible board and group of advisors. Finally, the solution is well thought out, easy to use and solves a problem. It is significantly better than other solutions in the market.”

Robert Slezak, VolunteerSpot investor & Nebraska Angel Co-Deal Lead:

“The Nebraska Angels love to find innovative new companies with passionate leadership addressing large underserved markets. In that respect VolunteerSpot is in our sweet spot.”


Credits: Photo of Steve Clinch from linkedin.com.

*Update June 29, 11:35 a.m. – The story was updated to include the names of several Nebraska Angels involved in the deal and those Angels’ thoughts on the investment.

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