Welcome Kanarys to our portfolio

StartFast Ventures is thrilled to invest in Kanarys, the premier SaaS solution for companies who are serious about getting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion results. Their SaaS platform uses data and analytics to help companies identify and address areas of bias, discrimination, and inequality in their workforce. As the world becomes more aware of the importance of DEI in the workplace, Kanarys is a leader, well-positioned to make a significant impact in this space.

The events of the past few years have brought issues of systemic racism and inequality to the forefront, and many companies are actively seeking ways to address these issues within their organizations. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that companies with more diverse workforces tend to perform better financially, which provides a strong incentive for companies to prioritize DEI.

Kanarys is well-positioned to tackle this by providing a data-driven solution that can help companies improve their DEI efforts. The platform is easy to use, affordable, and scalable, making it accessible to companies of all sizes. 

CEO Mandy Price and her team have built something truly compelling and StartFast is proud to be a part of helping the company reach the next level.

Check out more here about Kanarys' Series A round.

2022 Reflections

As we approach the end of 2022, all of us at StartFast Ventures want to wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and a new year filled with promise and opportunity.

2022 has been a challenging year for many sectors of the economy, not the least of which for public technology stocks. If history is to be a teacher, it is during uncertain economic times that some of the most world changing companies tend to be built. To wit: Uber, AirBnb, Slack, WhatsApp all were founded in the '08/'09 recession.

The very budgetary decisions public technology companies must make during these times: freezing hiring, making layoffs, and slashing R&D budgets all come to the benefit of startups. It is during these uncertain economic times startups find easier access to labor markets and industries underinvesting in innovation. With the majority of StartFast Fund II yet to be deployed we are excited to invest a new wave of world changing businesses that will be forged in this environment.

Stay strong, healthy, and join all of us at StartFast in looking ahead to a 2023 filled with optimism.

-Michael Quigley, Managing Partner

Business Legacy Podcast interview with Chuck Stormon

Business Legacy Podcast sat down with Chuck Stormon and discussed how Chuck got started in the industry and the decisions that led him to look for businesses outside major VC hubs.

Welcome Hitch to our Portfolio

We are excited to welcome Mexico City based Hitch to our portfolio. Hitch provides an integrated suite of hiring solutions for small to midsize businesses throughout Mexico, Latin America, and South America. 

While the pandemic transformed how companies are recruiting and retaining talent, and now more than ever finding better ways to evaluate candidates has proven to be a mission critical challenge for employers. Hitch is solving this very specific problem, helping SMBs hire and analyze candidates in LatAm, with massive demand. The opportunity is unique because there is no clear leader in this wide open geographic market.

As a further testament to the power of the StartFast network, this round was led by Evergreen Mountain Equity Partners (EMEP) in Colorado. EMEP founding partner Greg Moran's Saratoga, NY based startup Chequed received its first institutional funding from StartFast's precursor Seed Capital Fund of CNY in 2009. 

Hitch is led by smart, aggressive sales focused founders. We look forward to working with Gabby, Daniel, and the EMEP team to reshape the employer-candidate relationship!

You can read the press release here

The Founder's Journey Podcast featuring Chuck Stormon

Chuck Stormon chats with Peter Dean and Greg Moran on The Founder’s Journey about how great entrepreneurs are everywhere, how remote work is changing the way companies and investors operate, and how this drives StartFast Fund II’s unique thesis.

Reverse Engineering Market Strategy with Mike Quigley

Michael Quigley talks about reverse engineering market strategy and how to know when the time is right for a name change on MARL Startup Studio’s podcast Think Build Launch.

Interview on Investor Connect with Nasir Ali

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Nasir Ali, Managing Partner at StartFast Ventures.

Nasir has been building a high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem across Upstate New York for the past 18 years and investing as an early-stage VC since 2007. Nasir launched The Syracuse Technology Garden incubator in 2004, followed in 2007 by the Seed Capital Fund of CNY, Upstate NY’s first angel investor fund. In 2010, Nasir joined with TriNet founder Martin Babinec to form Upstate Venture Connect, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that has helped organize six angel funds in Upstate New York; built an online communications platform that reaches more than 15,000 startup community members; created the UNY50 Entrepreneur Leadership group; and established the Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards.

Nasir also co-founded and is the Managing Director of StartFast Fund I, Upstate NY’s only private capital-backed startup accelerator program. Nasir’s 60 portfolio companies have raised over $300MM. He is a board member and highly sought out advisor to numerous entities including the NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund, Next Gen Venture Partners, Fitzgate Ventures, and multiple portfolio companies. Nasir received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Princeton University. He also holds an MBA from Yale University and resides in Rochester, NY.

Nasir discusses the state of startup investing and his investment thesis. He advises investors and entrepreneurs and shares some of the challenges they face.

Patient Pattern is solving the Health Care Conundrum

My introduction to the US Health Care System was in the summer of 1990 when I helped one of my Yale professors on a project comparing health care policies in the US, Canada, and other developed countries. The facts then and now remain the same. The United States spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world ($4.3 Trillion in 2021) and we rank dead last in outcomes relative to other developed economies.

The US government alone is spending $1.6 Trillion a year on Medicare and Medicaid and the challenge of improving health outcomes and managing costs seems as intractable as ever. So when I learned that a startup in Rochester, NY had a solution that aligned the care and cost goals of treating elderly patients, I was skeptical, but agreed to meet them out of sheer curiosity. Today, I am proud to announce StartFast’s investment in Patient Pattern's seed round.

Patient Pattern CEO Steve Buslovich is a highly regarded geriatric specialist whose experience in nursing homes gave him first-hand experience of the fragmented information systems that made care planning difficult and the regulatory requirements that too often drove billing and coding priorities. Steve’s initial insight was the development of a unique Frailty Index that enabled care providers like him to get a true picture of the current status and future care needs of patients. The company’s flagship product Care Coach took more time to develop given the need to access patient data from multiple siloed systems (that existed within the same health plan).

Today, Care Coach is rapidly gaining traction among high value Medicare Advantage plans (Integrated Special Needs Plans and PACE programs) that are catering to the sickest and most vulnerable elderly population. Care providers like it because this one system gives them instant access to the condition of individual plan members (Medicare patients) so that decisions around care can be made efficiently. Plan administrators are excited because Care Coach offers an integrated solution that directly links what the providers are seeing/doing to an auditable submission of quality metrics and Medicare billings. The bottom line is obvious: Less work and better patient care on the provider side; greater transparency and better reimbursement results for the plans.

Patient Pattern is transforming the quality vs cost landscape for US healthcare and StartFast is delighted to join Steve and his high performing leadership team on this journey! 

Determining Go To Market Strategy and Product-Market Fit with Chuck Stormon

Determining Go To Market Strategy and Product-Market Fit — Managing Partner Chuck Stormon shares his advice to founders on Mindset Startup Academy’s Investor Interview Series.

Investing with an operator mindset with Mike Quigley

Investing with an operator mindset -- Managing Partner Mike Quigley shares his experience on the latest Confluence.VC podcast episode.