SAN MATEO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/03/11 -- North Bridge Venture Partners, a seed and early stage venture capital firm with offices in San Mateo, CA and Boston, MA, today announced the winner of a new seed capital competition held in conjunction with Stanford University and the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES). mOasis, a Palo-Alto-based start-up focused on eliminating food and water shortage through new water retention and conservation technologies, was selected from a group of five finalists based on the quality of its founding team, its potential for industry disruption, and its large addressable market size. The company is developing a new solution that harnesses water in soil so that plants can grow more efficiently and the land can maintain its ability to sustain plant life.
'We do a lot of seed investing, but this is our first experience collaborating officially with Stanford and its entrepreneurial community,' said Cali Tran, principal at North Bridge Venture Partners' San Mateo office. 'The quality, range and depth of the teams and their submissions were outstanding. Many, like mOasis, are tackling big issues in our society and economy. We look forward to expanding the reach of the program next year to provide a bigger stage for more of the groundbreaking business and technology ideas being developed here.'
As the winner, mOasis will receive $50,000 in seed capital, $25,000 of in-kind development support, six months of incubation space at North Bridge's San Mateo, CA, office and access to, and mentorship from Partners of the North Bridge investment team.
'We're focused on a huge problem; one that impacts just about every person on the planet,' said Yohei Iwasaki, CEO and founder of mOasis and a Stanford MBA/MS in Earth Sciences. 'Our technology has the potential to eliminate critical shortages in food and water so that people in any part of the world can live with them in abundance. Our collaboration with North Bridge will certainly enhance our ability to make that vision a reality.'
The finalist presentations were made at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to a panel of judges and the Stanford community. The judges were Tran; Basil Horangic, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners; Glenn Luinenburg, from Palo Alto-based law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati (WSGR); and Jason Lin, a student and the Co-President of the Venture Capital Club at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford.
The four other finalists in the competition were:
- Cloud Checkout - a web-based point-of-sale solution for small retail businesses.
- KnowPlace - an online marketplace that enables people to learn and interact person-to-person in real-time, from any environment via web conferencing and tele-presence technology.
- LateralSports - the only website that shows users when, where and how to follow their favorite professional and collegiate teams' athletic events on TV, streaming online, or via live stats.
- Naviscore - a novel, algorithmic health-risk and health-status assessment tool, enabling more accurate decision-making by individuals, employers, insurers and care managers.
'Picking a winner from this group of finalists was very tough,' commented Glenn Luinenburg from WSGR. 'Each of the finalists had an impressive business plan that leveraged new technology to create a real market opportunity This was a great venue for surfacing some really promising new business ideas. At the same time, participants learned about the entrepreneurial process and the teamwork required to develop their ideas into a new business venture.'
Seed capital has been a focus for North Bridge since its inception. Over 60% of the companies funded were initially at the seed stage. It was also among the first investors in industry leaders such as Starent Networks ($3 billion Cisco acquisition), A123 (NASDAQ), PhaseForward ($685 million Oracle acquisition), Tapjoy, Foro Energy and Acquia.
About North Bridge Venture Partners
North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, bi-coastal, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California. Established in 1994, North Bridge provides seed-to-growth financing and company-building expertise. Together with North Bridge Growth Equity, our mid-market focused growth capital fund, North Bridge manages over $3 billion. For North Bridge Venture Partners, success is derived through a partnership with entrepreneurs that produce industry-leading companies in large emerging markets. Historically, the firm's partners have played a significant role in organizing, starting and building successful companies. Working in concert with entrepreneurs, North Bridge adds value by providing strategic guidance, sharing operating experience, industry specific knowledge, team-building skills and an in-depth understanding of both private and public financings. North Bridge's sector focus includes Software, Communications & Infrastructure, Healthcare Technology, Digital Media, and Materials. For more information about North Bridge, go to www.northbridge.com.
ASES is an international network of today's student innovators and tomorrow's business leaders. From its inception in 1998 as a Stanford student group focused on introducing members to the myriad entrepreneurial opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, ASES has grown into a global organization with 500+ members in 15 university chapters in 10 countries, all committed to the goal of building a global entrepreneurship community through educational outreach, community partnerships, and international summits. For more information, visit http://ases.stanford.edu
for North Bridge Venture Partners