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Two portfolio companies of the Founder Institute Greenville chapter, Bandwagon Fan Club and tForm Packaging Solutions, have both recently received investments of $200k & $300k, respectively, from SCRA (South Carolina Research Authority)’s ‘SC Launch’ program. 

On December 18th, Bandwagon Founder & CEO Harold Hughes alongside tForm Founder & CEO Benjamin Moore joined SCRA in Summerville for a celebratory big check ceremony. Both companies are graduates of FI Greenville’s 2015 program, and both also joined SCRA’s startup ‘Launch’ program in April of 2016.

Bandwagon increases game-day revenues for event organizers and venue operators, by using analytics to help them to better understand their fans, in order to increase attendance or grow revenues through offering more personalized experiences. According to the SCRA press release, Bandwagon’s proprietary platform utilizes a permission-only blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric, to allow stakeholders to collaborate in a distributed ledger to create round profiles of fans. CEO Hughes adds, 

For years, the live event industry has thrived on exclusive agreements with ticketing companies that have created challenges with visibility of which fans are in the venue on the day of the event. We use our proprietary technology, powered by blockchain, to gain audience insights – regardless of where fans buy their tickets. Bandwagon has set out to provide trust and transparency to the more than $30B ticketing industry. Our goal is to help live event organizers leverage actionable data to create personalized once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their fans and attendees and that all starts with identity and curation. 

SCRA Investment Manager Lee MacIlwinen highlighted Hughes’ perseverance as an early-stage technology founder, saying,

Harold is an exceptional entrepreneur and a real pleasure to work with—he has done a remarkable job building and guiding Bandwagon through the challenging stages of growing a technology startup, and we look forward to working alongside Harold and his team to grow his company in South Carolina!

In 2018, Bandwagon also participated in the Capital Factory seed accelerator in Austin, Texas. After completing the program, the company chose to remain there and open its second main office in Austin. 

tForm Inc. is disrupting the time-to-market for custom thermoformed plastic packaging solutions with a mix of modern technology and vertical integration, reducing cost and lead-time in the custom packaging industry. CEO Moore explains his business simply, saying, 

We provide packaging solutions by automating the process and using sustainable core materials.

SC Launch’s Upstate Investment Manager Steve Johnson piled praises on the tForm as well, saying,

tForm are at the perfect intersection with an excellent innovative line of products in a market that has matured to the point that it is seeking out the very products tForm has developed.  The days of non-degradable packaging materials like bubble wrap and Styrofoam® are truly limited.  tForm developed a fabulous alternative, Bubble Paper™, offering environmentally-friendly innovations that also meet the high-quality packaging performance standards. 

About SCRA
Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, non-profit corporation, SCRA fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in research, academia, entrepreneurship and industry.

About SC Launch, Inc.
Established in 2006, SC Launch, Inc., is an independent, non-profit corporation affiliated with SCRA, which provides loans and investments to selected South Carolina-based companies participating in the SC Launch program.

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Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $900M in funding, and building products people love across over 185 cities worldwide.

See the most recent news from our Grads at FI.co/news, or learn more about their stories at FI.co/journey


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