Austin startup brings its goods to Target
ABJ reporter Sahar Chmais writes that Wonderbelly, an Austin-based antacid company, said this week it has landed on the shelves of select Target Corp. stores and on its website. The deal puts Wonderbelly in more than 650 of the retail giant's locations. Even a limited rollout with Minneapolis-based Target can be a major stepping stone for a consumer packaged goods company.
The company, which operates legally as Ginger Health Co., makes chewable antacids with the same active ingredient as others on the market, calcium carbonate. Lucas Kraft and brother Noah Kraft founded Wonderbelly in September 2021. They raised a $3.4M seed round in July 2022. Lucas Kraft said that when closing its deal with Target, the company raised additional capital in the form of a simple agreement for future equity, which is financing that converts to equity at a later date based on certain milestones being met. The money will be used for inventory.
New CEO at BrainCheck
Austin-based cognitive assessment and care management platform BrainCheck said today it has appointed Kim Rodriguez as CEO. She was most recently a venture partner at S3 Ventures, which has invested in BrainCheck. Prior to that, she was co-founder and CEO of Acessa Health and CEO of Halt Medical.
"Due to our country's aging population, Alzheimer's and other dementias are one of the largest blind spots in our healthcare system," Rodriguez stated. "With the power of BrainCheck's digital platform, we will greatly expand patient access to early detection, longitudinal tracking, and personalized care."
BrainCheck, founded in 2015 by neuroscientists and technologists Drs. Yael Katz and David Eagleman, has raised about $21M from backers including S3 and fellow Austin-based firms Next Coast Ventures and True Wealth Ventures.
Uncertainty remains as SVB transitions
Triangle Inno reporter Lauren Ohnesorge writes: If you had asked Matthew Iommi a few weeks ago, he would have said, “First Citizens who?”
Iommi, the Austin-based co-founder and CEO of Fetii, an on-demand rideshare app, still doesn’t know much about the Raleigh, North Carolina-based bank that just acquired the assets of his longtime partner, Silicon Valley Bank. As of late March 27, he had received zero communication from the new parent company, he said.
We spoke with several founders, many of whom declined to be quoted. Multiple entrepreneurs said that until recently they had never heard of First Citizens Bank. Others said they're still shocked from the $42B bank run that pushed SVB into the hands of regulators less than three weeks ago and are unlikely to return, regardless of who the new parent company is. Keep reading for more insights.
Cast a vote, come hang out
Have you made your picks in the most recent round of the Austin Inno Madness bracket challenge? Vote for your favorite companies in Round 4. Then, join us on Thursday for an Inno Madness edition Beers with the Beat happy hour with this year's sponsor, Morrison Foerster. Register here.
Austin founder and startup leader's work in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Inno's Dana Forsythe has a new story about a startup leader who helped build Austin's ecosystem.
Dana writes that until fairly recently, entrepreneur David Altounian's life centered around Austin. Aside from the area's incredible barbecue, live music venues and art scene, Altounian said the city's rapidly growing startup and tech culture was a big reason he stayed for so long. Now, Altounian is shifting his focus to what he sees as a new hotbed of startup and tech opportunity; Rhode Island.
Altounian founded Motion Computing in Austin in 2001 — almost a decade before Apple released the iPad — and has served on the boards of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Technology Council and as co-chair of the Opportunity Austin Capital Committee.
Last week, RIHub, the state's network connector and incubator for entrepreneurs and startups in Rhode Island, appointed Altounian to its board of directors. Read the Q&A with Altounian.