The Big Reveal: Rev1 Ventures Presents 11 Startups at First-Ever Demo Day

Columbus is the fastest-growing city in the country for Startup Activity, according to this year’s Kauffman Index. And, Rev1 Ventures, the venture development organization that combines investment capital and strategic services, is one of the most active seed funds in the Midwest. In fact, Rev1 is on pace to increase investments by 39 percent this year compared to last year. At its first-ever Demo Day, Rev1 showcased 11 impressive startups that powered through its unique program to achieve a product the market wants and needs, first revenue and first customers.

“What if tech entrepreneurs had an express lane for getting their companies off the ground?” said Tom Walker, president and CEO of Rev1 Ventures. “Rev1 is taking a unique approach to helping early-stage companies by pairing the services and funding they need to achieve critical first milestones so that, by the time they are revealed to investors, they’re already in early-growth mode.”

Rev1’s innovative program helps entrepreneurs prove their product, their market and their business model in as little as four months.

“Rev1 delivers an incredible community for startups to learn and grow, and the practical tools to make it happen,” said Bruce Caldwell, CEO of 3Bar Biologics. “We leveraged Rev1 to accelerate the development of our product, and as a result, were able to get it in our customers hands very quickly.”

“We benefitted tremendously from the impressive network of advisors Rev1 has pulled together” said Mark Byrne, CEO of ProteoSense. “We made connections to experts who supplemented our knowledge and introduced us to key opinion leaders in the market.”

With proven growth and customers, the companies at this year’s Rev1 Demo Day are truly ready for prime time and have excelled beyond traditional accelerators. These startups are imparting their best piece of advice to fellow entrepreneurs:

1.    3Bar Biologics: Increasing the productivity of agriculture while decreasing dependence on synthetic fertilizer and pesticides. According to CEO Bruce Caldwell, imagine the ideal customer and find prospects that match. Relate the features of your solution to the benefits that your customer will receive from it.

2.    Ardina: Healthcare benefits you can actually afford to use. According to CEO Shaun Young, commitment to your company is critical, yet it is important that you are not wed to a single idea so that your customers can help dictate the direction of the product.

3.    Clarivoy: Connecting TV advertising to online and offline sales. According to CEO Steve White, entrepreneurs should seek a business partner who not only shares the same passion, but who brings a very different set of skills to the table to round out your expertise.

4.    GenomeNext: Providing fast and affordable genome analysis. According to CEO James Hirmas, entrepreneurs should be laser-focused. Instead of trying to tackle every single problem your customer’s face, focus on tackling the problem you know you can solve.

5.    MentorcliQ: Making it easy for everyone to have a great mentor. According to CEO Phil George, leverage the right resources, like Rev1, that help you look at your idea early-on and validate it in the marketplace, so you can get traction early-on, perhaps even before you leave your day job.

6.    Nexosis: Harness the power of data to accurately forecast demand. According to CEO Ryan Sevey, starting a business is infinitely harder than you ever imagined and you need to be prepared for all the ups and downs and all the curve balls that are going to come at you.

7.    ProteoSense: Solution that identifies foodborne pathogens quickly. According to CEO Mark Byrne, seek out the network of entrepreneurs in your area who know how to get things done. Surround yourself with smart people; you can’t do it all by yourself.

8.    Seamless Contacts: Automates prospecting, list building, and appointment setting to increase your sales by 10x in one year or less. According to CEO Brandon Bornancin, assume 100 percent responsibility – your success is on you and so is your failure. Don’t blame other people, figure out what you need to do to move the business forward, get it done and keep pushing.

9.    Simple-Fill: Changing the way America fuels its vehicles. According to CEO Rob Underhill, entrepreneurs should look to build strategic partnerships with entities that can benefit from their company’s success. That takes courage. Put yourself out there and take a risk that someone will say they’re not interested. They might also say yes.

10.    TicketFire: Enables consumers to easily transfer and use event tickets. According to COO Dillon Myers, once your product is in the marketplace, think of other reasons for customers to use it. For example, our new feature allows users to digitize and sell their tickets, and donate the proceeds to charity.

11.    trueDOK: Eliminating the surprise healthcare bill. According to co-founder Joe Anstine, Don’t be afraid to pivot. We are on the twentieth version of our prototype. Every time we created or changed something, we take it to our customers to validate that the experience is right as well as to ensure that it’s a feature they care about and ultimately would buy.

For more information on Rev1 Ventures and Demo Day, visit:

About Rev1 Ventures
Rev1 is a seed-stage venture development organization that combines investment capital and strategic services to help entrepreneurs build products people want and companies that succeed. Our seasoned, data-driven team delivers early market validation for startups, helping them lay the foundation for scalable growth with the skills to evolve their product, sell to customers and build the right team. Rev1 manages a continuum of investment support from corporate, community and innovation partners, as well as the Ohio Third Frontier. For more information, visit