SOURCE: Vermont Investors Forum

Vermont Investors Forum

November 15, 2012 13:13 ET

Notabli, Pika Energy and Vtrim Take Top Honors at 20th Annual Vermont Investors Forum

Diverse Group of Early-Stage Growth Companies Have Audience With Northern New England Angel & Institutional Investors

BURLINGTON, VT--(Marketwire - Nov 15, 2012) -  A new online service that chronicles the story of your kids, a manufacturer of personal wind turbines for homeowners and a clinician-guided online weight management program for employers and patients won the popular vote at the 20th annual Vermont Investors Forum (VIF), held last week at UVM and attended by institutional investors from across northern New England.

In all, seven early-stage growth companies presented their business plans and reasons for seeking equity capital, and another seven even-earlier-stage growth companies had the opportunity to explain their innovative business concepts. At the conclusion of the presentations, investors were able to cast their votes for the most promising companies. This year's top three finishers included:

1. Notabli (www.notabli.com). Notabli founders Jackson Latka and Jory Raphael have built a mobile- and web-based app that enables parents to privately and safely share videos, photos and stories of their children's lives with family and friends. Notabli is based in Burlington, VT.

2. Pika Energy (www.pika-energy.com). This Portland, ME clean energy company developed and is now manufacturing a personal wind turbine for homeowners. Pika's founders, Ben Polito and Joshua Kaufman, met at MIT and worked together at another wind power company before breaking off to develop a more cost-effective solution to harness wind power for home use.

3. Vtrim (www.vtrimonline.com). Vtrim grew out of a 20-year weight loss research study at the University of Vermont, and today provide an online, evidence-based, clinician-guided healthy weight management solution for employers, patients and consumers. The company is lead by Krista Conley, an experienced entrepreneur, technologist Rose Eggert and Beth Casey-Gold, one of the original researchers on the UVM project.

All of the companies presenting this year received the benefit of advance one-on-one mentoring and presentation critiques by VIF's Steering Committee, comprised of 14 volunteers who are active and prominent members of Vermont's entrepreneurial and investment community. The other presenters included ADK Packworks, IRNData, Northern Reliability and Renewable Energy Resources. The Innovator group included BityBean, CleanCrowd, i-ask, Localvore, Nabber, Rocknail Specialties and SquareOne Mail.

"As I heard over and over throughout the day, the 2012 Forum was once again successful in connecting the region's most promising, early-stage growth companies with a sophisticated and experienced investor audience," commented Ken Merritt, VIF's chairman and managing director at law firm Merritt & Merritt & Moulton. "We've spent 20 years now supporting innovative, young businesses in Vermont and northern New England, and we're very enthusiastic about the next 20 years as well, based on Vermont's growing reputation as a great home for entrepreneurial start-ups."

Over the years, the Vermont Investors Forum has proven itself to be one of the most effective ways for northern New England companies to raise capital. Many of Vermont's entrepreneurial success stories that are now mature companies presented at VIF, including Autumn-Harp, Inc. (VIF IV), dealer.com (VIF X), EatingWell, Inc. (VIF XII), Magic Hat Brewing Company (VIF III) and MicroStrain, Inc. (VIF IX). More recently, companies such as Draker Laboratories, Patient Engagement Systems and SB Electronics secured their first significant investments at VIF.

If your company is interested in presenting at the 2013 Vermont Investors Forum, or simply wants to learn more about equity financing and whether it is a good fit for your company at this time, please visit VIF's website -- http://www.vermontinvestorsforum.com -- or contact VIF at 802.658.7830 or info@VermontInvestorsForum.com.

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