VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF JUNE 17, 2019

Flexible Capital Fund invests $150,000 in MamaSezz to Provide
Food that Heals and a Livable Wage for All Workers
Montpelier, Vt. – Conscious consumers are demanding products and services from environmentally and socially responsible companies in all industries. Brattleboro-based gluten-free, plant-based meal delivery service, MamaSezz Foods, Inc., is working to provide consumers with food that heals while providing a livable wage, benefits and stock options for employees. To help make this vision a reality, the Flexible Capital Fund (Flex Fund) announces an investment of $150,000 to help accelerate their growth.

MamaSezz makes whole food plant-based meals delivered directly to customers with a pre-paid return label to send back all of the empty materials (container, inserts, ice packs, and packaging) so the company can sanitize and reuse or recycle everything.

Janice St. Onge, President of the Flex Fund, has known Lisa Lorimer, co-founder, and CEO of MamaSezz, for over a decade. “We knew Lisa had a proven track record, founding and then leading the Vermont Bread Company,” said St. Onge. “Lisa is a seasoned and successful entrepreneur who has championed livable wage jobs and socially responsible business practices. This in combination with her partner Meg Donahue’s strengths on the plant-based nutrition side of the business, made this opportunity compelling.” 

The Flex Fund traditionally provides flexible financing in the form of near equity capital, such as subordinated debt and royalty (or revenue-share) financing, to Vermont growth-stage companies that strengthen or fill a gap in their supply chain while also creating quality jobs and sustainable products and services.

The investment of $150,000 is structured as a minority purchase of common stock, which is a first for the Flex Fund. The investment was structured as common very consciously by the founders to ensure all stakeholders were on the same footing versus the typical power structure of investor having preferential rights over an entrepreneur.

“The Flex Fund chose to invest as equity because it is the right structure for the company’s stage of growth and scale they want to grow to consider the market opportunity,” said St. Onge. “The team brings deep experience in food manufacturing and logistics, and MamaSezz aligns well with our mission to build healthy food systems, grow resilient communities and mitigate climate change through their commitment to purchase local and/or organic food, pay their employees a living wage with benefits, and support reusable and/or recyclable packaging.”

With a corporate office in Brattleboro, VT and manufacturing space in Keene, NH, the Flex Fund also worked with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to co-invest in MamaSezz.

“We are very excited to have the Flexible Capital Fund as an investor and partner in our common mission to provide high-quality jobs in a company that supports local farmers, provides healthy food to our communities, and focuses on our environmental impact,” said co-founder Lisa Lorimer. “The Flex Fund also adds tremendous value to our team with its wide network and their engagement to share ideas, good questions, and best practices."

The Flexible Capital Fund provides creative financing in the form of near equity capital (subordinated debt and royalty financing) to growth-stage companies that strengthen the supply chain in sustainable agriculture and food systems, forest products, renewable energy, clean technology, and other natural resource sectors. As a mission-based investor, the Flex Fund is committed to helping portfolio companies grow, to help accelerate the rate at which Vermont, and the region, move towards healthy food systems, renewable energy, and climate change solutions. www.FlexibleCapitalFund.com

MamaSezz is an online, whole food, plant-based meal delivery service providing ready-made breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and kid-friendly foods. Meals are shipped in eco-friendly coolers, which come with a return-shipping label so customers can send back both the cooler and the waste packaging material for MamaSezz to recycle. The meals, which include items such as Millie's Chili, Veggie Loaf, Gardener's Pie, and a kid-friendly Mac and Cheese are never frozen. www.mamasezz.com

VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF JUNE 03, 2019

Vermont Accelerator Accel-VT
Announces Energy 2019 Cohort
MONTPELIER, VT – Accel-VT has selected seven early-stage energy companies from across the U.S. and Canada to participate in its Energy 2019 cohort. The Vermont business accelerator will kick off the first of three one-week sprints in Burlington next week. Fifteen entrepreneurs from the eight companies will convene at Burlington Electric Department’s Spark Space to focus on reducing fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the heating and transportation sectors.

Over the next three months, entrepreneurs in the Accel-VT Energy 2019 cohort will work with climate economy leaders, industry experts, potential partners and investment professionals while completing an intensive curriculum designed to improve their business plans and fast track their way to securing financial investments so they can grow their business opportunities in Vermont and beyond. In August, the cohort will decide through a peer-ranking system, developed by Village Capital, which company will receive a $25,000 prize.

Additional Tier 3 Funds Up for Grabs:
For this cohort, two Accel-VT sponsors offered additional Tier 3 funds for the possibility of 2-3 cohort companies being selected to demonstrate their technologies in Vermont. Tier 3 of Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard requires distribution utilities to acquire fossil fuel savings from energy transformation projects (projects that reduce fossil fuel consumed by their customers in the heating and transportation sectors).

Burlington Electric Department (BED) will provide up to $10,000 in Tier 3 funds for up to two cohort companies (selected by BED), for a total of $20,000 to demonstrate their technologies through qualifying projects or programs in Burlington. Green Mountain Power (GMP) will provide up to $2,500 in Tier 3 funds for a cohort company (selected by GMP) to demonstrate a Tier 3 program or project with Green Mountain Power in Vermont.

Accel-VT Energy 2019 Cohort Companies:
DCC Technology offers an energy management system that enables EV owners and utilities to save costs on EVSE charging installations in multi-family and single family homes. DCC’s load monitoring technology has no equivalent in the market. It's the safest charging solution for maximizing time of use charging without compromising safety. dcc.technology/ Quebec

EVmatch is a mobile platform that allows EV drivers to find and reserve charging stations anywhere they go by enabling increased access to underutilized private charging stations. EVmatch reduces the stress in locating an available charger and immediately grows the public charging network by making private charging stations available to the public. www.evmatch.com/ California

Go Together is a SaaS platform for people to get where they need to go through their trusted networks using apps to do end to end trip planning to meet, collaborate and schedule carpools, biking, walking, transit, and more. Go Together leverages technology and the power of trusted communities to innovate the way people get where they need and want to go whether it's to and from school, to practice, a game or to vote. gotogether.today/home/ Washington, D.C.

iSun Energy develops robust, esthetic, smart and easy to install solar carport and canopy systems with proprietary hardware and software systems. iSun offers an attractive structure delivering shading and protection, while also feeding the local grid with renewable solar energy, and the ability to mate with smart energy management systems, such as EV charging. isunenergy.com/en/ Quebec
Onboard Data is an open and interoperable data management platform for building portfolios. Onboard aggregates and standardizes energy, maintenance, comfort and occupancy data across the portfolio. Clients can then leverage this data to power smart solutions for tenants and employees with speed and scale. Onboard employs machine-learning to aggregate and standardize building data with greater speed and scale than existing solutions. www.onboarddata.io/ Massachusetts

The Somerville Electric Vehicle Company provides charging solutions for micro-mobility applications (e-scooters, e-bicycles, e-mopeds) by using swappable batteries paired with a battery subscription service, so that users never have to wait to charge. Somerville EV Co charges and stores batteries in self-serve swap-and-go Battery Swap Kiosks. www.som-ev.com/ Massachusetts

United Aircraft Technologies developed a robust Interconnecting Clamp (ICC) for aerospace wire harness management that replaces a metal legacy design with a new ergonomic and considerably lighter alternative. This patent pending ICC is unique because it avoids metallic installation hardware while greatly simplifying installation complexity, reducing installer fatigue, and minimizing associated repetitive strain injury. www.uairtek.com/ New York

Partners and sponsors of Accel-VT Energy 2019 include Burlington Electric Department, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Electric Power Company, VLITE, Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, Vermont State Employees Credit Union, Green Mountain Power, Vermont Electric Coop, Vermont Gas, Stowe Electric, Washington Electric Co-op, Bourne’s Energy, Flexible Capital Fund, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, Main Street Landing. Accel-VT is managed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a nonprofit organization working to improve sustainable economic development in Vermont. Learn more at www.accelvt.com.

About Accel-VT – A Climate Economy Business Accelerator
Accel-VT is a business accelerator providing startup support, mentorship, and access to capital for climate economy entrepreneurs who want to establish their business here in Vermont. In future cohorts, Accel-VT may address other climate related innovation opportunities, including green building, sensor technologies, data management, and resource recycling. The resiliency of working lands businesses, as well as some segments of manufacturing, transportation planning, and community development, are also components of the climate economy. accelvt.com

About Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) is a nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the sustainable development of Vermont’s economy. VSJF provides business assistance, network development, strategic planning, and value chain facilitation in agriculture and food system, forest product, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology sectors. The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to partner with state government, private sector businesses, and nonprofits to build a thriving economic, social, and ecological future for Vermont. www.vsjf.org