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Seedfunders highlights portfolio companies at pitch event

Margie Manning

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Seedfunders partners

Two companies started by fathers and their sons will be in the spotlight Friday at a pitch event in downtown St. Petersburg.

AVidea Group, with gunfire detection technology, and Polar Controller, with smart technology for the cooling industry, are both portfolio firms of Seedfunders, a St. Petersburg-based early stage investment company.

David Chitester

Seedfunders invested in both pre-revenue companies. “We had a chance to bring them both to the next level of funding,” said David Chitester, Seedfunders CEO.

There’s room for about 40 accredited investors at the pitch event, which starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20 at 400 Beach Dr.

AVidea Group, based in Melbourne and founded by Mike Anderson and his son, John Anderson, has received two rounds of funding from Seedfunders and other investors since November 2018. It’s now seeking $1 million in a third round, and Seedfunders plan to invest about one-third of that total, Chitester said.

The company’s flagship product, “Safe Zone Gunfire Detector,” uses sensors to analyze active shooter situations and automatically alert authorities.

The new bridge round will move AVidea into manufacturing and a product launch, said Mike Anderson. He expects to start shipping products in December to distributors with national footprints. Those distributors in turn sell the products to dealers, who handle installation and service. “We’ll be nationwide within 30 days of the first shipment,” Anderson said.

SafeZone’s competitive advantages over similar products primarily is its patented technology and its cost, Anderson said. He said SafeZone is one-tenth the cost of its biggest competitor.

Polar Controller is a more recent investment for Seedfunders, which committed $500,000 to the Jacksonville startup in August. Freddie Zeringue is president, and his son, Kaleb Zeringue, is CEO.

The company produces hardware and develops software to monitor commercial HVAC and refrigeration equipment. It says its technology can detect potential problems, identify the cause of system breakdowns, and apply predictive data analytics to prevent equipment failure and cut energy consumption.

Polar Controller was the 12th investment and 10th portfolio company for Seedfunders. 

NOTE: Joe Hamilton, St. Pete Catalyst publisher, is a partner in Seedfunders.

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