Start Garden invests $60K more in three startups


Proper Soda is a craft-soda company with beverages made only from natural ingredients. Photo via

Of the 10 Start Garden startups that presented at its most recent Update Night, three received further funding.

Update Night is Start Garden’s monthly event where funded startups have three minutes to present on their idea and explain their funded progress to the Start Garden team and audience.

The Start Garden panel decides which ideas to continue funding.

The month’s Update Night, saw three $5,000-level funded startups get the nod for $20,000 more in funding: Proper Soda, nuDawn Heat and Adaptive Mobility.

Adaptive Mobility

Adaptive Mobility, originally Robotic Patient Aid, is an idea for a device that would give patients and caretakers, including nurses, doctors and health care workers, more independence and assistance.

The Adaptive Mobility team used the initial Start Garden funding to develop a prototype of the device.

“Adaptive Mobility’s testing in hospitals, long-term care facilities and homes proved promising,” said Mike Morin, portfolio manager at Start Garden. “The most compelling data is on the opportunity for their device to reduce liability and labor savings. We see some risk, because competing in the medical industry can be an expensive proposition, but we will invest an additional $20,000 to move this idea forward.”

NuDawn Heat

NuDawn Heat is an idea for a portable furnace used for camping and hunting.

The device also works as a reader of harmful carbon monoxide levels and as a food and beverage warmer.

The nuDawn team used its initial funding to let people sample the product.

“The nuDawn team ran an impressive experiment, accomplishing considerably more than many other product manufacturers, especially with regards to retail meetings,” said Kim Pasquino, portfolio manager at Start Garden. “The nuDawn heater solves a real problem. We think the market could be big, and we are interested in moving forward with investment.”

Proper Soda

Proper Soda is an idea for a craft-soda company with beverages made only from natural ingredients.

The team used its initial funding to produce a small run of cans, gauging interest in the product.

“Proper Soda nailed the experiment,” said Benjamin Gott, entrepreneur-in-residence at Start Garden. “They proved the craft soda concept is feasible and desirable, people bought Hop Soda, stores re-ordered it and distributors are interested in selling it. The beverage industry is a challenge, but there is significant opportunity in co-packing product, and we think Stephen is fit for it. We are a yes moving forward.”

Start Garden’s next Update Night is scheduled for Oct. 24.


Rick DeVos’ $15 million seed fund also made its weekly $5,000 investment, funding RegainGo, an idea for a geo-located map to connect homeowners to contractors' work.

“RegainGo has created a better way for homeowners to connect with contractors,” writes idea creator Jason Beale on his Start Garden page. “Our patent-pending ‘Virtual Yard Sign’ helps contractors get noticed by the quality of their work. RegainGo takes the well-known concept of a yard sign and lets consumers see an entire geographic region of a contractor’s work.

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