Good News in the Portfolio

As we wrote about in a recent post, Cents and Responsibility, investors have a responsibility to entrepreneurs. The Weekly Review prior to that post highlighted the close relationship an entrepreneur must have with the investor to enable productivity and progress. We live by our own words. We have a close relationship with each of our portfolio companies and stand by them on both the highest of highs and lowest of lows.  Although we don’t want our entrepreneurs to become self-licking ice cream cones, we can’t help but be excited for them when they are rewarded for their hard work. This week we’ve heard some great news all around and we’d like to share it with you.


Frogtek’s Tiendatek platform for micro entrepreneurs in Latin America won €150,000 (US$206,000) in Vodafone’s Mobile Clicks Competition 2011. Vodafone Mobile Clicks is an international contest for mobile start-ups. Frogtek made it through three rounds of judging based on the criteria of 1) originality, creativity, innovativeness, 2) technical and operational feasibility, 3) economic and financial viability, 4) value to end-users and 5) the quality of the management team. Frogtek’s target market is bottom-of-the-pyramid shopkeepers in Latin America; Tiendatek provides the shopkeepers with a valuable resource to enable them to manage inventory and sells and make smarter purchasing decisions. Venture Beat on the New York Times highlights Frogtek’s software and its prize here. The following video is an interview with Frogtek’s CTO, Guillermo Caudevilla.

Paul Needham, co-founder and president of Simpa Networks, has been named a member of the Class of 2011 Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellows. This is an esteemed honor for Paul who has worked hard to create impact in India with the development of the Simpa Regulator, which makes solar home systems “radically affordable” for those living in energy poverty. The PopTech Social Innovation Fellows Program will give Paul and the other fellows the opportunity to connect and take advantage of “tools, insights, and [a] social network that can help them scale their impacts to new heights.”