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Posts tagged: Spokane Angel Alliance

Risk-management tech firm CXOWARE lands $1.25 million in funding

Spokane tech startup CXOWARE has landed its first round of outside funding — a total of $1.25 million from an overseas investor and three regional venture funds.

CXOWARE provides software tools used by large and mid-sized companies to analyze financial risk and other risks that could disrupt their businesses.

Company CEO Steve Tabacek said the funding includes roughly $1 million from Belgian entrepreneur and mathematician Henry Beker. Beker was a founder of U.K.-based information security company Baltimore Technologies.

Beker now has a seat on the CXOWARE board, said Tabacek.

An additional $250,000 came from Spokane Angel Alliance, Spokane’s Inland TechStart Fund and one member of the Seattle Alliance of Angels.

Tabacek started and helped grow Liberty Lake-based IT-Lifeline, a business continuity and recovery services provider. Tabacek still owns 30 percent of that company, but left three years ago when the board wanted a new CEO.

In early 2011 Tabacek and colleague Jack Jones teamed up to start the new company. Jones, a former chief information security officer with Nationwide Insurance, developed a prototype of an analytic tool that would identify the critical areas of business vulnerability.

Those concerns include theft, cyber fraud, external issues like hostile takeover, disruption of the supply chain and other factors. Jones’s breakthrough was coming up with a detailed tool that could estimate a company’s risk, in monetary terms, Tabacek said.

Companies, many of them in the financial services sector, now need to identify risk potential and find ways to prioritize risk mitigation budgets and manage that exposure, Tabacek said.

The company has a staff of five with offices in the McKinstry Innovation Center east of downtown Spokane. Tabacek said the headcount will grow to eight in the next 30 days as the investment is applied to stronger marketing and business development.

The first year and half, CXOWARE relied primarily on his own and Jones’s funding, Tabacek said.

The partners used a Pullman tech company, Integrated Engineering Solutions, to develop the software-as-a-service used by customers. By 2013 Tabacek said they had a dozen paying customers, most of them in financial services and the energy sector.

That success set the stage for seeking outside investment, Tabacek added.

 “Risk management and risk reduction are huge right now for public companies in health care, energy and even the non-public sector,” Tabacek

Connect Northwest’s session next Tuesday provides a pitch clinic

You can still start that company this year, if you sharpen your venture capital pitch.

Connect Northwest will help you sharpen the pitch at its next public meeting, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 30, at the McKinstry Innovation Center, on the east side of downtown.

The pitch clinic will be hosted by members of the Spokane Angel Alliance and others. The Angel Alliance has been an active promoter of Spokane-based investment planning and business formation. The session at McKinstry will focus on the basics of angel financing and how to approach investors to maximize results.

The workshop will provide:

  •   An overview of angel financing, and of the Spokane Angel Alliance.
  •   The components of an effective pitch (do’s and don’t’s).
  •    Interactive discussion with your fellow participants to work on your specific start-up messaging

Cost is $45. And you can register here:

Venture capital and investing trends: Three-hour workshop next week in Spokane

One of Spokane’s key venture groups, Spokane Angel Alliance, is hosting a workshop and presentation on “Trends in Raising Capital” on Sept. 30, 2 to 5 p.m.

It’s at Red Lion Inn at the Park, at 303 W North River Drive. A reception will follow until 6 p.m.

Cost is $50 but free to members of the alliance. To register, go to the site of Connect Northwest, which is coordinating the event; Northwest Venture Partners, of Spokane, is sponsor.

Bob Okabe, managing partner of RPX Group LLC, will be the key presenter. The topics covered are:

  • A walk-through of basic analytic methods and tools.
  •  A discussion of term sheet mechanics.
  •  A discussion of the best practices for meeting investor expectations.
  •  A review of company valuation methods.

For more information: contact Catherine Greer at or 509-358-2114.

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