Former Choose Energy Employees Launch VC Firm

Dallas-based Intelis Capital will focus on providing seed and Series A funding to early-stage startups.

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Early-stage startups have a new investor to pitch to called Intelis Capital, a Dallas-based venture fund that’s proud to be part of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The founders could have made the leap to Silicon Valley, but decided to lease space at the sparkling new McKinney and Olive tower in Uptown.

“There’s such a tremendous opportunity for tech companies here in North Texas and, to be honest, across the Southwest.” 
Jonathan Crowder

“I think there’s this perception — especially in the Bay Area — that all great tech companies have to be in the Bay,” said Jonathan Crowder, Intelis Capital co-founder and partner. “There’s such a tremendous opportunity for tech companies here in North Texas and, to be honest, across the Southwest. We want to help be catalysts for that.”

Intelis Capital‘s 3,700-square-foot space will be a “metaphorical campfire” where the companies it partners with can work and find mentors. It also will be a place where the whole startup scene can gather to share success stories and network.

“It’s a gorgeous building,” Crowder said. “We felt like it would be important that we’re centrally located. We looked everywhere and they definitely wowed us. They have incredible ancillary spaces there.”

FORMER CHOOSE ENERGY EMPLOYEES BEHIND NEW FIRM

Prior to this, Crowder spent several years with Plano-based Choose Energy, a web-based platform that helped consumers pick retail electric providers in deregulated areas. Choose Energy was purchased for less than $100 million by Red Ventures in June, according to Fortune.

The company will continue to provide an alternative to the state-run Power to Choose website.

“It’s very difficult to legislate in such a way that forces providers to create fair plans,” Crowder said. “Our goal was to add some transparency to that.”

The sale of Choose Energy pushed Crowder to start Intelis Capital along with his partners, Kevin Stevens and Kevin Crowder, his father.

INTELIS CAPITAL WILL WALK ‘FIRST STEPS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR’S JOURNEY’

Intelis Capital will focus on providing seed and Series A funding to early-stage startups.

“In principle, we’re thinking of ourselves as partners, not just as investors.” 
Jonathan Crowder

“We’re looking to be the partner of record for the first steps of an entrepreneur’s journey,” Jonathan Crowder said. “In principle, we’re thinking of ourselves as partners, not just as investors. We want to be there to help every step of the way wherever we’re needed.”

Companies typically have been self-funded by friends and family before they come to Intelis Capital.

This month, Intelis Capital made its first investment by funding BioLum Sciences, a Dallas-based startup founded by Southern Methodist University graduates. BioLum is developing a breath scanner that measures airway inflammation and tracks the data on an app so it can be shared with doctors.

“They have a vision for the future,” Jonathan Crowder said. “They’re trying to solve a problem that’s genuinely meaningful. I think it’s important that technology take on significant societal problems.”


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