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North Country companies make pitches to investors

SARANAC LAKE — On July 31st, Point Positive Inc. held its biannual pitch session with vetted entrepreneurs from the North Country: DMax Plasma, Kilcoyne Farms, and Northern Power and Light.

Point Positive is an “angel investment” firm based in Saranac Lake that since 2014 has been providing start-up and growth capital to promising, scalable ventures in the greater Adirondack region. Despite the pandemic circumstances, Point Positive Coordinator Melinda Little, with the assistance of Maura Maguire from the Shipley Center at Clarkson University, hosted the virtual event via Zoom from The Carry in Saranac Lake.

About the companies

DMax Plasma is based out of Clarkson’s incubator space in Potsdam and is focused on making water healthier. Its patented Enhanced Contact Plasma Reactor is the only proven technology to effectively degrade and destroy toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in surface and groundwater throughout the world.

Kilcoyne Farms originated in Brasher Falls and since 2016 has been headquartered in Hudson Falls. The company currently serves customers as far north as Clinton County and as far south as Putnam County. It is planning to build a whole-animal butcher shop in the Saratoga-Malta area and establish a retail outlet for its value-added products and other locally produced items.

Northern Power & Light is based in Saranac Lake and has created a platform where local producers can sell electricity directly to customers. This allows producers to retain more of the value for the electricity that they make, and customers enjoy a direct connection to sustainable energy, at no additional cost. It is seeking investment to help accelerate its growth.

Next steps

The member investors will complete pitch evaluation sheets, and Point Positive will subsequently conduct an in-depth due-diligence review of each company’s proposal and projected use of funds.

If the outcome of that review is favorable, a deal will be structured, and all of the Point Positive members/investors will have the chance to participate on an individual basis in the deal. Decisions to invest or not are up to the member investors, and the time commitment is tailored to preference — members can lead, mentor, advise or just monitor, and invest on an individual basis in fully vetted, promising ventures across multiple industry sectors.

The three companies that presented each had various areas of support needed, and prior to the pitch event, all participated in Point Positive forums, mentoring sessions and workshops, and completed an initial due-diligence phase including a business plan and pitch checklist.

Along with the 10 member investors present, several potential new members joined.

Point Positive, with the North Country Innovation Hotspot Program at Clarkson’s Shipley Center, held a summer series of skill-building virtual workshops for entrepreneurs starting Aug. 12. For more information, visit www.pointpositive101.com.

Over the past six years, Point Positive has vetted more than 50 ventures from a wide range of industries, committing over $3.1 million in capital, fueling new jobs and a stronger diversified economy in the Adirondacks.

Partnerships with regional colleges and universities such as Clarkson, NCCC, Paul Smith’s, and SUNY Plattsburgh, as well as economic development organizations, other angel investment groups, and venture capital funds, further the effort through networking, relationships and a collaborative approach creating jobs and building sustainable businesses to retain graduates and future generations in the Adirondacks.

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