A new kind of "angel"

COLUMBIA, Mo 7/23/15 (Reprint) -- A Columbia-based firm with clients in the green/sustainability space is a finalist in a national competition sponsored by banking giant Chase.

"After applying for a $100,000 Chase Mission Main Street grant, Igniting Business quickly exceeded the number of votes needed to advance and has made it to the final reviewing step," said CEO Ben Seidel. "We are thrilled to announce our advancement to the final stage."

Founded in 2012, Igniting Business (IB) offers web solutions, technology, and consulting for small business and non-profits.

IB clients include Columbia-based biomass conversion and geothermal technology consultant BioDiverse Energies and a sister company that offers a patented waste-to-energy process, SRADCO. Also known as "biomass gasification," waste-to-energy processes are common in landfills that generate methane, heat, and other byproducts of rubbish breakdown.

A second Lee's Summit IB office works with Lynxspring, which offers energy conservation through building automation.
For the competition -- a new form of so-called "angel" investing -- a diverse 16-member panel of judges selected firms that received at least 250 votes from verifiable Facebook members.

The panel -- which includes executives from Chase, Linked-In; several Chambers of Commerce; and organizational leaders in the minority and LGBT business communities -- will select 20 recipients for the $2 million in total grant funding.

Seidel says his firm will use the money for technology upgrades.

Past recipients include small businesses in healthcare, retailing, energy management, manufacturing, food, hospitality, and construction. For a look at every company that applied in 2015, visit this searchable database.

Chase will finish its 2015 Mission: Main Street with awardee announcements in September.

Visit Igniting Business on Facebook and Twitter.