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Impact-driven Houston fintech startup officially launches after successful beta

DonateStock, a Houston fintech company that simplifies the stock donation process, has officially launched. Image courtesy of DonateStock

Today is National Nonprofit Day, and there are a lot of ways to celebrate it — sign up to volunteer, donate to your favorite organization, and more. But Andrea Young is celebrating by officially launching her fintech startup.

After going through a successful beta testing phase, Houston-based DonateStock offers a tech-enabled tool that automates the stock donation process — something only 2 percent of investors are taking advantage of. In honor of the launch, DonateStock is waiving fees for nonprofits and matching all investors' donations up to $500 per donation.

"National Nonprofit Day offers the perfect opportunity for nonprofits to elevate fundraising strategies by taking advantage of DonateStock's waived fees," Young says. "Now is the time to join nonprofits across the city and nation as innovation makes donating stock easier than ever."

Young co-founded the company with Steve Latham because, having donated stock before, she saw how off-putting the slow and confusing process was. But she also saw the value of the win-win process. Donors win by avoiding capital gains tax while also getting to deduct the fair market value of the stock. Meanwhile, nonprofits win as pre-tax stock donations are often much larger than after-tax cash donations.

Steve Latham and Andrea Young co-founded DonateStock. Photos courtesy of DonateStock

"I valued the immense benefits stock donations provided me as an investor while simultaneously helping a nonprofit," Young says of her early experience with donating stock. "I enjoyed the significant tax advantages that allowed me to avoid capital gains taxes while deducting the full market value of my gifted stock. However, I found the entire process time consuming and cumbersome, which led to the end of my stock donation journey."

When the pandemic hit and nonprofits were greatly impacted, Young and Latham saw an opportunity to found DonateStock to help drive donations and guide nonprofits and donors alike through the process. During its beta testing phase, the company partnered with almost 100 nonprofits, including Atlanta's Habitat for Humanity, Houston's Legacy Community Health and New York City's A Leg To Stand On.

"Stock contributions have traditionally been a cumbersome process for our donors, requiring several steps often including physical stock certificate confirmations before completing the donation," says Chree Boydstun, the chief development officer of Legacy Community Health, in a news release. "We view stock donations as an incredible untapped source of new funding and we're excited to work with DonateStock to make the most of this opportunity."

Earlier this year, DonateStock won Capital Factory's Houston Tech Rodeo $50K Investment prize.

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Building Houston

 
 

Optellum and Liongard have hired two new members to their executive teams. Photos courtesy

A couple of Houston tech startups have recently announced new appointments to their C-suites. A med tech company with its national headquarters in Houston has a new leader, and a Houston software has a new exec focused on strategy.

Optellum names new CEO

Jason Pesterfield will lead United States operations for Optellum. Photo courtesy of Optellum

Optellum, a medical software startup based in the United Kingdom and has its United States HQ in Houston, has appointed Jason Pesterfield as CEO to lead growth in the U.S. clinical market. Optellum AI-based software enhances early lung cancer diagnosis and therapy with its medical device software platform, Virtual Nodule Clinic.

Pesterfield was previously the president and CEO of Veran Medical Technologies, a leader in image-guided lung cancer diagnosis. He brings 25 years of leadership experience in the medtech sector. Optellum was founded by Václav Potěšil, Lyndsey Pickup, Timor Kadir, Professor Sir Mike Brady, and Jérôme Declerck.

"It took us almost a year to find the right successor who shares our vision and has the right expertise to take Optellum on to the next stage of growth," says Potěšil in a news release. "I am really excited to work with Jason, to make Optellum's platform available to every clinician in the USA and around the world, and to help them diagnose their lung cancer patients as early as possible. With Jason on board, I can focus on advancing Optellum's vision to transform early lung cancer therapy through partnerships that harness the power of AI software combined with molecular diagnostics, robotics and interventional devices, and drugs."

Liongard announces chief strategy officer

Patrick Schneidau is the chief strategy officer for Liongard. Photo courtesy

​Houston software-as-a-service company, Liongard, has named Patrick Schneidau as chief strategy officer. The company, founded in 2015, was a 2021 InnovationMap Awards finalist and reported that the team was looking to expand by around 70 new hires over the next year.

"Liongard is an incredible Houston growth story," Schneidau tells InnovationMap. "Our founders, Joe Alapat and Vincent Tran, have built a first-class team that allow technology service providers to operate at 10x by providing unprecedented insight and data into the systems deployed in the modern IT stack. In a rapidly growing market, they are quickly becoming 'must have' technology. I'm excited to join to team to accelerate their growth into new markets and with new products."

Schneidau spent over a decade at Houston-based PROS before serving in C-level positions at two other Houston startups — Commtrex and Truss. He's also previously served as talent committee chair for Houston Exponential.

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