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ASU startup AlphaStripe raises funding to help veterans, military tell their stories


November 27, 2012

AlphaStripe, a student-led startup supported by ASU’s successful Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, has received an undisclosed angel funding round and additional support from Tempe’s new MAC6 incubator. AlphaStripe is a global, online networking platform for veterans, military service members and military families.

AlphaStripe makes it easier for users to connect, network and tell their own stories. Now, users can create an AlphaStripe account by simply signing in with Facebook and linking both social networks. In addition to this seed funding from MAC6, AlphaStripe also recently received grant funding from IBM to support its mission and initiative.

“MAC6 believed in our vision and passion to give back to a community that gives so much and continually impacts the entire world. Receiving funding at this stage validates our mission and propels us to do even greater things," said Eli Chmouni, co-founder and CEO of AlphaStripe.

The AlphaStripe platform is designed to allow users to document their military experiences and legacies in videos and photos. Earlier in the summer, the startup beta tested a variety of tools before redesigning the website to optimize the user experience.

"We invested in AlphaStripe because of what they are doing at a massive scale to improve the quality of life for the many past and current military members who have given so much to our country,” said Kyle McIntosh, co-founder and lead Creative Excitant at MAC6. “We believe that the AlphaStripe team, with a for-profit approach to this business model, will create a platform that will help connect, share stories and change how we view armed conflict, forever.”

The main areas of the AlphaStripe website are open to the public with secure areas available to veterans to allow private sharing of stories and the ability to reconnect with old comrades. The startup has developed an incredibly comprehensive military database for the U.S. armed forces dating back to World War II, allowing veterans to connect based on their service history.

“I spent eight years in the U.S. Army and there are so many stories to share," said Jason Brown, military relations officer and co-founder of AlphaStripe. "Some are too personal to share with the world. Some are so funny I have to share them with the world. AlphaStripe was created to share stories of conflict that so many soldiers understand only too well."

Brown served for eight years in the Army. He was in the 4/25th Airborne Infantry out of Fort Richardson Alaska for the first portion of his service. During this time he deployed to Iraq for a 15-month rotation cut short by four months after sustaining a gunshot wound during a fire fight. After recovery, he deployed once more to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.

MAC6 is an early stage business incubator that supports the growth of Conscious Capitalism business models in 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office space in Tempe. Additionally, MAC6 provides angel funding, an intensive mentorship program, and access to elite business community partners.

The MAC6 program advocates capitalism as a force for good and supports the growth of for-profit, early-stage companies with epic, paradigm-shifting ideas through creativity, collaboration, community and change. MAC6 is not industry-exclusive and has set up a collaborative environment where many companies doing very different things are working side by side.

The ASU Venture Catalyst is a strategic unit of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, the research arm of ASU. Eli Chmouni, co-founder and CEO of AlphaStripe, has been supported two years in a row through the ASU Edson student entrepreneur accelerator based in ASU SkySong, the Innovation Center in Scottsdale. The Edson accelerator provides funding, mentoring, and office space that enables students to advance their ventures and is part of the Venture Catalyst.