PlanGuru of White Plains, the first firm accepted into the Westchester County Association’s Blueprint Accelerator Network in January, has added jobs, secured venture capital and will release a new analytical product next month.
Since moving into about 1,650 square feet of space at 150 Grand St., PlanGuru, a business-budgeting software firm, has grown from two full-time employees to six full-time staffers and two part-timers. Christian Wielage, PlanGuru’s chief executive officer, said on Tuesday that the Accelerator has helped his company hire staff much faster than he could have on his own.
“It’s been tremendous for us,” said Wielage.
PlanGuru has also secured investment from Alessandro Piol, a New York City-based co-founder and partner at AlphaPrime Ventures. Wielage declined to say how much Piol invested.
“Without question the Blueprint Accelerator gave us the exposure to attract venture capital investors,” said Wielage, who used the investment to hire more staff and finish the development of his company’s new product.
The first year’s rent is free at the space, thanks to the landlord, who is an Accelerator member. PlanGuru will have to pay 50 percent of the rent in its second year and will ultimately have to pay full rent.
Businesses that are Westchester County Association members also provide Accelerator participants some free business services like consulting or legal work.
The Accelerator hasn’t announced new participants since PlanGuru in January. On Monday night Marissa Brett, the Blueprint for Westchester’s executive director, told attendees at the Westfair Tech Ventures meet-up at Serendipity Labs in Rye that the Accelerator has new participants ready and the network will announce them after the holidays.
“I would like to see at least 15 next year,” said Brett, though she acknowledged the difficulty of recruiting qualified participants.