The Launch Place invests in home automation company –

The Launch Place is investing $250,000 in a home automation company that plans to expand its operations in the Dan River Region and bring jobs to the area.

TiO will grow its operations by hiring additional employees with an extensive long-term plan through 2020, according to a news release from the Launch Place.

“We are thrilled to announce The Launch Place as an investor in our line of common sense home automation products,” TiO President and CEO Sanjay Patel said in a prepared statement. “With the support of the Launch Place, we will be able to further expose our brand to builders and custom installers throughout the United States.”

TiO provides a home system that involves complete wireless control and an automation ecosystem including hardware and software. It includes music and lighting control, climate, cameras, security, televisions and other devices to provide control of everything from an app.

The investment marks the 13th for the Launch Place, totaling $2.5 million. The organization announced a $250,000 investment in iScribes last month.

“We’re growing the area by investing in companies one at a time,” said Jimmy McGarry, who serves on the board of directors for The Launch Place, during the announcement at the organization’s office downtown Wednesday morning.

TiO has locations in Raleigh, North Carolina, and in Florida, and will add a location in the same building as The Launch Place at 527 Bridge St., Patel said. He hopes to initially add one or two employees, and five to seven over the next couple of years, he said. Positions would be in accounting, finance and marketing.

Patel said he wasn’t sure what salaries would be, but they would pay $50,000 minimum.

TiO (“turn it on”) chose Danville because “it’s a growing area,” Patel said.

In return for the investment, The Launch Place has an equity stake in the company and TiO has made a commitment to create jobs in the region.

“We are very impressed with the solution they have built as well as the niche market potential for the company to really grow,” Launch Place President and CEO Eva Doss said in a prepared statement.

The Launch Place is co-investing with angels across the Southeast including VentureSouth, one of the largest angel investment groups in the U.S. that manages angel groups and funds comprised of more than 200 accredited investors across the southeast.

The company has been recognized by “Sound & Vision,” a leading audio visual publication, McGarry said.

TiO has been selected as the home automation provider for Shenandoah Homes, which controls more than 1,000 housing lots in seven communities in several stages of construction in Wake, Durham and Johnston counties in North Carolina, and plans to close 200 or more homes in the Raleigh metro area in 2017.

The Launch Place, from a $10 million grant from the Danville Regional Foundation in 2012, helps with entrepreneurship and business development, job creation and retention through consulting, mentoring and training, residential and office subsidies and two seed investment funds in the Dan River Region.


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