John James, Rick West join Apptegy board

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 690 views 

Fayetteville businessmen John James and Rick West have joined the board of directors of Little Rock-based Apptegy.

James is a founder of Hayseed Ventures and CEO of Engine. West is the CEO of Field Agent, a company that provides auditing services, product insights, shopper research and other retail related services.

“We’re fortunate to have John and Rick join our board. They bring decades of experience in high growth technology companies, which will help guide Apptegy as we continue our journey. Finding two board members inside the state shows the strength of Arkansas’s entrepreneurial community,” said Apptegy CEO Jeston George.

James and West join George and Ryan Mandl of Five Elms Capital on the Apptegy board.

Apptegy was founded in 2015 after George noticed he was struggling to keep up with events at his nephew’s school. He met with Arkansas school superintendents and learned there was a widespread need for a simple platform for schools to manage engagement on the many devices and social networks that community members look to for information.

In the summer of 2015, Apptegy launched Thrillshare, its proprietary digital framework for schools, and began building a workforce in Little Rock. Fayetteville-based Hayseed Ventures was an early financial supporter. In May 2017, the company received a $5.7 million investment from Kansas City-based venture capital firm Five Elms Capital, one of the largest out-of-state investments in an Arkansas technology company in the past decade.

As part of the investment, shares purchased by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) were bought back, providing a financial return to the state. ADFA, through its Arkansas Venture Capital Investment Trust, made an initial $300,000 investment in Apptegy in early 2016.