5 startups that stood out at Excelerate’s demo day

Chicago’s Excelerate Labs may not have quite the outsized demo day as Y Combinator, but the 10 companies that just graduated from is accelerator program were still impressive. Here are the five startups that made the biggest impression on us: Orbeus, Lasso, Cureeo, Pictarine and Whimseybox.

NVCA data shows more money & fewer new VCs

Fewer venture firms raised more money during 2011. A smaller industry with more money, plus an active angel community that can put money in early stage deals, means entrepreneurs are likely to face the biggest fundraising challenge at the Series B round.

While 2011 cleantech investing grew, later stage dominated

Cleantech venture capital and corporate investing for the full 2011 year was up in terms of overall dollar amounts compared to 2010, according to the research firm The Cleantech Group, but large follow-on rounds for matured companies continued to dominate the year.