The Launch Place Invests in Digital Publishing Startup
The Launch Place recently announced a $50,000 investment from their Pre-Seed Fund II in Raleigh-based startup Keepsake Tales. The startup is on a mission to diversify the children’s literature space by creating stories that transform a child into a highly representative illustration, making them the champion of their own story no matter their race or ability. The Launch Place is a venture development organization with offices in Danville, VA, and Research Triangle Park, NC.
Co-founders Mike Vaggalis and Erin Burchik developed the idea in 2019 after concluding that millions of children are underrepresented across the entirety of published children’s works that are on the market today. With their small team they wrote the story and developed the artwork for a Christmas nativity-themed book that sold out when they held their first sale in November of 2019. Keepsake Tales have since developed another storybook that also sold out and plan to launch their newest book, “The Bear Hug”, in October of this year.
“Children who are underrepresented start to ask questions about their value. We believe that all children are intrinsically valuable and deserve to be the champion of their story,” said Vaggalis. “We have created the most personalized experience on the market in order to build characters that truly look like the children they are meant to represent.”
Keepsake Tales began discussions with The Launch Place soon after their first sale in 2019, but with the pandemic freezing many investment pipelines, the startup took the year to reevaluate their processes. Over the last year they developed a new illustration model, solidified strategic partnerships with mission-aligned organizations and launched their second storybook, “Mount Jungle”. Keepsake Tales reengaged with The Launch Place in January 2021.
Vaggalis says that Keepsake Tales will use the investment funds from The Launch Place to further develop their current machine learning technology, new story designs, improve their website and drive growth.
“Keepsake Tales fits the profile of companies we invest in and can stand behind,” said The Launch Place President and CEO Eva Doss. “Not only are they engaged in developing new and better methods in the publishing sector, but they are producing a product that is generating social change and bettering communities around the world.”
Not only does The Launch Place offer a capital investment through their investment funds, but they also provide business resources and industry expertise to all their portfolio companies. According to Vaggalis, The Launch Place has been a tremendous thought partner in developing business goals and locating partners that will help perfect their design and manufacturing process moving forward.
Cofounders: (L to R) Erin Burchik and Mike Vaggalis
About Keepsake Tales:
Keepsake Tales is a digital publishing company on a mission to bring more inclusivity into children’s literature. They believe every child is intrinsically valuable and deserves to be the champion of their own story no matter their race or abilities. If you want to know more about upcoming sales or receive updates from Keepsake Tales, sign up for their mailing list at https://mykeepsaketales.com.