Xconomy Health Tech

Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News

WI Watchlist: Aaron Rodgers, Redox, Zywave, Rusinow & More

It’s time to catch up on some recent Wisconsin innovation news:

—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a new title: venture capitalist. He co-founded and serves as general partner of Rx3 Ventures, a Newport Beach, CA-based firm that recently raised more than $50 million for its debut fund. The fund will make “venture and growth-stage” investments in consumer-focused companies.

Redox, a Madison-based developer of software tools that enable healthcare applications to securely move information into and out of patients’ electronic medical records, announced it launched a public “bug” bounty program in partnership with Bugcrowd. Such programs offer... Read more »

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 08:52

Mark Your Calendars: Startup Week Detroit Kicks Off on June 17

Every year, Detroit’s entrepreneurial community comes together for a five-day event encompassing panel discussions, TED talk-style keynote speeches, bootcamps, tech demos, and networking happy hours, all of which are open to the public and free upon registration.

Techstars Startup Week Detroit kicks off on June 17, but the registration process is already underway for those who want to attend. Xconomy talked to organizer Olivia Guterson of Venture Catalysts to learn more about what to expect at this year’s edition of the event. She says each day will concentrate on two or three different “learning tracks” in order to build impact within... Read more »

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 09:22

Rocket Engines & Startup Fuel: NM, Abodo, & More WI Headlines

It’s time to catch up on recent Wisconsin innovation news, including more funding for startups and expanded production of rocket engines in the Madison area. Read on for more details.

—Northwestern Mutual said it’s pumping $150 million into its second in-house venture capital fund. The Milwaukee-based insurance and wealth management services giant invested $50 million in its first startup fund, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures Fund I, in 2017. That fund has poured $43 million into 14 startups, the firm says.

The second fund will invest between $500,000 and $5 million in each deal, typically in Series A and Series... Read more »

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 11:33

Cala Health Secures $50M to Launch Anti-Tremor Wrist Device

Cala Health announced this week it raised $50 million in a Series C financing that will fund the market introduction of its wristwatch-like device that delivers nerve stimulation as a remedy for tremors of the hands.

New investors Novartis, Baird Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners and TriVentures participated in the fundraising round, and were joined by all of the company’s previous investors, including Lux Capital, Lightstone Ventures, Action Potential Venture Capital, dRx Capital, GV—the investment arm of Google parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG)—and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, the venture capital arm of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). The... Read more »

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 16:40

HAP Partners With Livongo on Tech-Enabled Diabetes Compliance Program

As digital health applications continue to grow in popularity, yet achieve only mixed results, one area in which tech-enabled tools have found success is among diabetes patients.

Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a Detroit-based nonprofit health insurance provider, wants to leverage that success with a new program in partnership with Mountain View, CA-based Livongo, maker of health tech tools. Called Livongo for Diabetes, the initiative allows HAP Medicare Advantage members with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to access personalized data and insights culled from a Livongo smart blood glucose meter at no extra cost. Participants also get real-time coaching and... Read more »

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 02:33

Seattle’s TransformativeMed Carves Out Niche in Medical Specialties

An estimated 99 percent of US hospitals now track patients’ health information using computerized records systems, many of which were installed to replaced paper medical charts. As a result, startups are rushing in, to capitalize on the recent health-records digitization wave. Some of them, like Seattle-based TransformativeMed, are making the case that their add-on software products and services can improve doctors’ satisfaction with the technologies they use to do their jobs.

This week, TransformativeMed announced $5.8 million in new funding—an investment that values the startup at about $13.5 million, says president and CEO Doug Cusick. TransformativeMed plans to use... Read more »

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 20:09

WI Watchlist: Twitter Deal, AmFam Gift, Arrowhead Trial & More

It’s time to catch up on recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation scene, including a $20 million donation earmarked for data science research and education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a pair of tech acquisitions, and key milestones for two biotech firms. Read on for details.

—American Family Insurance said it will donate $20 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for data science initiatives. Half will go toward creating a Data Science Institute on campus, and half will support research over the next 10 years, according to a press release.

—Twitter “acquihired” Highly, a startup that created online tools for quickly... Read more »

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 05:45

TitletownTech, HealthX, Polco & More WI Venture Funding News

It’s time to catch up on recent fundraising and deal-making news from Wisconsin-based startups and investors. Read on for details.

—Phoenix said it inked a $4 million contract with the US Army to demonstrate neutron-based imaging technologies that could be used to help inspect large, complex munitions, according to a press release. The Madison-area company previously was awarded Army contracts in 2014 and 2016 worth a combined $6.6 million. Read more about Phoenix’s recent business growth in this Xconomy profile from January.

—Polco, a Middleton-based startup developing software to help local governments and other organizations solicit public input on policies... Read more »

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:20

Meet the Xconomy Awards San Diego Digital Trailblazer Finalists

San Diego’s prowess in computer science, medical devices, and life sciences makes it a natural hub of innovative digital health companies. The finalists in the Digital Trailblazer category of the Xconomy Awards San Diego highlight the wide variety of healthtech ideas emanating from local startups and big companies alike, ranging from virtual coaches for physical therapy patients, to experimental software designed to address Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Here are brief profiles of the finalists.

This is part of a series of articles about the finalists for the Xconomy Awards San Diego. We’ve written about the CEO, Commitment to Diversity, and Innovation ... Read more »

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 04:56

NorthStar Secures $75M+ as Medical Radioisotope Competition Revs Up

U.S. technology startups continue to pull in heaps of cash to try and stave off shortages of a crucial medical radioisotope.

NorthStar Medical Technologies said this week it closed a deal to receive up to $100 million in secured debt financing from funds managed by Oberland Capital Management. Beloit, WI-based NorthStar said it received $75 million up front, and the company has the option to draw $25 million more by the end of 2020.

NorthStar said it will use the funding to expand its capacity for producing the isotope molybdenum-99 using nuclear reactors. It has produced batches of the isotope... Read more »

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 14:37

Imbed Biosciences Gets $2M Boost for Silver-Based Wound Dressings

Imbed Biosciences, a developer of ultra-thin, silver-based wound dressing materials, will step up its sales and marketing efforts with the help of a fresh $2 million venture investment.

The Series A round announced last week was backed by Formidable Asset Management and earlier Imbed investors including WISC Partners, Imbed CEO and co-founder Ankit Agarwal said in an email message. Madison, WI-based Imbed previously raised about $2.3 million in equity funding, Agarwal said.

The cash infusion will support commercialization of Imbed’s MicroLyte Ag Antimicrobial Matrix, an FDA-cleared wound dressing intended to help treat chronic ulcers, burns, and surgical wounds. MicroLyte Ag... Read more »

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 11:27

Redox Wrangles $33M to Become Healthcare’s Go-To Data Integrator

As hospitals and clinics have shifted from paper-based records to digital systems, one of the biggest challenges has been sharing patient data between healthcare providers, and between providers and outside software applications. This “interoperability” problem has created a market for companies such as Redox, a Madison, WI-based startup that develops software tools to make the flow of patient information more seamless.

Redox has worked on the problem for about five years, and now investors think the company is ready to take a big step forward: The startup said Wednesday it pulled in $33 million in a Series C funding round.

Battery... Read more »

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 05:56

MedHealth Summit Brings Together Cross-Border Innovators and Experts

As the healthcare industry continues to undergo technology-driven changes, innovators in digital health and medical devices will gather in Detroit Thursday for a daylong conference.

The MedHealth Summit, held at Ford Field’s Hall of Legends, will bring together experts and entrepreneurs from across Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario for a day of panel discussions, “investor speed dating,” and business matchmaking between various industry stakeholders. Online registration for the event is closed, but those who want to attend will still be able to register on-site.

Paul Riser Jr., director of Detroit Urban Solutions and the summit’s lead organizer, says... Read more »

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 11:53

Boston Tech Watch: Tufin, Facebook, RightHand, Diameter & Jebbit

A cybersecurity IPO could raise up to $124 million for an Israeli-based company with its US headquarters in Boston. Facebook’s Boston office wants to map the world’s population in high def, starting with Africa. More venture cash is flowing into Bay State startups. Read all this and much more in this week’s roundup of local tech news.

—Tufin Software Technologies, a cybersecurity company based in Israel with its US headquarters in Boston, went public this week and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as TUFN. Its shares priced at $14 apiece, the top of the price range it outlined... Read more »

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 03:00

WI Watchlist: DotCom Therapy, Nordic, UWM, Epic

It’s time to catch up on recent happenings in Wisconsin’s innovation community:

—Madison-based telemedicine startup DotCom Therapy named Sanaz Cordes as its chief executive and said it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from HealthX Ventures, a local venture firm that backs healthtech companies. Cordes is a physician and former chief operations officer of another Madison-based healthtech startup, Healthfinch.

DotCom Therapy develops software to connect patients with remotely located therapists who provide speech, occupational, and mental health services. The company was founded in 2015 by certified speech language pathologists Emily Purdom and Rachel Robinson. The startup was originally based... Read more »

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 13:51

Skills, Pills, & Hospital Bills: Amazon Debuts Alexa Health Features

Owners of Amazon’s voice-controlled, Internet-connected speakers can now use the gadgets to manage more aspects of their healthcare, following the company’s announcement Thursday that its Alexa devices can interface with software applications that process protected health information.

As part of the announcement, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) unveiled six “Alexa healthcare skills,” which allow patients to book medical appointments, track prescription drug deliveries, and complete other tasks with help from a virtual assistant.

Skills help guide Alexa by mapping out how verbal instructions given to one of the speakers correspond to actions within software applications.

Seattle-based Amazon said it worked with different... Read more »

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 15:44

After Scoring New Capital, Fifth Eye Prepares to Seek FDA Approval

Fifth Eye, an Ann Arbor-based medical software startup spun out of technology developed at the University of Michigan, today announced that it has raised $9 million in new investment capital, bringing its total venture backing to date to $11.5 million.

The round was led by Arboretum Ventures and Cultivation Capital, with participation from Invest Michigan, U-M’s MINTS program, and a bevy of angel investors. Founder and CEO Jen Baird says Fifth Eye will use the new capital to complete clinical studies at several hospital systems as it initiates the FDA approval process in preparation for a commercial launch.

Fifth... Read more »

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 12:06

Xealth Gets $11M, Aims to Be Surescripts of Digital Health Services

Doctors prescribe all sorts of things for their patients, like drugs, medical procedures, and changes to diet and exercise regimen. Prescribing a software application—one that helps a patient manage diabetes, for example—may sound futuristic to some people. But to Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth, a Seattle-based startup that announced $11 million in new funding Wednesday to help fuel its continued growth, prescribing digital products and services is where the healthcare industry is headed.

“We let doctors prescribe almost anything that can be digitally facilitated to advance patient care,” McSherry says.

Xealth is among the startups riding a wave of funding for... Read more »

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 14:56

WI Watchlist: Dark Knight Fund, Morgridge “Flamingo” Grant & More

In the latest installment of the Wisconsin Watchlist, we’re tracking the fundraising plans of two new Milwaukee-area venture funds, and a pair of grants awarded to research and education projects in Madison. Read on for details.

—State Representative Jason Fields, a Democrat from Milwaukee, aims to raise $10 million for a new venture capital fund called Dark Knight Capital Ventures that invests in startups founded by women, minorities, and people from other underrepresented groups, BizTimes Media reported. Fields is a former stock broker and portfolio manager who has made some angel investments, according to BizTimes.

—Entrepreneur Dan Voell is... Read more »

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 22:01

Corza Health Emerges Led by Former NuVasive, GreatCall Executives

A Chicago-based private equity firm has tapped the former head of NuVasive and finance chief of GreatCall to start a new healthcare company in San Diego.

The company, Corza Health, is headed by Greg Lucier, most recently CEO at NuVasive, and backed by the PE firm, GTCR, with money from its $5.25 billion Fund XII. Lucier is also making a “substantial” investment in Corza, according to a statement from GTCR on Wednesday.

Creating new companies helmed by experienced leaders is part of a longstanding GTCR practice, which it calls its Leaders Strategy. Corza says it is on the hunt for life... Read more »

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 17:53