Three winners awarded $20,000 at Healthcare Innovation Pitch competition
Three teams of entrepreneurs claimed a total of $60,000 in seed funding for their winning health care innovations at the Healthcare Innovation Pitch event held Wednesday as part of Milwaukee Startup Week. The winners were among 11 teams to pitch their health care innovations to a panel of venture capitalists in the Shark Tank-style event put on by Wauwatosa-based Bridge to Cures. Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker spoke at the Healthcare Innovation Pitch event at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.
The pitches were centered on one of three categories: Concordia Medication Management Accelerator, health tech and health care therapies and diagnostics. The winning team from each track received $20,000 and additional services and resources valued at more than $15,000.
MedSync-Rx won in the Concordia Medication Management Accelerator category. Made up of faculty and a student from Concordia University Wisconsin, the team pitched a smart app that will coordinate multiple medication refills to be picked up on the same date each month.
Winning in the health tech category, GenoPalate is a company that utilizes DNA, demographic, lifestyle and metabolic information to curate a personalized dietary plan for optimal nutrition. Yi Sherry Zhang, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, presented.
Winning in the health care therapies and diagnostics category, PROMISS Diagnostics is an effort of Jalal Sulaiman and Gary Schwartz. Their proprietary algorithm was developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and uses data on calcium, albumin, age and menopause to distinguish cancerous masses in the ovary from benign masses.
Other pitches included an approach to microbial sequencing that would prevent outbreaks; the implementation of a statewide electronic medical record platform that would connect free and charitable clinics to area health information exchange networks; and a controller that allows the visually impaired to better navigate and more easily use smart devices and technology in the home.
Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker stressed the role of innovation in improving health care outcomes at the pitch event.
“We need innovation; we need it from multiple sectors,” Baker said. “Innovation starts with this type of accelerator and this kind of pitch moment.”
Panelists included John Torinus of Wisconsin Super Angel Fund; Paul Weiss of Venture Investors in Madison; Giovanni Ferrara of Novartis Venture Funds in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Allen Hakimi of Technomark Life Sciences in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
The event was hosted with support from Concordia University Wisconsin, The Dohmen Company, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Andrus Law Firm, Quarles & Brady Law Firm, Hudson and UW Research Park.
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