Two years ago, Health Wildcatters, a leading healthcare startup accelerator program located in Dallas, Texas debuted in an effort to nurture health entrepreneurism in the region. Last week, the accelerator announced its third startup class including companies focused on telemedicine, medical devices and healthcare software. Half of the ten startup companies are led by women entrepreneurs.
The only Houston company represented in this year’s class is Noninvasix, a medical device startup developing an accurate, noninvasive monitoring of fetal wellness during labor and delivery using optoacoustic technology.
“We’re at a critical juncture in the development of this novel patient monitoring technology. During the next three months, we expect to speed up clinical prototype development and testing, further refine our business plan and showcase our achievements in front of leading investors,” said Noninvasix CEO Graham Randall, Ph.D. “Through the success of its first two classes, Health Wildcatters has proven to be an effective partner for startups, and we look forward to keeping pace.”
Nine other startups joining Noninvasix include:
Codegi (Dallas): An automatic coding software for clinical notes and electronic health record (EHR) documentation.
Dualalms (Dallas): A system that delivers nebulized agents prior to laryngoscopic examinations to eliminate the common discomfort and complications that occur from the exam.
Dynofit (Los Alamos, NM): A wireless smart electromyography system that helps people with stroke, traumatic brain injury, and cerebral palsy gain control of their muscles.
Exhale Healthcare Advocates (Dallas): A company that helps consumers manage the business of their healthcare, or a self-described “H&R Block of healthcare.”
Flow MedTech (Atlanta): A company developing a medical device to reduce the high risk of stroke in millions of patients diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).
Insight Optics (Plano, TX): A company using mobile imaging technology to allow primary care physicians to record fundus examinations—a critical tool in preventative and diagnostic healthcare—and forward results to ophthalmologists for review.
md Portal (Austin, TX): A healthcare software company with an asynchronous telemedicine platform that allows patients to see a physician remotely using tailored questionnaires and photos.
Obaa (Cambridge, MA): A company that is helps primary care physicians connect with specialists during patient encounters using Google Glass technology.
Vidas Sanas (Dallas): a Website that provides unique bilingual wellness solutions for employers and healthcare providers targeted to improve the health of Latino populations.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with this group,” said Hubert Zajicek, Health Wildcatters CEO. “All the companies demonstrated viable solutions to some of the biggest challenges in healthcare today—how to improve access, how to enhance education and prevention, how to leverage technology, to name a few.”
During the program, startups receive guidance from Health Wildcatters’ extensive network of investors and mentors. The program also provides access to office space and other strategic resources that help the companies grow. Startups will focus on refining their pitches throughout the program, which culminates with a final “Pitch Day” in November. By focusing on the pitch, Health Wildcatters aims to set the teams up to successfully raise capital after the accelerator. The strength of Health Wildcatters’ programming is evident in the success of graduate companies. The first two classes raised $5 million within months of completing the 12-week program.
Noninvasix applied to the program after a chance meeting at an investor conference with Zajicek. “He recognized the huge clinical need and encouraged us to apply,” said Randall.
“This technology is so far ahead of what’s currently used during labor and deliveries,” said Zajicek. “But as with many new technologies in the healthcare space, there can be a long road to commercialization. At Health Wildcatters, we work to shorten that road as much as possible, and look forward to helping Noninvasix bring their monitoring system to market so it can reach the patients that need it.”
Nonivasix recently completed its third-generation clinical prototype, which has been tested in both fetuses and neonates in the delivery room and NICU at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The direct, real-time measurements will provide concrete, factual data that OB/GYNs can use to take informed action leading to better outcomes for both mom and baby.
Health Wildcatters provides initial seed funding of $30,000 in exchange for 8 percent equity in each company.