Roundup: Delphinius Medical Technologies, Fontinalis, U-M, Detroit Labs
Here’s a look at news from around Michigan’s innovation hubs:
—Fontinalis Partners, a Detroit-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage mobility and transportation startups, has launched a new Special Venture Partner (SVP) program in an effort to enhance the firm’s capabilities and reach new markets. The SVPs will serve as advisors to Fontinalis portfolio companies. The inaugural members of the SVP team are Mark Schultz, a former Ford executive and founding partner of the firm; Luis Blaquier, a partner at Grupo Pegasus and former Goldman Sachs executive with an extensive track record in Latin America; Mei-Wei Cheng, former CEO of Siemens North East Asia and executive overseeing Ford’s Chinese operations; Gabe Klein, who most recently ran Chicago’s Department of Transportation under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and had a leadership role at Zipcar; and Paul Mascarenas, former chief technical officer and vice president of research and advanced engineering at Ford.
Chris Thomas, a partner at Fontinalis, says the SVPs will, for example, help make introductions between the firm’s industry partners and portfolio companies as well as help with due diligence. “We’re excited to bring them on board,” he adds.
—Beginning in January, any University of Michigan student will be able to get a minor in entrepreneurship. The 15-credit program expands on the current nine-credit program, and at least 200 students are expected to enroll. The minor will be based in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and is the signature program of Innovate Blue, U-M’s campus-wide initiative on entrepreneurship and innovation. Students are expected to complete two core classes and will also have access to a variety of electives. The minor also includes an in-depth practicum and self-directed work outside the classroom.
Also coming to the university: The Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurship will offer a new course covering a broad range of topics essential to leading entrepreneurial ventures, including idea generation, starting a company, raising capital, building a business plan, attracting a team, preparing for growth, corporate innovation, and buying a business. Back by popular demand after its trial offering, the course will be available to executive MBA students starting in January.
—Mobile software development shop Detroit Labs has created an app for the Detroit Police Department that residents can use to report crimes. DPD Connect, which is free for Android and iOS devices, allows users to submit anonymous tips and report non-emergency incidents to a channel that is monitored around the clock, and provides contact information for DPD and other important city resources, including animal control and parking enforcement. It also offers up-to-date news, crime updates, and posts about wanted criminals. Detroit Labs created the app free of charge for the city.
—Plymouth-based Delphinius Medical Technologies, a medical device startup, has received another 501(k) regulatory clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its SoftVue breast ultrasound system. The system uses a ring-shaped transducer to automatically scan the entire breast in cross sections, producing a colorized map that can help doctors detect areas of concern that may require further investigation.