Here’s a look at innovation news from around the state:
—The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) last week announced a new partnership with Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics, the Regenstrief Institute, and Indiana University’s School of Medicine aiming to better understand how type 2 diabetes varies in different patients—which is the first step in finding new targets for the development of personalized treatments and improved diagnostic tools. The first-of-its-kind collaboration will be able to access data on more than 800,000 type 2 diabetics across the state.
“One of the areas of focus for the IBRI is the convergence between life science research, informatics, and technology,” David Broecker, CEO of the IBRI, said in a statement. “Every life science organization is working to understand how to connect biology to technology to drive both new discoveries and interventions, particularly in complex diseases like diabetes.”
The project will analyze data from the Regenstrief Institute’s Indiana Network of Patient Care database to try to better understand variations in type 2 diabetics and group those patients into subpopulations with common disease causes or complications. The analysis is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.
—Fishers-based First Internet Bank raised $23.4 million in a new stock offering earlier this month, selling 945,000 shares of common stock at $26.50 per share in a sale that closed Dec. 14. The company has raised approximately $110 million since its IPO in 2013. Internet Bank CEO David Becker told the Indiana Business Journal that the capital will go toward making more loans to customers in 2017.
—Matt Weirich, CEO of Indianapolis-based real estate tech startup Realync, says his company has had a great year: It raised $1.1 million in seed funding, won the startup track at the Venture Club of Indiana’s Innovation Showcase and Tastytrade’s inaugural Boostrapping in America competition, and made deals with large players in the multi-family real estate space. The company, which has a second office in Chicago, allows realtors and leasing agents to connect with prospective tenants through live virtual tours or cloud-based pre-recorded videos.
Realync announced more good news to close out 2016: It has added Jeff Rade as its vice president of engineering; Jordan Easley as director of operations; and Rachel Yockey as director of customer success. The company has also added new features to its app, including full-screen streaming in landscape mode, full-screen playback, content-embedding capabilities, the ability to import clips into videos, and support for Internet Explorer.
—To celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial on Dec. 11, Lessonly created an interactive guide for new hires relocating to the state. “A Newcomers Guide to Indiana” is chock full of insider advice on where to live, what to do, and the Hoosier state’s top attractions. “Indiana’s tech boom is having such a positive impact on our economy, and we’re grateful to be a part of it,” said Lessonly COO Conner Burt in a press release.
—Bryan Ritchie has been appointed vice president and associate provost for innovation at the University of Notre Dame, effective in March. Ritchie will lead the University’s new IDEA Center initiative and coordinate innovation and entrepreneurship programs. Ritchie will also direct the development of the university’s new Thomas H. and Diane G. Quinn Hall for Innovation and Change, a 40,000-square-foot facility providing space for up to 30 tech startups.
Prior to this appointment, Ritchie spent time as a tech executive, a startup founder, an academic and university administrator, and a private investor. His career began in the software industry, where he spent 10 years in executive positions at Novell, Dayna Communication, Iomega, and Century Software.
—In more personnel news: Earlier this month, Indianapolis-based legal tech startup Doxly announced it has hired D. Wayne Poole as its chief operating officer. Poole comes to Doxly from Salesforce, where he served as executive vice president of global sales strategy and operations. Before that, he was senior vice president of global operations at ExactTarget, where he was one of the first 10 employees and integral to growing the company before its eventual sale to Salesforce last year for $2.5 billion.
—Calling all medical device startups: Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) are in search of game-changing, early stage medical device and device platform innovations in the areas of cardiovascular, diabetes, neurovascular, surgery, orthopedics, and vision care. The JLABS @ M2D2 QuickFire Challenge will award one year of paid lab and desk space at M2D2 in Lowell, MA, and access to mentoring and coaching from Johnson & Johnson experts. Entrants must be committed to further developing their product at the M2D2 space. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2017.