Blueprint, Now With 60 Startups, Debuts Latest Healthtech Crop

Xconomy New York — 

The numbers are quickly growing for Blueprint Health.

Some four years into its existence, Blueprint—the New York City-based healthtech startup incubator—has now helped launch 60 companies. That includes the seven that debuted on Friday at the latest Blueprint demo day at the City Winery in SoHo. The new group, toting digital health solutions for insurance brokers, dieticians, and other health providers, is Blueprint’s seventh graduating class.

So what type of progress are all these companies making?

Executive director Jean-Luc Neptune—an entrepreneur and the former senior vice president of Health 2.0 who joined Blueprint in December—said that 85 percent of Blueprint’s startups are still in business, and 80 percent of them are generating revenue. Neptune wouldn’t specify exactly how many of them are profitable; he told Xconomy that “a number” of them “are in the range of being profitable,” while adding that “most of them are focused on growth and not profitability at this point.”

One example is Touch Surgery, the developer of a mobile surgical simulation app; the company, part of Blueprint’s third class, now has 50 employees and over 300,000 users. Another member of that class, iMedicare, a startup with an online dashboard that pharmacies can use to help patients choose Medicare plans, is up to 30 or so employees, Neptune said.

He added another factoid about Blueprint’s progress: the value of Blueprint’s equity stakes in the companies it’s backed is three and a half times the capital that it has invested in those startups. Blueprint doesn’t have any big exits under its belt as of yet (like an acquisition of one of its seedling companies), but nonetheless Neptune noted the packed house at the City Winery and the increasing number of local entrepreneurs trying to get into Blueprint’s program and said: “I think that’s a sign that what we’re doing is real.”

Blueprint takes a 6 percent equity stake in the startups it helps form; in return, companies get $20,000 in cash, a home base in Blueprint’s SoHo loft, and another $70,000 in legal, human resources, and other costs. Blueprint—a member of the Techstars Network group of incubators—then takes its accepted applicants through a three-month boot camp culminating in a demo day pitching to angel investors and venture capitalists.

Blueprint is one of a group of healthtech startup creators in New York City, including StartUp Health (which has launched over 90 companies, three of which have been acquired), New York Digital Health Accelerator, and Welltech Funding. The Big Apple has seen a number of incubators pop up in the broader healthcare sector over the past few years. Biotech now has two, for instance, in Manhattan’s Harlem Biospace and BioBAT at the Brooklyn Army Terminal; there are other efforts underway as well. They’re all part of a life sciences scene that has been mobilizing in ways that it historically hasn’t.

As for Blueprint’s latest crew, here’s a brief summary of their ideas, and the seed funds they’re raising, from last Friday’s festivities:

GlucoIQ: Diabetes patients typically have to log their blood glucose levels in notebooks to report back to a doctor, says GlucoIQ CEO Adithya Ganesh. His startup aims to digitize the process. Each patient gets a glucometer that transmits data in real-time to a software platform managed by GlucoIQ. Nurses staffed by the startup call patients to review the data and handle a messaging service. GlucoIQ gets a cut of the $500 per patient per year that Medicare now sets aside for chronic care management services. The startup is raising $500,000.

GroupHub: This startup aims to supply independent insurance brokers with the tools to compete with tech companies like Zenefits. GroupHub provides these brokers with online software and a dashboard they can use to enroll small and midsize businesses into healthcare and benefit plans. It’s raising $500,000.

Healthy Bytes: This startup is trying to make it easier for dieticians to find more patients. CEO Amy Roberts says the Affordable Care Act now requires insurance companies to pay for preventative services—meaning nutrition counseling is covered. But this is a business model shift for dieticians; “few [of them] even know how to file a claim” because of the complicated process of filing and tracking them, so they’re losing business, she says. Healthy Bytes aims to simplify that process and get dieticians set up to easily accept insurance: the startup charges a 6 percent fee for claims it helps file. It’s raising $500,000.

Limestone Labs: Everyone loves their smartphone, but in hospitals, it can be a hazard. CEO Taylor Mann says that smartphones and other portable electronic devices are to blame for a number of hospital-acquired infections; his startup, Limestone Labs, has developed a device to stop that from happening. Called CleanSlate, the device uses ultraviolet technology to disinfect portable electronics in 30 seconds. Limestone has also developed cloud-based software that tracks which smartphones in hospitals have been sanitized, and where the risk areas are, Mann says. Limestone charges a $175 monthly fee for each sanitizer.

Moving Analytics: After suffering a heart attack, what can reduce your risk of another one? Cardiac rehab. Unfortunately, many patients don’t participate, says Moving Analytics CEO Harsh Vathsangam. That’s because it’s expensive and inconvenient (it requires dozens of hospital visits per year). Moving Analytics brings this process to the home with an app that guides patients through a program of exercise, educational videos, and vital-signs monitoring. The program is set up by a nurse who tracks the patient’s process through an online dashboard. As with GlucoIQ, Moving Analytics gets a piece of the per-patient sum set aside by Medicare for chronic care management. The startup is raising $600,000.

Signifikance: This startup is trying to help lab companies analyze and interpret genomic data coming out of their DNA sequencers faster, according to CEO Iker Huerga. After a lab company sequences genomic data, it uploads those data to Signifikance’s online system; the startup then classifies and prioritizes the most relevant genetic mutations, and generates a summary report with the most suitable treatment options. It charges $100 a report. Signifikance is raising $1 million.

TapGenes: CEO Heather Holmes says TapGenes has developed an online method to help folks “crowdsource their family’s health information.” The idea is for people to get a clear picture of their family’s health risks, so they can take any possible preventative measures. It charges $79 for an annual subscription. The startup is raising $1 million.