Morgenthaler Names Finalists for Health IT Pitch Fest; We've Got the Graphics & Videos

For three years running, Menlo Park, CA-based Morgenthaler Ventures has organized a fall event called DC to VC, with a focus on the conditions for health IT innovation in an era of rapid healthcare reform. The 2011 edition of the DC to VC event was organized around a pitch competition called the Health IT Startup Showcase, and Morgenthaler is reprising the format this year, but will present it for the first time in conjunction with the big Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco. Today Morgenthaler released the names of the seed-stage and Series-A-stage finalists who’ll be pitching their company’s stories to judges on Wednesday, October 10, the final day of the conference.

There’s no money at stake in the competition—it’s all about the chance to pitch on stage in front of a high-powered panel that includes big names like Rebecca Lynn of Morgenthaler Ventures, Michael Yang of Comcast Ventures, Andy Donner of Physic Ventures, Nina Kjellson of Interwest Partners, Lisa Suennen of Psilos, and Marty Felsenthal Partner, HLM Partners (in the Series A category), as well as Margaret Laws of the California Healthcare Foundation, Anne DeGheest of Health Tech Capital, Jack Young of Qualcomm Ventures, Tom Rodgers of Cambia Health, Ross Fubini of Kapor Capital, and JC Simbana of Silicon Valley Bank (in the seed-stage category).

“What’s in it for the companies is exposure,” says Missy Krasner, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Morgenthaler who organized this year’s competition. “It’s a point of validation for them. Last year, two of the finalists got funding right away, so it’s a great mantelpiece for companies that are up-and-coming.”

For Morgenthaler, the competition is a chance to test investment hypotheses about what’s hot in the health IT market, Krasner says. “It’s a great chance for us to stress-test our theses in areas like care coordination and predictive risk modeling,” she says. “Rebecca Lynn and I pride ourselves on being extremely comprehensive and meeting a lot of companies, but we were really surprised when we got 140 applications for the competition and I had only heard of about 15 of them. It’s a pretty good exercise for the pipeline. And it confirms trends.”

To be considered for Series A category of the competition, companies were required to have a product on the market with real customers and be seeking $2 million to $5 million in venture capital. In the seed-stage category, candidates were nominated by healthcare startup accelerators Rock Health, Blueprint Health, Healthbox, and Startup Health.

Below we’ve got exclusive details on the seven Series A finalists and the five seed-stage finalists, as well as several honorable-mention winners. The company descriptions are courtesy of Morgenthaler, and the photos and screenshots are courtesy of the startups themselves and are used by permission.

Series A Finalists

GSI Health (Philadelphia, PA; founded 2003 by Leroy Jones and Lori Evans-Bernstein) delivers workflow, care coordination apps and health information exchange (HIE) solutions for hospitals that manage patients across the care continuum and outside the enterprise.

GSI Health Screenshot


Beyond Lucid Technologies (Walnut Creek, CA; founded 2009 by Jonathan Feit and Christian Witt) offers a pre-hospital records or electronic health record-type (EHR) solution for ambulance providers, medics and first responders.


CarePlanners (New York, NY; founded 2011 by Alan Blaustein and Dr. Nancy Snyderman) is a platform that enables a nationwide network of careplanners to help patients and caregivers better navigate their individual and ongoing experiences with the healthcare system using a combination of personal services and online tools.

Careplanners screenshot


Starling Health (New York, NY; founded 2011 by Brian Yarnell) offers an intuitive, touchscreen bedside communication system for hospitals to improve patient interaction at the point of care and help streamline the nurse triage and communication process.

Starling apps


AgeTak (Hopkins, MN; founded 2004 by Pratik Verma and Rakesh Verma) unleashes big data in healthcare from dispersed data silos in real-time based on consent from the true owner of the data. It offers privacy-protecting big-data solutions for analytics in healthcare.

AgeTak screenshot


HeathLoop (San Francisco, CA; founded 2009 by Jordan Shlain and Mike Kaplan) offers an automated patient follow-up solution that tracks patient recovery and improves outcomes by engaging patients with their doctor between visits. HealthLoop connects patients directly with their physician throughout their healthcare journey—before a procedure and after they go home. HealthLoop’s SaaS platform and library of clinical protocols provide an intelligent and simple follow up system—“the electronic housecall”. A physician prescribes a ‘loop’ which consists of reminders, questions and care instructions that feed back to their office. At each online check-in, the patient is oriented to timely ‘action items’ and answers clinical questions based on where he should be in the recovery process. Physicians and staff are informed if a patient appears at risk of a complication, treatment failure or hospital readmission.

HealthLoop screenshot


Comprisma (Washington, D.C.; founded 2010 by Chris Dugan and Adam Pelavin) makes health insurance markets healthier by providing risk markets for health insurers to share risk with one another, reducing the uncertainty and volatility in aggregate policy experience.

Honorable Mention:

NudgeRX (Seattle, WA; founded 2010 by David Schuster, John Schuster, Robert Parker, and Maureen Meyer) reduces unplanned hospital admissions by providing daily, web-based recovery monitoring and guidance for patients and caregiver.

NudgeRX screenshot


Seed-Stage Finalists

Nephosity (San Francisco, CA; founded 2010 by Michael Pan and Zaich Chang) is building an iPad viewer app and cloud server that enables collaborative access to medical images, anywhere, anytime.

Nephosity app


Force Therapeutics (New York, NY; founded 2010 by Bronwyn Spira and Mark Lieberman) is a physical therapy platform for both consumers and physical therapists that leverages telehealth to help deliver mobile care in real time.

Force Therapeutics


United Preference (Chicago, IL; founded 2011 by Mark Hall and Pamela Hall) offers flexible payment architectures on an easy-to-administer card platform for the delivery of employee and health plan incentives that help drive healthy behavior (Chicago, IL). Their programs are responsible for 200,000 lives nationally.

United Preference screenshot


Aidin (Nashville, TN; founded 2011 by Russ Graney, Mike Galbo, and Janan Rajeevikaran) offers a hospital discharge solution for social workers and case managers to refer patients to post-acute care providers or to receive care in the home. Aidin integrates into the discharge planning workflow to free social workers from administrative tasks and re-center their time around patients. By automatically generating listings of available providers, Aidin eliminates phone calls and faxes and empowers patients with quality of care ratings and reviews to make decision-making quick, easy, and informed. Aidin works with hospitals to track patient experiences and outcomes to help case managers gain insight into which post-acute providers best serve specific health conditions.

CaptureProof (Los Angeles, CA; founded 2012 by Meghan Conroy) captures, shares and compares patient images for easy analysis by doctors who want to monitor their patient’s health and physical healing over time.

Capture Proof on the iPhone


Honorable Mentions

Genomera (San Francisco, CA; founded 2010 by Greg Biggers) is a crowdsourcing health discovery service that helps any consumer create group health studies or clinical trials using social networking.

Genomera Screenshot


Cara Health (Chicago, IL; founded by Enda Madden, Carl Vogel, and Dr. Carmel Martin) uses language analytics and machine learning algorithms to calculate risk of unplanned adverse events based on live conversations with patients who are reporting their health status with care managers at call centers.

Cara Health Screenshot


Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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