Wisconsin Roundup: Techstars, Silatronix, Virent, MyHealthDirect, & More

Two Wisconsin startups are in the midst of trying to raise more than $4 million each from investors, while two energy-related startups are making progress toward selling their products. Read on for details about these recent announcements, and more, from Wisconsin’s innovation community.

Silatronix has raised $2.8 million of a possible $4.2 million equity funding round, according to an SEC document. The Madison-based startup is developing electrolytes that would be used to make safer, better-performing lithium-ion batteries.

—MyHealthDirect, a Brookfield-based company that makes software for booking healthcare appointments, has raised $600,000 of a possible $4.6 million equity funding round, an SEC filing shows. The company, founded in 2005, has so far raised more than $14.5 million since 2009, SEC documents show. Its investors include Arboretum Ventures and Chrysalis Ventures.

—Madison-based Virent received U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registration of the renewable energy startup’s BioFarm Gasoline for use in motor vehicles. This is an important, but early, step toward eventual commercialization of the plant-based alternative fuel. Virent is partnering with Royal Dutch Shell to bring the fuel to market.

—Madison-based NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes signed a non-exclusive letter of intent to supply GE Healthcare with radioisotopes that are used in medical diagnostic imaging. There are currently no domestic manufacturers of radioisotopes, and many overseas manufacturing facilities are aging. Before the GE Healthcare deal can come to fruition, NorthStar’s products still need Food & Drug Administration approval. The company also needs to build its planned manufacturing facility in Beloit, WI. NorthStar could also face competition in domestic production of radioisotopes from another Wisconsin company, Shine Medical Technologies.

—Discovery to Product (D2P), the University of Wisconsin-Madison program aimed at commercializing technology born on campus, announced its first group of projects that will receive funding and mentorship. The 17 grantees range from an exercise device intended to help stroke victims walk, to a technology for assessing how far prostate cancer has progressed in a patient. The goal is to shepherd each project to the point of licensing the technology or incorporating a company by June 2015. Read more about D2P in this Xconomy profile.

—Techstars announced it will hold a Patriot Boot Camp program in Madison from Sept. 26-28. Techstars, which operates three-month startup accelerators in various cities, created Patriot Boot Camp to help military veteran entrepreneurs fine-tune their business idea and fundraising pitch. The three-day program is partly meant to help them get picked for accelerators. They will also be connected to business executives and startup mentors who could help them score investments. Patriot Boot Camp is moving away from annual events, held in Washington, D.C., and New York over the past three years, to regional events led by the program’s alumni and local business leaders. Interested veterans and active service members can apply for the Wisconsin program here.

—Scale Up Milwaukee is gearing up for its second “Scalerator” program that works with local small businesses to grow their sales. The program, led by Babson College professors, is being extended from two months to six months this time around. Xconomy profiled the program in March. Businesses can apply for the second Scalerator program by clicking here.

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