Dairyvative, Catalyze, & EnsoData: This Week’s Wisconsin Watch List

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

An agriculture technology startup, a regulatory flip-flop, and a new investment fund are among the major recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:

—Markesan-based Dairyvative Technologies, which is developing a unique technology for making concentrated milk, raised $2.5 million from four investors, according to an SEC filing. The technology removes water from pasteurized milk to form a thick, honey-like concentrate that’s one-seventh as voluminous as the original liquid, according to the company’s website. The lactose-free concentrate, which does not need to be refrigerated, has a shelf life of at least six months and tastes like fresh milk when reconstituted.

—The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, UW-Madison’s well-endowed licensing arm, has extended its search for a new leader. The foundation announced in April that longtime managing director Carl Gulbrandsen would retire in early 2016 and it would appoint a new head before the end of 2015. But a spokeswoman for the foundation says Gulbrandsen has postponed his retirement and will stay on through next June.

—Catalyze announced it’s created a new platform to streamline the process of integrating with digital health records systems. The Madison-based startup provides cloud hosting and other services to enable the development of applications for healthcare. Its new platform, known as Redpoint, includes “tools to automate secure connectivity to and from [record-keeping systems],” the company said.

—One of Catalyze’s customers is EnsoData, which is developing a machine learning algorithm to diagnose sleep apnea. The startup was founded by two students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to California for the Y Combinator Fellowship program, which EnsoData announced it graduated from last month. It was one of 32 participating companies picked from more than 6,500 applicants, co-founder and CEO Chris Fernandez says in an email. EnsoData has since returned to Madison, according to a press release.

—Madison-based EatStreet, an online food-ordering service available in about 250 cities nationwide, raised $15 million in a Series C financing round. EatStreet co-founder and CEO Matt Howard said the company will use the funding to expand into more “tier-two” markets—meaning those with populations between 50,000 and 800,000—and expand its footprint in the places it already serves. Madison-based 4490 Ventures and Lumia Capital, based in San Francisco, co-led the round.

—Robert W. Baird & Company announced the launch of a “Small/Mid Cap Value Fund,” which will buy common stock in businesses with market capitalizations from $300 million to $10 billion. Senior vice president and portfolio manager Michelle Stevens, who also heads up Milwaukee-based Baird’s Small Cap Value Fund, will oversee the new fund. “Both small and mid cap stocks tend to grow faster, and a [small/mid] portfolio allows us to hold on to growing small cap companies longer as they grow into the mid cap range,” Stevens said in a press release.

—Propeller Health, which makes data-collecting devices that snap onto medication inhalers … Next Page »

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