A new biotech laboratory, another lofty national ranking for an accelerator, and changes to a coding school’s expansion plans are among these recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:
—Milwaukee-based Wantable raised more than $2 million from investors, according to a regulatory filing. The startup ships curated boxes containing clothing, makeup, accessories, and other items to a mostly young, female customer base. The new financing brings the total amount Wantable has raised to more than $4.3 million.
—Gener8tor, a startup accelerator that runs programs in Milwaukee and Madison, was again recognized in the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project. Last year, the authors of the rankings tabbed Gener8tor as the 14th-best accelerator in the U.S. This year, instead of ranking accelerators numerically, the authors grouped them into tiers; Gener8tor is in the “gold” tier, meaning it’s somewhere between 10th- and 16th-best overall, according to TechCrunch.
—One startup in Gener8tor’s portfolio of investments is Milwaukee-based Project Foundry, which has introduced new features to its education software allowing teachers to track their progress in completing professional development requirements. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is the first Project Foundry customer using the new tools, which CEO Bill Mortimore said were developed after the startup observed a parallel between students and instructors who were lacking engagement. Project Foundry could close on a $1.25 million seed funding round later this month, Mortimore said.
—Arrowhead Research, whose research and development operations are headquartered in Madison, said a therapeutic it’s developing could potentially prevent blood clots and treat angioedema, a condition marked by the swelling of blood vessels. Arrowhead (NASDAQ: ARWR) recently presented animal study data at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting. The company’s stock price rose more than 10 percent, to $4.76 per share, on March 7, the day Arrowhead announced the new data, but has since fallen about 5 percent, to $4.51.
—At the same time, Arrowhead is planning to build a 45,000-square-foot laboratory in Madison, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The new facility will be located in University Research Park on the city’s west side, and the company expects construction to be complete by August, according to the report.
—Other real estate-related news: BioForward, Wisconsin’s life sciences trade association, will open an office within the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Innovation Campus this week, BioForward CEO Lisa Johnson told Xconomy. The campus, which is located in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa and is separate from the university’s main campus, is home to organizations like TAI Diagnostics and Bridge to Cures, a nonprofit healthcare startup accelerator. BioForward had been considering opening a satellite office in the Milwaukee area since at least September 2014.
Johnson emphasized that while BioForward is based in Madison, innovative research and development is happening in many parts of the state. “We recognize that the strength of Wisconsin is in both Milwaukee and Madison, and also statewide with our manufacturing, to support a medical device industry,” she said.
—Speaking of medical devices, Madison-based NeuWave Medical was acquired for an undisclosed sum by Ethicon, a surgery-focused subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). NeuWave’s products use microwave energy to “ablate,” or eliminate, tumors, primarily ones located in patients’ lungs, livers, kidneys, and bones. Cincinnati-based Ethicon makes sutures, wound-close devices, and other tools used inside operating rooms.
—Madison-based Cellectar Biosciences announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, meaning stockholders were given one share for every 10 shares in the company they owned. Cellectar (NASDAQ: CLRB) said the move was done in part to ensure that its stock price stayed above $1, which is a requirement for being listed on the Nasdaq exchange. The split was expected to reduce the number of outstanding common shares to about 860,000 from about 8.6 million, Cellectar said.
—Verona-based Epic Systems has made changes to its MyChart online patient portal, which allows users to request prescription refills, view test results, and contact physicians, the website EHRIntelligence reported. “In the past, if you had two MyCharts from two different [health organizations that use Epic]…the charts have been separate,” Epic founder and CEO Judith Faulkner told EHRIntelligence. “We have now changed MyChart so that everything is all together no matter how many iterations of the portal you have—or if you have a portal from other vendors.” Some in the healthcare industry have accused Epic and other software vendors of making it difficult for their systems to share data with products from competitors.
—Staying in health IT, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that three Madison-based startups were named as collaborators with Salesforce, a San Francisco-based developer of software for contacting prospective customers and tracking interactions with them. The three startups—Catalyze, Propeller Health, and Redox—were named during the unveiling of Salesforce Health Cloud. That’s an initiative to help clinicians deliver more individualized, targeted care, according to Salesforce’s (NYSE: CRM) website.
—The Capital Times reported that DevCodeCamp, a program teaching computer science fundamentals that launched last July in Milwaukee and has since expanded its footprint there, received approval from the City of Madison’s Plan Commission to open an office in the state’s capital. DevCodeCamp previously said it would start holding classes in Madison in early 2016, but has reportedly backed off of that timeline. “We are still going through the preliminary steps on evaluating whether or not we are going to try and start up in Madison,” DevCodeCamp’s operations director Paul Jirovetz told the newspaper.
—Madison-based EatStreet, which develops online food-ordering software, has partnered with Waukesha-based Telkonet in an effort aimed at getting hotel guests to place orders for delivery. One of Telkonet’s business divisions, known as EthoStream, specializes in outfitting hotels with wireless Internet. The idea is that upon connecting to a hotel’s Wi-Fi network for the first time, a guest will see a list of restaurants that deliver there.