EnsoData, Pyxsee, Epic, & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
As you get set to head into the final week of 2017, take a few minutes to catch up on news from Wisconsin’s innovation community with these recent headlines:
—EnsoData, a Madison-based startup developing software to help clinicians analyze sleep data and diagnose patients with sleep apnea and other disorders, raised nearly $1 million in equity funding from 11 investors, according to an SEC filing that was first made public on Friday.
Chris Fernandez, one of EnsoData’s co-founders, said in an e-mail that new investors based in New York and Boston participated in the funding round, though he did not identify them by name. Fernandez said his company plans to use some of the proceeds from the round to expand its team, add to its roster of 11 customers, and begin developing its next A.I.-powered software application.
—Dayne Rusch, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, developed a mobile app that lets smartphone users (and their parents) manage social media usage on their devices, the Oshkosh Northwestern reported. The app, Pyxsee, is free to download from Apple’s App Store. However, it costs $2.99 a month to use Pyxsee’s parental control feature, which is “likely the part of [the] app that will sustain the company,” according to the newspaper. Rusch reportedly got the idea for the app after seeing so many people walking around with their heads down, fixated on their phones and oblivious to traffic.
—Golden Angels Investors raised $866,000 from 44 investors as part of what the group is calling its first “fintech fund,” according to a regulatory filing. Brookfield-based Golden Angels is one of the state’s largest angel investor groups. The companies already in its portfolio include Dynamis, PerBlue, and Promentis Pharmaceuticals.
—We profiled another startup in Golden Angels’ portfolio: EmOpti, which seeks to help hospitals shorten wait times in their emergency rooms by having offsite doctors and physician assistants examine some patients over a video feed upon arrival. Eight hospitals, including three that are part of Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care, are currently using EmOpti’s digital tools, said Ed Barthell, who founded the company in 2015 and serves as its CEO.
—Discovery to Product (D2P), a program that helps UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff turn ideas into companies, plans to shift its focus toward coordinating entrepreneurship-related activities across the university. The reason: a money crunch. Since launching in 2013, D2P has drawn from a $2.4 million fund to invest in startups launched during the course of the program. However, D2P is close to exhausting the fund, said Andy Richards, the program’s interim director. As a result, there’s some “concern” among program staff that fewer people will come to D2P because they won’t be able to get funding from the organization, he said.
—In other news related to Wisconsin’s flagship public university, UW-Madison computer science professor Jignesh Patel is helping lead a new startup, DataChat. The company is developing tools to help people who aren’t sophisticated software programmers retrieve data from multiple sources through short, straightforward text queries. DataChat recently graduated from gBETA, a seven-week, no-strings-attached startup accelerator organized by Wisconsin-based Gener8tor.
—Franklin-based ManageCore raised more than $750,000 in equity funding from 35 investors, according to a document filed with federal securities regulators. ManageCore specializes in helping clients use enterprise software developed by SAP (NYSE: SAP). Organizations use the Germany-based company’s tools for things like tracking business operations and managing customer relations. Launched in 2016, ManageCore has now raised nearly $2 million from investors, SEC filings show.
—Verona-based Epic Systems, which develops digital tools that hospitals and clinics use to manage patient records, plans to introduce a new version of its software in March that’s targeted at “small hospitals, physician groups, and post-acute care facilities,” Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review reported. The new software, Sonnet, will reportedly take less time to install than more souped-up versions of Epic (“All-Terrain” and “Utility”).
—American Family Insurance acquired Networked Insights, a Chicago-based startup developing software that combs through social networks for data that can help customers assess their marketing campaigns. Madison-based American Family said all 74 Networked Insights employees will keep their jobs following the acquisition. The startup was originally incorporated in Madison in 2006, but later relocated to Illinois.
—Madison-based Tailored Care is one of 32 startups that will begin working next year with leaders at Pulse@MassChallenge, a “lab” in Boston dedicated to supporting digital health ventures. Tailored Care’s software is designed to help “care professionals”—a category that includes nurses and social workers—support unpaid family caregivers, who work to keep seniors out of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. Tailored Care’s products help users identify whether caregivers are stressed or at risk for depression, and provide them “a clearer understanding of the impact of caregiving on their physical and emotional health and relationships.”
—Last-minute holiday shoppers who want to support candidates and organizations with liberal political ideologies might consider clicking over to the Goods Unite Us store. Goods Unite Us, a Madison-based startup launched earlier this year, has created an online marketplace of products sold by corporations that have either put little to no money into politics, or that have given predominantly to left-leaning politicians and advocacy groups.