WI Watchlist: Froedtert, Gener8tor, Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, Exact

It’s been a busy week for Wisconsin’s innovation community, with entrepreneurship events taking place statewide for Startup Wisconsin Week (check out highlights on Twitter). Here are some of the other headlines from the past week:

—Wauwatosa-based Froedtert Health, which runs a network of hospitals and clinics and is affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin, has committed an additional $15 million to investing in healthcare technology startups, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. Since 2015, Froedtert has invested in startups through a subsidiary called Inception Health, which has backed companies located around the country. Froedtert has committed at least $45 million to startup investments thus far, the Business Journal reported.

—Meanwhile, the Wisconsin-based startup accelerator organization Gener8tor is trying to raise $15 million for its seventh venture fund, according to a recent SEC filing. The fund would back companies that participate in its core programs in Milwaukee, Madison, Cincinnati, and Minnesota, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. As of late August, Gener8tor was reportedly managing $10.8 million across its first six funds.

Gener8tor’s latest session in Milwaukee will culminate Nov. 14 with a startup pitch event at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

—Now let’s turn to Madison: Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, the local stem cell developer and manufacturer that was acquired by Japan-based Fujifilm in 2015, has laid off 10 percent of its staff worldwide, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The company didn’t share how many people were affected, but Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics now employs 143 people across all of its offices, according to the report. The affected roles include sales, marketing, and administration.

At the same time, the company is expanding its manufacturing space in Madison, and it intends to hire more people and perhaps bring its headcount back to the level it was at before the recent restructuring, the State Journal reported.

Click here to read more Xconomy coverage of the company, including its origins, the story behind its sale, formation of a spinoff focused on eye diseases, and a recent partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical.

—Lastly, we’ve got a pair of news items from Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS), the Madison-based cancer diagnostics firm. First, CEO Kevin Conroy announced during a quarterly conference call with financial analysts that Exact is now a customer of Epic Systems, the giant electronic health records software company based in nearby Verona. Epic’s software will help perform tasks such as tracking orders of Cologuard, Exact’s stool-based colorectal cancer test, and managing revenue and customer service, according to a transcript of the conference call posted by Seeking Alpha.

Secondly, Exact revealed in an SEC filing that it paid $20 million for San Diego-based Biomatrica, net of cash received, debt repaid, and “certain other adjustments.” Exact might pay out an additional $20 million if Biomatrica meets certain revenue milestones, according to the document. Exact didn’t initially disclose the deal terms last month when it announced the acquisition of the seller of equipment for storing blood and saliva samples.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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