WI Watchlist: MSI Data, Cellular Dynamics, WARF, Redox, & More
It’s time to catch up on recent news in Wisconsin’s innovation community. Read on for details.
—MSI Data, a Milwaukee-based business that develops software for organizations in the equipment distribution and service contractor industries, said it received an investment from Luminate Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm. The amount was not disclosed. Launched in 2010, MSI Data’s products allow customers to schedule and dispatch technicians, manage inventory, and perform other tasks.
The company said in a news release that the new money will “support continued growth and product development.” A spokesperson for MSI Data declined to say whether the private equity investment was for a minority or majority stake in the company.
—GreenBay Technologies, a Madison-based startup developing data management software, said it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Informatica, a large, Silicon Valley-based company that develops software for business users. AnHai Doan, a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s computer sciences department, is one of the co-founders of GreenBay Technologies, according to a news release. Doan and others on the startup’s team will work with Informatica to further develop the company’s products, which are aimed in part at automatically discovering relationships among different types of information customers store in databases.
—Redox, a Madison-based startup that develops digital tools enabling healthcare applications to exchange data with patient health records systems, said it has teamed up with Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) to simplify the process of installing new software at hospitals and clinics. Chicago-based Allscripts is one of the leading makers of electronic health records software in the US. Healthcare providers that use Allscripts’s software will now have a more simple way of installing applications developed by the 200-plus software vendors that are currently part of Redox’s network, the companies said.
—Madison-based Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics is on the verge of opening a $21 million “cleanroom” facility to manufacture stem cells for use in human clinical trials, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. A major part of Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics’s business involves producing lines of stem cells for pharma companies and other customers, which use the cells for drug discovery and development. With the new facility, the company will be able to meet higher cleanliness standards when cells are given directly to people participating in clinical trials.
—Louis Woo, who had been one of the more visible leaders overseeing the Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn’s efforts to build a new glass panel manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin, has stepped down from the project, according to a Racine Journal Times report.
Woo had served as special assistant to Terry Gou, Foxconn’s founder and former chairman. Gou himself stepped away from the company’s day-to-day operations in June, reportedly to explore a potential bid for Taiwan’s presidency. However, Gou has pulled out of the race, Bloomberg reported this week.
—The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. picked Melissa Hughes, who had been an executive at the La Farge-based farm cooperative Organic Valley, to be the jobs-creation agency’s new CEO, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The previous chief executive of WEDC, Mark Hogan, announced in June that he planned to step down from the post.
The list of finalists for the top job at WEDC included Brian Taffora, according to the report; Taffora, a principal at Michael Best Strategies, was previously managing director at CSA Partners, a Milwaukee-based venture capital firm. Another finalist was Carrie Thome, who for years served as chief investment officer of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), UW-Madison’s technology transfer office. Thome reportedly left the foundation in June.
—UW-Madison published a Q&A with WARF chief venture officer Mike Partsch in which Partsch discusses the $110 million investment fund he helps lead, as well as a separate program called WARF Therapeutics, among other topics.