“Innovation on Steroids,” that is how Bill Mckeon, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Operating Officer for the Texas Medical Center (TMC), described TMCX, TMC’s new business accelerator program, during the inaugural class’s first media pitch event, on April 9th.
During the event, the 22 startup companies that make up the inaugural class were given the opportunity to make a “shark tank” style formal 3 minute pitch to a panel of local Houston media reporters, including the Houston Chronicle, Bloomberg Media, KPRC Channel 2, and of course, BioNews Services, parent company of BioNews Texas. Following the pitch was a Q&A session by the panel that focused on each company’s product, marketing strategy, business development plan, and importance to the healthcare industry.
The media pitch night was the final test of an entrepreneurial journey that began when these 22 start-up companies made it through a rigorous application and interview process that included over 260 companies vying for the opportunity to be part of TMCX’s business accelerator program, a central component of TMC’s Innovation Institute. Upon acceptance, the participants began a 6-month comprehensive and practical curriculum that included a 2-week innovation boot camp, workshops designed to help the start-ups overcome common hurdles in commercializing medical technologies; with a focus on areas of intellectual property, product development, regulatory strategies, health policy, marketing, fundraising, contract negotiations and communications.
In a statement about the make-up of TMCX’s inaugural class, Mr. Mckeon, said “The unifying thread is that our team who looked at this really identified companies that have the potential to advance care. Whether that’s in the form of a technology to monitor blood loss during surgery or a new method of wound care, in each case we truly felt they had something compelling to offer to the medical community. We wanted the best of the best so that we could really focus our resources around these companies—it’s about helping them achieve success while connecting them with the resources available in the heart of this incredible medical city.”
The 22 companies giving their pitches during the evening’s event included 9 companies that are based in the Houston area:
- Adient Medical: makes a medical device that dissolves after use without the need for additional surgery.
- DiBS: is a data visualization company. Recently, it was in the Bayou Startup Showcase, and is a collaboration between Rice University and University of Houston’s accelerator programs.
- iShoe: is a balance diagnostics company with technology from NASA currently focusing on a consumer market. Eventually, it wants to move toward clinical trials and FDA approval.
- Laser Tissue Welding: makes noninvasive surgical hemostasis for accurate sutures and surgical repair.
- Medical Adhesive Revolution: makes surgical adhesives that dissolve when completed. It was the winner of the Rice Business Plan Competition and recently relocated to Houston.
- NanoLinea: uses fiber technology to help treat heart conditions. It competed in the 2014 Rice Business Plan Competition and was a Goradia Finalist at the Houston Technology Center.
- Noninvasix: looks to curb cerebral palsy and cesarean sections through non-invasive monitoring of fetal cerebral blood oxygenation.
- SemanticMD: makes a visual and annotative search platform for medical professionals analyzing images.
- Will 2 Love: creates interventions for problems with sexuality and fertility related to cancer and other chronic illnesses.
- Admetsys: Developed the first fully-automated glucose control system specifically for the needs of hospital and surgical care
- Brain Check: Mobile measurement of brain function
- Clear Ear: Making ears happier
- Creative Bioinformatics: Online marketplace connecting freelance bioinformatics scientists with custom projects in academia and industry
- Delafield Solutions: Through their PHP technology, provides 24/7, real-time, disinfection of air and surfaces where people live, work, and play; ideally suited for office and healthcare environments as it provides safe, continuous treatment with no disruption to daily routines
- ECM Technologies: Commercializing Designer Collagens, a versatile medical device platform, for biomedical needs
- Gauss Surgical: The world’s first FDA-approved real-time monitor for surgical blood loss
- Oxitone Medical: A bracelet pulse oximetry platform that provides continuous supervision of pulmonary, heart and sleep-related diseases to empower preventative care
- Proximare Health: Creating an automated, intelligent referral process that matches patients, treatments and providers to increase revenue retention, enhance care coordination and improve patient satisfaction
- Redox: The modern API for EMR integration; making it easier to integrate with EMRs
- Sage Health: Driving efficiency by building a digital nervous system for hospitals, extending the capabilities of modern EHR systems with human-centric sensors and analytics software
- Seratis: Collects all of the digital conversations around a patient onto a single trusted cloud based platform; connects all of the providers responsible for a patient’s well-being, across departments and beyond the hospital walls, in a single Care Map, closing gaps of care and enabling better health
- Skylit Medical: Using a connected device with cutting edge lighting technology to provide access to clear skin for patients affected by conditions caused by the immune system
TMC’s Innovation Institute is housed in a 100,000-square-foot facility that was formerly the Nabisco cookie factory. As Mr. Mckeon puts it, “the small little place that used to make cookies is now TMC’s hub of innovation.”
The largest medical complex in the world, the Texas Medical Center is internationally recognized and home to many of the nation’s best hospitals, physicians, educational institutions, researchers, and the largest concentration of life-sciences experts. For the first time in its history, the Texas Medical Center has aligned the multi-institutional expertise to formulate five institutions dedicated to: Health Policy, Clinical Trials, Regenerative Medicine, Genomics, and Life Science Innovation. Together, these institutions will advance the Texas Medical Center as the global leader in human health and life sciences