Health startup wins pitch con­test

Wound care in­no­va­tor Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics im­presses at Beta City com­pe­ti­tion

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Sarah Gantz sarah.gantz@balt­ twit­­gantz

“We’re not proud enough of the amaz­ing things hap­pen­ing here.”

Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics, a Bal­ti­more mo­bile health com­pany, took home top honors — and $50,000 — Thurs­day at Beta City’s startup pitch com­pe­ti­tion.

Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics, which de­vel­oped a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion for track­ing wound heal­ing, was among eight star­tups that pre­sented their busi­ness plans to a panel of judges dur­ing the Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Pitch Day at Sag­amore Ven­tures’ City Garage in Port Cov­ing­ton.

The pitch com­pe­ti­tion was part of Beta City, a day­long startup show­case put on by Sag­amore Ven­tures, Un­der Ar­mour CEO Kevin Plank’s pri­vate-ven­ture in­vest­ing arm, and the tech­nol­ogy in­cu­ba­tor Be­ta­more. Nowin its sec­ond year, Beta City aims to cast Bal­ti­more as an emerg­ing hub for en­trepreneur­ship and tech­nol­ogy by high­light­ing promis­ing young com­pa­nies and en­trepreneurs.

“The re­al­ity is we’re not proud enough of the amaz­ing things hap­pen­ing here,” said Jen Meyer, CEO of Be­ta­more.

Dur­ing the pitch com­pe­ti­tion, en­trepreneurs made brief pre­sen­ta­tions of their busi­ness plans, then fielded ques­tions from a panel of judges. The judges eval­u­ated the pitches based on mar­ket po­ten­tial, fi­nan­cial strength and the lead­er­ship team, as well as the pre­sen­ter’s over­all pitch.

Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics stood out be­cause its tech­nol­ogy ad­dresses a ma­jor prob­lem — mil­lions of dol­lars spent on treat­ment of chronic wounds, said John Wasil­isin, pres­i­dent and CEO of TEDCO, a state agency that in­vests in promis­ing com­pa­nies.

Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics’ mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion is de­signed to help doc­tors and nurses track wound heal­ing. Through the app, health care providers can pho­to­graph a wound, take notes about progress and share the in­for­ma­tion with oth­ers on their team.

Chronic wounds such as bed­sores and di­a­betic ul­cers, cost mil­lions of dol­lars a year to treat, in part be­cause the process for track­ing re­cov­ery is fre­quently in­ex­act. Med­i­cal staff of­ten rely on rulers to mea­sure the size of a wound and their own vis­ual judg­ment of whether a wound is heal­ing.

“It’s a very dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy,” Wasil­isin said. “We like to try to give those com­pa­nies a shot.”

The $50,000 from TEDCO is an eq­uity in­vest­ment, mean­ing TEDCO will be­come an in­vestor in Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics and will con­tinue to work with the com­pany.

Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics was founded by Kevin Keena­han and Josh Bud­man, two biomed­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing grad­u­ates of the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity.

Keena­han, the firm’s CEO, said the in­vest­ment will help get the com­pany to its next hurdle, a Se­ries A eq­uity round he and Bud­man hope to com­plete next year.

The com­pany has al­ready raised $2.8 mil­lion in seed fund­ing.

“It’s go­ing to cat­a­pult us into that next se­ries of fund­ing,” Keena­han said.

Tis­sue An­a­lyt­ics wasn’t the night’s only winner. TopBox, an an­a­lyt­ics tool for call cen­ters, won a $25,000 cash prize from Johns Hop­kins Tech­nol­ogy Ven­tures, the Uni­ver­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land, Ev­er­green Ad­vi­sors, Green­spring As­so­ci­ates, Bal­ti­more An­gels, SunTrust and SC&H Group.

Founded by for­mer Xerox ex­ec­u­tives, TopBox an­a­lyzes calls to cus­tomer ser­vice cen­ters to help their op­er­a­tors im­prove cus­tomer re­la­tions and cut down on calls. By bet­ter un­der­stand­ing why cus­tomers are call­ing and why they’re up­set, com­pa­nies may be able to bet­ter ad­dress prob­lems and re­duce the vol­ume of com­plaints.

TopBox has of­fices in Po­tomac as well as Den­ver, Kansas City and Port­land, Ore.

An­other 17 com­pa­nies were se­lected to present their prod­ucts at booths set up at City Garage.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing an op­por­tu­nity to show off some of the area’s promis­ing com­pa­nies, Beta City was a place for the city’s growing en­trepreneur­ship and tech­nol­ogy com­mu­nity to eat, drink and min­gle. The event drew 700 at­ten­dees.

“This is a great mo­ment for Bal­ti­more,” said Christy Wyskiel, who leads Hop­kins’ tech­nol­ogy com­mer­cial­iza­tion ef­forts as a se­nior ad­viser to Pres­i­dent Ron­ald J. Daniels. “This is one big com­mu­nity now, and that’s what can dif­fer­en­ti­ate Bal­ti­more from oth­ers — we’re all cheer­ing for each other.”

Jen Meyer, CEO of Be­ta­more

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