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Mobile health is one of the hot commodities in the venture capital field, as evidence by the 11 finalists in a nationwide contest organized by Morgenthaler Ventures.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm has released its list of final candidates in its “DC to VC: HIT Startup Showcase.” Each startup’s founder will present his or her case for seed or Series-A funding to some 200 venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs during an invitation-only gathering on Sept. 22 in Menlo Park, Calif.
"The tremendous response we received shows that health IT is becoming as sexy a sector as social media and games," said Rebecca Lynn, a partner at Morgenthaler Ventures and head of the firm's health IT investing team, in a press release. "We received 117 applications that reflect how entrepreneurs are 'thinking big.' They are building powerful applications and services on top of today's Web, mobile, social media and cloud-based infrastructures to transform our healthcare system.”
According to Dow Jones VentureSource, venture capital investments in health IT, ranging from medical software to information services, stood at $198 million during the second quarter of 2011, a 27 percent increase from the $156 million invested during the same quarter of 2010.
While the percentage of those investments going to mobile health startups remains relatively low, many analysts say it’s increasing dramatically. According to Rock Health, a San Francisco-based seed accelerator in the digital health space, 2010 was a record year for VC funding of mHealth technology, with 138 recorded deals (up from 52 in 2005). In addition, more than $2 million has been invested in some 35 digital health startups so far this year.
The finalists in “DC to VC” are divided into two categories – those seeking seed funding and those seeking Series-A investments. They are:
•Careticker, based in Miami, which has developed an online platform to assist people planning for a hospital or outpatient procedure.•EyeNetra, based in Cambridge, Mass., which has developed a system that allows people to use a smartphone to take an eye test, get a prescription for glasses and connect to eye-care providers.•Skimble, based in San Francisco, which has developed a series of mobile wellness coaching applications, including Workout Trainer.•SurgiChart, based in Nashville, Tenn., which has created a cloud-based social-clinical network that allows surgeons to exchange relevant perioperative, case-specific information.•Telethrive, based in Los Angeles, which has created an audio and video conferencing platform that connect patients and doctors for consults over a phone or computer.•Viewics, based in San Francisco, which offers cloud-based analytics and business intelligence solutions.•AbilTo, based in New York, which delivers online mental health programs to managed care members and enterprise workforces.•Axial Exchange, based in Raleigh, N.C., which is developing pay-for-performance solutions for healthcare networks.•Empower Interactive, based in San Francisco, which deliver online psychotherapy services.•Jiff, based in San Francisco, which bill itself as the first HIPAA-compliant iPad platform for patient education.•YourNurseIsOn.com, based in New Haven, Conn., which uses text, e-mail and phone communications to connect patients to healthcare providers.
In addition, CareyinSync, which has developed a care collaboration platform for smartphones and other mobile devices, was given an honorable mention.
The contest was organized by Morgenthaler Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Health 2.0 and Practice Fusion, and applications were judged by Lynn; Shai Goldman and JC Simbana, directors at Silicon Valley Bank; Health 2.0 founder Matthew Holt; and Steven Krein, who founded StartUp Health and serves as CEO of Organized Wisdom.
The Sept. 22 showcase, organized by Morgenthaler Ventures and StartUp Health, will include a keynote address by Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard and a roundtable titled “Bridging the Gap between Health and Wellness IT Entrepreneurs and Investors.” The roundtable will be moderated by Thomas Goetz, executive director of Wired magazine, and feature Bob Kocher, a partner at Venrock and special assistant to President Barack Obama for healthcare and economic policy.
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