Tag: InnoTech San Antonio

Codeup Wins the 2014 San Antonio InnoTech Beta Summit

Founder of Silicon Hills News

Michael Girdley with Codeup, Bill Mock, senior vice president of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Brandon Ashton with SocialRest and Marcus Robertson with TrueAbility.

Michael Girdley with Codeup, Bill Mock, senior vice president of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Brandon Ashton with SocialRest and Marcus Robertson with TrueAbility.

Codeup, a 12-week boot camp to teach technical skills to people, won the 2014 InnoTech Beta Summit on Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Girdley launched Codeup last year and the first class of 28 men and women is about to graduate.

Michael Girdley, founder of Codeup

Michael Girdley, founder of Codeup

The startup, based at Geekdom, charges $9,850 per student, which ensures that the students are committed and motivated to completing the coursework, Girdley said. The company also guarantees its graduates will find a job or it will refund 50 percent of their tuition.

The runners up were TrueAbility and SocialRest.

The other companies pitching included InnerAlly, Picture It Settled, Remote Garage and Biovideo. Each company gave a five-minute pitch followed by a few minutes of questions from the judges.

The judges were Pat Matthews, co-founder of Webmail.us, Rackspace executive and investor, Sharon O’Malley Burg, a technology consultant and Erach Songodwala, an angel investor.

Marcus Robertson, co-founder and chief technology officer of TrueAbility, presented the startup, which lets technical job candidates demonstrate their skills to potential employers through its AbilityScreen. TrueAbility also has a jobs board and charges companies to post a job and screen candidates through its platform.

SocialRest has created software that measures how effective a company’s content is by measuring how it is shared on social media and how many sales result.

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce sponsored the InnoTech Beta Summit and gave the winner a plaque and a one-year membership in its organization. The winners and runners up also received trophies.

Full disclosure: Silicon Hills News also helped to organize and host the InnoTech Beta Summit and InnoTech is a sponsor of Silicon Hills News.

ENTvantage Diagnostics of Austin Wins the Emerging Medical Technology Symposium’s Pitch Competition

Founder of Silicon Hills News
IMG_2722ENTvantage Diagnostics won the Emerging Medical Technology Symposium’s pitch competition on Tuesday afternoon.

“ENTvantage Diagnostics provides primary care and ENT physicians with critical information on the causes of ear, nose and throat illnesses,” said Joseph Skraba, its CEO.

The Austin-based company’s first product is a test its developing that can detect bacterial sinusitis. The test is similar to a strep throat test administered in the doctor’s office, Skraba said. The test will be able to help a doctor confirm a case of bacterial sinusitis that requires antibiotics to cure.

Right now, no such test exists.

Doctors must diagnose a patient with bacterial sinusitis based on symptoms, which are similar to cases of viral sinusitis. As a result, doctors often over prescribe antibiotics to their patients. About 30 million patients annually are diagnosed with sinusitis and 90 percent of all cases are viral and not bacterial, Skraba said.

ENTVantage Diagnostics’s $15 test would dramatically cut down on prescriptions for antibiotics and give patients a more accurate diagnosis of their condition. Skraba estimates it will take three years to get the test to the market.

The company is looking to raise a $1 million seed stage round to complete its initial product, a class two medical device, Skraba said. It received a $1,000 check from the Targeted Technology Fund as the winner of the pitch competition.

The runner up, Claresta Solutions, won six months worth of office space at the San Antonio Technology Center. But since Claresta Solutions already had an office, it gave up the prize to Leto Solutions, which is based at the center, so it gets six months of free rent.

Altogether, eight startups delivered five-minute pitches to a panel of judges. The other startups included Wisewear, StemBioSys, TVA Medical, Chiron Health and ClotFree.

Jerry Wilmink, CEO of Austin-based Wisewear, pitched a wearable health device to monitor fitness including heart rate and motion detection. Its sensor is a sticky patch that affixes to the chest and it sends its data to a cell phone.

Somer Baburek, CEO and founder of Claresta Solutions, came up with a better labor fetal monitor after a difficult labor with her daughter. She spent 26 hours in labor and had an emergency C-Section. But the monitor kept setting off alarms and required constant adjustment by the nurses throughout her labor. She left the hospital thinking there must be a better solution. She came up with it. Her device is based on an electrical system and is 90 percent accurate, she said. Most labor monitors are currently Doppler devices that are only 75 percent accurate, she said. The company is currently seeking $250,000 in seed stage funding to create a working prototype of its device.

IMG_2713The sixth annual Emerging Medical Technology Symposium took place the day before the InnoTech San Antonio conference, which kicks off Wednesday morning at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio.

The event was a big success, said Gabriele G. Niederauer, vice president of research and development for ArthoCare Corp. and chair of the symposium’s organizing committee.

One of the big themes that kept coming up again and again throughout the day was the importance of having a good team behind the startup, she said.

Emerging Medical Technology Symposium to Spotlight San Antonio’s Biotech Industry

Photo licensed from iStock

Photo licensed from iStock

Founder of Silicon Hills News

San Antonio has a long history of innovation when it comes to the biotechnology and the medical industry.

Dr. Julio Palmaz, then a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center invented the heart stent, which restaurateur Phil Romano later backed and they eventually sold it to Johnson & Johnson for about $500 million.

The city has had other successes in drug development, medical devices, and tissue and cell research companies and military medicine.

Most recently, Teleflex bought Vidacare last October for $285 million and Austin-based ArthoCare bought ENTrigue Surgical last June for $45 million in cash. And in February of this year, Smith & Nephew bought ArthoCare for $1.7 billion.

The sixth annual Emerging Medical Technology Symposium on April 1st, the day before the InnoTech San Antonio conference, seeks to put a spotlight on all of the medical and biotechnology innovation going on in South Texas, said Gabriele G. Niederauer, vice president of research and development for ArthroCare Corp. and chair of the symposium’s organizing committee.

“The whole goal of the meeting is to provide a venue for entrepreneurs in the medical technology space to network, learn and share their experiences to foster growth of future companies,” she said.

Of all the nationwide InnoTech conferences, San Antonio has the only one that offers a half-day focused just on medical entrepreneurs, she said.

More than 150 people are expected to attend the conference this year, Niederauer said. Registration costs just $54 and includes lunch, all presentations, an evening reception and access to InnoTech the following day.

The conference kicks off with a keynote address from Catherine “Cathy” Burzik, former president and CEO and a director of Kinetic Concepts in San Antonio. She is currently general partner at Targeted Technologies and serves as director on several public boards. She’s going to talk about building high performing teams that create value and ultimately create exit value for the company.

The symposium also features the second annual pitch competition. This year, eight companies will present before a panel of judges and angel and institutional investors. The winner will receive a $1,000 check from the Targeted Technology Fund and other perks.

The companies presenting include Claresta Solutions, TVA Medical, Leto Solutions, Wisewear, Chiron Health, StemBioSys, ClotFree and ENTvantage Dx. The judges include Jordan Kaufmann, president of Cardiovate and winner of the 2013 pitch competition, Mike Troy, CEO of FlashScan and Daniel R. Lee, CEO of Aperion Biologics Inc.

With the new Dell Medical School in Austin, this region will have even more biotechnology and medical startups. And the Targeted Technology fund, a venture capital fund focused on the biotechnology industry, is already raising its second fund, Niederauer said.

San Antonio’s CallGrader In DreamIt Ventures Philadelphia

Jon Dobbertin. co-founder of Call Grader

By L.A. LOREK, Founder of Silicon Hills News

At InnoTech San Antonio’s beta summit earlier this year, CallGrader won the competition.
The group of four close-knit friends created a software as a service customer application program for companies in the heating and cooling industry. They worked out of Geekdom on their venture.
A few months later, CallGrader applied and got selected to participate in the incubator program DreamIt Ventures, based in Philadelphia.
In September, Jon Dobbertin, Dan Garcia, Ben Niemietz and Chip Mobley all packed up and flew to Philadelphia. They rented two one-bedroom apartments close by the accelerator. Their wives, all four are expecting babies within four months of each other with the first due date set for Dec. 1, stayed in San Antonio.
“It’s been a little crazy,” Dobbertin said. He was in town last weekend and stopped by Geekdom for the 3 Day Startup San Antonio pitches on Sunday night. “We’ve been flying back and forth. But it’s been a phenomenal experience.”
The program has allowed Call Grader to expend its network, Dobbertin said. Every week, they meet with business people and listen to seminars from entrepreneurs who have been there and done that.
Dobbertin especially liked talks with Duck, Duck Go Founder Gabriel Weinberg and David Rose, founder of Gust.
CallGrader had a beta product in the marketplace when it entered the program, but now the company has launched and its revenues are projected to exceed what the team originally forecast by the end of the year, Dobbertin said. He declined to provide specifics.
“We’ve had a really successful launch out of Beta,” he said.
CallGrader has also pivoted into a cloud-based platform for providing businesses a way to efficiently communicate with customers. It has also built a rich database that allows companies to get all kinds of information on their customers including social media profiles to better tailor their service, Dobbertin said. And next year, it’s rolling out a chat platform, he said.
The DreamIt program has been hectic but it has pushed the team members to do more work in a short period of time than they would have gotten done on their own, Dobbertin said.
“We’re working around the clock, seven days a week and putting in 14 hour days,” he said. “In that three months we were able to do 12 months worth of work.”
CallGrader receied $25,000 in cash and $75,000 worth of credits for free hosting from Rackspace, Amazon and Azure. It has also received another $20,000 worth of legal and accounting services, Dobbertin said. But the most valuable part of the experience has been the mentorship and network the team received, he said.
To get to the next level, CallGrader plans to raise a seed round of investment, Dobbertin said. The company would like to raise its money in San Antonio so they can stay here. But they have already applied to the Benjamin Franklin Technology Fund, which would require Call Grader to be based in Philadelphia, Dobbertin said.
“We hope to find our funding here so we don’t have to move everyone to the East Coast,” he said.
Call Grader shows what’s possible for startup companies in San Antonio, said Alan Weinkrantz, a public relations expert who knows the team.
“It’s nice to see a company start and incubate here and go on to get accepted to a top tier incubator and relocate to Philadelphia.”

DreamIt Ventures recently expanded its program to Austin. It is based at Capital Factory. DreamIt Ventures just selected its first class of companies. They will have their demo day at SXSW 2013.

InnoTech San Antonio Spotlights Technology

InnoTech San Antonio has grown dramatically since it started five years ago, said Sean Lowery, the event’s executive director.
This year 65 exhibitors showcased their technology on the exhibit floor including Geekdom, a collaborative downtown workspace, Sirius Computer Solutions, a San Antonio-based information technology solutions provider and Nuboso, a startup cloud computing hosting company.
The show also served as a platform for a handful of startup companies to present their companies to potential investors and others interested in technology companies.
The day-long education program also featured dozens of speakers talking about everything from mobile apps to cloud computing and hiring high tech workers.

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