Demo Daze

Inaugural Blueprint Health Startups Pitch Investors on Disrupting Health Industry

Nine companies from the health-tech incubator presented to investors in Soho today.

imag0033 Inaugural Blueprint Health Startups Pitch Investors on Disrupting Health IndustryNine startups demo’ed today at Blueprint Health, the health-tech startup incubator nestled in a Soho office that opened its first session in January. The room was packed, the rock music was at an appropriate volume, and the sandwiches ran out before Betabeat got there (early!).

But what followed was a highly-polished series of demos, following the formula: introduction by a mentor, pitch, market opportunity, amount being raised and for what, and team. Most teams were highly polished, although the startups seemed to go from more to less compelling. “This is like extreme startup makeover!” one mentor said in his intro.

The companies are raising between $350,000 to $750,000 each. A survey of the guests showed a smattering of investors, a smattering of entrepreneurs, a few journalists and a vast number of Blueprint mentors.

On to the demos.

5 O’Clock Records. “I love medical records,” said CEO Matthew Cottrell, a serial healthcare entrepreneur who founded and sold MediConnect.net, a $20 million revenue business. Doctors have to fill medical requests for insurance companies and law firms, and those requests are time-consuming and inefficient. 5 O’Clock Records automates the process and lets doctors charge a fee, bringing each doctor an average of $500 to $1,500 extra a month. (Pricing is dynamic and the system can upsell for a quick turnaround, plus the amount you can charge for a record changes by state–hence the range.) It’s a $450 million market opportunity, Mr. Cottrell said, and announced that the company has signed up Atlantic Health Partners, a system with 11,000 doctors.
Raising: $500,000 with $320,000 already committed. Closing April 30, he warned.

SymCat. Ever try to diagnose your symptoms by searching online? SymCat asks questions and queries its knowledge base to give a list of possible diagnoses, the probability that you have each of them, and a suggestion for what to do: visit the ER, go to an urgent care center, or stay home and drink lots of liquids. It’s sold white label to insurers and is also consumer-facing. Founded by two Johns Hopkins medical students, Craig Monsen and David Do.
Raising: $400,000 with $100,000 committed.

Patient Communicator. This startup is based on a two-year-old patient-doctor communication system built by Jeff Novich for his dad, who is a physician and has 900 patients using it. It’s designed to increase and improve communication between patient and doctor, from renewing prescriptions online to sending your diabetic patients an article you read in the New York Times health section. Mr. Novich’s father reduced his phone calls by 75 percent and Patient Communicator estimates a $400 million market. Mr. Novich announced a partnership with Crowell Systems, a health system in North Carolina, and pointed out that the government is offering $34 billion in subsidies for these kinds of services.
Raising: $350,000, with $100,000 committed.

InquisitHealth. Match.com for patients, is how one audience member described it. The system matches patients with each other for a one-on-one phone call. It’s sold to hospitals and support communities. they’ve signed up the cancer support community Gilda’s Club and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Raising: $350,000, with $100,000 committed.

ProcuredHealth. This startup aims to find efficiency and revenue in medical devices. It’s expensive and time-consuming for hospitals to approve a new device, even if it’s cheaper and better. ProcuredHealth provides a subscription service to hospitals and lead generation for devices. They’ve signed up two hospitals already.
Raising: $750,000 with $325,000 committed.

Meddik. A content startup that organizes conversations and online information about health. Users rate the content. The team is led by two University of Pennsylvania students, and we just realized that cofounder Tim Soo is the same guy who built the invisible violin that stole the show at last year’s Music Hack Day.
Raising: $750,000, the highest request of the batch, with $400,000 committed.

Needl. The very personable Rashaun Sourles, who spent seven years working in sales at Johnson & Johnson, presented this escalating demo. Mr. Sourles spent two years volunteering as an orderly at his top clients in order to learn their ways, track how they were using his drugs, and make sales. Needl is a question and answer service that lets doctors query pharma companies: “I need a drug that does x. Is there anything like that?” Pharma foots the bill for everything as Needl goes on to power all Q+A on the web around health. In-app Q+A is also a target, so apps the health industry uses can add the ability to ask a pharma sales rep questions. Then, Needl collects all the data and sells it back to Pharma as an analytics tool. Esther Dyson is an advisor.
Raising: $450,000.

iCouch. We were surprised that iCouch didn’t lean on Jessica Rios, a licensed therapist and apparently the only female in the entire Blueprint Health class, for its demo–if only for the sake of being memorable. The service manages patient connections with therapists, including scheduling, payment and video sessions. They have 80 therapists in the system and 45 clients, and every client has signed up for a minimum of two sessions.
Raising: $350,000 for advertising and marketing.

AidIn. In October, Medicare and Medicaid will start penalizing hospitals for readmisison of patients with certain conditions. In an effort to minimize admittance, hospitals will pay AidIn to help them select suitable care for patients after they’re discharged using an online system to manage planning, coordination and billing with nursing agencies.
Raising: $600,000 with $250,000 committed.

Blueprint is part of the Global Accelerator Network which includes TechStars, and mentors to the young program include industry experts such as manager Jonathan Gordon of New York Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. Bill Hansen of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, as well as experts from the startup and venture world including Dr. Oliver Kharraz of ZocDoc and Andy Weissman of Union Square Ventures. The incubator has plans to offer a coworking space for 100 health-tech entrepreneurs, and will also have a summer class of startups.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com