Saranas Inc, a GOOSE portfolio company and Houston-based medical device startup, recently closed a round of $2.8 million to kick off clinical trails for their Early Bird Bleed Monitoring System. This round brings their total funding to $12 million.
Early Bird Bleed Monitoring System, invented by Dr. Mehdi Razavi at the Texas Heart Institute, is meant to detect bleeding complications during procedures. The company anticipates FDA approval in early 2019.
SiNode Systems, a Chicago-based developer of advanced materials out of Northwestern, and JNC Corporation, a Tokyo-based speciality chemical manufacturer, announced the formation of NanoGraf Corporation, a joint venture focused on commercializing materials for the Lithium-ion battery industry. NanoGraf Corporation launches with $4.5 million and plans to expand commercial production and continue the development of additional materials platforms.
NanoGraf’s technology enhances the performance of battery materials via a proprietary graphene-wrapped silicon anode and can improve battery energy density by 50%.
Ashok Rao, Board Member of both SiNode and the GOOSE Society, was an integral part of the negotiations. GOOSE invested in SiNode Systems after the company won the grand prize at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition in Houston, TX.
See NanoGraf’s media page for the full press release.
Out of the eight companies presenting GOOSE heard from many different verticals located in 4 different geographies, including Silicon Valley,China, and of course, Houston. The industries presented were consumer electronics, artificial intelligence, robotics, medical devices, and lastly manufacturing in specialty chemicals. The GOOSE Society was pleased to have hosted Forest Devices, the 2017 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) winner that is working towards the better treatment of stroke patients with their device, AlphaStroke. The group also heard from the two GOOSE Society Prize winners of the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition, Arovia and M&S Biotics.
The special attendees were Gina Luna & Russ Capper who represented Houston Exponential (HX), an independent 501C-3 organization that supports the growth of the Houston innovation economy. HX leads on the opportunities that require collaboration across the ecosystem, champions the ecosystem by telling the innovation story of the region and its firms, and it builds and attracts the resources the innovation economy needs to thrive. Along with strong momentum powered by fourteen working groups operated with over two-hundred active volunteers from over fifty major corporations, HX has achieved a major milestone with its new innovation district. This 9.4 acre, $100 million redevelopment by Rice University of the Sears building in Midtown is expected to be complete in two years and will bring a district of dense, mixed used space that attracts talent and creates collisions among entrepreneurs, investors, academics and other ecosystem players.
“Success is not measured by your position in life, but by what you have overcome and made out of it.” – Lawson
Each year 10 to 12 individuals receive a lifetime membership in the Horatio Alger Association with the presentation of the Horatio Alger Award. The Award symbolizes the Association’s values, including personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system and importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future.
The Horatio Alger Association honors the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and who are committed to supporting young people in pursuit of increased opportunities through higher education. Since 1984, the association has awarded more than $143 million in need-based scholarships. In 2017 alone, $18 million was awarded to 2,379 scholars, each who received $25,000 for college.
Larry Lawson Founder/CEO of HeartcoR Solutions & Proxima Clinical Research, was born in 1945 in Port Arthur, Texas, where jobs were limited to the local Texaco refinery. “Was about the only job in town, unless you went into business for yourself,” Lawson says, “a few years after I was born, my father did just that. He left his refinery job to become part owner of a gas station, and we lived in a little house across the street.”
The family lived on a strict budget, and by 1950, when Lawson was five, his father had purchased a garage on four acres. The fa
mily lived in a house on the property next door to the garage. Lawson’s father continued to work hard through the years and eventually built an auto parts store next to the garage. While Lawson’s mother sometimes helped with he store her main concern was for her children, a brother to Lawson who was 12 years older, and a sister who was 10 years old but who suffered from spina bifida.
This situation with the family left Lawson on his own for majority of his time along with his own obstacles to overcome. Lawson, at the age of six, began to suffer from the incorrect development of his hip socket and as a result, he had to be fitted for a leg brace, which he was required to wear for the following six years of his childhood.
“As an active young man this was a difficult situation for Lawson to accept,” says Lawson. The kids in school shunned and bullied Lawson for years. Finally Lawson went to his father to ask how to deal with the bullying, as Lawson’s biggest encourager he told Lawson something he would never forget.
‘Son, life is like a car battery. You have to have a positive and negative force for it to work. So for every negative thing that comes into your life, you are going to have to find a positive thing that can come out of it.’
Since Lawson’s outdoor play was limited he was encouraged by his parents to get into music. He developed a passion for rock and roll and by the age of 10 began writing his own music. By age 12 he had began copywriting several of his songs and contemplated his own business. Lawson later recorded his first record which he deemed as his first accomplishment that gave him the confidence to be anything he wanted.
Lawson’s social life had greatly improved, by the age of 16, he formed a band with Johnny and Edgar Winter, who went on to become rock/jazz icons in the 1970s and 80s. He played with them off and on for the next three years, including his first year at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he
received a music scholarship. Two years later however, Lawson decided music would not be a longterm career and changed his major to accounting. Lawson after participating in another band known as the Clique in 1969, at age 24, decided it was time to leave and pursue a business career.
In 1981, Lawson felt it was time for a new direction and left his job at Deseret Medical to found MESCO, a medical import/export company. Later in 1992, he founded Lawson Medical Association after he was out of a job with Sysco in Houston, Texas. In 2000, he founded Diagnostics Monitoring Associations. In 2004, he founded and headed eCardio, which became INC 500, one of the fastest growing private companies in America. His company developed a better way to detect atrial fibrillation and was acquired in 2014 by Merck and Boston Scientific. He remained as the CEO and chairman, and has remained on the board as the company’s largest share holder. In 2015, he founded HeartcoR Solutions, LLC, and ECG core laboratory composed of successful healthcare executives and experienced professionals grounding in diagnostic monitoring services, cardiac rhythm management, health information technology, and medical device development.
Larry Lawson is actively involved with the Texas Medical Center’s Accelerator program, providing leadership to start-up companies at TMC. Lawson is also an advisory board member of the Texas Medical Center Venture Fund. “I know the industry, and I know how to make things happen,” he says. “I’m advising 30-plus companies and serve on the boards and as an investor in many of them. I’m 72 now, and I should be retired, but I’m working more now than ever. I wake up excited and full of energy because I’m doing something I love,” Lawson says.
“…I believe in the saying that for those to whom much has been given, much is expected. I’ve been given so many opportunities and success, and so I believe a lot is expected of me. I am honored to receive the Horatio Alger Award and vow to do all I can to support the Association’s mission,” Lawson says.
Along with Lawson, 11 other individuals were conferred in the Horatio Alger Association in the class of 2018 such as Gregory E. Abel, Ronald M. Bergeron, Sr., Don R. Daseke, Alphonso R. Jackson, David Johnson, James J. Liautaud, Rob Lowe, Reba McEntire, James H. Pugh, Jr., Ernest S. Rady, and H. Lee Scott, Jr.. Other honorable mentions that have been inducted are Tom Selleck, Buzz Aldrin, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Billy Graham, Leonardo DiCaprio, Benjamin S. Carson, President Dwight Eisenhower, President Gerald Ford, President Herbert Hoover and President Ronald Reagan.
As a GOOSE Society member, Larry Lawson was well supported at the Horatio Alger Award Ceremony. GOOSE members sponsored four tables at the Horatio Alger Awards. Lamar University constituents made up one of the four tables. In Lawson’s honor, Lamar University hosted a dinner while in Washington DC. Back in Houston, The GOOSE Society also hosted a speciality dinner for Mr. Lawson at the crowd favorite BYOB restaurant, Corelli’s.
The Texas Medical Center, Houston – TMC is the world’s largest medical center with over 100,000 employees and 170,000 operations performed each year. With a center larger than even the 2nd and 3rd medical centers combined, it has never been faster and easier to drive from lab research to operation room in minutes.
TMCx is an accelerator that aims “to advance the development of health and medical technology companies by connecting visionary entrepreneurs to the abundant resources of the Texas Medical Center.”
Yesterday TMCx hosted the 2018 Digital Health Demo Day. Prior to the start of the pitches, the room was filled with excitement and anticipation as the young companies prepared themselves to stand before what Tim Buffet (TMCx Advisor) called “record breaking crowds.” The TMCx Digital Health Demo Day hit a record number of 824 registered attendees with 500 viewers on the live webcast. Buffet added “It has been very cool to watch the companies’ ideas grow into something spectacular like this.”
One of the attendees noted how exciting it is to see such forward looking technologies and technology companies plugging into the Houston ecosystem. One of those such companies, Particle Health (New York), is a blockchain-based consent management platform which enables a radical new way to securely facilitate the exchange of healthcare information across institutions.
Particle Health addresses a current challenge: clinical health data is siloed behind a healthcare organization’s inundated administers and technology stacks, and this is becoming an increasingly expensive and time-consuming process.
Their solution puts the patient at the center of the authorization process, allowing them to manage the consent of what and to whom their data can be shared. With patients engaged, this platform enables healthcare organizations to regulate the access to their patient’s data securely and efficiently.
Here, blockchain is key. It allows for Particle Health to automate the sharing of granular information individually, securely, and anonymously without the need for a ‘middle-man’ and immutably track each transaction.
Overall, TMCx Digital Health 2018 was a spectacular experience that not only drew in life science individuals and investors, but any individuals or investors who enjoy hearing brain stimulating pitches and learning about the cutting edge technology coming out of Houston.
Congratulations to all of the teams and to TMCx for another successful accelerator class – we are all excited to watch these companies continue their growth.
Here are the rest of the startup companies that presented Thursday afternoon:
Abaka Health (San Francisco) – Abaka Health helps providers create a better end-to-end patient experience by bringing together the clinical and financial aspects of health care into one easy-to-use platform.
Agathos (San Francisco) – Reduces unnecessary variation in hospital care via individualized metrics, actionable feedback and physician-led behavior change.
B.Well (Baltimore) – Empowering consumers by aggregating their health care data by providing incentivized care coordination, along with concierge and matching services.
Deep 6 AI (Pasadena California) – Using artificial intelligence on clinical data to increase the quantity, and find better-matched patients, for clinical trials in minutes, instead of months.
Dermasenor (Miami) – Connected device enabling health care professionals and patients to efficiently check for skin cancer by leveraging cutting-edge technologies.
Evidence Care (Nashville, Tennessee) – Clinical decision support tool that allows providers to access evidence-based treatment recommendations that are patient-focused, enhance the shared decision-making process and accelerate their EHR workflow.
Gain Life (Boston) – Digital platform using personalized and adaptive behavior change programs to engage indivudals in achieving better outcomes.
KlitKit (Denmark) – Smart button and application that monitors, analyzes and improves habits and behaviors.
Luminare (Houston) – Anti-sepsis SaaS incorporating behavioral change and intelligent medical record augmentation.
NarrativeDx (Austin) – Artifical intelligence platform identifying insights from patient feedback to improve CAHPS scores, increase referrals and reduce nurse turnover.
Orintel (Houston) – Hardware and software solutions providing operational support and real-time OR status to deliver a more cost-effective surgical suite to staff and patients.
Patients We Share (Houston) – Workflow communication application using machine learning to foster connectivity within the health care ecosystem, aligning patients with the most appropriate providers, product and services.
Revealix (Austin) – Innovative medical imaging software service pioneering early discovery of diabetic limb complications which is non-invasive, mobile and at the point-of-care.
ScalaMed (Australia) – Blockchain prescription solution which re-routes prescriptions to the patient, creating engaged, empowered, and educated patients, and allowing patients to choose a pharmacy based on convenience and value.
ScenceTech (Austin) – Autonomous, continuous monitoring electrocardiogram and heart rate variability bracelet using a proprietary ECG/HRV cloud-based interpretation platform.
Softcare Studios (Italy) – Immersive virtual reality experiences aimed at improving the well-being of patients undergoing painful and anxiety-provoking procedures during therapy.
Strados Labs (Philadelphia, PA) – Continuous breathing sensor that connects doctors with asthma and COPD patients to improve care management and remote patient monitoring.
Sunrise Health (Boston) – Text-based group support for behavioral health patients utilizing artificial intelligence tools to increase provider capacity and catch complications early.
Trayt (Redwoods City, California) – Data collection and analytics company providing insights and a daily road map to improve diagnosis, treatments and quality of life for patients with brain disorders.
Trusted Health (San Francisco) – Opportunity platform for the modern nurse, connecting top RNs to flexible nursing jobs at innovative employers.
Well Health (Santa Barbara, California) – An intuitive two-way texting platform for front office and patients that eliminates phone tag and improves the health care experience.