April road trip for Case & Co.; U advancements and more
"I want to find people who have had to work hard and who have learned from their failures." – Steve Case
January 17, 2020
Following the October announcement of the second $150M Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Steve Case and his team will conduct their next five-day road trip, traveling to Wichita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Northwest Arkansas, and St. Louis.
Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution, said in a press release that the heartland regions “have deep legacies of storied entrepreneurial successes. Through the tour, we want to help catalyze additional momentum to help the next generation of entrepreneurs in places like Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, and with our recently announced second seed fund, invest in their future progress.”
Here's the bus trip schedule:
April 20: Wichita, KS
FLYOVER U ADVANCEMENTS
Tech that lets you measure employee engagement
UofL researcher Brad Shuck (left) and entrepreneur Charley Miller; Photo courtesy Baylee Pulliam/University of Louisville
A researcher at the University of Louisville has invented a new software that helps companies measure employee engagement. Louisville startup Unitonomy has licensed the technology and is working to get it to market.
Brad Shuck, who invented the Employee Engagement Scale (EES) technology said it is key to increasing productivity (and profits) for companies that use it. “Employee engagement is the differentiator between market share, customer experience and quality," he said. "Everyone wants more of it.”
Unitonomy was founded in the summer of 2019 by Charley Miller, co-founder of TouchCast, a New York-based video communication company. It was a winner of the Vogt Award in 2019.
$6 million in federal grants awarded to Duke for gene editing
Duke University researchers have won grants totaling $6 million from the National Institutes of Health to research genome-editing treatments for diseases in humans. Gene editing, until recently a science-fiction concept, today holds vast promise to end diseases like hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and thousands of other disorders. Other universities receiving NIH funding include Yale, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis.
Researchers at Duke will initially focus on two projects. In one, they will grow human skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue in the lab using stem cells. The second study will focus on the ability to turn on and off the targeted DNA sequence instead of permanently altering it.
Davenport U’s Employment Guarantee is extended to cyber defense grads
Grand Rapids’ Davenport University offers some students a pretty slick deal: If they don’t find a job within six months of graduation, the school gives them another 48 credit hours—for free.
This Employment Guarantee has been available to students enrolled in accounting, nursing, network management and security, computer information systems, and computer science programs. Now, it covers cyber defense majors as well.
To be eligible, students must meet certain conditions: 3.0 GPA, completion of “an internship and other experiential learning or leadership components,” eligibility for legal employment in the US, and a “thorough, documented job search.” But if those criteria are met and a student doesn’t land a job, they can get up to three more semesters (not everyone’s dream scenario, of course) tuition-free. That’s a value of almost $37,000, and it could net the student a second major to boot.
Starting in 2011, Davenport University was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, so the school’s focus on cybersecurity isn’t brand new. But by adding cyber defense to the Employment Guarantee program, it’s clearly aiming to address the critical need for security pros who are trained to prevent and mitigate security breaches.
FUNDING AND DEALS
Michigan software firm lands $2.5 million from investors across the US
Ann Arbor-based Ripple Science, which develops HIPAA-compliant clinical research software, has received $2.5 million in equity financing. More than 80% of the funding is coming from outside Michigan, including backing from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest seed fund.
Greater Cincy’s Airway Therapeutics closes Series C financing round
Biotech company Airway Therapeutics says it has raised $15.5 million to further its efforts to develop a drug to prevent and treat respiratory and inflammatory diseases. Created in 2011, Airway is a spin-out of Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital (which is also an investor). Airway is a portfolio company of CincyTech, a public-private seed stage investor that focuses on enterprise and business software, life sciences, and digital health.
Richmond software developer gains backing from CIT Gap Funds
Software development startup Kamana Health, based in Richmond, VA, has announced an investment from CIT (Center for Innovative Technology) GAP Funds. Kamana’s platform connects healthcare providers and staffing agencies with medical professionals. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Kamana CEO Dave Dworschak said the company plans to double its team over the next year.
Columbus-based ScriptDrop continues to build momentum
Prescription delivery service ScriptDrop, headquartered in Columbus, OH, has announced ambitious plans to expand its headquarters, adding 80 new jobs by 2022 and effectively doubling its workforce. The company is already hiring for a number of positions, including management, operations, customer support, and software development.
Launched in 2017, ScriptDrop connects pharmacies, healthcare systems, and couriers to make medication delivery as efficient and foolproof as possible. It currently offers delivery options in all 50 states and aims to “reduce medication abandonment and improve patient outcomes.”
ScriptDrop CFO Michele Kothe credited local support for the company’s phenomenal growth. “The Columbus community has been incredibly supportive of ScriptDrop, and we are excited to continue scaling our company here. The Region’s high-quality talent pool is a key ingredient to growing our team and bringing us closer to our goal of helping a billion patients.”
Given its current trajectory, it’s little wonder that ScriptDrop was named VentureOhio’s Growth-stage Startup of the Year for 2019.
It's ... Name that Flyover city!
Useless information that is strangely fascinating.
Flyover country is home to some of the finest research universities in the nation. Can you match the school with the city where it’s located?
Click here for today's answers
Please click the button below to share stories and offer suggestions or comments