“There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” — Former first lady, Rosalynn Carter
- Louisville's aging care sector and its $50 billion in revenue
- U of Mn producing 15 to 20 startups a year
- A cure for HIV?
- Gamers connect and build their own startup ecosystem
- California company makes a move to the Midwest
- Name that Flyover City!
March 25, 2020
Louisville is epicenter of aging-care companies
Smart cities tend to zig while others zag. Louisville, KY, is proud to be home to what Mayor Greg Fischer calls “one of the largest collections of aging and home health headquarters in the country.”
Acorns and oaks
How large is large? According to Greater Louisville Inc., the city’s aging-care companies employ 21,000 people and generate $50 billion in revenue. But that’s just part of the story.
When you look at the city’s broader healthcare sector and its global impact, companies generate $90 billion in revenue and employ more than 375,000 people, according to the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council (LHCC).
In fact, LHCC’s board includes CEOs from a who’s-who of industry leaders, including Humana, Kindred Healthcare, Trilogy Health Services, and Signature Healthcare.
LHCC has only been around since 2017, but Louisville has been a player in the aging-care industry for decades. And some of the sector’s mighty oaks grew out of the acorn David Jones and Wendell Cherry planted in 1961 when they founded a nursing-home company that would later become Humana.
A culture of growth
With all that history, Louisville has a deep bench of aging-innovation talent, as well as venture capitalists who are probably more likely to invest in aging and healthcare than in Alexa-powered showerheads.
As LHCC promises on its website, “Whether you need a subject-matter expert, smart money, a huge channel partner or particularly new technology, you can find it here. With aligned support from LHCC and its associated organizations, as well as from the public sector, educational institutions and incubators, your business can flourish here.”
In a (Louisville) Business First story back in 2018, Kindred Healthcare CEO Benjamin Breier said he’s confident in the city’s claim to be the nation’s aging-care capital. “In terms of an urban market where you have this massive conglomerate of employees, resources and ideas, I don’t think there is much that compares,” he said.
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Tech transfer: Minnesota fueling 15 to 20 startups a year
Since 2006 at the University of Minnesota, 150 companies were born, raising $1.15 billion in capital, with $600 million staying in the Twin Cities. Those companies have generated 820 jobs.
The school pulled this off by converting its research into viable businesses.
The school is averaging 15 to 20 new startups each year, which is making a big economic impact on its state and region. With a survival rate of 75% since 2006, the startups are flexing their muscles in Minnesota.
It wasn’t always this way. In the early 2000s, an analysis showed that the university was converting only about four or five startups a year, which was substantially fewer than peer universities in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida.
That’s when the university decided to make a conscious effort to change the startup ecosystem.
It created the Venture Center, focused on techniques and seminars designed to evangelize entrepreneurism. Last year, the Venture Center launched a record 19 startups based on university research and inventions in energy, food, biology, engineering, software, and medical devices.
UNC-Chapel Hill researchers closer to HIV cure
Thanks to breakthroughs in medical technology, HIV has mostly dropped from the headlines. But there still is no cure.
Millions of people live with HIV around the world and must take drugs daily to keep it at bay. Instead of a cure, current antiretroviral therapy drives HIV into latency, where the virus can’t spread, so long as the patient takes the daily therapy.
Now, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Emory University, and a private company called ViiV Healthcare believe they may be close to a cure.
ViiV is an international pharma company that has acquired the HIV research portfolio of GlaxoSmithKline. ViiV and UNC have signed a $20 million contract to develop medicines that will drive the latent virus out into the open, where it can be eliminated by the patient’s immune system. The parties have formed a company called Qura Therapeutics to tackle the problem.
Initial tests, published in the journal Nature, show great promise. The scientists coaxed the latently infected cells out of hiding in mice, and researchers at Emory replicated that success in rhesus macaques. The next step is to advance to human trials.
Tabletop game creators collaborate in Kansas City
The latest “Call of Duty” video game took millions of dollars to create, program, and ultimately bring to market, but a small and growing number of programmers in Kansas City are proving that sometimes less is more.
Charlotte Trible and his cohorts have created “Flyover Indies,” a community of game programmers who meet regularly to work on their independent projects.
Their growing support network allows those interested in developing their own games to get help and experience from each other in a truly collaborative effort.
Now, some of those independently produced games are finding a foothold. It's not unlike the early 2000s, when home music recording allowed musicians to produce their own work, or when the explosion of craft brewing allowed folks to make their own beer at home — and often go toe-to-toe with big companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev.
How a California company made its way to Minnesota
Add internet security firm Arctic Wolf Networks to the list of California tech companies who are seeking greener … um … prairies in the heartland.
The Sunnyvale, CA, company has raised $60 million in venture capital to finance an expansion into Minnesota’s “silicon prairie.” Arctic Wolf will expand its staff in Eden Prairie, 12 miles southwest of Minneapolis, to 260 employees by next year.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we could not help but notice senior VP Dan Larson’s laundry list of reasons to move into flyover country: excellent tech talent, more loyal workers, better business model, less expensive.
None of that was a surprise to Eden Prairie native Nick Schneider, the company’s chief revenue officer, who went to work for Arctic Wolf only after getting a pledge from the company to allow him to build his team in Minnesota. He’ll run Arctic Wolf’s marketing, sales, and customer service teams from Eden Prairie, as well as a security operation center.
Arctic Wolf is one of the Deloitte’s 25 fastest-growing US companies, according to its 2019 Technology Fast 500 list. The company has raised $150 million in VC in recent years, according to Crunchbase.
Arctic Wolf joins Apple partner JAMF and security firm Code42 as companies putting down a large footprint in silicon prairie.
It's ... Name that Flyover city!
Since most of us are staying at home these days, we thought it might be nice to take everyone on a virtual sightseeing trip with today’s trivia questions. Can you name the cities in which these points of interest are located?
- James White’s Fort is a two-story log house built in 1786. White would later use some of his land to establish what city?
- Locust Grove is a 55-acre 18th-century farmhouse that was built as a family home but also served as a gathering place for George Rogers Clark, Lewis and Clark, and U.S. Presidents. In what city is it located?
- The Basilica of Saint Mary is the first basilica established in the U.S. In what city is it located?
Click here for today's answers.
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