Concordia hosting health care startup competition

13 teams to pitch venture capitalists

Concordia University Wisconsin's campus in Mequon.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:05 pm

Concordia University Wisconsin’s campus in Mequon.

Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon will host its Healthcare Innovation Pitch program again this fall.

This is the second run for the biannual program, which was started in 2015. Thirteen startup teams have been chosen to develop their ideas and pitch them to a panel of venture capitalists in November. The ideas are all related to one of three areas: Health tech; therapeutics and devices; and comprehensive medication management.

Healthcare Innovation Pitch is led by Wauwatosa-based Bridge to Cures, will kick off on Sept. 26 with a dinner program featuring Bevan Baker, Milwaukee commissioner of health, Joy Tapper, executive director of Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, Cheryl Lulias, president of Medical Home Network and Art Jones, founder and chief medical officer at MHN. Daniel Sem, dean of Concordia’s Batterman School of Business, will also address the teams. He is the chief executive officer of Bridge to Cures, which aims to bring health care innovations to market.

In 2015, the winner of the competition was Essential Biotechnology, which received a $50,000 prize. Another $50,000 in prize funding was given out to three other teams.

Concordia is concurrently running another health care innovation program aimed at addressing chronic illnesses. The participants in both programs will present at the same pitch event on Nov. 8, said Kali Thiel, director of university communications at Concordia. The prize funding for both programs is still being finalized.

The Healthcare Innovation Pitch participants will receive mentoring during the program from Silicon Valley’s HealthTech Capital.

“At Concordia, we’re naturally set up to have the vested interest in that we have our health care programs, we have three academic schools devoted to that,” Thiel said. “There’s lots of discussion right now about a need for change in how we need to be more transparent with our health care costs and…providing innovative solutions that will help people who need it most.”

The judges at the pitch competition will be: Dan Watkins of Mercury Fund in Houston; Paul Weiss of Venture Investors in Madison; Giovanni Ferrara, Novartis Venture Funds in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Allen Hakimi, Technomark Life Sciences in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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