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Good Afternoon and hope everyone is off to a great start to their week. Just like that, the first month of 2020 is already over and we are moving on to February. As a basic reminder, at The Buzz we profile startups in growth mode, and to us growth mode means that startups are seeking capital to help get them to the next level.  A few announcements before we get down to business.

First, want to give a big shout out to the team at Knox Financial, which recently closed a $3M seed round led by Greycroft and also included participation from Pillar VC. If you recall, we profiled Knox Financial last August.

Also wanted to give a shoutout to our friends over at Mass Innovation Nights, a well-known monthly Boston area showcase event that helps tech startups gain visibility, social media engagement, and professional connections. Needless to say, we absolutely love what they are doing and believe our missions align. The group is holding its next event on Feb. 12 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. If you interested in learning about products and organizations that truly make a difference? RSVP here for #MIN131, sponsored and hosted by Jobcase.

Now, let's get to the startups. Iterative Scopes, a healthcare AI company applying analytics to colorectal cancer detection, is in growth mode and looking for intros to investors and partners in the gastroenterology space. The Pond, essentially a dating app for startup founders, is focusing on customer acquisition right now. And last but not least, we profiled an incubator pumping out some great biotech startups in Worcester. Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, a private, independent economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for life science and healthcare innovation, is always looks for investors and life science execs to work with their up-and-coming batch of startups. That's all for this week. Tell your friends to subscribe, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Medium, and drop us a line anytime at bb@ourbuzzmedia.com. See you next week!
A healthcare AI company with a focus on applying computer vision analytics to colorectal cancer detection.

Problem

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with 150,000 adults diagnosed every year and 50,000 deaths per year. During screening colonoscopy, 20% of polyps are missed, resulting in 8% of all cancers being interval cancers.

What the Company Does

Iterative Scopes is developing real-time computer vision algorithms that assist in the detection of precancerous and cancerous polyps during colonoscopy. In doing so, there is a proven correlation between an increase in polyp detection and a decrease in downstream rates of CRC. Their patent-pending lead product, known as SkoutCRC™, offers a proprietary data pipeline that automates collection of data and an early-stage pipeline of applications of their platform to multiple indications in endoscopy.

The Market

For SkoutCRC™, the total addressable market is defined as $1.3 billion per year. This market includes all screening and surveillance colonoscopies, of which there were 19 million in the United States in 2017.

Business Model

For SkoutCRC™ their business model is software as a medical device. They anticipate receiving FDA clearance in Q4 2020. Target users are providers (including early economic buyers), eventually transitioning to payers by reimbursement for the device through CPT codes. The estimate for a future CPT code is benchmarked at $65/procedure.

Traction

Iterative Scopes has scaled data acquisition to over 14,000 unique patient cases, signed a contract (including commercial terms) with inSite, California’s largest gastroenterology provider, and initiated a 100 patient pilot study that will be completed by mid-February 2020. The team has also won the Booz Allen Hamilton Data Analytics Prize at the MIT $100K accelerator, as well as the Texas Medical Centre Life Science Award at the Rice Business Plan Competition, and was recently shortlisted as a finalist in the Eli Lilly Challenge. Finally, Iterative Scopes was listed as one of Boston’s top 50 startups to watch in 2020.

Founding Team Background

Iterative Scopes was spun out of MIT and is led by Jonathan Ng, MD, a second time founder affiliated with MIT and Harvard. Over the past year, Jon has brought Stan Norton and Lavi Errison, MD MPH MBA to serve on the executive team as the CTO and CBO, respectively. Stan is a serial tech entrepreneur and previously served as the CTO of Optum Analytics, Humedica, and Pharmetrics. He brings significant experience in EHR data extraction, integration, and translation into real-world insights. Lavi has applied his background in medicine to healthcare innovation throughout his career. He previously founded a machine learning start-up, carries over 10 years’ experience in drug development, and over $200 million in L&A.

What They Need Help With

Iterative Scopes is currently in growth mode and is asking for intros to potential investors and partners to work with across the gastroenterology space including payers, providers, and life science companies.
Connect With The Iterative Scopes Team
The Buzz is made possible in 2020 by our valued partner:
The Value of Accomplishment
At Mirus we’re committed to supporting the New England emerging company ecosystem. 

We help founders position their companies today for M&A success tomorrow. Merger.com
Creating and fostering a community of entrepreneurs who are actively looking to either grow their startup or join one

The Problem

Finding the right co-founders and team members to build a startup with is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming process, especially when “hiring” may not be the entrepreneur’s expertise. There are three main issues that can cause difficulty for entrepreneurs: Identifying potential talent through networking; evaluating the skills of potential team members for the role they’re looking to fill, and marketing oneself as a serious entrepreneur that someone would want to build a startup with.

What The Company Does

The Pond solves this problem by creating and fostering a community of entrepreneurs who are actively looking to either grow their startup or join one. Members with a new venture provide detailed information such as the problem, their solution, their website, any media mentions, and the roles they are looking to fill. They also fill out a startup-specific profile including their role, experience, education, portfolio of past projects, and relevant certifications. They have the opportunity to sell both themselves and their venture in a format that is tailored to other entrepreneurs. Members are then matched based on these targeted criteria and detailed profiles. The Pond’s platform ensures that every profile shown is relevant and presented in the best way to help members promote themselves and their ventures as well as evaluate others.

Business Model

The Pond is currently free for all users and they plan to keep it free for co-founders, very early stage companies, and entrepreneurs looking to join startups. As they expand, The Pond plans to provide a premium experience for medium and large-sized startups to find and hire entrepreneurs on the platform.

The Market

The market consists of anyone who identifies as or is looking to be an entrepreneur. This includes anyone with an idea, anyone who is already working on a venture, and anyone who is interested in joining a startup. Their primary competitors are AngelList and CoFoundersLab, who both function as online search directories that are similar to LinkedIn but more focused on entrepreneurs. The team has found that a lot of entrepreneurs are frustrated by the number of incomplete, inaccurate, and inactive profiles on these platforms. The Pond wanted to make a matching platform that puts the user experience first. They only show users profiles of entrepreneurs that both fit their criteria and are also looking for someone like them, which allows The Pond to exclude profiles that are completely irrelevant. The matching algorithm also allows them to prioritize profiles that are more active and more complete, ensuring higher quality connections and greater user engagement.

Traction

The Pond launched in early October 2019 and currently has over 400 users on the platform. They currently have partnerships with Shoobx, an online management platform for startups to manage all of their operations. The Pond users get a free first year of Shoobx, and at BLANKSPACES, a coworking community with multiple locations in Southern California, where The Pond users can experience a two-day special trial for $10. They participated in YC Startup School 2019, which is Y Combinator’s 10-week online course.

Founding Team Background

CEO and Co-founder Justine Tien is a Wake Forest graduate with nine years of detailed media and entertainment marketing research experience working for international companies such as The Madison Square Garden Co., ESPN, and WME|IMG. Developer and Co-Founder William Galebach is a full-stack web and mobile developer with experience in DevOps and database management. He has built and released two mobile apps in the last two years. He is a former USMC officer and holds an MBA from UCLA. Business Development Officer and Co-founder Bernice Galebach is a Umass Boston grad with a background in business management and finance with experience in credit research and institutional sales working at Loomis Sayles & Company in their UWIN program.

What They Need Help With

The Pond’s main goal at the moment is customer acquisition, since their app depends on having a large user-base for entrepreneurs to connect with. Especially since their users can be very specific about who they’re looking for, The Pond wants to be able to put the best people in front of each other. So give them a shot. 
Connect With The Pond Team
The Buzz is powered by FastCTO, a network of real CTOs that consult startups that neither need nor can afford full time CTOs. Startups get access to experienced, high valued CTOs for a few hours a week from formation through Series A and beyond.
Serving companies as they commercialize their scientific discoveries for the benefit the regional economy.

What The Organization Does

Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives is a private, independent economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for life science and healthcare innovation. MBI helps start biomedical companies and create jobs within the biotechnology, medical device, informatics, and biomanufacturing industry by providing secure, clean bench and sink surface, staff trained and fully licensed laboratory space for usage by “seed stage” companies. Building and maintaining collaborative affiliations and partnerships isessential to its success.

Organization History

Founded in 1985, MBI is the oldest life science incubator in the Commonwealth. MBI is an business incubator but also an economic development agency, who assisted with the development of the Commonwealth’s first biotechnology park in Worcester, now known as the UMass Medicine Science Park, as well as Gateway Park, and Redstone Center. MBI is now partnering with the Baker/ Polito Administration and the Worcester Business Development Corporation to aid the development of the Worcester Biomanufacturing Park. MBI has graduated over 95 companies with a 77% success rate.

Mission

MBI’s mission is to serve its companies as they commercialize their scientific discoveries in an effort to improve the lives of patients and benefit the regional economy.

The Space

MBI offers private laboratory suites with up to 3,000 square feet with built-in offices. The space includes 27 private laboratories and provides multiple combinations of lab benches, chemical hoods, and biosafety cabinets.

How To Get Involved

MBI is always seeking investors and life science executives who are interested in assisting their early stage companies in refining their business strategy and seeking investment.
Connect With The MBI Team
     

ABOUT THE BUZZ

The Buzz covers pre-funded early-stage ventures in New England and profiles the organizations that support them. The Buzz is powered by FastCTO, a network of real CTOs that consult startups that neither need nor can afford full-time CTOs. Startups get access to experienced, high valued CTOs for a few hours a week from information to Series A and beyond. FastCTO is not a dev shop, an agency, or a staffing company. 

OUR MISSION

All of the startups we profile are up and coming innovative companies, many of which require or will require capital to grow.  Our mission is to connect them with mentors, potential investors and others that can help get them to the next level.  The Buzz does not and will not receive any form of compensation as a result of startups receiving funding.

     

WE WANT SUGGESTIONS

Send feedback or article suggestions to bb@ourbuzzmedia.com

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If you're a startup or you know of a startup that wants to be featured, apply through our submission form here.

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