Venture Hall has chosen to invest in two of the healthcare-related startups that participated in its inaugural summer accelerator program, which wrapped up earlier this month.
Cliexa and Janus Choice will each receive $25,000 in the form of “zero-equity” investments, which means Venture Hall is not receiving equity in return for the capital (so essentially it’s like a grant).
The companies, both from out of state, were two of the six early-stage, health- and wellness-focused startups that Venture Hall selected to participate in its 13-week accelerator program, which recently wrapped up with a Demo Day on Sept. 8. MaineHealth and Unum each provided $100,000 to make the accelerator a reality, and provided experts and resources to help the startup founders understand how their solutions could be applied in the real world.
Denver-based Cliexa has developed an interactive mobile platform that helps chronic-disease patients report their conditions directly to care teams. Mehmet Kazgan, its CEO and co-founder, said the company benefited from the connections made while in Portland, and that he plans to continue working with MaineHealth to integrate and expand Cliexa’s mobile platform to track congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“We came with a list of goals to Portland, Maine, and Venture Hall made those happen,” Kazgan said. “Cliexa would love to be part of Maine’s economic growth.”
Janus Choice, headquartered in St. Louis, has developed an Artificial Intelligence platform that helps match patients with post-acute care providers. Janus Choice currently has a sales pipeline of more than 300 hospitals, and it was recently named a Jumpstart Foundry and a Singularity University company. While participating in Venture Hall’s accelerator program, Janus Choice opened a second office in Portland.
“The support we received from Venture Hall, MaineHealth, and Unum exceeded our expectations,” said Darryl Palmer, co-founder and CTO of Janus Choice. “We were able to witness first-hand the commitment of the staff at Venture Hall in supporting the unique needs and requests for each company in the program. I wish there would be more programs like this. One of the reasons we opened an office in Portland is because of the dedication of the social workers, nurses, and executives at MaineHealth and Unum.”
At the end of the accelerator, all the startup founders were asked to review and rate their peers in the program. It was this process that led to Cliexa and Janus Choice being chosen to receive the $25,000, an approach Venture Hall borrowed from Village Capital, a Washington, D.C.-based accelerator and venture capital firm that helped develop the Portland accelerator’s curriculum. This peer-review process has been shown to forecast success better than decisions made solely by investors, according to Jess Knox, Venture Hall’s president.
“The peer-review process drills down into the critical components of growth, based on many factors,” Knox said. “We’re proud of the incredible work everyone did this summer, and we’re excited to support the progress that all of the teams in our first accelerator program have made.”