As the Summer Ends, Highland Sends off 14 Companies (full article with pic of team Wellframe here)
For just over two months, 14 teams have been chipping away at their companies in Highland Capital Partners’ Kendall Square and Sand Hill Road offices. And as the Summer@HIGHLAND program begins to wind down, eight or nine of those teams can say they’re currently raising an angel round or will be starting the process within the next 45 days, while the remainder will continue working on their startup, according to Michael Gaiss, Highland’s senior vice president.
“We’ve never had as many teams as we’ve had this year,” Gaiss says, admitting they just couldn’t “make the call” after seeing so many talented applicants. Over 250 university-affiliated startups applied for consideration in this year’s program. Largely because, as Gaiss describes it, “The value proposition keeps going up.”
Not only were admitted teams offered $15,000 and complimentary office space, but they were also given access to a roster of over 40 events, including talks from Matt Lauzon, founder and CEO of Gemvara; Keith Rabois, COO of Square; Bill Clerico, founder and CEO of WePay; Bob Van Nortwick, business development manager at Amazon; Troy Brennan, executive vice president of CVS Caremark; and Victoria Ransom, founder and CEO of Wildfire.
Jacob Sattelmair, co-founder of Summer@HIGHLAND team Wellframe, said he wasn’t initially sold on the events, telling his team, “Let’s just skip them and focus on work.” After attending the first event, however, he admits he was sold and together they went to every single one. “One of the speakers is now an advisor to the team,” Sattelmair says.
Wellframe is currently organizing clinical knowledge and using human-centered design to build a technology-enabled treatment program for cardiovascular disease. Built into the Wellframe app are reminders to take medications, an accelerometer that can track steps, as well as the ability to send messages between the clinician, patient and the patient’s family, among other features.
“We’re re-engineering patient care outside of the hospital,” Sattelmair says, claiming hospitals need to find a better way to facilitate and maintain relationships with their patients in between appointments. The first patients will be entered into the Wellframe system come September.
The Wellframe team — comprised of Sattelmair, Trishan Panch, Vinayak Ramesh and Archit Bhise — come from different schools of thought, ranging from primary care to program management, as well different schools: Harvard and MIT.
When asked whether or not they feel as though they’ve created a network through the summer program, they all responded positively. “We now have connections we never would have had before,” Sattelmair says.
Nine out of last year’s 10 teams are still going strong, according to Gaiss. Just last week, he says one of the teams was in a meeting with a Highland General Partner talking funding. “Once you’re in the family, you’re in the family,” Gaiss admits.
Now, the focus of the program is on getting teams out into the marketplace and finding them a place to work. After hearing the success they’ve already found just after two months, however, they likely won’t have to look very far.