Built in Chicago: Matter – Chicago’s first health tech hub announces its inaugural class

By: Kate Rosow Chrisman, October 28 2014

For the first time in Chicago, a healthcare robotics company, a pharmaceutical focused on rare, life-threatening diseases, a platform for connecting patients, healthcare givers and doctors and a company working on hearing therapies will all be housed together. These are just a few of the 10 innovative companies changing the healthcare landscape in Chicago. They’re all also part of the inaugural class of companies working at Matter, Chicago’s newest tech hub.

The hub aims to bring together the innovators working on the healthcare sector.  Before Matter, this type of work (the type that saves lives, makes healthcare communication easier and finds new solutions to age-old problems) was done at leading research institutes, hospitals, established companies and startups, but the groups didn’t have a centralized place to communicate. While other technology hubs exists (Matter is closely tied to1871), none specifically focused on healthcare.

Matter will focus on next-generation health IT, medical device, diagnostics and biopharma companies. The hub will allow companies to tap into Matter’s mentor network, classes and events. By combining the old-guard of established research universities, healthcare providers and mature companies with startups and venture capital, the group hopes to see more progress in the space.

Of the inaugural 10 companies, they are “shaping the future of healthcare with innovative new software solutions, devices and medicines,” said Matter’s CEO Steven Collens. Check out their bios below.

If your company is in the healthcare space, the hub is taking applications on a rolling basis. Matter expects to grant successful applicants a spot in their 25,000 square-foot office space, next to tech incubator 1871, in early 2015. Applications received by November 15th will receive half off their first four months. Rates start at $150 for “nights and weekend” access, but higher rates of $300 a month offer unlimited access to the workspace and $450 a month gives users a dedicated desk.

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The Inaugural Class:

AltaThera Pharmaceuticals is a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on critical care and alternative therapeutics for the unmet medical needs of patients with rare, life-threatening diseases for which few effective treatments are available.

CareTree is a centralized, coordinated health record that is as easy as Facebook to use. Patients, caregivers, families or providers simply create a patient profile and invite others to access it. CareTree uses role-based security to enforce HIPAA compliance and control access to protected information.

Cancer IQ is a digital health company that is lowering the barriers to personalized cancer care. We empower the everyday doctor with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver cancer risk assessment, prevention, and genetically-informed treatment.

Coeus Health is pioneering the translation of evidence-based health behavior interventions by serving as the “Intel inside” for digital health. While digital health holds promise for addressing the growing obesity epidemic, evidence-based solutions are nearly absent from the market. Coeus Health is bringing clinically proven content to the digital weight management market.

ProVazo has created an accurate, low-cost, minimally invasive and easy-to-use intravenous blood sampling system. The ProVazo Sampling System, inspired by the mosquito’s ability to painlessly withdraw blood, enables clinicians to repeatedly and efficiently sample blood, with no disturbance to the patient, while simultaneously improving the standard of care and clinical outcomes.

Qualia Health is building an adaptive software platform that enables healthcare providers to deliver personalized care plans between visits with the patient.

Regroup Therapy dedicates its work to eradicating mental health shortage areas across Illinois and the nation. This is achieved through virtual mental health staffing, cutting-edge provision of care, and delivery of key data/analytics to stakeholders.

Resonance Medical works closely with academia and industry to act as a conduit for the development and commercialization of innovative hearing therapies. The company’s lead product gives cochlear implants improved battery life and clarity with the goal of better connecting people with each other and with their world.

Sparrow Pharmaceuticals will acquire and develop clinical-stage drug candidates that were deprioritized for strategic (not clinical or scientific) reasons, then partner promising assets to complete development and commercialize the products. Sparrow’s initial program will be a drug for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a condition of fat deposition and inflammation in the liver that increases risk for liver cancer, liver transplantation, heart attack and stroke. There are currently no drugs approved to treat NASH.

TeleHealthRobotics integrates remotely controllable robotics and telepresence technology to make heart procedures safer and cheaper.