Chicago Tribune: Matter health-tech incubator announces its first 10 companies

The first 10 startup companies at Matter, a health-tech incubator set to open in the Merchandise Mart early next year, include a specialty pharmaceutical company, a creator of a blood-sampling system and a company that integrates robotics with heart procedures.

CEO Steve Collens said the incubator chose potentially successful companies, announced Tuesday, that together establish a broad representation of the health-care industry, including ones focused on information technology, devices and pharmaceuticals.

“We think that by creating an environment that brings together entrepreneurs and mentors who are working on different types of health technology, there will be some interesting collaborations that emerge from that,” Collens said.

The companies will work out of a 25,000-square-foot space adjacent to the 1871 tech incubator and will have access to programs and mentorship from local universities, health systems, health-care industry partners and potential investors, Collens said.

Companies that don’t make progress toward growth will be asked to leave, he said.

Companies will pay monthly rent scaled to their needs. The top rate of $450 per month offers a dedicated desk with locked drawers. The middle rate of $300 gives unlimited access to the work space, including all public work areas, plus conference rooms and event spaces. The lowest rate of $150 per month provides “nights and weekends” access.

Collens said he’s unsure how many companies Matter will incubate. The space can accommodate 150 to 200 people, he said, and the first 10 companies include one to 10 employees.

Here is a look at the first 10 member companies:

Altathera Pharmaceuticals (BioPharma): A commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on critical care and alternative therapeutics for patients with rare, life-threatening diseases.

CareTree (HealthIT): A centralized, secure health record on which patients, caregivers, families or providers create a patient profile and invite others to access it.

CancerIQ (HealthIT): Provides data analytics to empower everyday providers with the tools and knowledge to deliver cancer risk assessment, prevention and genetically informed treatment.

Coeus Health (HealthIT): Aims to bring clinically proven content and evidence-based solutions to the digital weight-management market.

ProVazo (Device): Creator of a minimally invasive intravenous blood sampling system.

Qualia Health (HealthIT): Building an adaptive software platform that enables healthcare providers to deliver personalized care plans between visits with the patient.

Regroup Therapy (HealthIT): Working to eradicate mental health shortage areas across Illinois and the U.S. through virtual staffing, cutting edge provision of care and delivery of key data and analytics to stakeholders.

Resonance Medical (Device): Works with academia and industry to act as a conduit for the development and commercialization of innovative hearing therapies. Lead product gives cochlear implants improved battery life and clarity.

Sparrow Pharmaceuticals (Bio/Pharma): Plans to acquire and develop clinical-stage drug candidates that were de-prioritized for strategic – not clinical or scientific – reasons, then partner promising assets to complete development and commercialize the products.

TeleHealth Robotics (Device): Integrates remotely controllable robotics and telepresence technology to make heart procedures safer and cheaper.