Showcase Presenters

Ripple Science

17 November 2016
Presenter: Nestor Lopez-Duran, Founder

Ripple is a HIPAA-compliant web-based tool that facilitates the recruitment and management of research participants for clinical studies.

Research participant under-enrollment is an endemic problem in the life sciences, with over 70% of clinical trials not meeting their recruitment targets.  In fact, participant under-enrollment is the #1 reason why clinical trials fail. Our solution is Ripple, a HIPAA-compliant web-based tool that facilitates the recruitment and management of research participants.  Ripple provides teams with new marketing skills via an innovative campaign creation and management tool, more time via extensive marketing automation tools, and better insight into their performance through smart regional analytics.  Ripple accelerates the entire research lifecycle by increasing the recruitment and retention of research participants.

Dr. Nestor Lopez-Duran is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. He conducts clinical translational research on the development of mood disorders in children and adolescents.  He is also an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Ripple, a HIPAA-compliant web-based that facilitates the recruitment and management of research participants for clinical studies. Under his direction, Ripple evolved from a simple idea to a comprehensive cloud utility that transformed the process of research participant recruitment. In his spare time, Dr. Lopez-Duran is an avid sailor who plans to one day circumnavigate the globe.

Update - Year 1:

Ripple is a web-based software that facilitates the recruitment and management of participants for clinical and translational studies. 2017 has been a defining year for Ripple Science as we achieved multiple major milestones. First, and most importantly, we launched our first product commercially in January. We also hired our first full-time employee and now have 4 employees and the two co-founders working for the company. We raised a first seed round of funding with the participation of Invest Detroit (First Capital Fund), Invest Michigan, and the Monroe Brown fund. Finally, since the launch, we have 28 paying clinical research laboratories at 24 Universities in the USA and the UK using our platform to manage over 20,000 clinical participants. In 2018, we plan to expand into industry clinical trials and begin selling enterprise-level licenses to large Universities and Academic Medical Centers. 

Parabricks

20 October 2016
Presenter: Mehrzad Samadi, Founder

Parabricks provides accelerated 'data-to-insight' DNA analysis in one hour, which enables hospitals and clinics to provide targeted, life-saving, patient-specific treatments.

Parabricks provides access to personalized medicine for each and every patient.  It accelerates data to insight for DNA analysis in one hour instead of days, which enables hospitals and clinics to provide patient-specific medicine and care.  Their software runs on the cloud and is positioned to meet the phenomenal challenges of personalized medicine.  It was founded by researchers in the Dept. of Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan and is based in Ann Arbor.

Mehrzad Samadi, Ph.D. University of Michigan, is the CEO of Parabricks.  He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2014.  He has pioneered several technologies to accelerate software by orders of magnitude.  His work has been recognized by more 20 conference and journal papers.  He has received numerous awards, including the Young Innovator Award, the I-Corps top team award, the Towner prize, and the MICRO Best Paper Award.  He has also worked as a researcher at Microsoft research. 

 

PlanetXLaw

15 September 2016
Presenter: Bert Tiger Whitehead, Founder

Software that enables lawyers to profitably provide more affordable legal services to more clients at lower costs.

Brightable

15 September 2016
Presenter: David Vanker, Founder & CEO

Brightable helps teams work together on anything, from anywhere. The cloud-based platform visually organizes and prioritizes shared content and related conversations, so you can see everything you’re working on and what needs to be done next. Brightable doesn't make the work easier, but it does make working easier.

Update - Year 1:

Brightable.com is a fresh take on the team collaboration concept, focusing not on a chat thread or isolated, fragmented cloud storage but on your working content - all the stuff you share with your colleagues, customers and partners.

Shortly after presenting at the NEF Showcase, we began a modest Google Adwords campaign, which has produced more than 100 new-account signups.  Seeking to ramp up our ad spending and add key hires in marketing and software engineering, Brightable continues to aggressively seek an equity investment in the four to five hundred thousand dollar ($400,000-500,000) range.  Reach out to info@brightable.com if you’re interested in hearing more – or sign up today at Brightable.com.

TrueJob

28 July 2016
Presenter: Scott Goci - Founder

TrueJob has built a site that asks smart questions that let job candidates and recruiters get to know each other better and applies matching technology to reduce effort and speed the recruiting process.  TrueJob changes how you find your next job.

Update - Year 1:
In the past 12 months, a lot has happened with TrueJob. We partnered with Ann Arbor SPARK to replace their job board, and we are now Ann Arbor's biggest site for jobs. We also brought on a third person to the team, Brenda Jones, and have 2 interns from Eastern Michigan University helping us out.
 
Using our experience with Ann Arbor SPARK, we are now focused on selling TrueJob to other communities that need a job board. We think we can use our technology to help other Economic Development Organizations, Schools, Trade Associations, and many more to help job seekers and employers find each other more easily.

LegalEase

16 June 2016
Presenter: Tariq Hafeez - President & Co-Founder

LegalEase Solutions provides law firms and corporate legal departments with customized legal research, compliance and litigation support through its LawStore, an e-commerce site for lawyers through which legal projects are procured, managed and delivered.  LegalEase is based in Ann Arbor, MI and powered by its attorneys located globally.

Update - Year 1:

LegalEase is coming out with version 2 of its LawStore e-commerce platform which makes it even easier for attorneys to purchase and manage legal support services online.  The LawStore version 2 will be released by the end of June.  The initial funding for the development of the platform came from a $10,000 SPARK grant.

LegalEase's corporate client base has continued to grow in 2016 into 2017 and LegalEase recently landed one of the largest automotive companies in the world as a client. LegalEase currently also provides legal support services to FCA, and is in talks with a number of other automotive clients.

LegalEase recently hired Greg Meyers to head up its corporate business development efforts. Greg lives in Ann Arbor, where he moved to after living in Hawaii for over 15 years.

Alchemie

19 May 2016
Presenter: Julia Winter - Founder

Alchemie builds mobile games for higher education, beginning with a huge pain point: organic chemistry. By layering of multiple learning cues - kinesthetic, audio, and visual - into engaging game-play, students have a new method to make sense of the visual-spatial ideas at the core of understanding chemistry and science.

Update - Year 1:

Since presenting in May 2016, Alchemie has earned over $1M in funding, including a $700K SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant is being used to build the Epiphany data platform which ties machine learning technology to interactive learning tools, focused initially on chemistry. Alchemie released its Animator app prior the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in San Francisco in early April 2017. An article about the app was published in the ACS magazine during the meeting. The team was a finalist in the prestigious MilkenPenn GSE business competition. The Troy-based company now has 8 employees.

Odeum Learning

21 April 2016
Presenter: Ian Natzmer, Founder

Odeum is a tool for teachers to promote Critical Thinking, Active Participation, and increase Engagement through role-playing historic and literary events in 3D Virtual Worlds. Odeum Learning’s platform allows teachers to find, customize, and even create their own educational roleplaying experiences for the lessons they are teaching. Odeum is bringing the Field Trip to the Classroom.

Update - Year 1:

Since Ian Natzmer presented his immersive learning EdTech startup last April, Odeum has continued gaining traction in multiple areas.  Odeum has been piloted at Wyandotte Public Schools, receiving very positive feedback.  Based on this, Odeum continues to work closely with teachers to create additional content on the Odeum platform.  Odeum has also worked with the University of Michigan's Department of Education and Information Technology to improve the user experience.  Odeum has also added a team member to lead sales and marketing.  All of these activities are consistent with feedback from investors to allow Odeum to go back to investors later this year.

Civionics, Inc

17 March 2016
Presenter: Gerry Roston, CEO

Civionics is using the power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to help businesses become more profitable by reducing capital asset down-time.

Today's economy is highly reliant on engineered systems ranging from advanced manufacturing to energy production systems. These marvels of engineering are defined by complex designs, demanding operations and high capital costs. Given the criticality of these systems and the high costs associated with failure, ensuring reliable and safe operations is a demanding asset management task. Civionics offers asset managers a comprehensive wireless monitoring solution that reliably tracks the performance and health of advanced engineered systems operating in demanding environments. Civionics proprietary analytics engine automates the interrogation of sensor data to provide asset managers with what they need most: actionable information that empowers asset management decisions.

Civionics beach-head market focus is heavy manufacturing, specifically automotive metal stamping. The failure of a single components within a $20+M transfer stamping line can idle corporate-wide production, costing the manufacturer more than $1M per hour in lost revenue. Civionics has recently deployed its first pilot systems in the plants of two multi-national corporations and both customers asked for the next phase of the project before the pilot phase was even completed.

Update - Year 1:

Since having presented at NEF in 2016, Civionics completed its pilot deployment at Chrysler’s Warren Stamping Plant. The project was deemed successful by Chrysler, which has provided a testimonial stating that the Civionics systems has already prevented two likely downtime incidents, saving them an estimated $500,000. As a result, additional systems are being deployed at Chrysler, and Civionics is actively working to build its customer base and raise a pre-seed round to further accelerate market penetration.

AOE Medical

18 February 2016
Presenter: Arianna Carley, CEO & Founder

Every year 40-50% of nurses suffer debilitating back injuries from lifting and moving patients, patients fall, are dropped, or mishandled during the patient transfer process, and the healthcare industry is paying an estimated $20 Billion annually due to the current issues with the patient transfer process. At AOE Med, we have a better vision for patient transfer. Our patent-pending bariatric patient transfer device (ALPs) removes the risks associated with patient transfer making the process seamless, efficient, and safe.

Update - Year 1:

Arianna Carley successfully took AOE Medical through an early exit.  AOE, though in a different form, is still a business with headquarters now in Miami.

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