Here are the Startup Presentations from Alpha Conference 2018

Over the course of two days at the beginning of January 2018, AngelMD gathered together a group of speakers, investors, physicians, and startups for our inaugural Alpha Conference. Alpha, as an investment-focused term, is considered as the active return on an investment. For us, we wanted the attendees of Alpha to feel like they got more than they paid for, and that includes the six incredible companies that were chosen to present.

In the weeks that have followed, we have had a lot of requests from people who wanted to see the presentations that these companies gave, so we have gathered them here into a single post for you.

Beta Cat Pharmaceuticals

Beta Cat, a Houston-based company currently in residency at JLABS, is taking the unique approach of a beta catenin inhibitor, and the methods have shown extraordinarily promising results.


Otomagnetics has developed a delivery system that essentially acts as a magnetic syringe. This system replaces a needle or surgery-enabled administration by magnetic forces acting on biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles, that can deliver drugs, genes or proteins through tissue barriers to hard-to-reach targets.


To reduce the incidence of neonatal mortality and morbidity, Noninvasix is developing a patient monitor to directly, accurately, and noninvasively measure brain oxygenation in preterm babies in the NICU.


PharmaJet has created a user-friendly, inexpensive device platforms provide a “needle-free” fluid injection into the body, which are able to compete with traditional needle-syringe delivery, which inherently poses costly needle-stick, re-use and pass-along disease issues.

Seal Rock Therapeutics

Seal Rock Therapeutics is a preclinical-stage company developing a best-in-class treatment for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases with few or no available therapies.


Sensulin, a company based out of Oklahoma, has developed a unique drug delivery method that acts similarly to a healthy pancreas. This Agglomerated Vesicle Technology (AVT) could also find its way to working with other drugs that require a stimulant response.

Continue reading

Mazama Spine Summit 2018 – A Recap

Mazama Spine Summit held another successful installment of an event Richard Wohns, MD, JD, MBA began 18 years ago. Held at the Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, WA, the event attracted spine surgeons and affiliated clinicians from all over the country. Despite sporadic weather challenges on the mountain passes, most attendees were able to make the trek and the event had record attendance.

This year AngelMD expanded a pre-conference innovation session started in 2017. Tobin Arthur, AngelMD CEO kicked off the event with an interview of renowned spine surgeon and innovator Stephen Hochschuler, MD.

Four companies were invited to present and spend the weekend networking in a unique and intimate setting with innovative physicians. The four companies were:

  • Minimus Spine: Offers a bridge between epidural steroid injections and discectomy. They developed a Triojection System to facilitate a safe and consistent intradiscal injection of ozone gas to treat herniated discs.
  • NovApproach Spine: Providing patients with scar-free spinal surgery and surgeons with an appealing procedure that helps them grow their practice.
  • Karuna Labs: Developed a software that treats chronic pain using immersive virtual reality therapy.
  • Empirical Spine: The LimiFlex device is an alternative to spinal fusion for patients with instability such as degenerative spondylolisthesis.

After the start-up presentations, Stan Monlux, AngelMD VP of Marketing shared insights gleaned from the 2017 Private Investment in Healthcare Technology Report.

The afternoon event was concluded with a private coffee tasting by award winning Blue Star Coffee Roasters based in Twisp, WA. Owners Meg and Dan Donohue personally presented three coffees including the oldest blend in the world – Moka Java.

Continue reading

The Alpha Conference – What You Need to Know

Dear Friends,

Last week I spent a little time in Napa preparing for Alpha Conference with our event team led by Mark Mescher.

First off, it’s going to be a lot of fun. The Westin is as centrally located as you can get. It’s a short walk to the Oxbox Market (incredible foods, Ritual Coffee and more) and right across the street from the wine train…our venue for Friday night. The Wine Thief is hosting a wine tasting during our Saturday evening program which will also be a lot of fun. We have also asked the hotel to keep the wine bar open later on both nights should you want to hang out and relax after our events. The mix of fellow attendees is turning out to be pretty amazing.

Alpha Wine Train

We have added some additional speakers and talks to the agenda, making for an even denser and faster-paced experience. Among the additions, I will now be moderating a panel that includes legendary entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist Jack Gill, Ph.D. and Larry Lawson, a very successful entrepreneur, and active angel investor. I guarantee you will get insights from these two alone that will make the trip worthwhile.

I have included some pictures so you get a sense of the magical nature of Napa and the venues we have selected. The wine train is going to be a really unique experience. We’ll enjoy great food and wine as we trek through Napa and see wineries lit up en route to Krug. The Krug winery is one of the most beautiful in Napa and it will a great stopping point on our wine train journey. The Krug folks are going to make some of the “library” wines available to our group if you want to purchase these difficult to find bottles.

Napa Wine Train

We are getting confirmation that spouses will be joining you and we are really excited to share this experience with them. They are welcome to join any of the talks and panels on both Friday and Saturday as they wish. They are also welcome to relax and enjoy the local amenities. There are some world-class spas nearby, such as Spa TerraGreenhaus Day Spa, and Napa Valley Massage & Wellness. We recommend making reservations early. Others may want to do some wine tasting during the day. We are happy to coordinate with the Westin concierge and get folks from our group paired, so spouses are not with total strangers. Feel free to reply if your spouse has an interest in the wine tasting on Friday or Saturday during the day and I’ll get our event team to help coordinate.

Oxbow Market

Given that the event is in Napa and we want this to be very comfortable, the dress code is very much business casual… sports coats, sweaters, etc. are all welcome. Jeans are perfectly fine. Ties may inadvertently get cut off. :)

As of today, we have used up all of the hotel room block discounts. There are still rooms available at the Westin, but at their normal rates. We have additional capacity at the River Terrace Inn just behind the Westin which is really nice and less than a minute walk away.

Finally, I would like to thank our sponsoring partners for their support:


If you need anything, have questions etc, don’t hesitate to let me know. We want our time in Napa to be a great kick off for 2018!

Continue reading

Rubbing Elbows with the Future of Healthcare at the WSGR Medical Device Conference

Jens Francis

Chief Investment Officer


Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas and I arrived at the Sharon Park Golf Course at 3000 Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto —  the world’s ground zero for technology and healthcare investing — here at the invitation of Wilson Sonsini, Silicon Valley’s storied law firm. The topic is medical devices and the new, up-and-coming companies driven by breakthroughs in material, chemical, and data science.

In addition to the lawyers, bankers and other service providers, Orrin and I are joined by a select number of men and women who are building the next generation of innovative medical devices that stand to make a huge impact on people’s lives. As angelMD’s regional medical director, Orrin is a man-in-demand, engaged in discussions with one-after-another of these visionary entrepreneurs.

We talked with companies like Access Vascular, which is building a catheter out of novel bio-inert hydrophilic materials that prevents blood proteins and platelets from collecting and causing dangerous blockage during surgery. Fibralign is building a nano-particle scaffold for growing collagen cells that can be used post-surgically to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of lymphedema. Green Sun Medical is developing a dynamic, comfortable spinal brace for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis ( Invisalign® for the spine, if you will).

I’m proud to say that a number of the companies in attendance are part of the angelMD network, and that many of them had been funded (or are in the process of receiving funding) through our syndicates.

Having used angelMD to connect with investors, find clinical advisors or fund their latest capital round, those companies are off onto their next phase – back to the R&D bench with renewed vigor, off to file 510k or patent paperwork, or putting ink to paper on a distribution deal with an industry partner.

Continue reading

Houston TMCx Demo Days 2017

June 8, 2017 was a lively day at the TMCx accelerator here in Houston, TX. Over the course of the afternoon, 24 medical startups took to the stage to perform five-minute pitches for a crowd of investors, physicians, and interested guests. Products presented ranged from new software intended to streamline intra-hospital communications (ConsultLink) to a revolutionary device designed to cut a pressure-reducing hole between ventricles in the heart to reduce the risk of heart failure (Alleviant Medical). Here are the highlights of the day:

Treatment Process Improvement:

M&S Biotics – Joshua Mecca and Co. want to put an RFID tracker on every surgical implement on every operating room in the country, allowing hospital staff to better track the cleaning and storage of devices, as well as detect trends of use and non-use to consolidate inventories, saving facilities millions.

Stroll Health – Purveyors of the “ of healthcare,” the Stroll team has created a platform that simplifies the booking of imaging procedures by giving the patient the ability to choose a location based on reputation, cost, and proximity, which will save the patient time and improve follow-through.

Medifies – The next company in Nate Pagel’s long legacy of startup success, Medifies is an incredibly simple, HIPAA-compliant application that sends real-time updates about operation procedures  directly to the mobile devices of families and loved ones. The Medifies team seeks to eliminate the dreaded “waiting room experience” and improve physicians’ satisfaction ratings and hospitals’ patient retentions.

ConsultLink – Alexander Pastuszak’s company had its beginnings in attempting to improve communication between hospital staff members at shift handoffs, but grew into a creating a wildly adaptable multi-faceted platform that can operate a slew of patient outcome and hospital efficiency-improving applications.

Medication Management:

CNSDose – This team seeks to end the dangerous and ineffective trial-and-error process by which antidepressant drugs are prescribed, and instead focus on a physiological and individually-tailored approach to pick the right medication for each patient. CMO Dr. Harris Eyre’s showed his research indicating that genetically guided dosing massively improves a patient’s chances of remission.

Ward MM – Stuart Ward explained that his company seeks to address the 106,000 deaths and $42B wasted every year as a result of medication errors. Ward MM’s system of training, medication reviews, and real-time reporting is intended to reduce adverse side-effects and allergic reactions while improving and expediting recovery.

Artificial Intelligence:

InContext Reporting – Robert Grzeszczuk memorably demonstrated his voice-activated software on stage, showing thousands of spectators in real time just how fast his rules system could evaluate and correct a radiology report. His system has the potential to save radiologists thousands of hours in imaging reviews.

Behavioral & Neurological:

Psious – Xavier Palomer and his Barcelona-based team’s virtual reality treatment platform incorporates classic behavioral psychology with new-age VR technology to create a quick, effective, and affordable exposure therapy system for a wide array of mental health disorders. With this new, innovative approach to mental health, Psious hopes to assist a significant portion of the population that traditional medicine has failed.


A Great Weekend for Digital Health at TMCx:

angelMD Regional Medical Director Dr. J. Michael Bennett said, “It is a remarkable thing when you actually experience a paradigm shift, and it was clearly evident by the turnout this week at the TMCx that there is an awakening in the medical community regarding innovation in healthcare. 24 digital health companies pitched novel digital technologies to a standing room only crowd while simultaneously streaming to over 2,000 participants. This is clear evidence that there is significant interest in the investment and fostering of this healthcare innovation movement. The AngelMD team was in attendance and had successful meetings with many of these companies: for more information on how AngelMD and the Texas medical center are disrupting the Houston medical scene go to

We here in the Houston office were excited to see some of our member companies giving engaging performances and gain exposure to more of the fabulous resources the Texas Medical Center has to offer. As Dr. Bennett said, the collective scientific and commercial accomplishments of all of our neighbors who presented yesterday speak to strength of the environment that is emerging here in Houston. We can’t wait to see what the next cohort has to offer!

Continue reading