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University of Missouri System invests up to $250,000 in an MU start-up venture to spur statewide economic development

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John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

University Relations

Apr 04, 2013

Award money allows company to obtain additional funds from Missouri Technology Corporation and Centennial Investors

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— The University of Missouri System Office of Research and Economic Development will award up to $250,000 to a Columbia start-up company as part of its investment program to spur economic development in the state.

MedSocket of Missouri, a startup venture from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, helps improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. The company competed against 13 other applicants for funds available through the university’s Enterprise Investment Program (EIP).

“Our financial investments continue to make a difference—serving as a catalyst between our researchers’ innovative technologies and the marketplace,” said University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe. “And with this investment, MedSocket has been able to leverage external funding from our partners.”

In addition to the UM system’s contributions, MedSocket has obtained $250,000 from the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) and $166,500 from Centennial Investors. MTC and Centennial Investors have been constant partners of the EIP program and continue to make strategic investments in university startups to help grow technology-based Missouri businesses.

“We are thrilled to partner with the University of Missouri and local investors to help accelerate research from the laboratory to the marketplace,” said Jason Hall, Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “MedSocket represents another exciting breakthrough to grow Missouri’s economy through entrepreneurship and the creation of new high-tech companies.”

MedSocket’s patented technology allows doctors to enter patient information and instantly retrieve the best evidence-based guidelines and clinical decision support information.  Physicians and medical students at University of Missouri Health Care have already put this product into practice.

“Not only has this enhanced care and improved patient safety, it has saved untold hours of unnecessary work,” said MU Health Care Chief Medical Information Officer Thomas Selva.

MedSocket will also receive funding through MTC’s Innovation Development and Entrepreneur Advancement Funds, commonly known as the IDEA Funds.  The IDEA Funds, launched in 2011 by Gov. Jay Nixon, support entrepreneurs and the development of science and technology-based businesses in Missouri.  To date, the IDEA Funds have helped Missouri entrepreneurs in raising nearly $50 million of start-up capital.

David Keller of Centennial Investors, a Columbia-based angel investing organization, said its financial commitment to MedSocket epitomizes the power of public and private capital to commercialize emerging technology developed at the University of Missouri. “The end result is positive for all parties concerned: the University, the investors and the inventors,” he said.

Besides access to capital, MedSocket’s team has worked with the investors to develop business milestones and fine-tune its business plan.

“The knowledge and resources that these funding organizations bring to the table are so beneficial to early stage companies like ours,” said Karl Kochendorfer, who is CEO of MedSocket.

The MedSocket team is composed of five executive members and has licensed from the university its one-click decision support tool developed by Kochendorfer and Jared Coberly. The company’s patented technology is expected to improve patient care, save money and increase provider satisfaction. The university was also instrumental in the early stages of this technology development. Kochendorfer received funding in the first round of the UM system’s FastTrack program.

The UM system started the EIP program in 2008 to expedite innovations from university labs to the marketplace and create new Missouri jobs and attract investors.