Columbia start-up receives $250,000 funding from UM System

The company, MedSocket, designs information technology for the healthcare industry.

The University of Missouri System awarded $250,000 in investment funds to a Columbia start-up company that licenses technology from MU.

MedSocket, which officially opened in January, is geared toward commercializing products developed by the university to increase health care quality. The funding comes as a part of the Enterprise Investment Program, the Office of Research and Economic Development’s program for economic development in Missouri.

“The EIP was initiated to create more jobs across Missouri by moving innovations from the system's four campuses to the marketplace by way of start-ups,” said Mike Nichols, UM System vice president for Research and Economic Development, in an email. “The start-up company currently employs five (individuals) and through this co-investment, MedSocket expects to generate revenue by late 2013. When put into practice, MedSocket's efficient technology has been instrumental in saving time and money for health care providers."

MedSocket developed a program called 1-Click Decision Support, which uses algorithms to aid doctors in choosing proper treatment options by taking in information from a patient's chart and choosing the treatment instantaneously.

MedSocket Chief Financial Officer Joel Kaplan said the company’s products help give doctors more time to actually talk to the patient and less time searching for the proper treatment.

“Doctors have very little time with the patients today,” Kaplan said. “MedSocket’s goal is to provide the right information at the point of care. Physicians don’t have time to take information and put it into online calculators that are available since they only see the patient for 15 to 20 minutes. We do that automatically with 1CDS.”

Kaplan said the university develops patents for technology that have potential for commercialization and then licenses those patents to companies such as MedSocket for development.

“The university began plans for 1CDS after the patent was issued in October of last year,” he said. “We are taking it and creating a business that will help create jobs for the university and Columbia in general.”

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe expressed confidence in the investment when the decision was announced Thursday.

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

Nichols said MedSocket was chosen from among 13 other companies to secure the funding from the second round of the EIP.

“After the advisory panel reviewed the applicants, MedSocket was among the top-ranked candidates,” he said in an e-mail. “The strength of the technology, management team, and their ability to leverage our investment to raise approximately $450,000 in additional funding greatly influenced our decision. “

The goal of the UM System’s investment is the hope that the success of start-ups such as MedSocket will help Missouri’s economic climate as a whole, Nichols said.

“The Missouri Technology Corporation gets funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration and then looks for opportunities in Missouri to help build the economic engine of the state,” he said. “We apply and go through rounds of questions and they determine if it will be worthwhile to invest in our company to create a better economic environment for Missouri. We will be giving them more money down the road to give to other people.”

For now, the company hopes to use the investment to create between 500 and 600 1CDS units and solidify its business plan.

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