Pitches at Early Stage Symposium cover wide-ranging business models

Early Stage Symposium attendees who sat in on the Tech Council Investor Networks track heard pitches ranging from a method for sourcing palm oil out of industrial waste streams to a data management system for health care professionals.

Presenting companies included:

*HITLIST, an advertisement platform that uses gamification to gather leads and data from online users “at a rate that’s much more effective than traditional forms of advertising.”

That’s according to Andrew Short, CEO for the Milwaukee-based company, who says these kinds of advertisements — banner ads and pop-up ads — are not drawing the same numbers of clicks that they used to.

“There’s a monumental shift in this ad-tech industry where big data giants and big publishers are looking for new and emerging technologies that help them connect businesses to an online user at a much more effective rate,” Short said. “We give away prizes through our platform as a way to entice a user to engage with a module which collects leads and data.”

He describes the system as a digital version of radio sweepstakes in which the ninth caller wins the prize. Users click a button on the module in hopes of landing on the winning number and earning a prize. As they do so, they answer questions about product preferences, providing valuable data.

“We’ve provided this service and data to some of the most recognizable brands in the United States, including the U.S. Marine Corps.,” he said.

*Voxello, an Iowa company working to make it easier for medical patients to communicate more with loved ones and clinicians.

Mark Allegra, national director for Voxello, says about four million patients each year go through a car accident, paralysis, stroke, intubation or other debilitating situation.

“Those patients are three times more likely to develop a preventable adverse event,” Allegra said.

Aside from letting patients who can’t communicate through traditional means converse with friends and family, Voxello’s system also lets them communicate to care providers if something doesn’t feel right.

“This is a very real situation in our country where those events aren’t caught early because the patient cannot communicate that issue,” he said.

*Access HealthNet, a cost transparency system for the medical field.

“It’s nice to know what things might cost, but it’s even better to know exactly what they will cost, and to be able to buy those with knowing the cost in advance,” said co-founder Eric Haberichter. “We’re here to solve a problem and it’s one of the biggest problems our nation faces, and that is the fact that health care is way too expensive.”

Milwaukee-based Access HealthNet is an online platform for ecommerce in health care, so consumers can compare costs and find the best deal. Haberichter says that in 2016 and 2017, employers that put the platform in place have lowered total medical spending by up to 13 percent.

“That’s an enormous number,” he said. “More value, more options, better opportunities for payers, providers and patients.”

*Isomark, a Madison biotech company which has a tool for diagnosing potentially fatal infections much earlier than currently possible.

“The fact is, we have antiquated tools for clinicians for the early diagnosis of infection,” said CEO Joe Kremer. “In fact, the main thing that they are using right now is fever — something that was discovered 2,000 years ago.”

Isomark’s product can be used to diagnose infection from a breath sample within two hours after onset.

“That’s extremely early; that’s days earlier than what is clinically available now,” he said. “Not only can we detect infections early, but we can also track the infections. You can see it progress and you can see it being resolved as treatment is being affected.”

*Lanehub, a Green Bay company that works with the trucking industry to optimize freight delivery, helping customers save as much as $10 million per year, according to founder Mark Hackl.

“We are building a transportation community,” Hackl said. “We’re working with the largest companies in America… in our first year, we’ve already brought on over 50 companies, and the network is growing.”

The Lanehub software has algorithms which identify shipping matches for customers.

“Our pricing structure has allowed us to build critical mass quickly,” he said. “By making it simple for companies to submit their data, we can easily show them how they can benefit. We’ve identified more than $50 million in savings for our top 20 customers, and the transaction fee allows us to win big when our customers win big.”

*ONKOL, a startup that makes a health and home monitoring system for the elderly that can deliver information both to family members and to health care professionals.

The device can connect with other smart health devices like digital weight scales, blood pressure cuffs and other medical devices. According to Marc Cayle, founder and CEO of the Milwaukee company, it can connect to devices made by many different manufacturers.

On the home monitoring side, the device can connect with door and window monitors and other technology.

“You’re getting alerts on your phone of everything that’s going on,” Cayle said. “So we do both — we also are able to get all this information to not only family members, but also professionals at the same time via text, email, or through an application programming interface to any EHR platform directly without a cloud.”

See more in student-written stories on presenting companies: http://wisbusiness.com/index.Iml?Article=389311

–By Alex Moe