Health Care Council of Chicago Releases First-ever “State of Health Care” Report

The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3) – an initiative of MATTER and Leavitt Partners – presented a first-of-its-kind white paper outlining the state of the healthcare industry in Chicago, during an event today at MATTER with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The report concludes that Chicago’s $69 billion healthcare industry has a diversity of assets that position the city to accelerate innovation and disruptive solutions at a pace uncommon in U.S. cities.

“This report confirms what we have long suspected – Chicago is an unparalleled hub for healthcare innovation,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Thanks to the ingenuity of our businesses and incubators – like MATTER – we have the ability to harness Chicago’s potential in ways we could never imagine before and build a stronger healthcare industry for our entire nation and world.”

Bolstered by a core of world-class care institutions, medical technology enterprises, and life sciences researchers, the report identifies five critical factors that make the city a world healthcare industry leader:

  1. The unparalleled volume and diversity of healthcare industry expertise, across all industry sectors;
  2. The strongest presence nationwide of healthcare-focused private equity firms, as well as a robust venture capital community and the city’s designation as the second-best city in the nation for startups;
  3. The graduate medical education and vocational training system that pumps talent into Chicago for productivity gains and expansion to meet tomorrow’s needs;
  4. The environments for development and growth of new technologies through the 90 co-working spaces and incubators throughout the city, the community of accelerators, and corporate partners seeding innovation; and
  5. The unique collaborations amongst and between all stakeholders that help to identify new opportunities and investments through partnerships, association platforms, community events, and HC3.

The report also concludes that Chicago has limitations challenging its place as a preeminent healthcare hub: ongoing political and budgetary impasses, low insurance coverage rates, underlying health disparities and social determinants requiring redress, and a delivery system that fails to coordinate care and drive innovation.

“We believe that there is an incredible future for this city that can be realized through a common understanding of what makes us great and collaboration that advances our individual and collective interests. We have tremendous challenges to address here at home and untold contributions that can be made to the rest of the system at a time of profound change in healthcare,” said David Smith, Principal at Leavitt Partners.

“This report tells us that Chicago is home to more healthcare expertise and resources than anywhere else in the country,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “By working together, Chicago has a unique opportunity to emerge as a world leader in healthcare innovation.”

Read the full “State of the Chicago Health Care Industry” report.

To learn more about becoming a member of HC3, please contact Laura Lewandowski at

About The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3):

The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3), an initiative of MATTER and Leavitt Partners, enables Chicagoland health care companies to expand their intellectual, technical, human, and financial capital. A collaborative platform designed to facilitate success in the value-based health care economy, HC3 highlights the profile of Chicago as an epicenter of American healthcare.

MATTER Launches 3.8 to Recruit Women for Healthcare Startup Boards

Posted August 28, 2017
By Dionne Braddix
Marketing Director – MATTER

Only 21 percent of board members of Fortune 500 healthcare companies are women, and only 1 in 7 investment dollars are awarded to women-led startups. There is a clear divide that persists for female business leaders in terms of both access to capital and access to boards. MATTER’s newest initiative leverages its position at the center of Chicago’s healthcare technology community to help address this divide.

MATTER – in partnership with Horizon Pharma, Takeda, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), and Northwestern University – is proud to launch 3.8, an initiative designed to help place female business leaders on the boards of fast-growing healthcare startup companies.

“The Chicago area is full of extraordinarily talented female healthcare executives, and at MATTER we work with 200 healthcare startup companies that need guidance and support,” said Steven Collens, MATTER CEO. “3.8 is designed to help female executives gain board experience, and help healthcare startup companies gain valuable guidance.”

3.8 helps place senior, female healthcare executives as independent board members of MATTER startup companies. The initiative, named for International Women’s Day, seeks to increase diversity in the healthcare innovation community and explore solutions to the challenges women face when seeking leadership positions. In addition to board placement, board appointees and businesses will have access to educational workshops and networking events designed to ensure board readiness.

“The women selected for our program are successful, creative leaders in their own organizations,” said Holly Copeland, director, public affairs & corporate social responsibility, Horizon Pharma. “But despite their outstanding qualifications, they had not been afforded the typical next-level opportunities, like board positions. That’s why we’re so excited to be part of this program- to help give these women, and the businesses they serve, a leg up.”

Interested in joining the program as a board member or startup company? Submit this form.

CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt on the ACA, Healthcare Data, and Innovation in Healthcare

Posted December 22, 2016
by Devon Leichtman
MATTER Associate Marketing Manager

On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, MATTER welcomed the administrator of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Andy Slavitt, for a discussion about the future of healthcare. During his interview with MATTER CEO Steven Collens, he touched on the future of the Affordable Care Act, how entrepreneurs can influence healthcare, and the growing impact of data and analytics.


The present and future of the ACA

Under the Affordable Care Act, 20 million Americans have gained health coverage and, according to Slavitt, “95 percent of metrics [to measure the effectiveness of the healthcare system] are higher now than eight years ago.” He is the first to acknowledge that, despite the gains, the ACA is far from perfect. There was much talk during the campaign about repealing the law, and there is significant uncertainty about what will happen under the new administration. Slavitt laid out two potential paths forward for the Trump Administration: to “take what we’ve accomplished so far and build on it… [or] start from scratch [with a] whole new approach and reset the rules.”

While there is mounting pressure on the incoming administration to make sweeping changes, Slavitt predicted that Trump’s team and the Republican majority in Congress will be more cautious in repealing the ACA than some think, reminding those in attendance that “senators don’t want to throw one-third of the economy into chaos, [or] restrict coverage for 30 million people.”

He also said that while he believes many pieces of the ACA will be kept, the parts that are repealed are likely to be replaced. Any replacement, he suggested, would need to do four things to be considered an improvement:

  1. Cover as many people as the ACA
  2. Give those people at least the same protections afforded by the ACA
  3. Be as affordable for individuals as the ACA
  4. Be as fiscally responsible for the system as the ACA

Slavitt also suggested that entrepreneurs and industry executives will have an important voice in influencing the direction the new administration will go. “[They] will want to listen to healthcare CEOs and the entrepreneurial community in lieu of healthcare industry lobbyists,” he said.

Entrepreneurial impact on the future of healthcare

Another major theme of Slavitt’s conversation was the value entrepreneurs bring to the healthcare industry. “You gotta be nuts to be an entrepreneur,” Slavitt – a former healthcare entrepreneur himself – joked to the gathered innovators at MATTER. “Particularly in healthcare.”

One area where he sees tremendous opportunity is in designing solutions to close disparities in the healthcare coverage Americans receive. Slavitt said that the next revolution in American healthcare will come from closing these gaps in treatment.

steveslavitt2One way to close these gaps is to make sure people at risk for preventable health issues have access to transportation and flexible work schedules so they get the treatment they need when they need it. As is, too many folks miss a bus, don’t make it to their appointments, and end up hospitalized, risking their own health and putting a strain on the system.

So if Slavitt were an entrepreneur, he’d “be going into those communities and making technologies to solve” the “missed bus problem” and those like it.

Big data’s massive influence

Data’s growing influence was a throughline of his presentation. Slavitt stressed its importance for entrepreneurs both designing new solutions and working with Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).

When discussing EMRs, Slavitt quipped that he’d “never seen an industry become an industry before they create satisfied customers,” referring to health systems’ widespread adoption of EMRs and clinicians’ disappointment with the technology. Physicians are frustrated that “nobody has paid attention to their workflow,” throughout EMRs’ growth.

Here, too, entrepreneurs can influence the direction of the healthcare industry, said Slavitt. He wants CMS to help “level the playing field” and allow data to flow freely to wherever the patient is, rather than keeping it siloed within disparate systems, which would better allow innovators to improve the experience for both patients and physicians.

Slavitt also encouraged entrepreneurs to use healthcare data released by the Obama administration, including a newly-released store of data from CMS that tracks the list prices of 5,000 drugs over the last five years.

Overall, Slavitt was tentatively optimistic about the future of CMS in spite of the current political climate. And even if massive changes are coming to American healthcare, he is confident that the influence of entrepreneurial thinking and data solutions will continue to grow unimpeded. While only time can prove him right or wrong, his perspective was very much appreciated by the entrepreneurs and healthcare innovators gathered at MATTER.

Walgreens and Healthcare Technology Incubator MATTER Collaborate to Support Healthcare Innovation


DEERFIELD & CHICAGO, Ill. – Dec. 20, 2016 – As Walgreens focuses on new ways to help support the development of next-generation healthcare technology, products and services, today the company joins Chicago-based healthcare incubator and innovation community, MATTER, in announcing a new strategic relationship.

Walgreens will collaborate with healthcare innovators across MATTER’s network of early-stage industry entrepreneurs and partners, who are focused on accelerating the development and growth of solutions that address industry challenges and improve care.

“We’re looking forward to working with MATTER and uncovering new innovation that can help shape the future of healthcare, technology and pharmacy,” said Brad Fluegel, senior vice president and chief healthcare commercial market development officer at Walgreens.

As part of the collaboration, Walgreens will actively contribute to MATTER’s knowledge network, providing expertise to MATTER’s curriculum, participating in mentorship, and supporting other initiatives designed to provide the incubator’s 150+ startups with the resources they need to further their businesses and connect to the broader healthcare ecosystem in the region.

Walgreens is also working closely with MATTER as a founding member of the recently launched Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3) – an organization co-created by MATTER and Leavitt Partners. HC3’s charter is to convene Chicagoland healthcare companies to expand the intellectual, technical, human and financial capital required to succeed in a value-based healthcare economy while concurrently raising Chicago’s profile as an American healthcare epicenter.

“Walgreens has been a retail pharmacy pioneer for more than a century,” said Steven Collens, MATTER CEO. “The opportunities, insights, and perspectives that Walgreens provides will prove invaluable to the innovators at MATTER and to the Healthcare Council of Chicago.”

“We look forward to supporting MATTER’s community efforts to help push the status quo of healthcare forward through innovation and technology,” said Nimesh Jhaveri, Walgreens divisional vice president, health services development. “Collectively, with MATTER and its members and partners, we will focus on helping to address some of the pressing healthcare challenges the industry is facing today, to better serve patients and our communities.”

MATTER acts as a community hub for stakeholders across the healthcare industry, from executives of established companies, to entrepreneurs building their own innovative solutions to real healthcare problems. By convening these various players together, MATTER believes the future of healthcare innovation can and will be reached more quickly and efficiently.

About Walgreens
Walgreens (, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 10 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens omnichannel business includes and Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

MATTER is a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders working together to harness technology to improve health and healthcare. More than 150 healthcare technology startups operate at MATTER, and the company partners with 11 hospitals and health systems, five universities and more than 40 industry-leading companies. By equipping, empowering and emboldening healthcare innovators, MATTER accelerates the development of technologies that solve the right healthcare problems in the right ways. For more information, visit and follow @matterchicago.

Media Contacts:
Melissa Lederer
(312) 543-9537

Scott Goldberg
(847) 315-7649

Senator Kirk and Governor Romney Visit MATTER, Support Innovation in Healthcare

CHICAGO, Oct. 19, 2016 – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and former governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney today toured healthcare technology incubator MATTER to discuss the future of healthcare with entrepreneurs and innovators.

Located in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, MATTER is a community of healthcare startups and industry leaders working together to fuel innovation in health IT, medical devices, diagnostics, and biopharmaceuticals.

Senator Kirk and Governor Romney met with several of the entrepreneurs working at MATTER to develop innovative healthcare solutions, including the founders of SurvivorPlan, an integrated care planning, care coordination, and patient engagement platform; HabitNu, a diabetes prevention and management tool; 300 Medical, a technology company that improves how patients receive care; and Resonance Medical, a software company that aims to upgrade existing cochlear implant processors.

“It was a pleasure to be back at MATTER,” said Senator Kirk, who visited the incubator for the first time in August of 2015. “The technology, devices, and products being developed by the entrepreneurs at MATTER will improve patients’ lives and positively impact the region’s economy,” Kirk continued.

“Today I had the opportunity to tour MATTER with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk,” added Governor Romney. “I enjoyed hearing from entrepreneurs and innovators on the cutting edge of healthcare technology who are working together to improve the healthcare industry, create jobs, and bolster the local economy,” Romney said.

“MATTER is honored to host Senator Kirk and Governor Romney for a discussion about how technology innovation is improving healthcare and changing lives,” said Steven Collens, MATTER CEO.

MATTER is a community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and industry leaders working together to harness technology to improve health and healthcare. MATTER connects and promotes collaboration between entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians, investors, and industry partners in order to bring next-generation products and services to market that improve quality of care and save lives. For more information, visit and follow @matterchicago.

Fresenius Kabi Joins Chicago Health Innovation Incubator MATTER as Newest Strategic Partner


(LAKE ZURICH & CHICAGO) – October 11, 2016 – Fresenius Kabi has joined Chicago’s healthcare innovation incubator, MATTER, as a new strategic “gold” partner, both organizations announced today.

MATTER is a community of healthcare innovators based in Chicago.  Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition.  The company is based in Germany with its U.S. headquarters in Lake Zurich, Illinois and advanced manufacturing, R&D and logistics operations throughout the Chicagoland area.

MATTER and Fresenius Kabi will work together to accelerate the development of technologies that improve health and patient care, with a focus on products used in the treatment of people with critical and chronic conditions, which is where Fresenius Kabi has special expertise.

In the U.S. Fresenius Kabi products include specialty and generic injectable medicines, infusion pumps, clinical nutrition products and transfusion and cell-processing technologies used to collect, store, process and transfuse blood, blood components and specific therapeutic cell types and lines.

“This partnership is about physical and digital innovation, which as we know is transforming patient care, making high-quality care more effective, more affordable and more in reach for more people worldwide,” said Dean Gregory, president, medical devices, Fresenius Kabi USA.  “We look forward to engaging with the MATTER community and collaborating with its innovators, entrepreneurs and other partners as a means to fulfill our purpose, which is to put lifesaving medicines and technologies in the hands of people who care for patients.”

Through MATTER, innovators from across the healthcare industry connect and collaborate to accelerate the development and growth of solutions that address industry challenges and improve care.

“Fresenius Kabi is a leader in healthcare with a focus on therapeutics and devices, and we are thrilled to welcome their innovators and experts into the MATTER community as we collaborate to improve care,” said Steven Collens, chief executive officer, MATTER.

About Fresenius Kabi

Fresenius Kabi ( is a global healthcare company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Lake Zurich, IL. The company’s global headquarters is in Bad Homburg, Germany. For more information about Fresenius Kabi worldwide, please visit


MATTER is a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders working together to harness technology to improve health and healthcare. MATTER connects and promotes collaboration between entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians, investors and industry partners in order to bring next-generation products and services to market that improve quality of care and save lives. For more information, visit and follow @matterchicago.

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Fresenius Kabi Media Contact
Matt Kuhn
Fresenius Kabi
(847) 550-5751

MATTER Media Contact
Melissa Lederer
(312) 543-9537

MATTER Launches The OSF Simulation Stage in Partnership with OSF HealthCare

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.37.06 AM                  MATTER-Logo-POS[1]

New specialty environment at MATTER lets healthcare innovators develop ideas and test products in real-world clinical scenarios; first project will focus on hospital observation units

(CHICAGO, IL) – September 6, 2016 – MATTER, in partnership OSF HealthCare, today announced the launch of The OSF Simulation Stage at MATTER, a flexible simulation environment designed to allow early-stage healthcare technology innovators to test their products in real-world clinical environments and gain valuable feedback – knowledge they traditionally would not have the opportunity to receive until much later in the development process. The Stage, which is configurable to model a number of hospital clinical settings such as an ICU, cath lab, or procedure room, is outfitted with medical equipment from Hill-Rom and electronic health record software from Allscripts.

The OSF Simulation Stage’s first configuration will model a hospital observation room and will be the focal point of a six-month-long challenge sponsored by Hill-Rom to develop technologies to improve the efficiency, quality, and financial stability of hospital observation units. The challenge is an opportunity for innovators to develop solutions to a timely problem and gain feedback from clinicians on the front lines of delivering care. Applications from teams interested in participating must be submitted by October 15. The winning team will be presented with a cash prize. For more information, visit

“Simulation provides an invaluable opportunity for testing, training, and iteration in a safe and controlled environment,” said Dr. John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer for Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, a partnership between OSF HealthCare and University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. “The friction involved in bringing new healthcare technologies to market is immense, and it’s often doubly hard for early-stage innovators to navigate the healthcare system to secure crucial pilots and gain direct feedback. The OSF Simulation Stage at MATTER eliminates this friction by accelerating the testing process and paving the way for outside evaluation to shape new ideas and iterative decisions that might otherwise not be uncovered until much later in the process – or missed entirely. We’re thrilled to partner with MATTER on this endeavor.”

“Since MATTER opened last year, we have heard from startups and innovators that they want greater access to clinical environments in which to develop ideas and test prototypes,” said MATTER CEO Steven Collens. “The OSF Simulation Stage gives them this environment and is designed to be highly flexible and adaptable to a variety of situational challenges.”

The OSF Simulation Stage is the second specialty environment that MATTER has designed to facilitate connection and collaboration between entrepreneurs and clinicians to advance healthcare. Previously, MATTER introduced the AMA Interaction Studio, in partnership with the American Medical Association, that provides an interactive environment for entrepreneurs and physicians to engage one another early on in the development of new solutions.

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Media Contacts:
Melissa Lederer
(312) 543-9537

Denise Molina-Weiger
OSF Innovation
(309) 308-9547

About OSF HealthCare
Headquartered in Peoria, OSF HealthCare is owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, and consists of more than 18,000 employees in 115 locations, including 11 hospitals throughout Illinois and Michigan. Its physician network employs more than 1,000 primary care, specialist physicians, and advanced practice providers. More at

About Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center
Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center (Jump) is an incubator where collaboration and innovation lead the transformation of healthcare worldwide. Jump programs and objectives are key to improving the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of care for community members across the region.
A collaboration between OSF HealthCare and University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP), Jump advances the missions of both organizations.

MATTER is a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders working together to harness technology to improve health and healthcare. More than 130 healthcare technology startups operate at MATTER, and the company partners with 10 hospitals and health systems, four universities and more than 40 industry-leading companies. By equipping, empowering and emboldening healthcare innovators, MATTER accelerates the development of technologies that solve the right healthcare problems in the right ways. For more information, visit and follow @matterchicago.

Tales from the Trenches: Norbert Riedel and Joe Moskal

Posted April 14 by Devon Leichtman

Last month, MATTER’s Tales from the Trenches series welcomed Norbert Riedel and Joe Moskal, the leaders of Evanston-based Naurex, which was recently acquired by global healthcare giant Allergan for $560 million. ContextMedia CEO Rishi Shah interviewed the pair about their successful (if oddly coupled) partnership. Watch the full video of the event or read our recap below.

In 1983, Joe Moskal, a neuroscience PhD, built a nonprofit research institute dedicated to studying depression and other conditions of the central nervous system. At the time, in many circles, depression wasn’t accepted as a true medical condition, so Moskal had to fight against the stigma and the largely-held belief that his work wasn’t valid.

Moskal founded The Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics at Northwestern University where he developed drugs to treat conditions related to the central nervous system including depression, surviving on grant funding while maintaining close ties with the private sector. While running the Falk Center, he met Norbert Riedel.

Riedel was Baxter’s chief scientific officer and head of Baxter Ventures where he scouted academic labs for potentially disruptive technologies to fund. After funding a few of Moskal’s proposals in the mid-2000s, Baxter Ventures led Naurex’s Series-B funding round in 2012, and Riedel joined Naurex’s board. In 2013, Riedel stepped down as Baxter’s chief scientific officer and became Naurex’s CEO the following year.

Dtt2uring the conversation, Riedel shared his view that Baxter could never be as innovative or entrepreneurial as he wanted it to be without working closely with universities. Moskal chalks up his commercial success to his research’s independence from Northwestern – something he was only able to maintain with funding from Baxter. Had he only focused on developing peer-reviewed research and obtaining government grants, he would not have been able to shape his research into commercially viable drugs affecting the CNS.

Together, Riedel and Moskal were able to develop treatments for conditions affecting the central nervous system. One such medicine is rapastinel, an adjunctive therapy for treatment-resistant depression. Their clinical trials showed efficacy a mere two hours after a single dose was administered to a patient, with relief lasting up to a week. The relief was twice as robust after one dose than after four weeks of treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, the most widely-prescribed treatment for depression in the US. Not only that, but rapastinel didn’t have a single serious side effect after a large number of clinical trials. The FDA granted the drug Fast Track designation in 2014 and Breakthrough Therapy designation in 2016.

Allergan acquired the Naurex name and the company’s lead compounds for depression, but the entire Naurex team reconstituted under a new company name, Aptinyx, and are currently working on using the same platform to develop breakthrough therapies for neuropathic pain.

In giving advice for building a biopharmaceutical business from the ground up, Riedel and especially Moskal stressed the incremental nature of entrepreneurship. They raised numerous rounds of funding over many years before developing the company to a point where it was an attractive acquisition target. He emphasized “taking small swings,” claiming that “the name of the game is to stay in the game.”

The pair shared words of wisdom about the importance of failure: the sooner entrepreneurs fail, the sooner they stop working on bad ideas. Building a network was crucial to Moskal, who mentioned mentors and colleagues who provided invaluable feedback throughout his career. With regards to the healthcare industry, both hammered home the importance of staying focused on the patient. If you have a unique, differentiated product that eases real patient pain, the money will follow. Just ask Joe Moskal.

Over 40 Ventures from 10 Midwest Universities to Participate in MATTER’s Second Annual Midwest University Healthtech Showcase

CHICAGOApril 8, 2016 – MATTER, the healthcare community hub and entrepreneurial incubator, announced today that the second annual Midwest University HealthTech Showcase will take place on Monday, April 11, 2016. The showcase will bring together early stage healthcare innovators from 10 midwestern universities to present their technologies to hundreds of healthcare investors and industry leaders at MATTER. The Midwest University Showcase is the kick-off event to the two-day MedCity INVEST Conference on April 12-13 that attracts both regional and national venture capitalists and angel investors.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming some of the brightest healthcare innovators from across the Midwest,” said Steven Collens, MATTER CEO. “Investors and industry leaders will see promising new technologies that represent real business opportunities and that will have a huge impact on health and healthcare.”

The event will showcase over 40 biopharmaceutical, medical device, and health IT innovations that are available for licensing or in the commercialization process. Participating technologies include BOLD Diagnostics, which developed a device to remotely capture blood pressure in patients with hypertension; NovaScan that commercializes a low-cost instantaneous cancer detection system; and Output Medical that automates urine output measurements to improve acute kidney injury diagnosis.

“We are extremely excited about attending the Midwest University Showcase because we see this as an ideal opportunity to validate our venture, and build the necessary connections to generate traction and move the company forward,” said Output Medical founder Dr. Jay Joshi.

Participating universities include Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State, Notre Dame, University of Chicago, University of Kansas, Medical College of Wisconsin, Rush University, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. BioSTL will also participate. Several MATTER member companies, whose technologies were initiated out of participating universities, will be involved in the program.

In addition, MATTER will bring together healthcare technology investors from across the country, as well as industry professionals responsible for in-licensing and investment opportunities from companies such as Horizon Pharma, Abbott, AbbVie, Astellas, Baxalta, and Takeda.

“It’s always compelling to learn about new technologies that are being developed right in our backyard that we don’t have visibility into through our traditional channels,” said Nancy Sullivan, CEO of IllinoisVENTURES. “MATTER’s ability to convene this many healthcare innovators, industry insiders, and investors makes for a stimulating evening of discovery, networking, and opportunity,” Sullivan added.

The Midwest University Showcase is a private, invite-only event underwritten by Horizon Pharma. To see the full list of participating technologies, visit


MATTER is a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders working together to harness technology to improve health and healthcare. MATTER connects and promotes collaboration between entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians, investors and industry partners in order to bring next-generation products and services to market that improve quality of care and save lives. For more information, visit and follow @matterchicago.

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MATTER’s Anniversary: CEO Steven Collens Looks Back on Year One

One year ago, together with Senator Dick Durbin, Governor Bruce Rauner, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we opened MATTER with the ambitious goal of developing a better model for healthcare technology innovation.

MATTER Grand Opening Ribbon-Cutting
Ribbon-cutting at the MATTER Grand Opening

There has never been a more dynamic time for healthcare innovation – and we built MATTER to accelerate the development of new technologies that will improve health and healthcare.

We launched with 56 startup companies who took a risk on us. They moved in on day one, hoping we would deliver what we promised: a community, resources, and programs that would help them accelerate the development of their businesses. Today we have 117 startups at MATTER, developing breakthrough health IT, medical device, diagnostics, and biopharma technologies.

We launched with 11 founding partners who made that grand opening possible. Thanks again to AbbVie, Allscripts, the American Medical Association, Astellas, EY, Healthios, Horizon Pharma, JPMorgan Chase, Marathon Pharmaceuticals, OSF HealthCare, and Takeda – each of whom took a risk and invested in us before we had anything to offer other than a plan. Today we have 70 industry-leading partners who make our mission possible and come together every day at MATTER to accelerate innovation.

MATTER InsideOut Program
Representatives from our industry-leading partners and our members work side-by-side at our Inside/Out program

We started with a thesis: that the best way to develop healthcare technologies is to bring established companies and health systems together with entrepreneurs to develop new products together. As we’ve gained experience working with our members and partners, we have focused our efforts on doing three things for healthcare innovators, from solo entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 company executives: equipping them with tools and knowledge to better build their technologies; empowering them with an extensive network of corporate and hospital executives, researchers, physicians, investors, and entrepreneurs; and emboldening them with a community that helps inspire them to greater heights.

In our first year as we built out our programs, we facilitated 1,411 mentorship meetings, hosted 335 events, welcomed more than 25,000 visitors, and consumed many hundreds of gallons of coffee. We built bridges between startups and established institutions that have accelerated the development of new technologies ranging from a new operating system for medical devices, to algorithms that predict when people will have heart attacks days before they exhibit visible symptoms.

At the 2015 Midwest University Health Tech Showcase, we brought 100 investors to look at 50 technologies from 10 universities across the country – and we will host the 2016 event in just a few weeks.

Rishi Shah of ContextMedia interviewing former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman during our Tales from the Trenches series.
Rishi Shah of ContextMedia interviewing former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman during our Tales from the Trenches series

Together with ContextMedia and Pritzker Group Venture Capital, we brought successful healthcare entrepreneurs to MATTER to tell their stories in our Tales from the Trenches series. With NorthShore University HealthSystem, we brought leading clinicians and researchers to discuss the latest developments in medical science. And with the American Medical Association, we opened the AMA Interaction Studio, which brings the physician office into MATTER and allows doctors to collaborate with entrepreneurs in a real-world setting.

Last month, we acquired Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM), a 5-year-old, team-based mentoring program that accelerates the development of complex technologies emerging from some of the best research labs in the country.

We had an amazing first year – but we’re really just getting started. Our focus as we round the corner into year two is on enhancing our startup incubation model, expanding the value we create for our partners, and broadening our network across the country.

Industry executives collaborating at Living Lab

To do that, we are continuing to develop new initiatives that create value for our community. We launched our Inside/Out program in December with a curated, 50-person event that was facilitated by IDEO and focused on improving diabetes management. We launched the Living Lab fellowship in January – which bring groups of industry executives to MATTER for 3 months to collaborate on the development of new business models that address industry-wide issues such as adherence. And we formalized our Financing Clinic, which brings investors from across the country to MATTER to meet with member companies. Each week we welcome new startup members, new industry partners, and new health systems to MATTER to work with our community to build the best solutions to the most vexing challenges.

We are grateful to those who believed in us as we opened our doors and built our initial operations, and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about working with all our members and partners to accelerate the development of technologies that will improve live and lives.