Chicago Business: Matter incubator selects first 10 startups

By John Pletz, October 28 2014

Matter, the new health care-tech incubator being planned for the Merchandise Mart, has selected its first 10 companies.

All of them are from the Chicago area. Matter, which began construction last week, won’t open until early next year. The facility expects to be able to accommodate 150 to 200 people when it’s complete, with most companies expected to have one to 10 employees. It began taking applications in August.

The companies selected so far include five health care IT startups, three medical-device makers and two pharmaceutical companies. Half were founded by doctors; four were founded by serial entrepreneurs; and three have been through accelerator programs.

“It’s designed to be technology agnostic,” said CEO Steve Collens. “This group is a mix of different types of companies, from software to medical devices. I haven’t seen anyone else in the country doing it like this. By having different types of technologies, there will be interesting collaborations that come out of it.”

Here’s the list:

AltaThera Pharmaceuticals, a specialty-pharmaceutical company focused on rare, life-threatening diseases.

Caretree, which provides coordinated health records for patients, their families, caregivers and insurers.

CancerIQ, which provides big data on cancer; it won a startup competition last year involving startup incubators 1871 and its Washington-based counterpart, 1776.

Coeus Health, which is bringing big data to health and wellness efforts, such as weight loss.

ProVazo, which developed a device that allows doctors to more discreetly sample blood intravenously.

Qualia Health, which makes software for health care providers to create personalized care plans for medical patients between visits.

Regroup Therapies, which make software for reaching patients through video.

Resonance Medical, which makes devices for hearing.

Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, which does virtual drug development.

TeleHealth Robotics, which incorporates robotics and tele-presence technology for heart procedures.