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Indy loses promising health startup

November 12, 2012

Indianapolis would probably like to have this one back.

LabDoor, which formed here in the spring, moved last month to San Francisco after it was picked as part of the latest class of startups to be housed in the Rock Health seed accelerator for digital health companies.

LabDoor soon will launch an iPhone app that pulls from clinical trials and independent experts to immediately assign an A-F grade for vitamins and over-the-counter medicines. The grade, based on safety, efficacy and price information, is generated by scanning the label on a box or jar in the pharmacy aisle.

As part of its acceptance by Rock Health, LabDoor will receive $100,000 in startup funding from a group of venture capitslists, which include Silicon Valley behemoth Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Perhaps even more importantly, Rock Health works with a constellation of other health companies and venture capitalists, including Kaiser, The Mayo Clinic, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Aberdare Ventures, General Electric Corp., Genentech, United Healthcare, the University of California at San Francisco and Harvard Medical School.

Those connections will be hugely helpful as LabDoor tries to bring its product to consumers, said Tercio “T.J.” Junker, the firm's chief operating officer.

The LabDoor team now consists of just four principals: CEO Neil Thanedar, Chief Technology Officer Helton Souza, Chief Creative Officer Rafael Ferreira and Junker.

Members of the LabDoor management team said it was a tough decision to leave Indianapolis, but that the opportunity in San Francisco was too good to pass up.

“The Indy startup scene is definitely on the rise, but is years away from being a true startup hub,” Thanedar said in an interview published Nov. 1 on nibletz.com. “Most startup cities grow in a predictable way: Startups form organically, a few hit big financial exits, creating angel investors who support the next generation of startups. We’ve seen the exits (IPOs for Angie’s List and ExactTarget). The next set of startups are ready to grow, they just need the early capital to succeed.”

 

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