Allos Ventures' $40 Million to Fund Midwest Startups
Emerging technology companies jostling for investors’ attention have a new object of affection: Allos Ventures. With offices in Indianapolis and Cincinnati, the venture capital firm has a fund of $40 million and is currently looking for a handful of locally-based startups to lend backing to. Preferring that portfolio companies be located within driving distance of those offices, candidates would ideally fall between Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Nashville and Chicago.
The fund directors’– Don Aquilano, John McIlwraith and Dov Rosenberg – experience has shaped the areas the team is most interested in funding: software and technology-enabled business services, specialty healthcare providers, later-stage medical devices and diagnostics, and advanced manufacturing.
Although pharmaceutical and biotech companies will not make the cut, “we absolutely focus on healthcare IT, and what we would call technology-enabled business services,” McIlwraith said when asked for comment. “That’s a horizontal, but one of those verticals within it would be business services in healthcare space.”
Allos Ventures Funding Startups Early Stage Development
A recently closed fund, Allos’ second, followed the same path and targeted early-stage companies in sectors with the potential for profitable growth. The companies typically had raised seed money and were ready for their first round of institutional capital. Initial investments are usually around $2 million, with Allos leading or co-leading rounds between $3-6 million.
Cincinnati-based AssureRx Health received a portion of the firm’s first fund, totaling $11 million, along with three other companies. The bioinformatics company develops tests to help healthcare providers choose personalized medications, using gene therapy, for psychiatric patients.
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!