Noticing a Trend? Quality Startups Incubate at EvoNexus

Xconomy Special Report: 12 San Diego Tech Startups to Watch in 2017 lists 9 startups that incubated at EvoNexus

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The 9 EvoNexus Startups that made the list include:

  • Soci – Soci has created a Web-based platform for managing social media. As businesses moved beyond a single corporate social media page, Soci founders Afif Khoury and Alo Sarv saw the need for software that would serve as a “central command,” enabling business customers to deploy their social media marketing strategies, customize their brand messaging, and control their customer conversations across thousands of social media pages. Founded in 2012, Soci spent 2014 in the EvoNexus incubator and raised $4.25 million from local angel investors and Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate, GrowthX, and Axon Ventures. Soci said it has grown its revenue by over 300 percent in its second year of commercialization, and now has 35 employees.
  • AttackIQ – AttackIQ has developed software, called “FireDrill,” to help companies and other enterprise customers answer the question, “How well are your network security tools, products, and processes working?” According to AttackIQ, conventional security testing is fragmented and inconsistent, as the average enterprise network combines as many as 75 different cybersecurity programs. FireDrill systematically probes security controls and quantifies a network’s defensive readiness, resiliency, and weaknesses. CEO Stephan Chenette and chief software architect Rajesh Sharma founded AttackIQ in late 2013. They have raised $7.8 million from Index Ventures and other investors, and have 15 employees.
  • Approved – Former Redfin developers Andy Taylor and Navtej Sadhal founded Approved last year in San Francisco. They are creating Web-based software to help home mortgage lenders streamline their loan application, document collection, and approval process from a few weeks to a few minutes. The two founders are now working in the EvoNexus incubator in downtown San Diego, with undisclosed funding from angels and “a prominent Palo Alto VC firm.” Taylor oversaw Redfin’s products team, and Sadhal ran the platform team that kept the Redfin site operating with 12 million unique monthly visitors. “We know how to build world-class software,” Taylor said.
  •  CureMetrix – CureMetrix, founded in 2014 by CEO Kevin Harris and CTO Homa Karimabadi, is applying artificial intelligence algorithms to medical imaging and diagnostics. Above, three mammogram images shows the progression of a malignant breast tumor over time. The CureMetrix algorithm generates a “Q number” for each image. Anything over 30 is suspicious. As Harris put it, “We are developing a platform that provides more information to radiologists than they can see with their eyes.” With unspecified funding from San Diego’s Analytics Ventures, CureMetrix now has 11 employees.
  • Clarify Medical – Martyn Gross founded Clarify Medical in 2014 to move the standard of care treatment for psoriasis and eczema (ultraviolet-B light therapy) from the clinic into the home. The company has developed a handheld LED light that is linked through a wireless connection to Clarify’s Web-based services. Gross says it is quicker and more convenient for patients, while still providing medical oversight and personalized care for patients with immune-related skin conditions. Clarify has raised $3.1 million from angel investors, and recently added serial entrepreneur Jim Sweeney as CEO. (Gross is now vice president of innovation). Another prominent figure, life sciences investor David Hale, is board chairman.
  • Grolltex – Aliaksandr Zaretski invented a new method for making graphene at lower cost and higher quality while completing his doctorate in nano-engineering at UC San Diego. Graphene consists of a single, tightly packed layer of carbon atoms (one-millionth the thickness of paper). Due to its high electrical conductivity, extraordinary tensile strength, flexibility, transparency, and extreme light weight, graphene is under widespread investigation as a new “wonder material” for making integrated circuits, sensors, biomedical membranes and devices, photovoltaic cells, flexible displays, desalination membranes, and other applications. Zaretski founded Grolltex in 2015 with angel investor and CEO Jeff Draa. They raised $1 million in seed funding in April.
  • OSSIC – Frustrated by the gap between what is possible and what was available in audio technology, Ossic founders Jason Riggs, Joy Lyons, Jose Arjol Acebal, and David Carr set out in 2014 to develop headphones that provide immersive, three-dimensional sound. Using software and sensors, they developed the Ossic X headphones for interactive media, including gaming, virtual reality, and augmented reality applications. The founders initially self-funded Ossic, and raised an unspecified amount in seed funding last year from angel investors. Earlier this year, Ossic raised over $2.7 million from 10,263 backers on Kickstarter. The company now has 16 employees. While Ossic faces stiff competition from companies like San Francisco-based Dysonics (backed by Intel Capital), Ossics recently won the top CES 2017 “best of innovation” award in headphones. Ossic spent time in San Diego’s EvoNexus incubator and London’s Abbey Road Red music technology incubator.
  • Koriist – Koriist is developing software that enables sensors, devices, and networks based on incompatible communications technologies to securely deliver data to the cloud, enabling information sharing. Koriist says its technology unlocks access to the existing Internet of Things, including devices running on legacy protocols such as RS-232 Serial, Modbus, BACnet, LonWorks, and Profibus. Koriist says providing its software as a service would enable customers to avoid the cost of replacing legacy equipment with IP-based systems, and gain additional cost savings from improved operational efficiencies. Koriist also plans to provide analytics that would enable its customers to further improve their resource management. Founders Chad Trytten and Ron Wangerin started Koriist in April, with undisclosed seed funding from angel investors.
  • Trials.ai – Founders Kim and Tom Walpole started Trials.ai in 2014 (initially as Catalyst eClinical) to create a cloud-based platform that could be used by contract research organizations, medical device companies, and participating scientists to manage clinical trials for medical devices. According to Trials.ai, half of such studies currently use paper to administer trials and collect data, but the FDA has mandated that such data must be submitted electronically by next September. Trials.ai has been developing software modules that can be adopted to manage many different types of device trials, and has recruited prominent business and device industry leaders as advisors. Trials.ai has been self-funded so far, and is generating some revenues from customers. But the Walpoles are now seeking seed funding.