venturewell welcomes newest aspire cohort


We’re excited to welcome our next cohort of ASPIRE startups! ASPIRE is an intensive workshop that thoroughly prepares entrepreneurs for the investment process and partnerships necessary to launch their ventures. The week-long program brings together a group of experienced mentors and instructors to provide individual support to the selected startups as they work on deal room documents, respond to stress test scenarios, and hone their narrative, proposed milestones, and investment ask. Entrepreneurs gain insight into an investor’s thought process as well as an understanding of what’s required in the deal room. Startups leave with a deeper understanding of the due diligence process and a vetted fundraising plan in hand that is “approved” during the closing mock board meeting. 

The workshop will take place September 23-27 in Detroit, Michigan. The new cohort contains 12 seed-stage medtech startups who are working to improve patient outcomes and lower the cost of quality healthcare. Meet the fall 2019 Medtech cohort:

De Oro Devices
A debilitating symptom of Parkinson’s disease, called “freezing of gait”, limits patients’ ability to walk, taking away their independence and greatly decreasing their quality of life. De Oro Devices developed a device that attaches to mobility assistive devices and uses physical therapy techniques that have been known to reduce time frozen, number of falls, and the number of freezing episodes that occur.

The regular surveillance of mosquito populations is a critical step in fighting mosquito borne disease but it is logistically challenging and human-resource intensive. VecTech developed an automated surveillance system to classify and monitor mosquito populations, providing real-time data to enable strategies for mosquito abatement and to prevent disease transmission.

Eyedea Medical
Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK), a new form of corneal transplant, is not widely adopted by eye banks due to the technically challenging nature of DMEK preparation. Eyedea Medical developed DescePrep, a single-use graft preparation system that simplifies corneal tissue processing, improving yields and expanding the donor pool while maintaining high-quality grafts for transplants.

Currently, many women do not have peace-of-mind that their tampons will adequately stop leakage or hold up for an extended period of time. Tempo developed a tampon that incorporates principles of fluid mechanics to allow fluid to be redirected in a spiral orientation and absorb more evenly.

Underinsured and uninsured patients are impacted by the rising costs and frequent product shortages of emergency autoinjectors like the EpiPen. MedsForAll is developing a universal autoinjector technology that uses the existing ampule medication cartridges used in hospitals and clinics, reducing cost and waste compared to combination product autoinjectors.

Nasus Medical
Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS) is typically treated with nasal steroid sprays but these reach only the forward parts of the nasal cavity. Nasus Medical developed a device that delivers the steroid spray to the middle area of the nasal cavity, a hard-to-reach area where several major sinuses meet, helping reduce inflammation and sinus infections.

Functional Fluidics
Red blood cell (RBC) disorders such as sickle cell disease block the flow in blood vessels, leading to episodes of severe pain. Functional Fluidics developed a suite of diagnostics to predict an individual’s risk of developing severe pain episodes and to monitor the individual’s response to treatment.

EXO DYNAMICS – Mechatronic Back Brace Commercialization
There are limited options today to treat chronic back pain. Exo Dynamics Medical developed a device that uses a ‘motion-following’ technology to provide consistent support through a full range of motion and can be used with physical therapy or as part of post-surgery recovery to reduce the effects of chronic back pain.

STEL Technologies
Common approaches to repair ligament or tendon injuries (such as ACL and rotator cuff injuries) result in increased risk of re-injury and other complications. STEL Technologies developed a tissue graft that can repair tendon or ligament injury and restore mobility without the increased risk of re-injury or arthritis.

Reveal Technologies
Patients with retinal degenerative diseases lose their ability to see depth and distance, preventing them from performing everyday tasks. Reveal Technologies built a wearable device and software that work together to restore their 3D vision and depth perception and can be configured for different conditions.

While prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, the current method for detecting prostate cancer, can detect prostate abnormalities, it isn’t specific to prostate cancer and so is not a reliable measure of a patient’s risk for developing the cancer. LynxDx developed a diagnostic test called Mi-Prostate Score (MiPS) that tests for two prostate cancer markers, providing information that can potentially eliminate the need for biopsy.

“Patients with chronic conditions such as heart or kidney failure rely on frequent blood tests at doctor’s offices or labs to monitor their health condition. Nanogenics developed a medical diagnostic platform that enables these patients to conveniently test their blood and monitor their health condition at home.”

Read more about the companies here.

More than a dozen mentors, coaches, and guest speakers representing angel investors, VCs, and corporate perspectives will spend the week with this cohort of startups as they prepare for the partnerships and investments necessary to launch and grow their ventures. ASPIRE Mentors are primarily active investors and are embedded into the program to provide continuous and thoughtful feedback to help the entrepreneurs develop and hone the materials they need  to launch their fundraising efforts. 

This ASPIRE workshop will be held in Detroit, MI at TechTown. This was made possible through the generous support of The Lemelson Foundation and the Autodesk Foundation, along with these local partners in Detroit:

We are Detroit’s Entrepreneurship Hub. We help tech startups and local businesses launch and grow. We are an incubator and accelerator. We support businesses with coworking and office space, meeting space and event space. We also connect entrepreneurs to resources, and learning and networking events in Detroit.

Dickinson Wright
Dickinson Wright is a full-service intellectual property and commercial litigation law firm with offices in ten US states. Dickinson Wright’s attorneys focus on patent and trademark prosecution, IP and complex litigation (including patent, trademark, copyright, and securities litigation and counseling), post-grant patent proceedings, IP/technology opinions and investigations, licensing and transactions, and IP portfolio management. Dickinson Wright’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations, individual inventors, startups, and world-renowned universities. Visit for more information.


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