The Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund was established in April 2016. On Nov. 9, 2016, the Fund proudly announced the first companies to earn investment: Genomenon, Inc. and Brio, LLC.
Genomenon’s software simplifies genome interpretation to improve diagnostic accuracy in clinical practice and speed genetic discoveries in research laboratories. The investment builds upon Genomenon’s funding from Michigan Investments in New Technology Startups (MINTS) program.
Genomenon is led by CEO Mike Klein and CSO/Vice President of Product Strategy Mark J. Kiel M.D., Ph.D. ‘14. Recently, Genomenon won three business challenge competitions following its MTRAC award funding, most recently finishing a $1.8 million seed extension round.
“The Monroe-Brown Seed Fund has acted as a catalyst to help us successfully reach our funding goal,” said Klein. “By having the University of Michigan on board, it provides credibility to the company and has given us the runway to make our product a commercial success.”
Brio Device, LLC was founded by a team of women with experiences across multiple disciplines. CEO Hannah Hensel BA ’92, MBA ‘10 has partnered with Laura McCormick, Ph.D. and Sabina Siddiqui, M.D. to produce commercialized airway devices for endotracheal intubation.
Failed intubation leads to 18,000 trauma-related deaths each year that are entirely preventable using Brio’s insertion stylets. These devices minimize reliance on clinician skill for success and are designed to assist users in locating the trachea and maneuvering the endotracheal tube through the mouth, throat and airway.
“The Monroe-Brown Seed Fund investment allows our company to complete the production and final testing of our first product, the INT Navigator™, a life-saving device used for intubation and airway management,” said Hensel. “The investment will also contribute to the product launch and commercialization as early as this spring. With these funds, Brio has been able to remain headquartered in Ann Arbor and expand its staff locally.”
Brio’s receipt of funding from the Monroe-Brown Seed Fund follows an SBIR grant extension round and $50,000 investment from the First Step Fund.