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Wisconsin Roundup: VC Funding, StartUp Health, Stem Cells, & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Here’s a collection of recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:

—Waukesha-based Elli Health has changed its name to Intellivisit and tacked nearly $400,000 on to a funding round that previously raised about $780,000, according to SEC filings. The company’s software enables virtual doctor visits.

—Madison-based Health eFilings raised $934,500 in a seed funding round that could reach $1.5 million, according to a new SEC filing. The company sells software that helps healthcare providers report care quality data as required by Medicare. The startup is led by Robert Hopton, whose previous company, Idle Free Systems, was acquired last year by Phillips & Temro Industries.

—Madison-based Digsite raised $775,000 in a seed funding round, according to an SEC filing. The company’s software provides private online forums for marketers, researchers, and digital agencies to interact with customers and share photos and videos from any device.

—Aurora Health Care, the Milwaukee-based healthcare system serving eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, became a lead investor in StartUp Health, the New York-based company that invests in digital health startups and gives them access to mentors, industry connections, and business training services. The size of Aurora’s investment wasn’t disclosed.

—The Water Council received a $230,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to continue providing specialized training for angel investors and programs to connect corporate innovation departments with water technology startups looking for investment capital. TheMilwaukee-based Water Council is in its second year of funding from a JPMorgan Chase small business funding program.

—In other local water industry news, Milwaukee-based Rexnord (NYSE: RXN) announced it’s relocating the headquarters of its Zurn subsidiary from Pennsylvania to the Reed Street Yards near downtown Milwaukee, where a new water technology business park is being built next to The Water Council’s Global Water Center. Zurn makes toilets, sinks, and a variety of other plumbing-related products.

—Monona-based Shine Medical Technologies said it was awarded a $150,000 Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation. The money will go toward development of a process for extracting and purifying iodine-131, a type of medical isotope used in treating Graves’ disease and cancer, the company said. This is a potential product Shine could manufacture when it opens a facility in Janesville in a few years.

The primary material Shine has said it intends to produce at Janesville, though, is molybdenum-99, which then decays into technetium-99, the most common medical isotope injected into patients for medical scans to diagnose things like cancer and heart disease.

—Madison-based WiCell, the nonprofit that provides stem cell banking and testing services, has been chosen to store and distribute the induced pluripotent stem cell lines from more than 1,500 donors as part of a five-year, $80 million program funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The initiative—dubbed Next Generation Genetic Association Studies—is investigating genetic variations in humans to learn more about diseases. Participating researchers hail from across the U.S., including the Medical College of Wisconsin, Boston University, Harvard University, Stanford University, UC-San Diego, and Scripps Research Institute.

—The Ideadvance Seed Fund announced its latest grant recipients—six teams of students, faculty, and staff from University of Wisconsin System campuses, who are eligible for up to $75,000 each. The program is funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Technology Commercialization, and is meant to nurture entrepreneurial ideas on public university campuses outside of UW-Madison.