Inscope Medical Solutions, a medical device company born at the University of Louisville, has won $100,000 in tech icon Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” pitch competition.
Before the competition, held last week at the Speed Art Museum on UofL’s Belknap campus, new president Dr. Neeli Bendapudi moderated a fireside chat between Case, co-founder of America Online, and Bill Ready, chief operating officer of PayPal.
They talked entrepreneurship and innovation before the judges heard from seven Louisville startup companies and chose one — Inscope — for an investment from the ‘Rise of the Rest’ seed fund.
Many of the presenting companies had a connection to UofL. Five went through training programs such as LaunchIt or RevIt offered by the UofL Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship, and/or received a startup grant to grow their business here. Some, like FreshFry and Mailhaven, are led by UofL alumni.
For Inscope, the connections are deep.
“This was born at the business school — room 222, with Dr. Van Clouse,” said CEO Maggie Galloway, who pitched at the Rise of the Rest event. “Now we’ve got a product on the market that could save lives.”
Galloway co-founded the company, which produces a suction laryngoscope device for clearing patient airways, as part of a student team in the Entrepreneurship MBA program at the College of Business.
There, they worked with Clouse, chair of entrepreneurship and director of the Forcht Center. The Inscope team built up the company, and won contest after contest after contest for their business plan and pitch.
“I am very proud of Incsope’s continuing success,” Clouse said. “In addition to launching a high performance new venture, the team continues to give generously of their time to the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
The UofL Office of Technology Transfer worked with the company on commercialization and provided advice on the patenting process. Inscope just recently launched its first product, the Inscope Direct, and is now finishing up a new product that incorporates video.
And they’re still winning pitch contests — like Rise of the Rest.
“We are absolutely overwhelmed for Inscope; it’s a fantastic achievement and they’ve worked so hard,” said Dr. Holly Clark, deputy director of OTT. “The team and technology started with a great idea to address a critical medical need. With the team’s skill, determination, and dedication, they’ll continue to go far.”
The “Rise of the Rest” seed fund is backed by Revolution, an investment firm led by Case. The fund invests in early-stage companies located outside of major startup hubs, like New York City or San Francisco.
Louisville was the last stop of the 2018 Rise of the Rest tour, after Dallas, Memphis, Birmingham and Chattanooga. There’s a video on the Louisville leg of the tour here.