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GREENWICH, Conn., Sept. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co., a privately held advanced technology development firm, today announced it has partnered with Rotary International and the World Health Organization (WHO) to crowdsource a global call-to-action for seeking innovative solutions to curtail the spread of online misinformation that is purposely thwarting efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan. The three organizations have engaged crowdsourcing pioneer InnoCentive to oversee this challenge for each to (up to) three winning solutions (restrictions apply).
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), of which the WHO and Rotary are founding members, faces mounting challenges in Pakistan driven by technological advancement, specifically the increasing number of people seeking and sharing news via social media. Online rumors and blatant misinformation about polio vaccination has become a systemic problem—especially considering an estimated 200% increase in Internet usage since 2012 (according to Pakistan Telecom Authority), bringing a third of the country’s population into the digital age.
“There is a powerful collective intelligence to be harnessed through this platform. We believe it can bring fresh ideas to the teams working in the region, and help them complete their mission of eradicating polio,” said Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Co. and sponsor of the new crowdsourcing challenge.
“Rotary, the World Health Organization and our partners have made incredible progress in the fight to end polio, but right now we’re facing a perplexing challenge,” said Carol Pandak, Director of Rotary International’s PolioPlus program. “We look forward to working with Spencer Trask & Co. to crowdsource creative, innovative solutions to creating confidence in vaccines by combatting online rumors in Pakistan, one of the last two countries on earth that continue to report cases of the wild poliovirus.”
In 1952, polio reached epidemic proportions, paralyzing or killing more people than any other communicable disease in the United States. Polio is a dangerous, highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease that has no known cause but is preventable with a safe and effective vaccine. In 2017, only 8 cases of wild poliovirus were detected in Pakistan. However, since 2018, case counts have increased, with a total of 62 new cases reported in Pakistan this year.
To join in this collective effort please access the challenge at https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9934241.
Spencer Trask & Co., a privately held advanced technology development firm, helps entrepreneurs build high impact ventures that change the world. The firm was instrumental in launching leading companies in artificial intelligence, genomics, healthcare, mobile technology, and Internet infrastructure
Rotary International brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Rotary is a founding partner of the GPEI, and has worked to support polio eradication efforts for more than 30 years.
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OLD GREENWICH, Conn., /PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co. backed venture Ultra Capital LLC (Ultra), a private equity firm focused on creating sustainable agriculture, energy, waste and water projects at scale, has accepted new investment from Philadelphia-based private equity fund LL Funds. As a result of this transaction, LL Funds is now the anchor equity investor in the next multi-hundred million dollar Ultra fund. Spencer Trask affiliates served as a majority equity investor in Ultra, second only to Tiger Management LLC.
Ultra previously assembled and invested more than $200 million in sustainable infrastructure projects and has a $1.2 billion pipeline. The new capitalization will allow LL Funds and other institutional investors to participate in this pipeline and in future sustainable real asset opportunities created by Ultra.
“Too many renewable initiatives begin with the best of intentions, but lack the financial sophistication to deploy large amounts of capital in a disciplined manner, said Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Co. and a founding member of Ultra Capital. “Ultra was established to do well by doing good, and it has proven that financially prudent sustainability can be a winning combination.”
Ultra is well positioned to deliver on its promise with the finance industry’s most esteemed investment professionals leading the company. Ultra Directors include Philip Duff who previously served as COO and Managing Director of Tiger Management, CFO of Morgan Stanley and CEO of Front Point Partners; Edward J. Mathias was a founding participant and a director of The Carlyle Group, member of the management committee and a Director of T.Rowe Price Associates, and co-founder of the venture capital firm, New Enterprise Associates.
The Managing Director and Co-CIO of Ultra is Ian Copeland, the former President of Renewable Power at Bechtel Power and Managing Director of Bechtel Enterprises. Joining him is Roberto M. Sella, founder of LL Funds and former Managing Director, Co-Head of Fixed Income, and Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc.
“Local sustainability is the ideal way to efficiently manage water, agriculture, waste and energy resources,” said Kimberlin. I would personally like to thank Roberto and his team at LL for helping Ultra make the world a better place with proven, local, renewable systems.”
The other founding members of Ultra Capital include Andy Klein, co-founder of Skybridge, an alternative asset and hedge fund manager organizer of the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Conferences; Roland Van Der Meer, Principal of two sustainable real asset firms, Biological Capital and Equilibrium Capital; and Erik Jansen, the founder and Portfolio Manager of the venture capital division of Pequot Capital.
Ultra Capital finances small to mid-size distributed infrastructure projects in the agriculture, energy, waste, and water sectors. We are committed to delivering value from sustainable real asset projects transparently with a focus on efficiency and reuse. The company is based in San Francisco, California.
About Spencer Trask
Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development firm that helps entrepreneurs incubate high impact ventures that change the world. The firm has been instrumental in launching companies working in artificial intelligence, genomics, healthcare technology, mobile technology, the Internet and Open Innovation. Please visit www.spencertraskco.com for more information.
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About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
About Rotary International
About Spencer Trask & Co.
GREENWICH, Conn., PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co., a privately held advanced technology development firm, joins UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as sponsor of World Polio Day on Oct. 24, 2018. This is the sixth year Rotary International is producing the event to raise awareness for the global eradication of polio.
Rotary is live streaming its event activities from the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, PA in the hopes of bringing together more than 100,000 viewers around the world at EndPolio.org. Guests include global health experts and Rotary’s celebrity polio ambassadors, along with Jeffrey Kluger, senior editor for Time magazine, who will discuss his experience traveling to Nigeria with Rotary to report on polio eradication.
Spencer Trask & Co. Chairman Kevin Kimberlin, has been personally and professionally supportive of the eradication of polio since joining forces with renowned polio vaccine pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk in 1986.
“This event is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Rotary International and those individuals who have been working toward this end since Dr. Salk developed the first polio vaccine, which is the standard of care around the world today,” said Kimberlin. “It’s a privilege to be a part of this monumental effort, as we’re on the cusp of total eradication of one of history’s most feared diseases.”
This year Rotary celebrates the 30th anniversary of the founding of its Global Polio Eradication Initiative and pledged more than $96.5 million in new grants to fund global efforts to eradicate polio.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
About Rotary International
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit www.rotary.org and www.endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.
About Spencer Trask & Co.
Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development company. The firm works with entrepreneurs and corporate partners to start and incubate high impact ventures that change the world. Spencer Trask & Co. has been instrumental in the formative stage of companies that pioneered many technological advances scientific advancements in the field of genomics, healthcare, mobile technology, global communications and open innovation. Please visit www.SpencerTraskCo.com for additional information.
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Crowdfunding Firm Funded by Spencer Trask & Co. Acquired by Circle
GREENWICH, Conn., PRNewswire/ — SeedInvest, the equity crowdfunding firm funded by Spencer Trask & Co., was acquired by global peer-to-peer payments technology company Circle Internet Financial Ltd. (Circle). Spencer Trask affiliates were major investors in the Series A round for SeedInvest.
“The SeedInvest team has done a great job in expanding its business of helping new ventures grow,” said Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Co.
Headquartered in New York City, SeedInvest screens and vets young ventures for a large group of investors. Its network of more than 240,000 investors have funded of more than 220 new ventures. The firm was ranked as the fourth fastest-growing financial services company by Inc. Magazine for its 2018 Inc. 500 list.
Boston-based Circle operates a global social payment and next-generation blockchain platform that facilitates billions in trades with an automated order and settlement process. Valued at $2.8 billion, Circle is owned by Goldman Sachs, Bitmain (bit mining leader backed by Sequoia) and Baidu (China’s primary search engine and one of the largest AI companies in the world) and others.
“With Circle’s reach and relationships, SeedInvest can extend its capabilities to the development private security markets using tokens, virtual currencies and blockchain technology,” Kimberlin stated. “As a new stakeholder in Circle, we look forward to benefiting from this powerful global alliance.”
SeedInvest is a leading equity crowdfunding platform, opening up access to venture capital and angel investing to everyone.
Circle is a global crypto finance company on a mission to make it possible for anyone, anywhere to help change the global economy. Circle believes money should be like the internet — open, secure, free, everywhere.
About Spencer Trask & Co
Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development firm, helping entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporate partners start and grow high impact ventures. The firm has been instrumental in launching pioneers in artificial intelligence, genomics, healthcare technology, mobile technology, the Internet and open innovation. Please visit www.spencertraskco.com for more information.
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About Spencer Trask & Co.
GREENWICH, Conn./PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co., an advanced technology development firm, today announced that Interos Solutions, Inc. has acquired the patented Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform developed by its portfolio venture, Trensant, Inc. Interos provides supply chain risk assessment to major corporations and departments and agencies of the U.S. Federal government.
Trensant AI reads, processes and mines over 85,000 separate sources of data to distill information into a dynamic, live, connected knowledge graph. The system monitors more than 10 million companies, products, people, and events in near real-time. Trensant AI will enhance the ability of Interos to deliver quantitative and qualitative insights into supply chain risk for its customers.
“We enjoyed a strong relationship with Interos as our customer over the past year,” said Manjirnath (Manu) Chatterjee, CEO and Founder of Trensant. “It’s an incredible validation when a customer sees the value so strongly that they acquire the company. Our proprietary, automatic linked knowledge system will give Interos a broad ability to see interconnected supply chain risk in real time across multiple industries.”
“The acquisition of Trensant AI enhances our industry leading capabilities and will deliver additional value to our customers,” said Jennifer Bisceglie, CEO of Interos.
Neil Edwards, Chief Operating Officer of Trensant, connected the two companies. “Spencer Trask brought me into Trensant in 2017 to expand our customer base and monetize the business,” said Edwards. “We had several strategic options with Interos being the clear winner.”
About Spencer Trask & Co.
Spencer Trask & Co. is an advanced technology development firm, helping entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporate partners start and grow high impact ventures. The firm has been instrumental in launching market leaders in artificial intelligence, genomics, healthcare technology, mobile technology, the Internet and open innovation. Please visit www.spencertraskco.com for more information.
Founded by experts in physics, artificial intelligence and data science, Trensant is a pioneer in machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence capabilities. The Trensant AI platform makes connections and provides unique insights for its clients.
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Spencer Trask & Co. and its Affiliated Investors Close the Sale of ImThera Medical, Inc.
OLD GREENWICH, Conn./PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co., a privately held advanced technology development firm, is pleased to announce the sale of ImThera Medical, Inc. (“ImThera”), a privately owned company focused on neurostimulation for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (“OSA”). The company was purchased by LivaNova PLC, a market-leading, medical technology company, as part of a transaction valued at approximately $225 million. Spencer Trask & Co. co-founded ImThera with Marcello Lima in keeping with the company’s long tradition of helping develop innovative healthcare solutions that treat important medical conditions.
ImThera designed and developed a non-drug therapy for OSA that cyclically and continuously stimulates six muscles of the tongue via an implantable device. This therapy received its European CE mark in March 2012 and is currently being tested as part of a 141 patient Phase III clinical trial in the U.S. Led by Alan R. Schwartz, MD at Johns Hopkins University, the clinical trial is expected to be completed by March 2018.
“This transaction with LivaNova accelerates the ImThera mission of providing its life-changing therapy to the millions of Americans who are living with obstructive sleep apnea,” said Spencer Trask & Co. Chairman Kevin Kimberlin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies insufficient sleep as a “public health epidemic,” noting that one third of U.S. adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Victims of OSA stop breathing during the night, sometimes several hundred times. This often undiagnosed condition is a major contributor to neurocognitive, metabolic and cardiovascular disease and may affect as many as 25 million Americans.
ImThera developed a programmable chip which stimulates the hypoglossal nerve that supplies the muscles of the tongue with signals from the brain. By so doing, the ImThera implant keeps the air passageway open throughout the night.
According to a retrospective study published in the Journal of Thoracic Disease (Feb. 2016), individuals suffering from OSA face between a 35% and 85% higher mortality rate compared to healthy people. Approximately 50% of those with sleep apnea suffer from hypertension, a contributing factor in the approximately 38,000 annual cardiovascular deaths (high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke) attributed to the disease.
Kimberlin added, “This is a prime example of the Spencer Trask & Co. mission in action, transforming the standard of care for conditions that affect millions of people.” Spencer Trask & Co. is known for discovering and bringing to market technical solutions that improve the human condition.
About ImThera Medical, Inc.
ImThera Medical is a global leader in neurostimulation for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Headquartered in San Diego, ImThera was founded to improve the lives of patients suffering from the debilitating effects of OSA. ImThera’s sleep therapy product is comprised of an implanted small generator and multi-channel electrode lead, along with an external handheld remote control that can start, stop or pause therapy. ImThera collaborates with the world’s top scientists and medical experts in sleep medicine, and its product is commercially available in several countries outside the United States.
LivaNova PLC is a global medical technology company built on nearly five decades of experience and a relentless commitment to improve the lives of patients around the world. LivaNova’s advanced technologies and breakthrough treatments provide meaningful solutions for the benefit of patients, healthcare professionals and healthcare systems. Headquartered in London and with a presence in more than 100 countries worldwide, the company employs more than 4,500 employees. LivaNova operates as three business franchises: Cardiac Surgery, Neuromodulation and Cardiac Rhythm Management, with operating headquarters in Mirandola (Italy), Houston (U.S.A.) and Clamart (France), respectively.
About Spencer Trask & Co.
Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development firm that helps entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporate partners start and grow high impact ventures that are changing the world. The company has been instrumental in helping companies pioneer many technological and scientific advancements in the fields of genomics, healthcare technology, mobile technology, the Internet and Open Innovation. Please visit www.spencertraskco.com for more information.
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Spencer Trask & Co Chairman Kevin Kimberlin Gives Presentation on the Origin of First Pocket Sized Cell Phone
OLD GREENWICH, Conn., PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co., a privately held advanced technology development firm, today released a presentation that its Chairman Kevin Kimberlin gave in conjunction with this year’s Mobile World Congress Americas event in held San Francisco.
As the new iPhone X was being unveiled in nearby Cupertino, Kevin Kimberlin spoke about “some of the shoulders Steve Jobs stood on” when launching the iPhone, considered by many to be the most popular consumer product ever introduced.
Kimberlin detailed his experience working with Millicom and Jan Stenbeck to make practical two tipping points that launched the smartphone revolution: the pocket-sized portable cellular phone–which set a standard for the shape, form and size of mobile phones for 30 years– and the first cellular network to carry data via text message.
“When I discovered Millicom in 1982 and saw the mocked-up prototype of a consumer-friendly, portable cellular phone, I calculated the market need,” said Kimberlin. “People may not realize that only approximately 8% of the people in the world had a landline telephone in 1982; that’s why I saw the cell phone as the phone for the rest of the world.”
The full video and transcript of Kimberlin’s presentation are available online at www.smartphoneorigin.com.
Kimberlin also participated in a panel discussion at Mobile World Congress Americas where he discussed the evolution of mobile technology and the future of IOT.
About Spencer Trask & Co.
Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development firm helping entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporate partners start and grow high impact ventures that change the world. The company has been instrumental in helping companies pioneer many technological and scientific advancements in the fields of genomics, healthcare technology, mobile technology, the Internet and Open Innovation. Please visit www.spencertraskco.com for more information.