Danville-based The Launch Place has added a medical device startup to its portfolio.
The business incubator is investing $75,000 in VitalFlo. The money will help the Raleigh,N.C.-based company develop a lung health analytics platform and mobile spirometer.
The idea behind VitalFlo came to company cofounder and Chief Technology Officer, James Dieffenderfer, while participating in a product innovation class at North Carolina State University. Tasked with finding a solution for asthma management, Dieffenderfer and his team formulated a concept for a mobile spirometer, which would measure the air capacity of the lungs. The data from the spirometer would be recorded with an accompanying smartphone app.
The Launch Place said VitalFlo is an ideal candidate for its pre-seed fund. VitalFlo has won several competitions, including NASA Tech Briefs’ Create the Future Contest, North Carolina State University’s Lulu eGames and The Launch Place’s own Big Launch Challenge.
“The Pre-Seed investment program is intended to help growing companies, like VitalFlo, expedite the development process, specifically in product and market validation and business model refinement,” Eva Doss, The Launch Place President and CEO, said in a statement. “This initial investment may become a precursor to our seed fund, where a larger round of early stage funding is available.”
Companies receiving pre-seed funding sign a Letter of Intent to locate meaningful operations to the Dan River region as they scale up. If The Launch Place eventually provides seed funding, the company is obligated to create at least five jobs over three years in the Dan River Region, made up of Danville and Pittsylvania County and Caswell County in North Carolina.
Over the next year, VitalFlo plans to finalize their mobile spirometer design and get clearance from the Food & Drug Administration, which will allow it to go to market.