Article in Winston-Salem Journal

Nordic AMPlify global partnership adds five members to Winston Starts


A group of five Nordic health-care companies have been awarded admission into Winston Starts, where they will receive office space, mentoring, personalized coaching and support services.

The membership is part of the Nordic AMPlify program that debuted in October 2020.

Richard Craver Jun 9, 2022

Otivio has been part of the Nordic Amplify Program and were the best of the Norwegian companies and came in 3rd overall.

Winston Starts operates on the fourth floor of the 18-story 500 West Fifth tower where Flow Automotive Group is the anchor tenant.

The goal of the business-development program is aiding health-care information technology and digital health companies from Nordic countries with their U.S. market-entry strategies.

The five latest members are:

  • Miiskin (Denmark), which developed mobile-first skin-imaging technology for a patient’s self-management and tracking of their skin health.
  • Qinematic/Moovment (Sweden), which makes software that automatically scans a person’s balance, posture and movement patterns using markerless 3D motion capture to identify potential functional problems.
  • AlgoDX (Sweden), which developed a medical device that uses machine learning and predictive analytics to assist clinical decision support that improves intensive-care patient outcomes, including for sepsis.
  • Epiguard (Norway), which makes reusable, hard-shell, single-patient transportation and isolation units used by hospitals and ambulance services to safely move patients without risk to health-care professionals.
  • Otivio (Norway), which offer home treatment therapy for muscular sclerosis that reduces spasticity and pain.

“We are thrilled to welcome these companies to Winston-Salem and look forward to helping them successfully build their businesses in the U.S. market,” Stan Parker, president of Winston Starts, said in a statement.

Parker took over as head of the nonprofit group in January.

The multi-year program is organized by local venture fund FCA Health Innovations, along with Greater Winston-Salem Inc., FCA Venture Partners, Flywheel Co-Working, and Winston Starts.

It is supported by Nordic Innovation and the official trade organizations of Finland (Business Finland), Sweden (Business Sweden), Iceland (Promote Iceland), Denmark (Innovation Centre Denmark) and Norway (Innovation Norway).

“Nordic AMPlify was designed to take the guesswork out of U.S. market entry and advance the level of market awareness and readiness of the Nordic companies so that they could enter the U.S. with a defined competitive and strategic advantage,” said Val Kratzman, director of health care at Business Finland.

“Winston-Salem is an ideal location for these companies because of the well-developed health-care ecosystem and the robust support infrastructure for entrepreneurs and startup companies.”

On-site programming recently resumed as COVID-19 pandemic international travel restrictions eased.

The process began with 13 medical technologies companies visiting Winston-Salem in early May out of more than 250 that applied.

During the past nine months, the companies participated in numerous workshops and panel discussions, deepening their understanding of the U.S. health care market.

The selections were made following presentations by the groups to a panel of judges representing Novant Health, WakeMed, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Winston Starts, Dentons, Wellist and investors from North Carolina.

Winston Starts
Winston Starts debuted in April 2017 for what its chairman Don Flow called “another support option for companies at any stage, from ideation to market readiness … on a timetable that fits their business model and markets.”

Startups can be members in Winston Starts for up to 42 months based on business growth and achieving business milestones.

Membership in Winston Starts provides entrepreneurs with assigned mentorship, customized coaching, advisory services, access to inspirational and educational programming and access to professional service providers that offer discounted or pro bono services.

There’s office space within a 35,000-square-foot facility that provides shared and dedicated desk assignments, as well as suites for larger startups that have started to grow their operation.

Of the 25 alumni startups, Boles said that more than 50% continue as either standalone operating businesses or have been acquired by larger organizations.

Including both alumni and current cohort, Winston Starts companies are generating a combined $18 million in annualized revenue, have raised a combined $33 million in capital and have combined more than 250 employees as of June.

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