Company Profile

Mammoth Biosciences

A maker of a disease-detection platform that uses gene editing-technology known as Crispr.

Industry
Health
Year Founded
2018
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Diagnosing illnesses can require several tests and days of waiting for lab results--and it still isn't always accurate. In 2018, Trevor Martin and several classmates joined forces with Berkeley professor Jennifer Doudna to form Mammoth Biosciences, with the goal of using the gene-editing tool Crispr, to make diagnostics faster, simpler, and more precise. Mammoth says it is developing technology that uses saliva or urine samples to nearly instantly diagnose diseases, such as malaria and HPV. Using Crispr proteins, the company creates tests that detect a virus's genetic code in a person's cells. If a disease is present in the sample, the liquid will change color, indicating a positive test. Currently, the company is pre-revenue and focused on refining its technology and earning Food and Drug Administration approval. It is also looking to integrate its product into existing lab and hospital tests to make them faster and more accurate. The long-term goal is to create tests that people would be able to perform by themselves at home. "We've assembled literally the best Crispr team that you can possibly put together," Martin says. "We want to create products that improve people's quality of life." --Kevin J. Ryan

Modern Fertility

Sells at-home blood-test kits for women to monitor their fertility.

Modern Fertility co-founders Afton Vechery (L) and Carly Leahy.
Industry
Health
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

After a stint in private equity, where she did due diligence on in vitro fertilization clinics, Afton Vechery knew why infertility rates are rising: Women are choosing to have children later. The problem, she thought, was women didn't get relevant fertility data until it was too late. So she envisioned a company that gives women a snapshot of their fertility while speaking like "an ob-gyn who also happens to be your best friend." (For that voice, she needed co-founder Carly Leahy, a branding whiz who helped launch Uber Eats.) In 2017, they launched Modern Fertility, which charges $159 for at-home blood tests that help women assess, say, how many eggs they have and how close they may be to menopause. Customers receive a full report along with a free one-on-one consultation with a nurse; similar tests at a clinic can run as high as $1,500 if they're not covered by insurance. "I wish there was a magic test to tell women exactly when they should have kids," says Vechery. Until there is, her company will democratize that data. --Lindsay Blakely

NPHub

Offers graduate nursing students matchmaking services to secure clinical rotations.

Co-founder and CEO of NPHub Krish Chopra.
Industry
Business Products & Services
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
1-10 employees
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Prior to NPHub, Chopra founded a company called United Medical Rotations, which specialized in matching medical students who received their degrees in the Caribbean with clinical rotations in the United States. Through that venture, Chopra realized that nursing students in the U.S. also needed help finding clinical rotations. He backed his way into a significant problem: U.S. universities don't always offer formal medical rotations for nursing-degree candidates. Nor are nursing educators paid for taking these students on. That gave rise to NPHub, which today works with 340 instructors across 23 states. While the company has helped place roughly 2,000 nursing students with instructors to date, the goal is to work directly with universities and expand to all 50 states. --Malak Saleh

Pachyderm

A maker of software that offers version control and tracking capabilities for data scientists.

Industry
Software
Year Founded
2014
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Companies today need to distill massive amounts of data--say, a bank’s withdrawals or deposits--to find trends and make predictions. Consider how a bank knows when to raise red flags if odd purchase behavior gets registered. Businesses hire data scientists to turn copious amounts of data into actual knowledge that they can make decisions with. That’s where Pachyderm’s open-source software comes in. It offers version control and gives users a snapshot of how data looked at any given time--an especially valuable tool in today’s GDPR age, when citizens increasingly have the right to ask how their data is being used. 

Although the core package is open source and free to use, many businesses pay for the enterprise edition of the software, purchased with a yearly plan, which provides increased security features, as well as advanced analytics and support from the Pachyderm team. Joey Zwicker and Joe Doliner, Pachyderm’s co-founders, have raised more than $12 million from investors like Benchmark, Blumberg Capital and Susa Ventures. -- Talib Visram

Parallel Domain

A maker of virtual environments where autonomous vehicles can refine their driving algorithms with no risk to humans.

Parallel Domain founder Kevin McNamara.
Industry
Software
Location
Palo Alto, California
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Every year, 1.25 million people around the world die in motor vehicle accidents. "It's not a huge topic of conversation in most living rooms because we just accept that," says Kevin McNamara. "I think that's really strange." McNamara's startup, Parallel Domain, is hoping to change that by making it easier for self-driving cars to get smarter without the risks of real-world road testing. It does that by offering software tools to build photorealistic, dynamic, 3-D environments where autonomous-vehicle systems can conduct millions or billions of training sessions, providing them with the data they need to spot rare but potentially fatal bugs. "Simulation is really the only way you can prove an autonomous vehicle is safe," says Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures, which participated in Parallel Domain's seed round. A former employee of Apple and Microsoft, McNamara got into computer graphics after seeing the movie Finding Nemo. He was so inspired, he sought out an internship at Pixar. Eventually, he hopes Parallel Domain will expand from virtual training environments into other areas, including entertainment--which would bring his career full circle. --Jeff Bercovici