Giving Nurses Their Best Shot: InformMed
The Turner Center for Entrepreneurship Leads a Collaborative Effort
Administering medication requires great care and excellent information. With its flagship product, pac2J, a local company, InformMed, can supply nurses with the tools they need to treat their patients with confidence, linking hospital drug data with nurses at the bedside to ensure correct dosages. However, while the company's founders had developed a valuable technology, they still needed help making it available.
"We knew we had a great idea. It's really exciting to create a product that can help save lives," said Katharine Francis, founder of InformMed. "But we needed advice about how to start a business from the very first step."
Katharine sought the help of the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network (IEN) and ended up working with almost every business assistance center at Bradley University. Ken Klotz at the Small Business Development Center taught her how to protect the company's intellectual property, then incorporate and establish the business. Jim Foley of the International Trade Center helped InformMed plan for international markets and raise initial funds. Nancy Wright of the Heartland Illinois Technology Enterprise Center (HITEC) helped with business planning, presentation coaching and introductions to potential partners, venture capital sources and angel fund access.
Through it all, Roger Luman of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship has been InformMed's regular contact, helping the company network and identify critical funding sources.
"This didn't happen overnight," Roger said. "They've been at it for close to six years. And we anticipate being part of their growth well into the future." Because of its great promise, Roger and a special review board made InformMed the first recipient of an IEN Entrepreneurship Grant, and later awarded them a second time, too. The grant, funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is awarded to companies with high growth potential for help in developing the next stage of their business. Because there appears to be great demand in the medical industry for InformMed's technology, IEN has gone out of its way to boost the company's ability to meet its potential.
"The people behind the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network are part of the InformMed family," Katharine said. "I know we can count on them to be there during every stage of InformMed's growth."