Selous Venture Society, allies mull investment in VU IP-driven nPhase
Milt Capps updated 6 March 2016
Updated - nPhase filed July 17, 2017 for a $1.6MM raise. The company filed Jan. 5, 2016, for a $2MM raise. 11 February 2016 4:05pm - Scott Climes was identified in a Vanderbilt release today that essentially confirms the licensing of REDCap. Climes' LinkedIn is here. nPhase is based in Encinitas, in San Diego County.-Ed.
NASHVILLE movers are apparently preparing to launch an Angel-backed venture built around proven Vanderbilt University software.
A startup dubbed nPhase has licensed Vanderbilt University-grounded intellectual property associated with the University's REDCap Web application, which is used to design, build and manage online survey and database projects, VNC heard from several sources.
Solidus Founder and Managing Partner Townes Duncan of Nashville and Jackson, Miss.-based consultant Ben Walton are named in a Nov. 25 SEC filing for NT nPhase Investors LLC, with no target for the raise stipulated.
Meanwhile, Selous Venture Society, a Nashville Angel group run by Jumpstart Foundry Founder and Chairman Vic Gatto, has formed Selous-nPhase LLC, apparently a Tennessee entity for Selous members' investment in the REDCap-powered startup, according to state records online.
None of the parties contacted by VNC in this matter would comment for this story. No hint yet as to whether or not nPhase would be inducted into Jumpstart's next Health:Further accelerator class.
REDCap is the acronym for "Research Electronic Data Capture," which is a mature technology adaptible to a wide spectrum of uses, but tailored in its original form for capturing data from research studies.
The REDCap website says nearly 1,700 institutions globally are actively using REDCap for more than 200,000 current or scheduled projects. Every region except the world's polar masses show projects underway on a detailed REDCap map.
nPhase is believed to be planning to adapt REDCap for use in support of clinical studies and is said to have selected a CEO for the business.
The software's commercialization is handled via Vanderbilt's Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization (CTTC). CTTC staff presented REDCap to attendees of LifeScienceTN's annual conference, in October.
REDCap is described by Vanderbilt on one webpage as "a secure, web-based application designed to support data capture for research studies, providing 1) an intuitive interface for validated data entry; 2) audit trails for tracking data manipulation and export procedures; 3) automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to common statistical packages; and 4) procedures for importing data from external sources."
According to the Vanderbilt website, REDCap was created by Paul Harris, Ph.D., director of research informatics within the VU School of Medicine's department of biomedical informatics.
Harris continues to shepherd REDCap and its expanding user network. Harris was recently recognized for his work in informatics and in research collaboration by the American Medical Informatics Association. He earned his doctorate in Biomedical Engineering via the VU School of Engineering in 1996.
VNC research suggests that Nashville-based iTrials also supports clinical trials, though it does not seem directly competitive with nPhase, as currently understood. iTrials is backed by ConduIT Corporation.
Other state-registered Selous investment vehicles bear names reflecting some Tennessee startups, including Artiphon, BachWeekend, NewsBreak and XOEye. VNC