(Photo via Facebook)
Illness-tracking startup Sickweather is making its second foray into Kansas City, Mo., and this time the intent is to set up a permanent presence.
While the company is maintaining its initial Baltimore operation at ETC, CEO Graham Dodge is currently in the Missouri city establishing a new office out of a Plexpod coworking space. Dodge said the new office follows funding from the Missouri Technology Corporation, which is a quasi-public org that provides funding to early stage companies similar to TEDCO.
Along with the requirement to locate in the state that came with the funding, Sickweather is deepening ties to the midwest with the new office. The company previously took part in the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator, which was led by Techstars. Dodge said the company has received also received additional funding from investors based in the midwest.
“We have received a lot of support from this region,” he said.
In all, the company received a total of $1 million in funding from outside Baltimore, and $200,000 from investors in the Baltimore-D.C. area, Dodge said.
At the same time, the company is expanding to include surveillance of social media for illness reports in Spanish, French, Hindi, Portuguese and German-speaking countries. That include setting up new search parameters to track, as well as new areas to localize the information about illnesses that appear.
“This is substantially increasing the amount of data that Sickweather is ingesting and analyzing,” Dodge said.
In Kansas City, the company is looking to centralize that data operation, as well as other development functions.
“What we’re developing here now in Kansas City is really a nerve center for our data analysis,” he said.
While he’s held out the potential of relocating before, the new office is not a new headquarters for the company, Dodge said, but does present a way to centralize operations.
He said it’s a further extension of the startup’s distributed team. Along with three people in Baltimore, the company also has three people in Los Angeles. Now, a cofounder is in each city, and Dodge added that he hasn’t sold his Maryland house, either. And members of the team including Dodge have been further flung with a stint in Silicon Valley for 500 Startups, as well.
We’ve seen the distributed team model play out with other companies in Technical.ly markets, including Philly-based IOPipe.