A Baltimore startup is among the 44 companies heading to Silicon Valley for the new “batch” of 500 Startups.
Sickweather is looking to to ramp up its business to business offerings over the next several months, said CEO Graham Dodge. The ETC-based startup scans social media to track trends in illnesses in a certain area.
While 500 Startups is now dubbing its offering the 500 Seed Program instead of an accelerator, it’ll be Sickweather’s second national program that brings startups together to provide access to resources and mentoring that can help them grow. The company previously took part in a TechStars-led accelerator in Kansas City in 2014. At the time, all focus was on developing a consumer-facing offering.
The company recently launched its own platform for posting illness-tracking info called Sickweather Groups, looking to build community around its algorithm that maps where certain diseases are concentrated using posts on social media in which people talk about their sickness.
With flu season starting, the “SickScore” is now appearing on Clorox’s website — part of a partnership with the cleaning products maker. In Sickweather Groups, there’s also a “Sympathy” button that will now contain an offer for Clorox products along with sending get-well wishes. That follows the company’s deal to appear on Weather.com that was announced earlier this fall.
Avoid the #Thanksgiving sniffles w/ Sickweather & this #infographic from @Clorox: https://t.co/6DsXcKK4Kk pic.twitter.com/Q85GKOM3nX
— Sickweather (@sickweather) November 18, 2016
At 500 Startups, Dodge said the company is looking to develop its B2B offerings. For example, earlier this year the company rolled out a dashboard for businesses called Sickweather Pro. It offers a forecast for the risk of diseases, such as the flu, for up to 15 weeks out.
The program provides startups a $150,000 investment in exchange for 6 percent equity, though it does take $37,500 as a participation fee.
While Dodge was in Mountain View when we talked with him on Friday and members of the company will spend time there during the four-month program, he said the company is maintaining its ETC Haven headquarters.
The inclusion of a Baltimore company in the well-known program comes after 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, who is a Johns Hopkins alum, came to town to give a talk at JHU’s student-run MedHacks during Baltimore Innovation Week.
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