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Health IT firm snags Venture Idol funding prize

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Photo 1 Left to Right: Ken Okrepkie, regional manager of Ben Franklin Tech Ventures Northeastern PA; Signallamp Health Co Founders Andy Goldberg and Drew Kearney; Chad Paul, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Tech Ventures Northeastern PA.
Photo 1 Left to Right: Ken Okrepkie, regional manager of Ben Franklin Tech Ventures Northeastern PA; Signallamp Health Co Founders Andy Goldberg and Drew Kearney; Chad Paul, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Tech Ventures Northeastern PA.

A Scranton-based IT company that helps physician practices optimize Medicare and other reimbursement sources won the lion’s share of a $15,000 Ben Franklin Venture Idol prize.

Signallamp Health won after pitching its service before an audience of about 250 people and four investor panelists. Venture Idol is a mash-up of popular television programs “Shark Tank” and “American Idol.”

Signallamp provides a network of remote registered nurses through a proprietary IT platform with electronic health record reporting to support physician and health network subscribers with chronic care management services.

Signallamp shares the Medicare reimbursement for its services with its physician practice clients.

So far, Signallamp has over 1,000 physicians under contract and reports 78,000 eligible patients. It has raised $2.5 million in equity capital.

Guests are given $100 in “Ben Bucks” to vote for their top choice. Winners were announced shortly thereafter.

Sharing the prize with Signallamp Health were second place Hootboard of Yardley, Bucks County, a digital concierge platform, and Grovara LLC, of Philadelphia, a B2B marketplace distribution company with global appetites to place American-made natural food and beverage brands worldwide.

Investor panelists were Clark DeHaven, Soundboard Angel Fund; Marc Kramer, Private Investors Forum; Liz Sigety, Delaware Crossings Investor Group; and Brett Topche, Red and Blue Ventures.

Earlier Thursday, seven companies competed to become one of the evening’s three finalists. Finalists had 10 minutes to pitch their product or service and investor panelists offered a brief critique of each pitch.

This year’s keynote address was a “mock negotiation exchange” between a fictional startup entrepreneur and an angel investor to illustrate the investment process.

Michael Stocker, founder of Only Sky Inc. played the role of Bistro MD founder, a fictional start up.

Doug Petillo, general partner of Leading Edge Ventures, played the role of the angel investor.

Dale F. Falcinelli, professor of practice entrepreneurship of Lehigh University facilitated the role play.

“On [TV’s] ‘Shark Tank’ only about 27 percent of the deals occur. The real drama happens after the show is over,” said Chad Paul, Venture Idol master of ceremonies. Paul is president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology PArtners Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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