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Doing Business In Connecticut 2017

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2017 | Doing Business in Connecticut 29 by top technology startups from within and outside Connecticut. e company was started by UConn professor Ki Chon and it is developing a monitor that can detect early signs of an ir- regular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, a condition that affects millions of people and is suspected of causing thousands of prevent- able deaths every year. e company has received plenty of attention. It was recently asked to present at the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer's conference in Washington, D.C. and it received a $500,000 grant from Con- necticut Innovations in January 2017. e effort to bring Mobile Sense's tech- nology to market requires serious brainpower, and Chickles said Connecticut's education resources allow him to tap into a deep well of soware and hardware-engineering talent. "We're set up in New Haven, closer to New York and Stamford so we can attract people from New York into Connecticut," Chickles said. "ere's such a consolidation in New York and Boston, but there are also a lot of people that want to stay in Connecticut." And Mobile Sense isn't on its own in that effort. UConn, Chickles said, "has really tried hard to allow us to tap into students while they're still at the university. ey can do actual work, and that's so valuable. at's one of the advantages UConn is really start- ing to notice." e Yale Entrepreneurship Network, where Chickles is a mentor, is also a valuable resource, he said. It helps, too, that Mobile Sense is working in the red-hot digital health care space. All this taken together means Mobile Sense is predicting very rapid growth. Today, the company has two full-time employees and seven total, but Chickles said he expects the company to employ between 15 and 20 people within three years. Once it commercializes its product it will employ between 150 and 250 people, he said, and in five years it could grow to between 700 and 800 employees. Early-stage interventions Ellen Su, co-founder and CEO of New Haven-based Wellinks, a wearable medical device start-up launched out of Yale with the help of the Yale Entrepreneurship Institute, said Connecticut takes start-ups seriously and takes close interest in their success. Wellinks devices are designed to provide "behavior interventions" to people with muscu- loskeletal conditions to help them get the most out of their treatments. "We've gotten a lot of really good advice in the early stages, and not just at Yale, from professors and researchers at UConn," Su said. "Connecticut is tight-knit, and we've gotten introductions to a lot of people. ere's a drive in the state to have start-ups do well, whether it's early grants and funding, awards, advisors and investors." "In New Haven, the Technology Talent Bridge allows us to hire students studying in Connecticut, or who are residents of Con- necticut, and it covers a portion of the salary for interns," Su said. "We've hired soware develop- ers. is year, we had two engineering interns. We've hired people we wouldn't normally have been able to." Today, Wellinks has three employees, but Su expects that number to grow to about 10 in the next two or three years and to about 15 within five years. In addition, the company expects to do a significant amount of its manufacturing at facili- ties in Wolcott and Milford. Chickles, of Mobile Sense, said stu- dents at Connecticut universities seem to be attracted by the cutting-edge nature of the company's work. "is is a complex set of algorithms," he said. "You're not just coding a database, it's an algorithm job, and that's attractive to people. at's attractive when you're trying to bring soware engineers out of UConn." ❑ ' There really is a whole collection of potential employees coming out of the university, and as an early stage company we need to tap into that engineering talent. ' — Justin chickLes, MobiLe sense technoLogies Pictured is a product concept of Mobile Sense's technology, which is a wearable monitor that can detect early signs of an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. PHOTO/MOBILE SENSE

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