Startups Venture

Startups To Watch: InformAI, Create & Learn

We typically cover larger rounds of funding, but I came across two companies that, despite their small seed raises announced this week, were worth noting for their interesting approaches.

InformAI

Houston-based InformAI, a startup that builds artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms for health care applications, closed a $1.8 million funding round to introduce AI applications to assist physicians in speeding up medical diagnosis at the clinical point-of-care.

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DEFTA Partners led the round that also included Joyance Partners and Social Starts.

Since the company’s inception in 2017, InformAI has been working on positioning its products for regulatory approval, company founder and CEO Jim Havelka told Crunchbase News.

The new funding will help move its Sinus Image Classifier product through the final stages of U.S. Food and Drug Administration review to receive approval by the end of the year. Havelka said he expects the product to also receive its CE Marking, the FDA equivalent in Europe, by August to begin selling there.

The company has been honing its products within Texas Medical Center institutions, and will move into the new TMCxi space, as well as have a presence nearby in Johnson & Johnson’s JLABS@TMC, Havelka said.

InformAI is working on seven AI application products. These range from reading 3D images and optimizing matches for organ transplants, to analyzing risk profiles for surgical procedures.

“Once we get our first product through regulatory approval, we are going back out at the end of the year or early 2021, and will raise a $10 million Series A to get other products through the regulatory process as well,” Havelka said.

Create & Learn

Palo Alto-based Create & Learn, an online platform teaching computer science to small groups, raised $1.7 million led by GSV Ventures to expand its program that teaches STEM to children from second to 10th grade.

Jessie Jiang, one of the founding members of the Google Cloud Platform, founded the company three years ago after seeing gaps between innovation in the real world and what was being taught in K-12 computer science.

“Computer science is so much more valuable than just learning Python,” Jiang told Crunchbase News. “I wanted to make the classes more approachable for children and to go way beyond coding to show how interfaces could be used in a lot of other ways.”

Create & Learn brings together highly experienced teachers from K-12 schools, top universities (like Stanford), and Teach for America, she said.

The new funding will be used to continue adding content programming and investing in the platform’s technology and marketing.

During the summer, Jiang said, there will be some free programming available for larger groups, such as a class on robotics and AI in NASA. She is also planning on adding five new courses in July and another three courses later this summer.

“Most of our classes have four or five students, but ever since the pandemic, we saw a need to offer courses for a larger number of students,” she said. “We are also inviting more industry experts to talk about the status of our industry.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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