Morgenthaler Announces DC to VC: HIT Startup Showcase

Company news  |  May 25, 2011

Nationwide pitch-a-thon launched to find the best health IT startup ideas across the US   

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 25, 2011-- Morgenthaler Ventures, a leading venture capital firm, announced today a nationwide contest called "DC to VC: HIT Startup Showcase" to find the best startup ideas in health information technology (HIT). The competition is open to any US entrepreneur seeking seed or Series-A funding for startups that are applying cutting-edge technology to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare. Applications are being accepted today through August 9, 2011 at Ten finalists will be selected and offered the chance to present in front of 200 venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs on September 22, 2011.


Held at Microsoft's auditorium in Mountain View, the HIT Startup Showcase will include presentations by Washington, DC policymakers as well as leading VCs and angel investors. Last year's DC to VC summit featured keynotes from Aneesh Chopra, chief technology officer of the United States and Todd Park, chief technology officer of the Department of Health and Human Services.


"This is an incredibly exciting time to be in health IT," said Rebecca Lynn, partner at Morgenthaler Ventures. "We have the technology, government programs and popular support to change what's broken. We need smart entrepreneurs and engineers to think big: tackle the most intractable problems, create robust platforms and not just features, and take on large organizations that are not innovating. This is the perfect time to answer the call to improve our healthcare system and make good money at the same time."


The second annual event is being organized by Morgenthaler Ventures, with co-organizers Health 2.0, Practice Fusion and Silicon Valley Bank; and sponsors, Gunderson Dettmer and Microsoft.


Partners include leading health IT incubators, angel investors, VCs and entrepreneurial groups at top universities- including Rock Health, Blueprint Healthcare IT, Band of Angels, Medstars, SD Forum, Health 2.0 Accelerator, Stanford BASES, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association, Harvard University, Princeton University, Olin University and Carnegie Mellon.


Judges include Jeff Tangney, founder of Epocrates and Doximity; Ryan Howard, founder of Practice Fusion; Brian Ascher, partner at Venrock; Alex de Winter, partner at MDV; and Rebecca Lynn, partner at Morgenthaler Ventures.


How it Works 

Contestants need to be legal residents of the US or employees of privately-held companies based in the US. The judges will select five finalists in two categories – making it ten finalists in total. Categories are:

  • Very early-stage companies – under 2 years old and have received less than $500K in funding 
  • Series A-ready companies – under 3 years old and have received less than $1.5M in funding  

Applications will be evaluated based on the promise of the venture, addressable market size, founding teams, and use of innovative technology and business models. For Series-A ready companies, customer traction will be an additional factor.


Contestants are invited to submit an online application by August 9, 2011. Ten finalists will be announced by August 15, 2011. Each finalist will be paired with a mentor, including top VCs and HIT startup founders, to help them prepare for their on-stage presentations on September 22, 2011. Finalists will present to a panel of judges in two groups (five in the very early-stage group and five in the Series-A ready group). With judges offering commentary, the winners of the two groups will be selected by the audience via instant-voting technology.  Everyone is invited to follow the conversation live on Twitter before and during the showcase using the hashtag #DCtoVC.


Example HIT Solutions 

This competition includes, but is not limited to, health IT solutions in these areas:

  • decision support – proactive approaches for anticipating health issues 
  • personal health data applications 
  • analytical tool development 
  • data visualization 
  • health information exchange models 
  • mobile monitoring & tracking 
  • workflow 
  • clinical efficiency 
  • telemedicine 
  • does NOT include biotech or medical devices  

About Morgenthaler Ventures 

Morgenthaler Ventures is a premier venture capital firm, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build valuable companies for more than 40 years. It currently has $3 billion under management, including $400 million in its ninth fund. Morgenthaler has invested in approximately 300 companies in the information technology and life science sectors. Representative portfolio companies in the IT space include: Practice Fusion, Evernote, NexTag, Siri, Lending Club, Pageonce, Socrata, Nominum, JasperSoft, MuleSource, Peregrine Semiconductor, Cortina, Nuance Communications, Apple and NEXTEL. The firm's IT Team is focused on early-stage investments and is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA.


About Health 2.0:  Health 2.0--The conference. The media network. The Innovation community. The Health 2.0 Conference is the leading showcase of cutting-edge technologies in health care, including online communities, search and lightweight tools for consumers to manage their health and connect to providers online. The Health 2.0 Developer Challenge is a series of prize competitions promoting health technology innovation. Health 2.0 also has its own media channels, Health 2.0 News and Health 2.0 TV; its own market intelligence service, Health 2.0 Advisors; and also sponsors the Health 2.0 Accelerator industry consortium. Health 2.0 was founded by Indu Subaiya and Matthew Holt in 2007 and is now a community of hundreds of organizations and thousands of innovators. For more information, see


About Practice Fusion 

Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system to physicians. With charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, billing, lab integrations, referral letters, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion's EMR addresses the complex needs of today's healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo. Practice Fusion is the fastest growing EHR community in the country with more than 80,000 users serving 11 million patients. The company closed a $23 million Series B round of financing led by Founders Fund in April 2011, with participation from Artis Capital Management and Glynn Capital Management, as well as returning investors Morgenthaler Ventures and Felicis Ventures. Practice Fusion's Series A round included $7 million was led by Morgenthaler Ventures, and the company was seeded by Band of Angels and Felicis Ventures. For more information about Practice Fusion, please visit


About Silicon Valley Bank 

Silicon Valley Bank provides commercial banking services to emerging growth and mature companies in the technology, life science, private equity and premium wine industries. Through its focus on specialized markets and extensive knowledge of the people and business issues driving them, Silicon Valley Bank provides a level of service and partnership that measurably impacts its clients' success. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., the company serves clients around the world through 26 U.S. offices and seven international operations. Silicon Valley Bank is a member of global financial services firm SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB). More information on the company can be found at