October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Ryerson University Healthcare Photo Sharing Spinout, Figure1, Raises $2M

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ) alumnus company Figure1 announced today that it has raised $2 million in seed funding. Figure 1, the startup behind the popular healthcare photo sharing app of the same name, incubated at the DMZ from December 2012 to August 2013 and also completed the Ryerson Futures accelerator program.The funding round was co-led by Version One Ventures and Rho Canada Ventures, a division of New York-based Rho Capital Partners. It also included the Investment Accelerator Fund, and a number of prominent angel investors, such as Zen Chu (Founder of Accelerated Medical Ventures and Faculty Director at MIT’s HackingMedicine) and Daniel Debow (Co-Founder of Rypple, acquired by Salesforce.com) and DMZ Investments, a seed-stage fund established by Ryerson Futures.

“We congratulate Figure 1 on their early growth since launching in May of this year and look forward to working with them as they leverage this funding to fuel their expansion,” said Matt Saunders, president and managing director of Ryerson Futures Inc. “Gregory and his team were a pleasure to work with in the early days of developing Figure 1. Ryerson Futures is excited to provide continued support for startups and help them make valuable industry connections.”

“Founding our company at the Digital Media Zone helped us benefit from the entrepreneurial spirit at Ryerson,” said Gregory Levey, co-founder of Figure 1. “The collaborative environment of the DMZ, along with the financial support and mentorship provided by Ryerson Futures allowed us to focus completely on building a product and getting our company off the ground.”

Figure 1 is building the world’s largest free repository of medical images that is easily searchable and available to the medical community. It is a mobile, crowdsourced platform that allows healthcare professionals to upload and tag images, use each other’s images for information, and rate images for accuracy or clinical representativeness. All of this is accomplished in line with government and hospital privacy and ethics requirements. Figure 1 was founded in early 2013 by Joshua Landy, a critical care physician, Richard Penner, a mobile developer, and Gregory Levey. Dr. Levey is also an Associate Professor in the School of Professional Communication at Ryerson University.

Figure 1 was launched in North America in spring 2013 and quickly reached the top spot in the medical category on both the US and Canadian App Stores. It expanded to the United Kingdom in fall 2013, and is already used by tens of thousands healthcare professionals in the three countries. The app is currently available on iPhone and iPad and will be expanding to Desktop and Android in the coming months.

The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University is one of Canada’s largest incubators and multidisciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs. Infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto, this hub of innovation, collaboration and commercialization is home to both startups and industry solution-providers. The DMZ leads the way in experiential learning and business success by creating a unique ecosystem of education and entrepreneurship. Emerging leaders fast-track their product launches and grow their companies in this supportive community by connecting with mentors, customers and each other. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ has stimulated Canada’s digital economy by incubating and accelerating 121 startups and creating more than 900 jobs. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca/dmz.

Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI) is a for-profit entity wholly owned by Ryerson University to assist early stage technology companies as they grow and scale their businesses. RFI has raised a venture fund and provides seed financing, business services and customer connections to select startups in exchange for an equity stake. Tapping into Ryerson’s extensive network, including its 140,000 alumni, RFI provides access to key mentors and industry leaders to truly accelerate investee companies in the early stages of growth. RFI also works with corporate clients to assemble teams of innovators to research, prototype, or pilot solutions to industry problems. Ryerson Futures is helping drive Canada’s innovation economy at home, and around the world. For more information, visit www.ryersonfutures.ca.

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