University of Utah Spin-Out Company Receives USTAR G2M Award

Sentius, a Software as a Service company that spun out of technology developed at the University of Utah, has won a Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative Phase I Go-To-Market award grant. 

In addition to private funding, this G2M award will assist the company in launching its pilot program, on a national level, within the next few weeks.

USTAR G2M awards assist Utah’s pre-revenue, high potential tech companies perform customer and product validation activities before initiating equity fundraising or sales efforts. The program is administered regionally through USTAR’s teams at Dixie State University, Utah Valley University (UVU) and Weber State University. Sentius worked with USTAR Central at UVU to obtain the Phase I G2M funding, which focuses specifically on startups that are developing new high tech manufacturing, IT hardware or software technologies.

The software is based on Business Intelligence (BI) concepts and technology developed at the University of Utah (U of U) hospital and subsequently licensed to Sentius. Andrew Wood, director of finance for nursing at the University Hospital, and creator of the Sentius analytics tool, utilized the resources at the University’s Technology and Venture Commercialization Office (TVC), an office that bridges the gap between research and commercialization, to find a partner that could explore the software’s commercialization potential. That’s where Wood met Jeremiah Jones, co-founder and CEO, along with Jones’ business partner Bryce Ott, who were exploring various technologies at the TVC office.

“The concepts and technology behind Sentius allowed the executive team at the U of U hospital to drill down deeply in to issues related to how items were being billed, the use of resources, areas where the hospital was losing money, as well as maintaining proper staffing ratios,” said Jones.

The combination of these improvements provided the U of U hospital with millions of dollars in savings over recent years. While a definite cost-saver for larger hospitals, Jones said they are now focused on the small providers.

“We took the technology and found through quite a bit of research that while there is still a market for Sentius in hospitals, there is also an opportunity for the small providers,” said Jones. “We have really started to focus on dentists and small medical practices.”

Doing business out of the TVC at the U of U, Sentius software aims to provide a competitive advantage to private and individual practices. It combines cutting edge data analytics technology with expertise in healthcare to provide a cost effective and business altering service. A key initiative of Sentius is to simplify business insights to actionable bites, removing the clutter of unnecessary data and information to provide the most beneficial insights to the practice. The software offers a monthly consolidated report of key items of interest, as well as financial, marketing and operational insights.

“We help the small provider who is not a business person focus on what they know and understand, medicine, without having to go and get an MBA,” said Jones. “You shouldn’t have to have an MBA to be a dentist.”

Peter Jay, associate director of economic development for UVU and USTAR, said the G2M program provides entrepreneurs and business owners the training they need to advance their idea or product to the next level.

“The G2M program gives tools, mentoring and access to capital business owners and entrepreneurs need to test business ideas and products with customers, validate their business models and ultimately scale their businesses with effective sales and marketing techniques.”