With the final deal still in the works Friday, Chris Cardinal said the acquisition of St. Louis-based Welltodo by SensorRX wouldn’t have been possible without the pre-seed rallying of his fellow entrepreneurs in Kansas City.
Though the company moved across the state in 2016 to be closer to the co-founder’s in-laws, Cardinal said, the foundation for success was built in the City of Fountains.
“We quickly were able to present at 1 Million Cups, and immediately we were surrounded by other entrepreneurs, mentors, and advisors who were enabling us and following through on their promises,” he said, noting the entrepreneurial support system in Kansas City has evolved significantly since Welltodo was founded in 2013.
The company, which developed the iPhone app Migraine Coach, is being acquired by Charlotte, North Carolina-based SensorRX in an undisclosed cash and stock deal. Users of Welltodo’s migraine tracking and management system will be rolled into the SensorRX MigrnX program and supported by its team, Cardinal said.
Migraine Coach originally received financial support from Digital Sandbox KC, and was a member of ITEN in St. Louis.
“When we started Welltodo, the digital health industry was in its infancy and supporting a scrappy startup that had a dream of developing a mobile app that could use machine learning to deliver personalized behavioral health interventions for chronic disease sufferers was a completely foreign concept,” he said. “We were skating to where the puck was going and not many took the time to fully understand our business.”
“The Digital Sandbox did,” Cardinal added. “They did proper diligence, understood and trusted the vision of a motivated and capable team, and took a chance on us. They did this in an environment where most Midwest pocketbooks were closed.”
Digital Sandbox’s pre-seed support allowed Welltodo to get an MVP of Migraine Coach to market which ultimately was iterated into an industry leading product, he said. Leaders of the KC program also encouraged Welltodo to participate in the Kauffman FastTrac program, which Cardinal called one of the best programs of its type in the nation.
News of Welltodo’s acquisition this week was spreading quickly at the American Headache Society Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Cardinal said, noting some of the brightest minds in the industry were at the conference.
“This is a win for migraine and chronic disease sufferers alike,” he said of the deal. “SensorRX’s partnerships with healthcare systems, resources and talented leadership will move us toward our ultimate goal of leveraging data and technology to reduce the burden that chronic disease places on individuals’ lives and on business’ bottom line.”
Following the acquisition, Cardinal plans to continue on with SensorRX as a strategic consultant, helping the company navigate the emerging and rapidly evolving digital health market and advising on current and future product developments, he said.
Cardinal also is in the midst of spinning up a new, undisclosed company with a few co-founders in St. Louis, he said Friday.
Welltodo co-founder Dr. James Console has stepped back into a leadership role of Antlion Audio — a company he founded prior to Welltodo, Cardinal said. Antlion Audio manufactures patented microphones that allow PC users to attach a boom mic to their headphones.