2014 TVL Accelerator Company and McCombs MSTC Alum, Onko Solutions, launched a medical device in Mexico. Earlier this year they successfully closed a 1.6M series A investment with three different investing funds. Congrats! [Crunchbase] Learn more about Onko Solutions and their journey after the TVL Accelerator in this fireside chat.
Onko Solutions, Inc., Advancing innovation in Cervical Cancer Screening
Word has it that Austin is the place to be. We agree. As the Austin Healthcare Innovation ecosystem continues to attract talent, founders are finding a market where they can leverage investor knowledge, community resources and their peers to move their companies to success. With Texas aligned to Mexico’s border, it’s also no surprise how well positioned Austin is to advance cross-border innovation. This is where we find our Fall 2014 Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs Accelerator Company Onko Solutions advancing the field.
Bi-annually, Fall and Spring, TVL searches for the top pre- and post- revenue startups located in the Austin, TX area or planning to launch here. The TVL Accelerator matches Austin-area startups with a curated cross-functional team of UT Austin graduate students for 10-week long startup consulting projects. Our market validation process paired with the students’ research closes the gap for companies who are seeking to raise in the next 18 months. At the end of each semester, in May and December, each Accelerator company is invited to pitch to Austin’s investor community at our capstone TVL Venture Expo event.
Investors take note. After raising close to $5 million, Onko Solutions is raising a bridge round in preparation for their Series B that will be used to complete a clinical trial in conjunction with the UT Dell Medical School. We sat down with Hector Torres, Chairman and CEO of Onko Solutions, to share their story on their journey through the accelerator and where they are now.
Fireside Chat with Hector Torres, Chairman and CEO, Onko Solutions, Inc.
Onko Solutions was founded by Hector Torres, a Texas MSTC, Master of Science in Technology Commercialization, McCombs School of Business, program graduate from the Class of 2010. Mr. Torres pursued the opportunity to transform healthcare combining high-tech innovation with low-cost solutions.
At the beginning of his career, he worked with universities and R&D centers developing commercialization strategies until one day in 2013 when he came across a technology to detect cervical cancer in-vivo using two novel approaches: optical spectroscopy and electrical impedance. He realized he was facing the opportunity of his life. The technology had been developed by a team of three PhDs at a Mexican university who had successfully built functional prototypes but had no idea how to bring the product to the market. Mr. Torres partnered with these inventors and incorporated Onko Solutions in early 2014.
Later that year he participated in Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs where he furthered his knowledge about market opportunity and building a pitch deck. On May 2015 the team was able to secure $450k from angel investors and by February 2016, the company was closing its series A for $1.4M. A year later, a follow-up round for $1.3M was closed to approve and launch the product in Mexico. Today, Onko Solutions sells more than one thousand tests every month and has provided close to 15,000 examinations so far. The company is aiming to continue growing adoption in Mexico as it prepares to initiate a clinical trial with the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.
What was Onko Solution’s experience with the TVL Accelerator?
It was a very rewarding experience that didn’t affect our day-to-day activities. The program was very flexible and well organized.
How would you describe your experience leading up to and at Venture Expo?
It was revealing. I wasn’t aware of the number of people that we would be reaching. I wasn’t expecting the number of investors and interested parties that came out of the Expo.
What feedback did you receive that helped you going forward in your funding conversations?
I realized that we needed more clinical validation which has been key to raising capital.
Where are you now in raising?
We’ve raised close to $3 million in PE and $2 million in grants. The company has recently initiated a bridge round in preparation for our Series B.
How did TVL support your fundraising strategy?
TVL was instrumental in obtaining the industry and market information needed to shape our business model.
What other connections did you make through TVL and the whole process?
I was able to connect with a couple of investors that were able to give us important feedback that was key to our fundraising efforts.
Where are you now and what does the future hold for Onko Solutions?
We’ve successfully launched our medical device in Mexico and we are currently doing more than 1,000 screenings per month. We’re initiating clinical work in the US in preparation to bring the solution to the US market in a couple of years.