MindMaze

Switzerland-based MindMaze created news early 2016 when it raised a $100 million round of funding at a pre-money valuation of a Billion dollars. It is creating virtual reality products related to neural recovery.

The medical-grade product (!imaginatively called MindMotionPRO) embodies the usual inpatient medical device: a set of CPUs and monitors attached to a metal framework on wheels. It has optical motion sensors (like Microsoft Kinect) that recognize patient movements, along with sensors to record physiological signals like EEG.

The application is amazing: using immersive virtual reality on half-paralyzed (hemiparetic) patients to trick their brains into jumpstarting control of the paralyzed half. This ‘mirror therapy’ was proposed in 1990s, and modern VR tech is a perfect match for it.

MindMaze has been approved by regulators (CE Mark) in Europe, which is a big deal. Whether that justifies a unicorn status is no longer a question in my mind, mostly because the reality-distortion of unabashed venture capital investment is now a given in most new corners of tech. Who knows what the actual $ business potential is. Looking at the immense spread of what VR can do in healthcare (surgeon training, mental health, patient education, etc.), a solid-start means a good chance of survival.

Nuna

Nunanuna has the right mix of all the tailwinds a startup can ask for: talented team, big funding cushion, valuable data and huge market.

Founder Jini Kim was one of the Google PMs who was poached to rescue Healthcare.gov. That inroad, plus personal experience taking care of her autistic brother led to Nuna’s current shape.

Nuna has the enviable access to Medicaid’s records of 74 million beneficiaries. The cloud-based data warehouse that Nuna is building would be able to generate deep insights that probably have never been surfaced before.

Nuna just announced $90M funding round right out of the gate with the legendary KPCB name backing them. That should give enough runway to make a big dent in a stolid, opaque space.

Adding it to the 10 Year Watchlist. Should be interesting.