Apprentice secures $2.5M for augmented reality tool geared toward biopharma manufacturing

Frank
April 17, 2019
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Jersey City, New Jersey-based Apprentice is bringing augmented reality to the realm of pharma and biotech manufacturing.

The startup recently raised $2.5 million to help it pursue its goal. The lead investor was Silverton Partners, and Hemi Ventures also participated.

In a phone interview, Apprentice cofounder and CEO Angelo Stracquatanio said the funding is the company’s seed round.

“We see it as a positive sign that the industry is moving in the direction we’d always hoped it would move in,” he said. “AR is being adopted at a commercial scale.”

Stracquatanio noted that the money will be used to expand the company’s development area, work on R&D and improve its core product.

Apprentice’s solution has three main modules, all of which run on smart glasses like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens.

The first, called Tandem, is geared toward collaboration. When an employee needs assistance from a subject matter expert, Tandem makes it possible for the pair to communicate, even if they are in different locations. Using the tool, the remote expert can see what the employee on the manufacturing floor sees and coach him or her through the issue.

Another part of the solution, Manuals, serves as the startup’s process and workflow aid. It enables users to have hands-free access to operating procedures and other tasks.

Gauge is the third piece of the puzzle and is centered on data collection and safety in the workplace. Rather than spending exorbitant amounts of time recording information, operators can use the module to gather lab and manufacturing data while performing another task.

The ultimate goal is to leverage augmented reality to improve efficiency and safety in laboratory and manufacturing environments.

“We were so inspired by Apprentice’s passion for utilizing the latest technology to offer real solutions for labs and complex manufacturers,” Mike Dodd, partner at Silverton Partners, said in a statement. “They are market leaders in using augmented reality to provide direct client benefits as a result of the users’ enhanced operational experience.”

Stracquatanio said Apprentice’s revenue model has two phases.

The first is a pilot phase, during which the company provides everything from the software to the smart glasses to a client. The Jersey City startup also offers the client with training and support throughout the lifetime of the pilot, which typically lasts between one and three months.

“If you set it and forget it, that’s not fruitful for them or us,” Stracquatanio said. “We treat it as a collaborative effort.”

After the initial phase, Apprentice utilizes a software-as-a-service model based on a per device or per user basis.

Photo: abluecup, Getty Images

Medical device innovators can take advantage of the April 9th deadline extension to capture up to $50,000 in grant funding and gain access to the first-of-its-kind “Pediatric Device Innovator Accelerator Program.”

BioEnterprise’s Medical Capital Innovation Competition gives AR/VR/XR startups a shot at $100,000 and co-development opportunities.

Frank’s source: https://medcitynews.com/2017/12/apprentice/

 

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