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Newly funded UnaliWear launches market test

Company’s Kanega offers independence, dignity, says JeanAnne Booth. AUSTIN, Tex. – With new funding in hand and a test underway, UnaliWear is poised to hit the market with its Kanega smart watch early next year. The company recently closed the first $2.1 million tranche of a $3.5 million Series A round of funding. The money will allow the company to move forward with market testing on 6,600 people. “Our first step is a 600-person user experience at the end of this month,” said JeanAnne Booth, UnaliWear founder and CEO. The initial test for the Kanega will include participants in the United States aged 23 to 97. UnaliWear is targeting a large market for the Kanega—not just seniors, but people with Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease and Down syndrome, blind people and disabled veterans. “When we talk about vulnerable populations, people tend to automatically think of senior citizens, but it’s much broader than that,” Booth said. Connected by an AT&T cellular network, the Kanega looks just like a traditional watch, and uses an easy speech interface rather than buttons or touch screens. It learns the wearer’s lifestyle to provide predictive, pre-emptive support, such as directions home or notification of gait or speech changes that may be signs of a medical problem such as stroke. Booth developed the Kanega watch after her own mother wasn’t willing to wear available emergency alert products because she didn’t like the way they looked. “The big help button on most products is socially stigmatizing,” Booth said. The Kanega also features a patent-pending battery system in the band so wearers don’t need to take off the...

Jean Anne Booth, CEO of UnaliWear Featured in 7 Lessons that Any Entrepreneur Should Know

Jean Anne Booth, CEO of UnaliWear, was featured in 7 Lessons that Any Entrepreneur Should Know and the original article can be read here:  http://www.leverage-pr.com/7-lessons-entrepreneur-know/ Another successful panel put on by Health Tech Austin yielded discussion on everything from regulation to funding when it comes to taking your product and innovation to market. Three entrepreneurs and current CEOs participated – Jean Anne Booth of UnaliWear, Chris Loughlin of RxWiki and Zac Jiwa of MI7. Here are seven lessons we took away: Screw it, just do it All three panelists noted past experiences with the healthcare industry as influences in their path to disrupt the industry. Loughlin advised listeners to jump right in, discuss their product with their target market and be willing to put in the work. Booth agreed that tenacity was necessary, while Jiwa credited great mentors as an influence in his early success. Stealing is very, very good in business Certainly an interesting, but entertaining way to describe the “fast follower strategy” outlined by Booth. Panelists said that if someone else has paid to create a market, it is smart to follow up with your more efficient product. According to Jiwa, “If you have to educate your market you might be dead.” Taking advantage of an established market is key. Time is your worst enemy Booth wished that she had been aware of the reality of how much time it takes to raise capital. Having both knowledge and realistic expectations about obtaining funding from angel investors and VCs is very important. Laughlin believes that releasing a simple product into the market to see if it gets any...

UnaliWear Featured in TechSpace Blog: 14 Austin Startups to Watch Out for in 2017

UnaliWear was featured in TechSpace Blog Post: 14 Austin Startups to Watch Out for in 2017.   With its low cost of living, high quality of life, growing cultural scene and plethora of university educated talent, Austin continues to shine as a startup destination. The home of the SXSW festival now has a higher density of startups than Silicon Valley, according to research by the Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s University. Not only has the city been rated as the best in which to start a business in the U.S. by the likes of CNBC, but its startups are also some of the fastest growing in the country. With growth rates of 81.2 percent this year’s Kauffman Growth Entrepreneurship Index puts Austin as the second fastest growing city in America, as well as the best place to start a small business. Here’s a look at some of the innovative Austin-based startups you may be hearing a lot more about in the next few months… UnaliWear UnaliWear creates wearables for seniors, physically disabled and other vulnerable individuals. Their first product is the discreet and stylish voice controlled Kanega watch that allows its users to call for emergency assistance from anywhere. The watch can also guide people to a specific destination or back home. Funding: $4.1M in 4 Rounds from 4 Investors You can read the full article here – https://www.techspace.com/blog/14-austin-startups-to-watch-out-for-in-2017/...

Thank you Austin Business Journal for mentioning UnaliWear in Austin wearables startup secures more funding; inks production deal in China

Thank you Austin Business Journal (ABJ) for mentioning UnaliWear in “Austin wearables startup secures more funding; inks production deal in China”. When Austin venture capitalist Sara Brand wrapped up her $4.7 million capital raise in August for her debut investment fund, she knew instinctively she would reach out to Jean Anne Booth. A couple of phone calls and meetings later, Brand, founder of Austin’s True Wealth Ventures, has just made her firm’s first $500,000 investment in Booth’s three-year-old Austin startup, UnaliWear, which has created the Kanega smart watch aimed at senior citizens who still live independently or people of any age with physical limitations.   The full article is available here here:  http://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/profiles-strategies/2016/10/austin-these-two-women-think-its-time-for-a-smart.html   Also, we would like to thank Sara Brand with True Wealth Ventures for helping UnaliWear extend dignity to seniors....

Senior Wearables: The Kanega Watch

Senior Wearables: The Kanega Watch:  Wearable technology is one of the biggest consumer trends of the past few years and one that seniors, in particular, can really stand to benefit from.    Wearables are, quite simply, technology you can wear. Some of the better known versions of wearable technology are the fitness trackers like the FitBit and Misfit that help people track basic health metrics and challenge themselves to do better over time. Senior wearables haven’t gotten quite as much play in news stories, but many have been developed that provide handy solutions to problems familiar to many seniors. From a wearable GPS that makes it easy for loved ones to find a senior with dementia that wanders off, to a wearable device for seniors with cardiac issues that keeps a constant monitor on the heart to give wearers an early warning before serious problems, senior wearables are quite literally saving lives. Seniors now have yet one more wearable coming on to the market that’s been designed with them in mind. A New Smartwatch for Seniors The Kanega watch from UnaliWear is a smartwatch designed specifically to meet the needs of seniors. The company recognized a number of needs seniors have that a well-designed wearable could solve and went straight to potential consumers to raise funding to create it. Many months and a successful Kickstarter campaign later, and the smartwatch for seniors is in development and on track to be released in early 2017. The founder of UnaliWear, Jean Anne Booth, is a serial entrepreneur with enough experience in the tech space to know that her idea for the...

New Smart Watch Dubbed ‘OnStar For People’

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – UnaliWear is a new company that aims to give seniors and others who need assistance an independent lifestyle through the use of a wearable, emergency alert watch. CEO Jean Anne Booth tells the “KDKA Morning News” she got the idea for the “Kanega” watch when “my mom was turning 80 and she just wasn’t willing to wear today’s emergency alert products because they’re ugly.” “They’re limited to use in the home unless you have a smartphone and my mom doesn’t have one and doesn’t want one,” she said. “And that big help button [on most emergency alert products] is socially stigmatizing.” Booth says they “Unali” is Cherokee for “friend,” and “Kanega” is Cherokee for “speak.” “So we’re the friend that speaks to you,” said Booth. The Kanega watch is designed for seniors, as well as “any independent but vulnerable person.” “People with Parkinson’s [disease], MS, Lou Gehrig’s [disease], Down syndrome, blind people and disabled vets,” said Booth. The watch reminds users when it is time to take their medications, helps protect the user from wandering by providing voice activated directions and sends alerts when the user falls. Booth adds the watch operates by voice command and “learns the wearers lifestyle.” “That allows us to do preemptive support to help [our users],” Booth said. Pre-orders are being taken now at http://www.unaliwear.com/ and it is expected to hit the market in early 2017. Full story appeared on:...

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Thank you, HealthCare Texas 2016!

Thank you, HealthCare Texas 2016.  We appreciate the recognition for all the progress that Jean Anne Booth and the team has made to bringing the Kanega Watch to market and to extend independence with dignity for millions of vulnerable seniors. About HealthCare Texas The Texas Growth Capital Forum (TGCF) aligns late-stage venture capital growth investors with Texas-based technology companies seeking Series B or later funding. We achieve our mission by holding conferences which bring national venture capital investors to Texas to meet qualified growth company CEO’s in 1-on-1 meetings over the course of the 2-day events.   About UnaliWear Focus groups have called UnaliWear “OnStar for People” because we provide discreet support for falls, medication reminders, and a guard against wandering in a classically-styled watch that features an easy-to-use speech interface rather than buttons. Unlike traditional medical alert products, we work wherever you are, 24×7 – and unlike Apple Watch or Samsung Gear, we don’t require a smart phone. Our naming derives from Cherokee: “Unalii” is “friend”, and “Kanega” is “speak”.   Read more about our team... read more

Austin Statesman: Austin’s food, beverage startups riding wave of VC interest

  Austin-area startups in consumer packaged goods are riding a new wave of opportunity. In the first quarter of 2016, three local startups in the emerging sector each raised $3 million or more, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers and National Venture Capital Association joint survey. The news for the sector — otherwise known as CPG industry — marked a bright spot in an otherwise tough report for Austin startups that saw a decline in investments. “Austin is just on fire right now in terms of the growth of the CPG industry,” said Clayton Christopher, an Austin veteran of the consumer packaged goods sector who recently co-founded CAVU Venture Partners, which is focused food and beverage startups. “There is a lot of support.” Overall, Austin companies drew $141 million in investments in the first quarter of 2016 — a 49 percent decline compared to the same period a year earlier. The report confirmed that Austin wasn’t immune to global trends as venture capitalists slowed their enthusiasm, rattled by economic uncertainties and high valuations for unproven companies. Even so, industry veterans say the report also showed a relatively young sector bucking the trend as investors place increasing interest in businesses selling consumer goods. Three companies — hard cider maker Austin Eastciders, healthy snacks company Rhythm Superfoods and watchmaker UnaliWear — closed deals in the first quarter. “I think investors in this market have really gravitated” to consumer packaged goods, said David Smith, founder and CEO of High Brew Coffee, the fast-growing, cold-brew coffee company that announced its own funding round of $4 million this past week. The round was led by Christopher’s... read more

CNBC Mention of Jean Anne and UnaliWear in 94-year-old fashion icon’s smart bracelet to compete with Fitbit

Recently, CNBC mentioned Jean Anne and UnaliWear in a recent article featuring Iris Apefel. … Jean Anne Booth, CEO of UnaliWear, is also out to shake up wearables. A serial entrepreneur, Booth was drawn to wearables when her elderly mother didn’t want to wear an alert button. So Booth got the idea to create a wearable watch that’s voice activated and doesn’t need a smartphone. The wearable, expected to be on the market this summer, also sends distress signals, location assistance and other alerts. She calls it OnStar for seniors. “I wanted my mother to live independently,” Booth said. “Why give control to someone else?” The over-65 market is growing, explained Shailendra Mahajan, managing director of Maxim Ventures in San Jose, California. “People in that age group will be monitoring vital signs,” said Mahajan, who invested $1 million in UnaliWear. “They want a good quality of life.” .. Full... read more

Thank you, Seton! Innovation Winner at the The Future of Care: Healthcare Innovation Awards

We want to say thank you to Seton for today’s Innovation Award at Healthcare Family’s “The Future of Care: Healthcare Innovation Awards” Winners were selected from among 10 companies named finalists for Seton Healthcare Family’s The Future of Care: Healthcare Innovation Awards. A field of 85 applicants responded to Seton’s call for entries and submitted their solutions toward solving one of health care’s most difficult challenges: communication. Recently, Seton, The University of Texas and Central Health established a nonprofit to develop the eastern part of downtown Austin as an innovation district connecting their health care practice and research with established businesses and enterprising start-ups. The goal is to spur innovation in health care and other sectors. “Seton is at the heart of solving real human problems in health care. As the largest caregiver in Austin’s future Innovation Zone, Seton will be where collaborators physically come together to explore how to care for people in the best manner possible,” Kristi Henderson, Seton vice president of Virtual Care and Innovation, said. “But in order to succeed at the highest level, the partnership must engage with entrepreneurs to rethink health care and imagine a different – and far better – future.” The winners were: Kanega, a stylish watch designed by UnaliWear. This is the first all-in-one, voice-controlled device designed to keep people safe, while living independently. It provides fall detection, emergency help, “guide me home” assistance, voice-activated directions and medication reminders. Patient IO was honored as well and is an Austin company working to improve how people manage their personal health through mobile technology, received the Seton Innovation of the Year Award for its... read more

Austin health care innovators to be honored with awards

Ten Central Texas companies are in the running for an award honoring the businesses trying to creatively solve the most pressing issues in the health care industry. The three winners in Seton Healthcare Family’s “The Future of Care: Healthcare Innovation Awards” will be announced April 27 at a luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Austin. One business will also be crowned the overall Innovator of the Year. Prizes include mentorships and work sessions with clinical teams, innovation leaders and subject matter experts. More than 80 companies applied. The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including physicians, entrepreneurs, academics and investors. The 10 finalists are: • Afoundria, developer of Chartpath, a comprehensive clinical charting and billing tool; • Aunt Bertha, an online database of free and reduced-cost social programs that health care providers can use to provide food, housing, transportation and other resources to patients in need; • Decisio Health, developer of Patient Dashboard, which provides bedside clinical decision support for care teams; • ePatientFinder, which connects physicians to information about medical research trials and helps them determine whether patients qualify; • Humm, developer of a real-time patient feedback platform; • Patient IO, which develops a product to coordinate patient care by interacting with electronic health records and population health management systems; • Rallyhood, an online tool for coordinating and communicating emotional, practical and financial support for patients; • Sotera Wireless, developer of the Visi Mobile system for continuously monitoring and reporting patient vital signs; • UnaliWear, which develops a waterproof, voice-controlled smart watch that monitors vulnerable populations such as seniors or those with physical limitations;... read more

AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch Announces Ten Finalists for Pitch Event April 27

Health Tech Startups Focused on Caregiving To Pitch Industry Leader Judges and Consumer End Users Sharing Real-Time Feedback Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 29, 2016 AARP is pleased to announce the ten finalist companies for its fifth Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch event which will be held Wednesday, April 27, at Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA. Ten startup health tech companies focused on caregiving were selected from over 200 applicants to pitch their businesses at this unique one day dual-pitch event. For more information and to register to attend at a price of only $299.00 for the full day, please visit http://www.prweb.net/Redirect.aspx?id=aHR0cDovL2hlYWx0aDUwLm9yZy8=. “We were very impressed by this year’s applicants,” said Jody Holtzman, senior vice president, Enterprise Strategy and Innovation, AARP. “It is refreshing to know there are so many companies focused on technology solutions for people 50 and over, as well as their caregivers. With literally millions of Americans requiring assistance and millions of others providing unpaid care to these folks, there is an immense need. Technology companies are rising up to deliver solutions to meet these needs and many of those companies will showcase their solutions on April 27th.” According to AARP data in its recently issued Caregiving Innovation Frontiers (CIF) study, the caregiving market is expected to reach $72 billion by 2020, with $62 billion of that coming from caregiver’s out of pocket spending. Right now, 40 million Americans are providing unpaid care of aging, disabled, or other people in need of assistance. By 2020, 117 million Americans will need assistance of some kind, yet the overall number of caregivers is only expected to reach 45... read more

Start-Ups We Championed, Where Are They Now?

“We’ve just begun to show how our human-centered technology can extend independence with dignity for millions of vulnerable people. I am looking forward to the day that our predictive intelligence ends the need for “missing elderly” alerts on the SilverAlert/AmberAlert signs!” – Jean Anne Booth, CEO and founder of UnaliWear.

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UnaliWear Watch and Service Keep Seniors Independent

Senior citizens may need a little help now and then, but they still tend to care about their dignity. UnaliWear is helping preserve that dignity with a new watch and related service that offers seniors the ability to call for help if needed, get reminders about when they need to take medicine, and guard against wandering if such behavior is a concern.

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Let's get together

Come see us at SXSW!

March 9-13, Austin, TX.

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Let's get together

We’ll be at SXSW!

Come see UnaliWear’s CEO, Jean Anne Booth, as she appears in the sessions “Venture Funding Hits a  Lull, Now What?” and Women’s Health Panel SXSW on “Women Revolutionizing Digital Health.”

Contact us at info@unaliwear.com if you’ll be at SXSW and would like to get together.