The Bay Area’s Top Diabetes Startups of 2016

Before the invention of insulin, there was little hope of survival for those with diabetes.
Even with the best treatments available life expectancy was only a few years at most.

Frederick Banting and Charles Best, the scientists behind synthetic insulin.

Then in 1922, something remarkable happened. 14 year-old, Leonard Thompson, became the first person with diabetes to receive a dose of synthetic insulin. Leonard, who before the insulin shots was near death, rapidly regained his strength and appetite. One year later the scientists behind the invention of synthetic insulin received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology.

Fast forward almost a hundred years, equipped with the most sophisticated technology ever developed, and we are still searching for the next big breakthrough in diabetes management.

A Golden Opportunity for Diabetes Management

Silicon Valley is fueling much of the world’s technological innovation.

Instead of miners with pick axes, California’s modern Gold Rush is fueled by computer programmers and a hunger for change. Pick just about any industry you can think of and chances are good that you will find a Bay Area startup working to bring fresh solutions to industry old problems. Diabetes is no exception.

One day, computers may handle all the cumbersome math of diabetes.

Diabetes management stands to gain A TON from the Bay Area’s tech revolution. When it comes down to it, treating diabetes is essentially a complex numbers game. When your body no longer produces enough insulin to properly regulate your blood sugar, you need to administer the correct amount of insulin yourself. Collecting and calculating these numbers by hand can be a painstakingly tiresome and error-prone process, with frequent mismanagement sometimes even resulting in life-threatening complications. 

However, new companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco are making incredible strides in crunching complex data. From machine learning and pattern recognition, to data organization and IoT connectivity, the Bay Area’s advancements in these areas could lead to monumental breakthroughs for treating diabetes. Whomever is able to utilize this new technology and put these different pieces together will have an opportunity to improve millions of lives.

Now… for 2016’s Top Diabetes Startups in the Bay Area!

#1 Bigfoot Biomedical: The Closed-Loop Artificial Pancreas

bigfootBigfoot Biomedical is going after the holy grail of diabetes treatment by working to develop an artificial pancreas, or in Bigfoot’s words “an end-to-end Type 1 Diabetes Management System.” If Bigfoot is able to accomplish its mission with the FDA’s approval, it would be a revolutionary milestone.

Why we’re excited about Bigfoot Biomedical: The team at Bigfoot Biomedical may have just the right blend of experience to get the job done, featuring strong expertise in insulin pump manufacturing, diabetes cure initiatives, and venture capital financing.

Bigfoot’s all-star leaders include:

  • jeff

    Jeffrey Brewer


    Dubbed as “the father of the artificial pancreas,” Jeffrey served as the CEO of JDRF and had previously launched a successful technology company that went public.
  • lane

    Bryan Mazlish


    OK, you spotted him – Bigfoot himself. Bryan is the inventor of the Bigfoot System. He is also the founder of a fully automated Wall Street trading company.
  • bryan

    Lane Desborough
    Chief Engineer


    A hacker at heart, Lane is famous in T1D circles as the co-developer of Nightscout CGM in the Cloud. What most don’t realize is that he was also the Chief Engineer at Medtronic.
  • jon

    Jon Brilliant


    A bonafide VC rock star, Jon is the financial whiz behind Bigfoot. He was a founding board member and former CFO of WellDoc.

#2 Glooko: The Data Management Platform

glookoWith $28 million in funding, Glooko has the resources to make big change. Glooko’s data management system already seamlessly unifies data from over 50 of the leading blood glucose meters, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, activity trackers, and biometric devices to deliver insights that improve personal and clinical decision making. Glooko’s mobile app also enables patients to easily track and proactively manage all aspects of their diabetes care.

Why we’re excited about Glooko: Tracking and making sense of all your diabetes data can be extremely difficult. Glooko has a good chance to streamline this infuriating process and replace  the frustration with sophisticated data analysis and beneficial insights.

Not to mention: Glooko is sharing the power of their data management platform with third-party developers who will undoubtedly come up with their own innovations using these new tools.

#3 Tidepool: The Digital Data Locker

PrintTidepool is a non-profit startup building a virtual locker for medical records and diabetic data. Whether you want to securely store your information, easily transfer reports to your doctor, or even anonymously donate your data research organizations, Tidepool gives you the ability to do so.

Why we’re excited about Tidepool: Large-scale data aggregation is a huge key to getting a better handle on the way we approach diabetes care. With Tidepool, having access to a single source of this data will make it easier for developers to build new tools and researchers to access data crucial to their work.

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