Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Safeguard backs MedCrypt to block hackers from your pacemaker

Leads $750k 'angel' round

Safeguard Scientifics, the publicly-traded Radnor-based IT and medical investment firm, says it has led a $750,000 "seed round" backing MedCrypt, a Philadelphia- and San Diego-based medical-device software security developer, which says it works with manufacturers to keep hackers out of your medical electronics.

Business founders Mike Kijewski (a West Chester U and 2xPenn grad) and Eric Pancoast (Drexel) -- who previously teamed up at medical-imaging software maker Gamma Basics -- work with MedCrypt tech founder and Chief Scientific Officer Brett Hemenway Ph.D., a Penn research cryptologist. They say they'll use the cash to build "commercial pilots with leading medical device vendors."

The recent St. Jude Medical case, in which a short-seller bet against the company exploiting what it said was a heart device's vulnerability to hackers, has raised the specter of bad actors remotely disabling devices or even sending instructions that would hurt users -- boosting outfits like MedCrypt who say they can help. 

Nice pacemaker you guys make. Wouldn't want to see anything nasty happen to your users.

Safeguard's Managing Director Dr. Gary Kurtzman was Kijewski's teacher at Wharton. He's also chairman of MedCrypt.

Other early MedCrypt investors include founders and investors from Safeguard's network, including:
- ThingWorx, the Chester County IoT firm sold to PTC in 2015
- Coldlight, another Safeguard-backed software-maker, also part of PTC
- the Wharton Alumni Angel Network
- a senior tech officer at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware   

This looks like a small investment for Safeguard, which for most of its 60+-year history has made hardware-sized ($10millions) or at least software-sized ($millions) investments.

This one is more the size of FirstRound Capital's app-sized investments.

Safeguard people say they are moving with the times and plan to keep investing on all those scales.