True Process sold to Baxter International

Founder Todd Dunsirn exits Glendale firm

Glendale-based health care software developer True Process Inc. has been acquired by Deerfield, Illinois-based Fortune 500 medical equipment firm Baxter International Inc.

The price of the transaction, which closed Aug. 17 and was acknowledged by Baxter this week, has not yet been disclosed in Baxter’s public filings. Baxter has 47,000 global employees.

The True Process team in 2017. [PHOTO: Paul Gaertner]

Todd Dunsirn, founder and chief executive officer of True Process, was the majority owner. President Doug Frede was a minority partner.

Earlier in 2018, Dunsirn and Frede sold off the consulting arm of the business to San Clemente, California-based client ICU Medical. That left True Process’ Vines software platform, which the company developed in 2012 to provide bedside data collection and normalization from all the machines hooked up to patients in hospitals.

“After that, we evaluated our options and what we wanted to do, whether it was continue to organically grow the company, go out and look for outside funding or find a buyer for the software platform,” Dunsirn said. “Baxter, it was a perfect fit, perfect timing.”

The Vines technology is one of the few in the industry that can handle high demand, he said. And it’s in the early stages of this type of industry offering, which can help hospitals use predictive analytics and machine learning to assess patients.

“The market, there’s no standard connectivity between devices and that’s something that our Vines platform addresses,” Dunsirn said. “I felt that in order to get our platform, to expand it and to have the full potential of it realized, it would either take funding or somebody bigger with a presence in health care to do it.”

Dunsirn, who holds a bachelors’ in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, founded True Process in 2004 after a friend who worked for Hospira (now part of ICU Medical) asked him to develop an application for its salesforce. This isn’t his first startup—he previously founded Milwaukee-based Beamee Inc., a digital consulting company that closed in 2003.

“Our goal (at Beamee) was to develop mobile apps before mobile apps were really a thing. We were a few years ahead of the curve,” he said.

Dunsirn and Frede bootstrapped True Process, investing back into the company along the way. And they networked with larger companies in the industry that they eventually approached when they decided to sell Vines.

At its peak, True Process had $10 million in revenue and about 50 employees. About half of True Process’ employees were retained to work remotely for ICU Medical, Dunsirn said. Some employees, including Dunsirn and Frede, exited True Process following the Baxter acquisition, and there were some redundancies in marketing and human resources. But most of the remaining employees were hired at Baxter and continue to work from the Glendale office, he said.

“We have no plans to move the software development team from the Milwaukee area,” said Eric Tatro, senior manager of global communications at Baxter, who said the acquisition provides the company with digital health and software development expertise.

“It was a nice ending, too, that we were able to keep those people here and have a presence like Baxter in the Milwaukee area,” Dunsirn said.

True Process received a BizTimes I.Q. Award for its Vines software platform in 2017.

Glendale-based health care software developer True Process Inc. has been acquired by Deerfield, Illinois-based Fortune 500 medical equipment firm Baxter International Inc.

The price of the transaction, which closed Aug. 17 and was acknowledged by Baxter this week, has not yet been disclosed in Baxter’s public filings. Baxter has 47,000 global employees.

The True Process team in 2017. [PHOTO: Paul Gaertner]

Todd Dunsirn, founder and chief executive officer of True Process, was the majority owner. President Doug Frede was a minority partner.

Earlier in 2018, Dunsirn and Frede sold off the consulting arm of the business to San Clemente, California-based client ICU Medical. That left True Process’ Vines software platform, which the company developed in 2012 to provide bedside data collection and normalization from all the machines hooked up to patients in hospitals.

“After that, we evaluated our options and what we wanted to do, whether it was continue to organically grow the company, go out and look for outside funding or find a buyer for the software platform,” Dunsirn said. “Baxter, it was a perfect fit, perfect timing.”

The Vines technology is one of the few in the industry that can handle high demand, he said. And it’s in the early stages of this type of industry offering, which can help hospitals use predictive analytics and machine learning to assess patients.

“The market, there’s no standard connectivity between devices and that’s something that our Vines platform addresses,” Dunsirn said. “I felt that in order to get our platform, to expand it and to have the full potential of it realized, it would either take funding or somebody bigger with a presence in health care to do it.”

Dunsirn, who holds a bachelors’ in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, founded True Process in 2004 after a friend who worked for Hospira (now part of ICU Medical) asked him to develop an application for its salesforce. This isn’t his first startup—he previously founded Milwaukee-based Beamee Inc., a digital consulting company that closed in 2003.

“Our goal (at Beamee) was to develop mobile apps before mobile apps were really a thing. We were a few years ahead of the curve,” he said.

Dunsirn and Frede bootstrapped True Process, investing back into the company along the way. And they networked with larger companies in the industry that they eventually approached when they decided to sell Vines.

At its peak, True Process had $10 million in revenue and about 50 employees. About half of True Process’ employees were retained to work remotely for ICU Medical, Dunsirn said. Some employees, including Dunsirn and Frede, exited True Process following the Baxter acquisition, and there were some redundancies in marketing and human resources. But most of the remaining employees were hired at Baxter and continue to work from the Glendale office, he said.

“We have no plans to move the software development team from the Milwaukee area,” said Eric Tatro, senior manager of global communications at Baxter, who said the acquisition provides the company with digital health and software development expertise.

“It was a nice ending, too, that we were able to keep those people here and have a presence like Baxter in the Milwaukee area,” Dunsirn said.

True Process received a BizTimes I.Q. Award for its Vines software platform in 2017.

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