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Duke Angel Network Announces First Two Investments

Published: 4 years ago | 0 comments

The Duke Angel Network, formed in June 2015, has selected two startups—Baebies, Inc., and SoloPro, Inc.—for its first investments. Baebies is a provider of newborn screening technologies, and SoloPro provides a platform for unbundling real estate agent services.

Baebies, Inc.
Baebies licensed its core technology, digital microfluidics, to develop products in newborn screening. Digital microfluidic technology utilizes a smaller sample size resulting in instruments that are smaller in size and easier to handle. The company has plans to develop a next generation platform to expand the availability and efficiency of newborn screening worldwide.

“We are thrilled to have the experienced group from the Duke Angel Network as one of our investors,” said Rich West, CEO and Co-Founder of Baebies. “They share our vision that every baby deserves a healthy start.”

“This first investment in Baebies is an important milestone for the Duke Angel Network. We are excited to be supporting an experienced team and a technology that can change the quality of life for babies around the world,” said John Glushik, Managing Director of the Duke Angel Network.

Mr. West earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke and has been an Adjunct Faculty, lecturing on entrepreneurship at the university for several years. Baebies President and Co-Founder, Vamsee Pamula, earned a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke and was also a Post-Doctoral Research Associate. The technology originated at Duke in the lab of scientist Richard Fair. Mr. West and Dr. Pamula founded Baebies shortly after the sale of Advanced Liquid Logic, Inc. to Illumina, Inc. in 2013. Baebies is headquartered in Durham, NC. For more information, please visit

SoloPro, Inc.
The Duke Angel Network has also invested in SoloPro, Inc., a Durham-based startup providing a platform for unbundled real estate agent services. SoloPro enables potential home buyers to select and pay for only the services they need and save considerably versus the traditional 3% commission paid to agents. These services include phone consultations, touring homes, pricing homes, making offers, and attending inspections and closings.

Real estate agents are able to select the services they want to provide and set their own prices on the platform. Agents benefit from the flexibility SoloPro enables, as well as the certainty of professional fees for their services rather than being dependent on purchases closing to collect commissions.

“SoloPro has the potential to transform the way in which real estate transactions are conducted and to benefit both buyers and agents” said John Glushik, Managing Director of the Duke Angel Network, “We are excited to be working with such a visionary and dedicated team.”

With the investment, the Duke Angel Network joins existing investors Oxpoint Investments, Buchanan Ventures, Blue {Seed} Capital, Arnold Capital, and the venture capital arm of Lowe’s.

Mr. Sowers earned an A.B. in Public Policy from Duke and has been a Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice since 2014, lecturing on entrepreneurship, politics, and public leadership.

“This investment by the Duke Angel Network…continues a strong connection between SoloPro and the community,” says Tommy Sowers, CEO and Founder of SoloPro “The Durham region is the center for startups in the South.”

For more information on SoloPro, please visit

About the Duke Angel Network
The Duke Angel Network is focused on helping private companies grow by facilitating the flow capital and support from Duke angel investors. Founded in 2015, the Duke Angel Network is investing in companies in which a founder, executive, or board member is a Duke University alumnus, faculty member, staff member, student, or parent. Members (investors) are individual accredited investors with a Duke affiliation. The group targets private companies with the potential for significant growth and financial return. In addition to facilitating investments, the Duke Angel Network leverages the power of the global Duke community to provide guidance and expertise to portfolio companies. Visit to learn more.

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