November 02, 2015

Start-up earns award from Harvard Medical School

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Greplytix, a technologies company housed within the Small Business Incubator at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is the recipient of technology innovation award from Harvard Medical School. 

Joseph Viscomi, co-founder and CEO of Greplytix, along with Dr. David K. Urion, director of Education and Residency Training Programs in Child Neurology and Neurodevelopment Disabilities and director of Behavioral Neurology Clinics and Programs at Boston Children’s Hospital, received the Innovation for Graduate Medical Education award for innovation in physician training during Harvard’s 2015 Medical Education Day on Oct. 27 in Boston. 

The recognition was for the study “A Compiling Analytic Software Program for the ACGME Milestones in an Efficient, Flexible and Timely Monitor of Resident Performance and Progress.” The study highlights the products and work of Greplytix. 

“Receiving an Innovation award from such an innovative and prestigious institution as Harvard Medical School is an important external validator for every member of the Greplytix team and also to our clients who have taken a risk in adopting us, a young startup,” Viscomi said. 

Viscomi said the support and guidance of Urion, along with Urion’s help on the actual study, was instrumental in the company earning the award. 

“Being a graduate of SIU Carbondale and bringing this award and recognition back home is a proud feeling,” Viscomi added. “Carbondale and the surrounding area are known more for their agricultural industry than for high-tech industry. But, the facilities, people and culture provided by the Small Business Development Center to companies such as Greplytix are helping the Southern Illinois region diversify its industry.” 

Greplytix is a technology company that developed an insight platform to analyze and visualize complex data for educational institutions, teaching hospitals and other such organizations. The company’s initial products, LearningInsight and MedInsight, allow educators to evaluate their students’ strengths and weaknesses in real-time to assist in developing a better understanding of individual learning trends and adjust accordingly, Viscomi said. Essentially, Greplytix creates technology that allows educators to analyze the effectiveness of their teaching practices and adjust to better meet the learning needs of their students. 

Greplytix was conceived in 2007 and the following year received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Technology. Greplytix was incorporated in 2013 by Viscomi and Richard Collins and they secured a location at SIU’s Small Business Incubator Program in August 2014. Collins has expertise in analyzing outcomes and learning and he has worked within schools and has conducted brain-based research. He secured the initial capital and assembled the team for Greplytix. 

The company’s staff includes educators and education innovators as well as engineers with experience in data-mining, web platform development and data visualization. 

“We are filled with pride that Joe received this prestigious innovation award,” Robyn Laur Russell, said. She is the director of business development and international trade and of the International Trade Center and also serves as manager of the incubator program. 

“Greplytix is one of our region’s innovation fairy tale stories,” she added. “Joe earned his bachelor’s (computer science) and master’s (mathematics) degrees here at SIU. Then he went on to complete an advanced studies program in managing innovation and entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studies in business management and innovation at Harvard. He then returned to Carbondale and sought assistance through the Small Business Development Center and was accepted into the incubator program in our SIU Research Park to further develop his business concepts.” 

Russell said the relationship between the SIU Research Park and Viscomi has been mutually beneficial. 

“The program has greatly benefitted Joe in a number of ways as it has helped facilitate the growth of Greplytix. In turn, Joe has always been bursting at the seams with great ideas, sometimes seemingly impossible ones. But, we’ve been able to implement some of his ideas to build a better, more innovative environment for high-tech, scalable companies, which proves the entrepreneurial community philosophy truly works,” Russell said. 

The Illinois Small Business Development Center and Small Business Incubator Program at SIU provide a variety of services, tools and business start-up location assistance to new and expanding businesses. The SIU Research Park, where both programs are located, is a non-profit corporation that promotes technology and knowledge-based enterprise development and tenants may apply to lease rooms within a multi-tenant building or to lease land and build facilities. 

The Illinois Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and hosted by SIU. For more information, visit, call 618/536-2424 or email