Former Publix CEO Backs South Florida Startup in $4.5M Funding Round

Bridge Connector, a Palm Beach Gardens-based startup, has secured $4.5 million in its first major funding round since its May 2017 founding.

Tampa-based venture capital firm Axioma Partners LLC led the seed capital raise. Other backers included Howard Jenkins, the billionaire former chairman and CEO of Publix Super Markets.

With the new capital, Bridge Connector plans to hire developers and bolster its support, sales and management teams. The startup currently has 25 full-time employees, and expects to grow its workforce to more than 40 people by the end of the year, with the majority of the new positions in South Florida.

"We're focused on growing the company organically as fast as possible in the South Florida community and drive revenue," Bridge Connector founder and CEO David Wenger said.

Bridge Connector is a subscription-based service platform for health care providers. The technology creates a secure connection to access patients' electronic medical records (EMRs) and other data across different systems or locations. Its clients include a nursing home with 45 locations nationwide and the largest home health care provider in Michigan and Pennsylvania. It's also a partner of cloud computing giant Salesforce.

Along with its funding announcement, Bridge Connecter has brought on a number of significant hires, including VP of Client Relations Jason Raphael, formerly of Accenture.

Bridge Connector also has offices in Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, where it hired Joshua Douglas as chief technology officer and Andy Harlen as VP of sales.

Before founding Bridge Connector, Wenger was the president of a marketing and advertising agency where he was close to the issues and costs health care companies face with EMRs. The South Florida native lives in Jupiter with his wife and two children.

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