GoDx: Transforming the approach to gut health

Dr. Chang Hee Kim opened GoDx in Madison in June of 2017, and the company has benefited from being centrally located in the University Research Park, surrounded by the biotech industry and proximate to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

SERVICES USED: SBIR Advance, SBIR/STTR Assistance Micro-grant


GoDx is a symbol of global innovation and progress. “Go” symbolizes their drive for progress and “Dx” (short for diagnostics) encapsulates their commitment to global health.

GoDx is at the frontier of diagnostic innovation. “Our core objective is to swiftly and accurately identify pathogens causing diarrheal diseases. It’s not merely about diagnosing; it’s about empowering individuals and healthcare providers with precise insights for effective treatment. We have the vision of doing our part in saving lives by developing rapid diagnostics to identify the germs that cause diarrheal diseases so that people can be treated with the right drugs. Our GO-GutDx® offers rapid, accurate results, transforming how we approach gut health,” Kim said.

GoDx® Rapid Nucleic Acid Detection Strips are paper strips, similar to pregnancy or rapid Covid tests, that show two lines if a person is infected by a gut bug or one line if the test is negative. He continued, “GoDx solutions are more accessible and affordable whereas others require expensive instrumentation and highly skilled technicians. Our tests will be simple enough to be run by clinicians at urgent care or by you at home.”


GoDx truly started with the mission of one. Since opening, the team has grown to eight valuable members. Kim said, “A core ingredient to our secret sauce is our team and the mission-focused culture we are cultivating here! What sets GoDx apart is our relentless pursuit of innovation with purpose. We’re not content with the status quo; we’re driven to redefine the diagnostic landscape. From pioneering point-of-care testing to delivering comprehensive antibiotic resistance profiles, we’re charting new territories in diagnostics as the first point-of-care test for gut infections and the first to give antibiotic resistance profiles,” Kim said.

During the pandemic, the GoDx team also developed rapid COVID testing with guaranteed results in one hour. “This was a great way to get to know our neighbors and communities, and to be a small part of the solution during one of the more difficult times in recent history,” Kim said.


Kim cited some of the assistance he received through the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC). “I met Todd Strother and Idella Yamben at an NIH SBIR conference in Seattle in 2015, and they are both great ambassadors for Wisconsin businesses! The decision to relocate my company from California to Wisconsin stemmed from strategic considerations and a desire for growth. Madison’s vibrant biotech ecosystem, coupled with matching SBIR grants, presented an unparalleled opportunity for GoDx.“

Kim said, “Todd was very helpful on the SBIR Advance proposal. He made himself available for in-person meetings, and he quickly responded when I had questions. He even critiqued my grant proposal.”

“The $75K SBIR award in 2017 was the very first one we were awarded. It was hard to get; I had to rewrite at least three drafts with Todd’s help. It was very exciting and liberating to be able to use the funds for commercialization! We did a Lean Startup interview style of market research to find customer types and unmet needs in gut bug testing,” Kim said.

GoDx won first place in the American Gastroenterology Association pitch competition in Boston due in no small part to help from the CTC staff who helped Kim with the pitch practice. “We were also able to win Phase 2 SBIR funding because of the help with the commercialization plan we got from CTC SBIR Advance Lean Startup program, and the collaborators we found by attending conferences paid for by SBIR Advance,” Kim said.


From securing funding to forging strategic partnerships, each hurdle has been an opportunity for growth and refinement. Through resilience and strategic navigation, GoDx has transformed obstacles into stepping stones and found a way to create innovative, inexpensive diagnostics that empower individuals with effective treatment of diarrheal diseases.