SmartTab’s Founder and CEO Passed Away Unexpectedly

By Sacha Heppell - August 04, 2022

Robert Niichel, drug delivery inventor, serial entrepreneur, and father, pioneered the introduction of pharmaceutical drug delivery systems to the consumer healthcare space, sports nutrition space through zümXR and brought pharmaceutical drug delivery into the digital age with SmartTab.


DENVER—On Wednesday, July 27, 2022, Robert Niichel, the Founder and CEO of SmartTab and zümXR, passed away in Denver, Colorado due to heart failure. Robert led both companies successfully for almost 15 years. 

Memorial services will be held at Holy Ghost Church, 1900 California St, Denver, CO 80202 on Friday, August 5, at 10:00 a.m.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Dixie Niichel, daughter Page Niichel, and son Zach Niichel in Denver, Colorado, as well as his siblings Bill and Lisa, and parents, William and Mary Ann. 

“I am very saddened to inform all of those that loved and worked with him, that my husband and lifetime partner, Robert Niichel has passed away unexpectedly. I have been with him since the company’s inception, and we will continue its operation and carry Bob’s legacy forward.”  —Dixie Niichel

Robert Niichel was recently featured on a podcast before his passing, interviewed by the CEO of Canvas Credit Union. In the discussion, he shares his life as an inventor, entrepreneur and proud father. Listen Here

Robert built a seasoned and effective management team around both zümXR and SmartTab that will continue to carry them forward. Under his wife, Dixie Niichel, the mission will continue alongside his daughter Page Niichel. 

Both family members have worked alongside Robert since the start of Nano Pharmaceutical Laboratories (zümXR) and subsidiary company, Velóce Corporation (SmartTab). The team, together with Dixie and Page’s leadership will continue the legacy of commercial success of zümXR and bring SmartTab technology to market, fulfilling Robert’s vision for the organization and industry.

Robert Joseph Niichel, “Bob”, of Denver, Colorado, was born in Independence, Iowa to William and Mary Ann Niichel on June 19, 1963. He went to high school at Don Bosco High School and graduated in 1981. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance & Economics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. 

Robert had a passion for entrepreneurship with two innovative companies paving the way in the pharmaceutical industry. zümXR brought pharmaceutical technologies into the sports nutrition healthcare space. You can find many products that zümXR engineered at GNC and Whole Foods today. Robert’s success with the company led to a life-changing idea to combine medicine and drug delivery with the Internet of Things (IoT) and smartphone technology. He set out to develop new methods to provide pharmaceutical products to patients more effectively by bringing wireless technology to drug delivery. That was the beginning of SmartTab, a company that’s developing a platform of ingestible electronic capsules, performing drug delivery and monitoring functions. Their first product, InjectTab™, is on its way to market and could replace the needle and syringe delivery of drugs. Robert’s dream was to positively transform the lives of billions of people through this innovative technology that will empower patients and improve the healthcare system. SmartTab’s office and lab is Denver-based with an engineering team dedicated to patient-centered innovation.

Robert was named Most Innovative CEO of the Year in 2021 by Tycoon Success. He led the companies to receive numerous awards and recognitions including the Autoimmune Patients’ Choice Award from the Autoimmune Association in 2021, Colorado Companies to Watch in 2021, a TechCrunch Top Pick in 2020, a finalist for SXSW Pitch in 2022, a Top 100 Digital Health Company by the Medical Futurist, Most Innovative Remote Drug Delivery Platform by Acquisition International in 2022 and is a nominee for the Prix Galien "Best Startup in the Medical Technologies Industry,'' award on October 27.

Robert enjoyed spending time with his family, staying active with his wife and dogs, driving fast cars on the weekends, and going to mass on Sundays. He actively gave back to his church and his newfound community within Regis Jesuit High School—where his son attends. 

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider donations in honor of Robert to Regis Jesuit High School. Robert was an advocate for the Raider Opportunity Fund which helps students afford extra costs that tuition does not cover. Donations can be made at

Please stay tuned for additional updates and for questions, contact Sacha Francois Heppell at or call 303-900-2613.



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