While news stories in tech usually focus on amazing new consumer developments, the healthcare industry is undergoing its own renaissance. New methods of diagnosing and curing disease as well as a multitude of other medical services are coming at a more rapid pace thanks to the innovative style of various tech startups. Jobs that were once done by R&D departments in mega corporations are more frequently taken on by lean startups in Silicon Valley and beyond.
One important aspect of this new tech-health ecosystem is the various innovation accelerators that have popped up across the country. Slightly different than an incubator where startups are given space to grow and network, innovation accelerators build on that concept to include concrete goals, resources, and mentorship to supercharge the process from idea to execution, in return for equity or a flat fee. Here are just a few of the healthcare innovation accelerators doing work worth knowing about.
Iron Yard Ventures
Perhaps more well known for their coding boot camps, Iron Yard Ventures also run an accelerator program that has provided its services to some noteworthy ventures. Located off the beaten path in Asheville, North Carolina, Iron Yard’s accelerator program has partnered with health startups like ChartSpan, Recovr, and Noteworth that streamline various aspects of patient care including physical therapy and the sharing of medical information between providers.
Located right on the river in the heart of downtown Chicago, Matter provides a stimulating space for over 100 innovative health tech startups. Among their offerings is the AMA Interaction Studio, which allows entrepreneurs to interact with health leaders and luminaries across the country to build their products and services. Also distinguishing Matter is their OSF Simulation Stage, a partnership with OSF HealthCare that allows startups to test their projects in an ultra-realistic simulated medical environment.
The medical division of the Stanford-affiliated StartX, StartX Med is unique among healthcare accelerators in that it does not require any equity from its startups, and doesn’t even charge a fee. With a direct connection to probably the most startup-associated college in the country, StartX Med is at the forefront of many young medical technologies, including Remedly, a remote diagnostics application, and Veebot, an automated blood-drawing technology that uses medical imaging and robotic precision.
New York Digital Health Accelerator
Taking a slightly different tack, the New York Digital Health Accelerator specializes in young companies whose focus lies not in direct patient care but in care coordination, patient engagement and workflow improvement. Essentially, the nuts and bolts of healthcare. While it may not be as glamorous, these startups hope to provide the services that will make health care an easier and less complicated experience for patients.
Based in Philadelphia with satellite offices nationwide, Dreamit bill themselves as the only global growth-focused health accelerator. They’ve partnered with healthcare heavy hitters like Merck, Pfizer, and Johns Hopkins Medicine to provide their startup clients with connections at the highest levels. One unique aspect of Dreamit’s program is their Investor Roadshow, where they take their startup clients on the road to meet potential backers like Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz on both coasts.
San Francisco-based Rock Health has the distinction of solely dedicating themselves to digital medical applications, whether mobile or web-based. Some of these include Chrono Therapeutics, makers of wearable tech aimed at helping users quit smoking, and Lantern, a platform for providing mental health services online. Rock Health provides their startups with a top-down approach, assisting not only with fundraising and networking but also writing contracts, marketing and public relations.