There’s another health tech accelerator in town, but it has put a different spin on things by forming partnerships with the major provider and top payer in one city: Philadelphia. If you have a start up that you believe can disrupt healthcare, check it out and apply by this Friday! You can apply here!
And here’s more information about the program, including an interview we did with DreamIt Health’s leader, Dr. Elliot Menschik.
DreamIt Health is an intensive program for nascent health IT ventures to give them as many unfair advantages and de-risk as quickly as possible. Healthcare is an industry that is particularly challenging for startups to penetrate. To speed those innovations to market, the program is designed to tackle key challenges upfront and give its participants advantages in successfully commercializing products that we expect to have a dramatic impact on the industry.
Powered by Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine and running from April thru July 2013 in Philadelphia at Venturef0rth, selected companies are paired with seasoned mentors, work with and learn from the leading practitioners in the field, tap into key IBC and Penn Med resources (executives, systems and data), receive free space, legal and accounting services, have doors opened to prospective customers, and get exposure to potential investors. Along the way chosen companies benefit from a crash course in healthcare entrepreneurship covering critical topics from selling into payers, providers and pharma to healthcare business models to regulatory compliance to data interoperability. The program concludes with Demo Day presentations to over a hundred early-stage health IT investors from around the United States.
Shiv Gaglani, Medgadget: How did you get involved with DreamIt?
Dr. Elliot Menschik: After selling my health IT startup (HxTechnologies, one of the pioneers of health information exchange) in 2009, I began to plug back into the early-stage ecosystem as a mentor to the next generation of entrepreneurs. One of the things I did was get involved with DreamIt as a mentor to some of its companies. I ultimately approached the DreamIt partners about the concept of doing a specialized healthcare program and it turns out they had already been discussing doing something along these lines. We began fund-raising for the program which brought us into contact with the innovation team at Independence Blue Cross which itself had been laying plans to develop a health IT accelerator of its own. It was pretty natural to combine forces and Penn Medicine was ultimately recruited to join the effort alongside IBC.
Medgadget: What makes what you are doing different than existing health tech incubators?
Menschik: While it’s true that there are a number of health IT accelerators already out there, we believe that there is much more to be done in focusing on enterprise-level solutions for providers, payers, biopharma and public health (i.e. where the bulk of the financial opportunity lies.) We also believe there is much more that can be done to bring together incumbents and startups as well as traditional rivals in the industry (e.g. payers and providers). This is a must-have in the new era of value-based healthcare to which the industry is moving, and DreamIt companies will benefit in a number of ways from working with the dominant payer and dominant provider in a major metro area. Not the least of it is access to unusual resources typically out of reach – from $100M EMR systems to integrate with to big data sets of protected health information.
We also believe that geography has a key role to play, even in an increasingly flat/virtualized world. There’s no substitute for face-to-face human interactions and nowhere is that more possible across all segments of healthcare than Philadelphia. Finally, we bring to bear not just the deep experience of the DreamIt Ventures crew, but many of the headliners of the industry including Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross. Philadelphia is among a very small number of US regions renowned for depth and breadth of healthcare players. It is its richness across provider, payer, biopharma, public health, medical and nursing schools, academia, and industry that is a huge strength of the region and unrivaled opportunity for new health IT companies coming from all across the globe.
Link to the application…