Healthcare startups are on an astonishing rise. Forbes has reported that in September 2018, healthcare startups have raised a total of $2.8 billion in capital funding. This is a 70% increase from the $1.64 billion funding reported in September 2017.
Startups focused on healthcare delivery could turn to healthcare accelerators to boost their chances of becoming a success story.
Let us take a quick look on the services and opportunities healthcare accelerators offer, the top accelerators in some regions of the world, and what healthcare startups could do to be accepted by these accelerator companies.
What are healthcare accelerators?
Healthcare accelerators are enablers of innovation in healthcare. They do this by bridging various stakeholders. They are at the center of a triangular network composed of the startups, healthcare systems, and venture capital funds.
Startups that focus on digital health, healthcare services, informatics, genomics, and medical technology could benefit from the services, mentoring, and funding offered by accelerators for healthcare.
Healthcare accelerator companies primarily aim to boost healthcare startups and, in the process, create new jobs, cultivate entrepreneurship, commercialize technology, and accelerate the growth of health-centered services.
We list down the best healthcare accelerators that you might want to consider for your healthcare venture.
Top Healthcare Accelerators by Country
StartUp Health (New York City)
StartUp Health is a New York City-based accelerator that focuses on assisting healthcare startups that promote digital health and wellness. This healthcare accelerator company provides a three-year mentoring program through its modern media platform and global network of expert coaches and members.
StartUp Health is looking to fund 1,000 healthcare companies within the next decade with the goal of transforming the healthcare industry.
It currently boasts the largest digital health portfolio with more than 250 companies from 22 countries.
Areas of interest include identification of healthcare gaps, innovations in billing or payment methods, and risk adjustment optimization.
The mentoring program, funding, and services offered by StartUp Health are up in exchange for an equity stake of about 6% (Wilden et al. 2018).
Blueprint Health (New York City)
BluePrint Health is a team of entrepreneurs focused on providing assistance to healthcare startups. Through a network of mentors and expert staff, this company aims to build the next breed of healthcare IT companies.
BluePrint Health hosts a three-month mentoring program that teaches healthcare companies how to gain customers, raise capital, and refine an investor pitch (Wilden et al. 2018).
BluePrint Health also provides a $20,000 investment for each healthcare IT startup. Twenty healthcare IT companies are chosen each year to be part of their growing community of entrepreneurs in exchange for an estimated 6% equity.
The company focuses on startup projects that directly involve hospitals, physicians, and other health professionals. Moreover, this accelerator company prefers later-stage startups instead of early-stage companies.
Health Wildcatters (Dallas)
Founded in 2013, Health Wildcatters was originally established as a health innovation hub for local healthcare companies. The company’s portfolio now includes 57 healthcare startups and a total of $50 million raised funding.
Health Wildcatters provides an initial seed investment of $30,000-$380,000 and a twelve-week mentoring program in exchange of 8% equity. Their accelerator program matches qualified startups to their extensive network of mentors and investors (Wilden et al. 2018).
Early-stage healthcare startups which focus on IT, digital health, and mobile health could benefit from the assistance of Health Wildcatters.
JLABS is a part of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation family of companies. As an accelerator, JLABS aims to provide assistance to emerging companies to bring innovative healthcare solutions to patients.
The services and benefits that JLABS offers for healthcare startups include equipment use in research spaces, expert mentoring, business services, and effective IT network solutions.
Healthcare startups on pharmaceutical projects in neuroscience, vaccines, infectious diseases, oncology, and diagnostics have a high chance of being accepted in the program. Healthcare IT innovation companies are also encouraged to apply.
MaRS Innovation (Toronto)
MaRS Innovation is a community of experts from top universities, research institutes, and the MaRS Discovery District. Based in Toronto, this healthcare accelerator company is focused on providing commercial services, early-stage funding, and broker deals with investors to healthcare startups.
MaRS Innovation currently boasts of 1,400 intellectual property projects which receive a total of $1.47 billion in funding each year.
MaRS Innovation provides business strategy development, intellectual property strategies, project management, IT solutions, and marketing resources to healthcare startup companies.
Startup companies that focus on diagnostics, healthcare IT innovation, medical devices, and therapeutics are welcome to apply for assistance from MaRS Innovation.
Interface Health (Vancouver)
Interface Health features an integrated multi-platform and community that assists startup companies in finding the right business solutions. Interface Health focuses on providing assistance to digital health startups.
Interface Health fosters a network of innovators through an annual global competition which allows entrepreneurs to showcase their projects and ideas.
Innovation Health also hosts the annual conference, known as the Interface Summit, which provides lectures and new strategies for the consumption of their entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2017, BaseLaunch is dedicated to support healthcare ventures through funding and mentoring. The program is composed of two phases and runs in a period of 15 months. Healthcare startups are expected to gain knowledge and experience from expert advisors and advanced infrastructure.
BaseLaunch also gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to work and learn within the Basel region, a leading life sciences hub in Europe.
The current portfolio of BaseLaunch includes startups on therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines. Healthcare startups that focus on other fields of health are also welcome to apply to the BaseLaunch program.
Bayer G4A (Germany)
Bayer G4A, previously known as Grants4Apps, is a global team that aims to develop and provide solutions to healthcare startups and technology companies. G4A focuses on assisting projects related to the field of behavioral science.
Bayer G4A provides commercial partnerships, funding for healthcare technology, and mentorship programs to chosen healthcare entrepreneurs.
Aside from behavioral science, healthcare startups on digital therapeutics, radiology, women’s health, oncology, and cardiovascular medicine are welcome to apply for assistance.
3 Tips on Getting into a Healthcare Accelerator
1. Prepare a great pitch.
The secret in delivering an effective speech is being able to describe your startup in only 1 or 2 sentences. Being concise, simple, and eloquent when presenting your work or idea implies that you know your priorities and goals. Know your target and focus on long-term plans.
2. Know the inside-out, nitty gritty details of your startup.
While you should aim to be concise when presenting your pitch, it is important to be fully knowledgeable of everything about your startup. Be ready to present the core members of your team and their respective functions. Know your specific objectives and how you plan to achieve them.
3. Show your eagerness to learn.
Do not make it seem like you’re just in for the funding. Be in for the mentoring and the experience, which are definitely more valuable than the financial assistance you might receive. Accelerators provide a wide array of mentorship programs and training activities which could benefit your startup in the long run.
To sum up
Healthcare accelerators provide the much-needed assistance for emerging healthcare startups.
From funding and mentorship programs to innovation services, accelerator companies boost the chances of healthcare startups to become successful, not only in business, but more importantly, in delivering quality care to patients.