Digital health accelerators, anatomized (US)

A phenomenon in both the US and the UK is the digital health accelerator that ‘enrolls’ promising startups and nurtures their entrepreneurial founders with business coaching and limited funding. In the UK, accelerators cluster around universities such as Sheffield, Edinburgh, Ulster, Bristol and Bath. In the US, startup accelerators clustered bicoastally–Boston/New York-Silicon Valley/San Diego–and were dominated by Blueprint Health, StartUp Health and later Rock Health. In the past three years, they have dispersed to places like Minneapolis, Dallas, Phoenix and Philadelphia. Lisa Suennen, no stranger to the scene as a managing partner of advisory service Venture Valkyrie, has written ‘Survival of the Fittest: Health Care Accelerators Evolve Toward Specialization’, published by the California Health Care Foundation. She notes that accelerators, once meant for entrepreneurs/developers to help them bridge the gap from the kitchen table or garage to angel funding, now resemble VCs with their own funding lines, a cut of the company (5-6 percent and up), partnerships with companies like GE Ventures [TTA 4 Apr] with StartUp Health and potential customers as the NY Digital Health Accelerator [TTA 23 May 2013] features. They also specialize in later-stage startups (NYDHA), in aging services (Aging 2.0, AgePower) and around specific problems or diseases. Downloads on the CHCF introduction include the full report (PDF link), a glossary of terms and an accelerator database.

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