Harvard students to launch mHealth, Health 2.0 incubator Rock Health

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 10, 2011        

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Halle Tecco Rock HealthFour Harvard Business School students are launching a San Francisco-based mobile health and Health 2.0 incubator, Rock Health, that aims to provide healthcare expertise, development resources and eventually funding to winning ideas. The core team at Rock Health includes Medical Director Nate Gross (who is also involved with the soon-to-launch Doximity), Interim CFO Dan Monahan, Creative Director Leslie Ziegler and Managing Director Halle Tecco.

According to Rock Health’s website the incubator’s investor partners include Accel Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Aberdare Ventures, California HealthCare Foundation and others. Importantly, the team is also working closely with the Mayo Clinic:

“No experience in the health space? That’s great. We’ve built a program to give you resources and connections in the sector. And our friends at the Mayo Clinic (consistently ranked one of the top hospitals in the world) are excited to help you out,” the incubator’s FAQ reads.

In a recent interview with MobiHealthNews, Rock Health’s Halle Tecco explained that the incubator intends to bring new talent to healthcare: “We are trying to focus on the technology itself and are looking to find technologists,” she said. “We are trying to bring in really great developers and programmers and encourage experimentation and out-of-the-box thinking about healthcare.”

“We met with [other incubators] like Y Combinator, TechStars, MassChallenge to better understand the nuances of the incubator models, but ultimately decided to take inspiration from these models but make ours unique.”

As do other incubators, Rock Health plans to host pitch days that provide their startups with an audience to its venture capital partners and down the road other VCs as well, Tecco said.

Rock Health will begin accepting applications from would-be startups come April 1, according to its website. While Tecco did spend last summer as an intern at Apple analyzing the company’s health, fitness and medical app categories, she made it clear that she won’t be selecting which startups enter Rock Health’s incubator program.

“We are putting together a panel of judges including our advisors as well as our other partners,” Tecco said. “This is typical for any incubator, it’s not person making the decision, it’s a team of people. We are going to look at this from a number of lenses” including from the health care provider’s perspective and the investor’s.

Rock Health’s website lists an impressive group of advisors from Twitter, 23andMe, HealthTap, Mayo Clinic and more. Mentors include the founder and CEO of Sermo, Dr Dan Palestrant.

For more on Rock Health, visit the organization’s website here