One of the more entertaining panels at this week’s Health 2.0 Spring Fling event here in Boston was the panel on digital health incubators. While the lineup did not include a rep from Rock Health as originally advertised, the panel did include founders from a handful of other increasingly high-profile organizations. Only two of them self-identify as “incubators”, however. One is more like an academy. The other? A collective, or a “kitchen”.
Here’s how each of the four founders described their organizations on-stage at Health 2.0:
Steve Krein, StartUp Health: “StartUp Health is an academy for health and wellness entrepreneurs. We use the term academy specifically because we provide a longterm program for the life of the entrepreneur’s startup. What we have learned — being entrepreneurs ourselves — is that the real work begins after you get customers and after you get funding. Our focus was to design a program and curriculum around peer groups that would travel together over a three to four year program with nine other entrepreneurs. They meet quarterly in live sessions throughout the country. We had our first session in New York. We are going to Washington DC in a couple of weeks to meet at the White House, actually. We will be heading to San Francisco, too. These quarterly programs are supplemented each month with programs on the web where our entrepreneurs can collaborate via an online toolbox.”
“Our goal is to help entrepreneurs connect with customers, talent, board members, investors. At each stage we are there to support that. We work really well with incubator and accelerator programs — we partner with almost all of them. So, once you graduate from a 12-week incubator program, StartUp Health is the graduate program you go to. The idea is to provide that continuum of support. We have had over 600 applications come in and our application process is on a rolling basis. We will launch four classes this year and between five and 10 more next year. Since it is a longterm program, we will have 150 to 200 entrepreneurs in the health and wellness space at the same time. Entrepreneurs typically enter StartUp Health once they get beyond the idea phase — in fact, nine our of 10 entrepreneurs in the first class were already funded. Together they had raised about $24 million dollars. Between them they have more than 58 employees. Our entrepreneurs include five serial entrepreneurs, two doctors, and two clinicians. So, these are seasoned entrepreneurs in most cases.” Keep reading>>