Healthbox offers help to HIT entrepreneurs

From the mHealthNews archive
By Mike Miliard

Aiming to single out high-potential health IT startups and help enable their "rapid development and growth," Healthbox is a new accelerator program that offers support for seed-stage companies that can chart the "complex transition into the digital age."

Healthbox will officially launch in January 2012 with an inaugural class of 10 startups. For three months, these teams will share collaborate in Chicago, where they'll have access to:

  • The expertise of industry leaders, investors and established entrepreneurs who can provide feedback and advice across an array of healthcare disciplines
  • A collaborative workspace where other entrepreneurs and mentors can come together in an environment that stimulates learning and knowledge sharing
  • Forums where business experts will lead engaging discussions on topics relevant to early-stage companies
  • Seed capital – each team will receive $50,000, in exchange for 7 percent equity.

The program culminates with an investor day that offers an opportunity to pitch to a targeted group of angel and venture investors.

In the lead up to its launch next year, Healthbox announced today that it will tap into the Bay Area's "fertile ground for entrepreneurs"  by attending the fifth annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference Sept. 25-27, where more than 1,100 healthcare and technology innovators will preview their innovations.

Healthbox leaders will also co-host a networking event on Sept. 8 at Dogpatch Labs in San Francisco, in addition to other events later this fall in San Diego, Minneapolis, Nashville, Boston, New York City and Chicago.

"Given the dynamics of the industry, building a healthcare technology startup poses a lot of challenges," said Sandbox Managing Director Nina Nashif, who founded Healthbox. "The market needs a platform that provides critical support for early-stage healthcare companies that are not yet ready for venture capital."

Applications are currently open at the Healthbox website and will remain open through mid-October, when Healthbox will select the 10 teams to participate in the three-month Chicago program.

Launched in May by Chicago-based Sandbox Industries, Healthbox last week announced a list of strategic partners representing providers, payers, investors and others. They include BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Walgreens, Ridgeview Medical Center, the California HealthCare Foundation, Merrick Ventures and several smaller entrepreneurs.

"We are thrilled to partner with Healthbox on this exciting endeavor," said Paul Brown, managing director of BlueCross BlueShield Ventures I and II. "We see the program as a valuable conduit into the next generation of healthcare startups that are bringing innovative solutions to the marketplace."