Health Incubator Boom Driven by Demand, Says Healthbox’s Jenna Rose

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great idea but is open and eager for mentor feedback, and can they continue to improve on the value proposition? We’re especially encouraging entrepreneurs from the Northeast to apply. We tend not to accept life science and medical device startups; they’re very difficult to accelerate within three-month time frames, due to high regulatory burdens. Other than that we do keep an open mind.

X: What are some trends you are seeing among healthcare startups applying to the program?
JR: We really do try to focus on the industry’s big problems. Analytics is definitely a theme among applications. What we look for in analytics and informatics is making the data meaningful. There’s a lot of data out there being collected, but what we really need ideally is to know how that’s going to be used to make healthcare more efficient, more effective, and more affordable.

That could be unique ways to help engage patients and consumers. Healthcare has a huge stakeholder network: consumers, providers, health plans, government. We look for companies that look for ways to engage those different groups, through things like health and wellness, care coordination, disease management, and provider effectiveness solutions.

X: What sets Healthbox apart in the sea of incubators, particularly in healthcare?
JR: This is something we think about a lot. It’s true there have been a lot of new accelerators that have come into the tech space and health space in the last few years. But it shows there really is a demand out there for support for innovation—on the part of entrepreneurs, and mentors and investors who want greater access to these early stage startups. The biggest takeaway I get from this trend is a need. I think over the next couple of years we will see the accelerator model evolve as we learn to support that need. And we really try to be industry centric. We’re looking to solve the biggest problems in the industry. We’re trying to bring together people who have deep experience across the spectrum of healthcare—leaders, hospitals, health plan providers, physician groups—so entrepreneurs are getting broad insights, not just one perspective.

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