Baltimore, Md. – Oct. 3, 2022 – National healthcare incubator 1501 Health is inviting early-stage healthcare startups to apply to its year-long cohort to help scale their solutions through investment and resources. The incubator is accepting applications from Oct. 4 – 25, 2022.
Companies chosen to participate in the program will receive up to $125,000 in investment capital – a 25 percent increase over last year to account for the challenging landscape for early-stage companies raising capital, according to 1501 Health Co-Manager, Soo Jeon.
Members of the cohort will have access to unique mentorship opportunities and support from payer and provider experts as they navigate the extremely complex “pay-vider system,” along with networking and educational events with other startups, investors, and stakeholders.
Launched in 2021 by Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) and LifeBridge Health, a leading health system in Maryland, 13 companies have benefitted from the program to date, and the team is looking for another 7-8 startups for the third cohort’s kickoff in early 2023.
“Many promising, yet undiscovered innovators are looking to fill gaps and connect dots in a healthcare ecosystem that desperately needs it,” said Pothik Chatterjee, assistant vice president of innovation and operations support at LifeBridge Health. “We’re excited to play a meaningful and pragmatic part in advancing real solutions for the benefit of our patients and communities.”
Commenting on the fact that 11 of the first 12 cohort participant companies are minority or women founded, Emily Durfee, director of Healthworx strategy and portfolio acceleration, said: “We don’t have any criteria around diverse founders; there’s just no gating system. We’ve just designed a process that looks for the best ideas to serve our diverse mid-Atlantic community, and they happen to come from a diverse set of business owners.”
“When you select diverse founders who have lived experiences that are incorporated into the design of their tech and user interfaces, how it’s marketed and messaged can have an impact on the recipient of the innovation, especially diverse patient populations,” said Chatterjee.
A few examples of accomplishments of cohort participants achieved alongside their work with 1501 Health include:
• Pair Team raising $7.3 million in funding,
• BabyLiveAdvice executing a successful pilot with LifeBridge Health at Sinai hospital that has resulted in 1000 patients – 90 percent Black women – attending BabyLiveAdvice classes to date, such as breastfeeding support and caring for baby, and
• Even Health winning a $2 million contract with the U.S. Airforce.
Cohort companies will be advised by healthcare experts selected from associates at CareFirst and LifeBridge Health. The team of experts, known as their cabinet, will work with the startups to identify quarterly milestones for the year-long program and support the company to reach those milestones through advisory and targeted projects.
“The program is working,” said Durfee. “Companies are learning; they’re able to realize the complexity and depth of what it means to work in a provider and payer setting, and how to scale their businesses.”
Participants will have access to strategic relationships and potential customers, as well as resources to support their business model and sales strategies, and the opportunity to test and develop their product in simulated medical environments.
For the next cohort, eligible applicants offer healthcare technology or services with full-time team members and clear initial traction (revenue, academic validation, experienced founders), and have a solution that aligns with the strategic initiatives of Healthworx and LifeBridge Health.
Applicants’ solutions do not need to fall within a specific area of healthcare but should not be focused on pharmaceuticals.
“If you’re building something you think can change healthcare and you want to scale,” said Durfee, “come talk to us.”
Interested startups can learn more at www.1501Health.com for information on the application process.
Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in companies that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility, affordability and equity. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, Healthworx envisions a healthier future for all people by changing the way health works. To connect with Healthworx about partnering, media interviews or speaking opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Maryland. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center and related affiliates. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org.