1501 Health, a year-long incubation program providing early-stage companies with investment, expertise and support from the region’s leading payer and community health system.

Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and LifeBridge Health are leveraging their resources and networks to bolster startups changing the future of healthcare and improving the health of members, patients and our communities.

Not your typical incubator

1501 Health is the only healthcare incubator providing early-stage healthcare startups with exclusive access to a leading payer and provider.

Accelerating growth for validation-stage healthcare companies.

Think of our program as the “grad school” version of an incubator. We take our role in supporting startups seriously. In fact, when we evaluate startups during the application process, we also assess our ability to make a meaningful impact on their growth. We help startups integrate their products or services into the healthcare ecosystem.

Investment terms that fit your growth

You must:

  • Be a healthcare company offering healthcare technologies or services.
  • Have a clear, scalable product or model that is in market, or ready to launch into market.
  • Have full-time team members.
  • Be a for-profit incorporated company.

You cannot:

  • Be a pharmaceutical company.
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Focused On Changing Healthcare

Healthcare is complicated and highly regulated. This complexity can be intimidating for startups, especially for those who are trying to integrate their solutions into the healthcare system.

At 1501 Health you’ll have both a payer and provider partner guiding you through the intricacies of the industry. With us, you can achieve the integration and scale you need to positively disrupt healthcare. Our core focus areas include:

icon-capital Capital

To fund your growth and experimentation during our one-year program and beyond, we invest up to $100,000. We also support your next round through investor introductions, pitch feedback, events and support with activities like financial models, market-sizing and fundraising strategy.

icon-community Community

Founding a startup can be scary and lonely, especially as you learn how to navigate complex and often fragmented systems in the healthcare space. The 1501 Health cohort model is designed to provide a supportive, team-oriented culture to help you connect with like-minded entrepreneurs in a space where you can share victories and troubleshoot challenges. Beyond that, we help you access a wide network of healthcare and technical experts to lean on as you build your business.

customer 1 Customers

We help startups achieve one of the most critical startup milestones: initial revenue. By supporting product refinement, customer segmentation, business model, pricing structure, brand, marketing and sales strategies, we can drive your startup towards the customer base you need for success. We are also uniquely positioned to introduce your startup to potential customers for feedback and sales opportunities.

Connect with us
We have a variety of ways that you can connect with us and explore whether your startup is a good fit for the program.
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Providing Personalized Support

We know that evaluation stage startups are focused on building their business and are often overloaded with work. 1501 Health focuses on providing personalized support that is available when and where you need it. At our core, we’ll provide:

Receive up to $100,000, broken into multiple disbursements.

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Personalized Milestones

Develop 3-10 critical milestones in your year-long program to help guide your success.


Build meaningful relationships with other entrepreneurs in your cohort that will cheer you on, provide advice and support you as you build your business.

Dedicated Cabinet Advisory

Access 3-5 experts dedicated to supporting your business and success in 1501 Health, focused on your personalized milestones.

Exclusive Access

Connect directly to an extensive network including industry experts, partners, investors and potential customers.

Quaterly Reviews

Meet with your cabinet every quarter to review progress against your milestones and identify additional support that you may need.

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Accessing Valuable Program Opportunities

We also provide shared support and resources to all startups in the 1501 Health program.

1501 Health offers proximity to major healthcare regulators, investment groups and leading health experts, offering you access to additional resources needed to grow your company.

1501 Health shares a larger innovation co-working space managed by Healthworx. Through Healthworx, 1501 Health participants gain access to a broader network of other healthcare startups, investors, technologists and experts focused on early-stage healthcare innovation.


Participate in regular events, ranging from community-building, educational panels and workshops, and networking events with investors and potential customers.

Model Clinic

Simulate your clinical workflows and use cases and validate your product offerings in one of our two model clinics powered by LifeBridge Health.

Located in Baltimore, Maryland. COVID-19 restrictions may apply.
Co-working Space

Access the 1501 Health no-cost co-working space in the heart of Baltimore. Use the space to collaborate, network and build with other startups and healthcare experts.
See the Space

Located in Baltimore, Maryland. COVID-19 restrictions may apply.

Model Clinics

Powered by

The model clinics in 1501 Health offer you simulation environments to test your clinical workflows and operational models.

Two Clinical Settings

  • An ambulatory room to mimic an ambulatory exam room in a primary care setting
  • An inpatient room to mimic the setting of a typical hospital room, including a medical/surgical bed

Equipment in the clinics include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Inpatient bed
  • Vitals signs equipment
  • Visitor chair and recliner
  • Cabinetry
  • Computer and wall mount
  • Flat panel display

Financing Your Growth

1501 Health includes an investment of up to $100,000 from Healthworx and LifeBridge Health to help fund your startup for a year of experimentation and growth. This investment ensures you have the resources to act on the recommendations and support provided throughout the program.

Your investment is split into four disbursements

1501 Health will split your $100,000 investment into four disbursements, which you’ll receive throughout the one-year program. After you’ve been selected and sign the Participant Agreement, we’ll release the first disbursement of $55,000. We’ll then deploy the remaining three disbursements of $15,000 each after your quarterly reviews with your cabinet. You can expect to receive your next disbursement of funding if you are:

  • Participating regularly in the program. This includes attending all or most of the events and contributing to projects and quarterly reviews.
  • Making meaningful progress against your milestones. We know some milestones may be exceeded while others fall short. We just want to be sure you’re focused on building your business where and how you can.
Disbursement Amount
Month 0
Month 4 $15,000
Month 7 $15,000
Month 10 $15,000
Continued disbursements are dependent on participation and progress.

Investment terms that fit your growth

We want to keep the investment as simple as possible. Depending on where you are in your journey, we will consider two different investment types:

Simultaneous Fundraise – If your startup participates in another fundraising round within 60 days before or after acceptance into the program, we will invest at the same terms. If this applies to you, we may ask you to sign an additional letter in this circumstance. Further discussion to ensure everything is transparent and agreeable for all parties will occur during the selection process.

SAFE Note - If your startup isn’t raising a simultaneous round, we will invest on a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) note. This standard SAFE note will have a 25% discount rate and no valuation cap. During the selection process, we’ll discuss the side letter details you’ll be asked to sign as part of the investment terms.

already written into simultaneous fundraising terms, we will not include any terms restricting future fundraising or requiring pro rata rights. We also do not include any terms requiring exclusivity around partnerships, customers or accelerator participation. Our goal is to be a true partner to your startup through this investment and the overall program. We succeed when you succeed.

We also understand you may not be interested in the investment. If that’s the case, we encourage you to apply and tell us why.

Application process

  • Step 1: Apply to the program

    What you do
    • Download this Program Guide, attend info sessions and determine if this program will help your company grow
    • If we’re a fit, apply by the deadline posted on our website
    What we do
    • Read through every application
    • Score applications on our three main criteria (viability, impact and alignment)
    • Narrow the field to top candidates
  • Step 2: Screening Process

    What you do
    • Join us for a 30- to 60-minute conversation to better understand your product and goals
    • Answer specific questions over email as necessary
    What we do
    • Talk with top candidates and assess alignment with 1501 Health
    • Pre-screen potential projects and cabinet members to confirm we can provide the requested support
    • Decide on finalists
  • Step 3: Selection Committee Pitch Sessions

    What you do
    • Pitch to the 1501 Health Selection Committee, followed by a Q&A session
    • Share the types of support you want from your cabinet
    What we do
    • Listen to the final pitches and ask critical and clarifying questions
    • Review a draft list of milestones and cabinet requests
    • Select startups to participate in 1501 Health
  • Step 4: Finalize Agreement and Support Plan

    What you do
    • Finalize and sign Participation Agreement and Investment Terms documents
    • Work with the 1501 Health team to finalize cabinet members
    • Complete basic due diligence process for 1501 Health
    What we do
    • Finalize cabinet members
    • Ensure startups are set up for success with 1501 Health
While the exact timeline will differ depending on the volume of applications, we hope to provide decisions to all candidates within 4-6 weeks.

We’re Looking For The Next Big Thing In Healthcare

We’re excited to learn about your innovative healthcare solution and to bring your game-changing business into 1501 Health. If you’re ready to take your big ideas to the next level, apply today.

About Healthworx:

Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in companies that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility and affordability. 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, please email comms@healthworx.com.

About LifeBridge Health:

LifeBridge Health is a forward-thinking organization offering the full continuum of care with a community-centric and entrepreneurial culture, fostering innovation across the system. The LifeBridge Health Innovation team collaborates with internal and external partners to find groundbreaking approaches to improve patient experience, access and clinical outcomes.

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