Much anticipated NYC-based digital health accelerator StartUp Health launched its new website and formally opened its doors to enterprising entrepreneurs. StartUp Health is chaired by Jerry Levin, previously famous for presiding over the worst deal in the history of business as Chairman of TimeWarner but who is an otherwise well accomplished media mogul.
Their stated objective of the initiative is simple and bold – over the next 10 years they intend to cultivate 1,000 new digital health startups, which will in turn generate 100,000 new jobs.
Levin’s co-founders Steven H. Krein and Unity Stoakes founded together digital doctor’s office and patient portal OrganizedWisdom (@organizedwisdom) and, even before becoming immersed in the digital health movement, founded and exited other successful digital ventures in industries other than health care.
StartUp Health Academy will provide health and wellness entrepreneurs with a structured curriculum designed to help navigate the unique challenges of building a sustainable growth business. SUHealth will employ a rolling application, available to entrepreneurs through the newly launched website, and will select 40 companies during 2012, organized into Peer Groups of 10, beginning with the first group in March. Each Peer Group will be comprised of companies that are complimentary to each other in terms of expertise, stage, and area of focus in hopes that they will help propel each other forward.
One important and distinguishing characteristic of the StartUp Health model is that it’s both stage and location agnostic, which means companies can participate and take advantage of the program without having to relocate to NYC or even exist in any meaningful sense.
Each entrepreneur is, however, required to participate in all of the StartUp Academy curriculum including;
- Monthly Video Web Workshop: Once per month entrepreneurs will participate in three hour web-based video peer group sessions with fellow entrepreneurs and subject matter experts.
- One Day Live Workshops: Once every 90 days founders completely remove themselves from their companies to participate in full day workshops focused on addressing issues around their business.
- DEMO Days: Coordinated around workshops and special events to allow companies to show off their products to potential strategic customers, partners, pilot programs, and capital.
- Virtual Office Hours: Using online tools entrepreneurs have access to one-on-one advice and coaching to help them answer specific questions or navigate challenges.
Based on the information provided by the very nicely designed website, StartUp Health is squarely focused on the B2C health and wellness market, specifically patient-facing portals and platforms. The initiative was officially announced last June as an extension of the StartUp America Partnership, a private sector initiative led by former AOL founder and chairman Steve Case, working with the White House to support high-growth entrepreneurship in America.