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Comparing Four Health Start Up Accelerators

Abstract Map of the U.S. with four Health Start-Up Accelerators

The Start-Up Accelerator phenomenon is sweeping the nation, and it’s spread into the world of consumer health technology. With deadlines for 2012 approaching, I spent the other night researching and watching the Bloomberg TechStars documentary on this past class of tech start-ups. Sidebar: I totally recommend watching the series, whether you know what a tech start-up accelerator is or not.

I have been interested in the emergence of the specialized health start-up accelerator, for a while now. It seems to be a given that start-up accelerators help entrepreneurs, develop products, refine pitches and connect to money.  Let’s take a closer look:

TODAY’S MAJOR PLAYERS

 

healthbox logo

 

 

Healthbox is based in Chicago, IL and is no longer accepting applications for their inaugural class of 10 health start-ups. Selected teams will receive $50,000 and give up a 7% equity stake to be a part of the program, that is scheduled to begin in January 2012 and last for three months.  On a consumer to health spectrum, program mentors seem to skew heavily toward having digital health backgrounds.

Rock Health Logo

 

 

 

Rock Health is based in San Fransisco, CA and is accepting applications through November 16, 2011, to be a part of their second class of 10 health start-ups. Selected teams will receive a $20,000 grant and give up a 0% equity stake to be a part of the program, that is scheduled to begin in January 2012 and last for five months. On a consumer to health spectrum, program mentors seem to be mixed between digital consumer and and digital health backgrounds.

blueprint logo

 

 

 

Blueprint Health is based in New York, NY and is accepting applications through November 13, 2011, to be a part of their inaugural class of 10 health start-ups. Selected teams will receive $20,000 and give up a 6% equity stake to be a part of the program, that is scheduled to begin in January 2012 and last three months. On a consumer to health spectrum, program mentors seem to skew heavily toward having digital health backgrounds.

SXSW Accelerator Logo

 

 

 

SXSW Health Accelerator is based in Austin, TX and is accepting applications through November 18, 2011, to be a part of their inaugural class of 8 health start-ups. Selected teams will receive $0 and give up a 0% equity stake to be a part of the program, that is scheduled to take place on March 12 and March 13, 2012. There is no mentorship involved in this program, as it is geared to only represent the investor pitch portion of traditional start-up accelerators. (Disclosure Alert: I’m on the 2012 SXSW Accelerator Advisory Board)

Health Start Up Accelerators Are Not Created Equal

What I found interesting, when looking at these health start-up accelerator programs together, was how they differed in three key areas: timeline, seed investment capital & ownership and the backgrounds of the mentors involved. If you don’t want to give up any of your company to make connections then Rock Health and South by Southwest may be more for you. If you want double the money at a slightly higher equity stake, then I hope you got your application into Healthbox on time. If you want consumer web mentors, then Rock Health, or any of the traditional start-up accelerators may be more for you.

It’s definitely exciting times for consumer health start-ups, and I’m contemplating taking a more active role in researching this space. What do you think about it?

 

 

U.S. Map by Ian Latchmansingh