Seven promising startup companies developing online, mobile and software solutions to healthcare problems have been accepted into the University City Science Center’s first Digital Health Accelerator (DHA).
The awardees were selected from a pool of 69 applicants via a multi-stage process. They include Biomeme, Fitly, Life Patch, Curbside Care, UE LifeSciences and two overseas companies—Keosys (from France) and Pulse InfoFrame (from Canada) —both of which will be establishing their U.S. presence in Philadelphia.
These companies are developing technologies that range from devices for monitoring and diagnosing infectious disease, breast cancer, and neurological disorders, to software tools that help providers manage the delivery of healthcare to their patients more effectively and efficiently, as well as consumer apps for health and wellness.
DHA awardees will receive up to $50,000, professional mentorship, and introductions to a variety of key healthcare stakeholders including insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and research institutions located in the Greater Philadelphia region.
During the 10-month program, the early-stage healthcare IT companies will become members of the newly launched Innovation Center @3401 (ic@3401)—a collaboration between the Science Center and Drexel University at 3401 Market Street in Philadelphia. The DHA will be co-located with DreamIt Ventures, from which two of the DHA companies, Biomeme and Fitly, graduated in 2013.
“The DHA is a win-win for both the participating companies and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” says Science Center President and CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “It is a testament to the Greater Philadelphia region’s growing prominence as a hub for health IT that these promising early-stage companies value access to the breadth of supportive resources and the strong local market. In turn, their innovative technologies will have a positive impact on the Commonwealth’s economy, and the health of its citizens.”
“Pennsylvania and particularly Philadelphia are the birthplace of American innovation,” said Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker. “The Corbett administration is proud to partner with organizations like the University City Science Center and support initiatives like the DHA which continue to build on our heritage of helping to take dreams from an idea to a scientific breakthrough that changes the health of the world.”
Applications were reviewed by the DHA selection committee, which is comprised of individuals who represent the entire healthcare ecosystem, including payers, providers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, academia, investors, and more. In order to be accepted into the DHA, applicants had to have a product in prototype stage (or beyond) that was ready to be put into the hands of users. Applicants’ connectivity with local academic institutions and revenue potential was also considered.
“Philadelphia is a hub of healthcare excellence and offers the ideal setting for healthcare startup companies to pilot and commercialize their products,” says Ming Fang, Principal of the Healthcare deal team at Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE), and a participant on the DHA selection committee. “We are excited about the increased activity in the digital health space here in Greater Philadelphia area, and look forward to supporting the awardees to help make their dreams of improving healthcare a reality.”
The DHA is supported in part by funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Discovered in PA – Developed in PA (D2PA) program. The Corbett administration created the D2PA program to support the most creative and innovative projects and ideas that support the creation of new, family-sustaining jobs, the commercialization of new technologies and the implementation of new and innovative programs that support Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurial community while enhancing the commonwealth’s overall global competitiveness.
About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org. To view the Science Center’s 2014 Annual Review go to: www.UCSC2014Review.org