by Max Brantley
At a press conference with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Baptist Health and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub today announced that they are introducing a program to support and accelerate the development of new startup companies with innovative solutions to improve health care delivery in Arkansas.
HubX—LifeSciences Presented By Baptist Health will be the first-ever privately-funded and industry-specific business accelerator program in Arkansas. Applications will be accepted through February 15, 2016, at www.hubx.biz.
"At Baptist Health, we are constantly looking for innovative solutions to better serve Arkansans and make our health system better," said Troy Wells, President and CEO of Baptist Health. "We are proud to be able to bring the first health care accelerator to Arkansas and to help pave the way for business development, health care innovation, and better care for Arkansans."
"The Innovation Hub is very pleased and excited to join Baptist Health in positioning Arkansas to be a national leader in health care innovation and entrepreneurship," said Warwick Sabin, executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. "Our state has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery, and we applaud Baptist Health for taking this bold step to support and accelerate the development of new technologies and creative approaches to meet those needs."
Up to ten startup companies will be invited to participate in the 13-week program after several months of national and international recruitment. Each company will receive seed investment as well as intense mentorship and assistance as they rapidly proceed from concept to product development and customer acquisition. Initial seed investments into the companies will range from $25,000 to $50,000, and the companies also will qualify for additional back-end investments.
The participating companies will be selected based on their potential to provide solutions to several key priorities identified by Baptist Health, which include:
Digital health care platforms
Health care services
The program will also benefit from a partnership with Iron Yard Ventures, which operates a Digital Health Accelerator that is ranked among the top five health accelerators in the nation. Iron Yard Ventures will share its expertise, training, mentor network, and other assets during its engagement with HubX—LifeSciences Presented By Baptist Health.
The accelerator will be hosted at the Innovation Hub from April-June 2016 and its director is Jeff Stinson, who also directs the Silver Mine at the Innovation Hub and is the executive director of the Fund for Arkansas' Future, which is the state's largest angel investment fund.
"As the state's first industry-focused accelerator, we'll have a number of differentiating factors, including the partnership with Baptist itself," Stinson said. "To be able to offer a potential beta site and contract for successful cohort companies will be particularly attractive to entrepreneurs, we believe. Our programming will also build upon the lessons learned from past accelerators, and we're putting a great deal of effort into providing entrepreneurs with a transformative experience. We look forward to bringing this powerful model of corporate-sponsored accelerators to other industries in the state."
The Innovation Hub is planning to introduce other industry-specific accelerator programs under the HubX name in the near future.
For more information about HubX—LifeSciences Presented By Baptist Health, or to apply to participate, visit www.hubx.biz.
ABOUT BAPTIST HEALTH
Baptist Health is an Arkansas-based, locally owned and managed, not-for-profit, and faith-based health care organization. Baptist Health is also Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 8,300 employees operating eight hospitals. For more information about Baptist Health, please call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or visit the website at baptist-health.com.
ABOUT ARKANSAS REGIONAL INNOVATION HUB
The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub (www.arhub.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing innovative and entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas by creating a collaborative ecosystem and pipelines that mobilize the resources, programs and educational opportunities necessary to develop, attract and retain talent and to build the state's economy.
ABOUT IRON YARD VENTURES DIGITAL HEALTH ACCELERATOR
The Iron Yard Ventures Digital Health Accelerator (www.ironyardventures.com/digital-health) is among the nation's top-5 rated health accelerators in the nation. From wellness apps to enterprise software, we’re helping startups build the future of health.