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Apr 09

The Rise of the Healthcare Accelerator: NYC’s Blueprint Health

Blueprint Health, a somewhat unique element of New York’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, is one of the few healthcare focused incubators/accelerators in the country. On March 29th, the nine companies in the inaugural class pitched their companies to a standing-room-only audience. Based on these presentations, the companies seem ready to tackle the next phase of their development.

Blueprint Health, founded by Brad Weinberg and Mathew Farkash, is a healthcare-focused accelerator with a large network of mentors and partners in the space. This winter, they hosted their inaugural class of nine early stage companies headed by physicians, engineers and serial entrepreneurs with expertise in pharmaceuticals, devices, and health information technology among other things. Blueprint health will also host a summer program running from July to October. They host their companies in their expansive 12,000 square foot SoHo loft. Like many other accelerators, Blueprint health offers $20k, an expansive mentorship network, an array of services, and a spot in their aforementioned offices in exchange for a 6% equity stake. In addition to providing space for accelerator companies, Blueprint Health also provides co-working space as well.

There has been a recent surge in interest in accelerators that focus on healthcare.  Blueprint Health is one of three major accelerators focused on health, the other two being Rock Health and Healthbox. Rock Health was arguably the first accelerator of this kind and is located in San Francisco.  However, they have plans to expand to Boston in a partnership with Harvard Medical School. Rock Health hosted their inaugural class in the fall of 2011. Healthbox is located in Chicago and will have its first “Investor Day” on April 6th of this year.

Blueprint Health hosted nine companies with a strong focus on how information technology can improve healthcare and offer a unique business opportunity. The companies each had a very focused target market.  For example, Symcat is focused on solving the problem of online triage, 5 O’Clock Records is aiming at improving the process of acquiring copies of medical records, and Needl is aiming to power Q&A across apps for healthcare professionals. All of the companies had an open round of investment at the time of the demo day. You can find more information on these companies after the jump or at the Blueprint Health website (www.blueprinthealth.org).

With over 300 people in attendance, the event was incredibly popular. Given that this is the very first event of its kind in NYC, this is a good sign for the future of Blueprint Health and healthcare entrepreneurship in NYC more broadly. The presentations from the companies were consistently impressive.  It was clear that they received excellent guidance in this area. With many investors in the audience, the event was an excellent opportunity for the startups to present their businesses and their vision.

By many standards, Blueprint Health is already a success. It will be interesting to track these nine companies as they grow out of incubation and tackle the challenges of their respective markets. Given that healthcare in the U.S. is a $2 trillion annual market, we should expect that the rise of entrepreneurship in this area is still very nascent. The future looks very bright for innovation in healthcare. New York is poised for development in this area and the growth of accelerators like Blueprint Health is a testament to the vibrancy of New York’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Given New York’s concentration of bright medical, scientific, business and technical minds, we hope that what we are seeing now with Blueprint Health is only the beginning.

Blueprint Health Inaugural Class:

  1. AidIn makes discharge planning easy by creating an online system to manage discharge planning coordination and billing with nursing agencies.
  2. 5 O’Clock Records serves as an intermediary between doctors and parties seeking copies of medical records.  It makes it simple for doctors to charge for making and sending copies.
  3. iCouch provides a platform for consumers to find therapists, schedule, pay and have video sessions.
  4. InquisitHealth is a patient information exchange where patients can directly connect with other patients-like-them.
  5. Meddik organizes online health content and conversations on health based on helpfulness and user ratings.
  6. Needl powers Q&A on apps designed for healthcare professionals.
  7. Patient Communicator is a portal for doctors to schedule appointments online, renew prescriptions and communicate with patients.
  8. ProcuredHealth is a subscription-based service that helps hospitals evaluate and share information about medical devices to make better purchasing decisions.
  9. Symcat is an online triage service that helps health plans save money by empowering patients to choose the right care at the right place.

Post written by Adler Perotte, MD.

About The Author

The InSITE Fellowship is a highly competitive leadership development program comprised of exceptional graduate students at top universities. InSITE Fellows and alumni make up a global network of entrepreneurs and leaders in technology and venture capital.

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