Startup Competition Guide


Your guide to accelerators focused on the healthcare space!

Dreamit, Blueprint Health and Healthbox are among those programs focused only on healthcare

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
June 8, 2017
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For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours! 

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

One of those areas that requires some additional expertise is healthcare. Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on mentoring companies in that space:

"Blueprint Health is a community of healthcare entrepreneurs helping build the next generation of healthcare IT companies"

Investment amount: $20,000 in 20 healthcare IT companies each year. Blueprint Health receives a 6 percent common equity stake in the company.

Program benefits: A 12 week program that includes weekly founder discussions, four events and a demo day.

Mentor makeup: Companies have the opportunity to meet with 50 to 75 mentors in 15 minute one-on-one meetings. They include Milena Adamian, Richard Banfield, Steve Brotman, Adam Fine and Mamoon Hamid.

Portfolio companies: AdhereTech, Blue Mesa Health, ChartRequest, CleanSlate, Healthify, NexHealth, SimplifiMed, WellTrackONE


"StartX Med is a medical vertical of StartX focused on accelerating the development of Stanford's top medical entrepreneurs through experiential education and collective intelligence."

Investment amount: The Stanford-StartX Fund (SSF), co-founded in September 2013 by StartX, Stanford University, and Stanford Health Care, has invested over $120 million in over 235 StartX companies. StartX Med takes zero equity in its companies. 

Program benefits: 

  • Education through customized programming and on-demand experts delivered to match the founders' needs
  • Resources over $600,000 in value, including cloud computing and storage credits, developer platforms, and payroll software in addition to drop-in office space and legal advice

 Mentor makeup: Mentorship from over 300 serial entrepreneurs, experts, angels and VCs, including Vinod Khosla, Konstantin Guericke, Howard Hartenbaum, Naval Ravikant, David Lee, Ariel Poler, Manu Kumar, Rebecca Lynn, Owen Tripp, Katherine Barr, Ali Partovi and David Hornik.

Portfolio companies: Augmedix,, Luma Health, Vida Health, 

"The healthcare industry is at a critical crossroad. To remain viable as the landscape shifts, organizations must embrace new ideas, both inside and outside their four walls. Ideas from inside organizations need to be uncovered, nurtured, and scaled efficiently. Ideas from the outside need to be vetted, tested, and embraced."

Investment amount: Companies don;t exchange an equity stake for cash. Healthbox exposes companies to investors at the end of the program

Program benefits: Eight week program that provides trends and market intelligence, sourcing high potential innovations. 

Portfolio companies: Thereare 162 Healthbox program alumni, and 91 investments have been made. Alumni include DateCubii, Hindsait, NurseGrid, Bloom Technologies, Health Hero and PlateJoy.

"Health Wildcatters provides investment and key resources to support healthcare entrepreneurs."

Investment amount: Seed investment is $30,000 to $380,000 in exchange for at least 8 percent of the company

 Program benefits: The downtown Dallas office is a collaborative workspace for healthcare startups and small companies. This includes offices and desks for lease.

Startups in the 12 week program access over 100 venture firms, plus the Health Investor Alliance (HIA) is a professional health investment network with two goals: investor access and unique deal flow.

A 90 percent discount off Hubspot for Startups.

Mentor makeup: Over 130 mentors, including David Amor, Steven Boyd, Elyse Dickerson, Robert Faber, Paul Herchman, Vinny Jindal and Ken Lowe.

Portfolio companies: Cariloop, CareStarter, EasyEye, Oqulus, Friendly

"A program run by the New York eHealth Collaborative and the Partnership Fund of New York City for early- and growth-stage digital health companies that are developing cutting edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement and workflow improvement."

Investment amount: There is no fee to apply. For those companies accepted into the program, NYDHA will take warrants for 1 percent of the fully diluted equity of your company, with a fmv exercise price. If the company has raised significant capital already, we may adjust our offer as appropriate.

Program benefits: A five-month program, 

Mentor makeup: The providers participate in the selection process and identify those companies that are closely aligned to strategic focus areas or specific use cases that interest them. Each company is paired with a provider organization – or multiple provider organizations.

Portfolio companies: Diameter Health, eCaring, Somatix, Dorsata, Parable, Wellth, Avado

"The healthcare landscape is changing rapidly and startups are playing a pivotal role in reshaping how consumers interact with the $3 trillion health industry. It is more important than ever to scale health tech startups efficiently and build sustainable relationships with the payers, providers, pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions that power the existing system. Dreamit provides a framework for startups to grow rapidly, vet ideas quickly, and interface with top healthcare decision-makers."

Investment amount: Dreamit has reengineered the accelerator model to better serve startups. Our founder-friendly offer allows startups to participate without initial material dilution. Upon accepting our invitation to participate, the startup will issue a $50,000 convertible security that will convert in their next round of funding.

Program benefits: 

  • 2-week, multi-city Customer Immersion Roadshow designed to help jumpstart your partnership, trial, and sales pipelines through in-depth customer meetings with key strategic partners and customers you can reference in fundraising documents and marketing materials.

  • Access to some of the world's most active VCs during two week East and West Coast Investor Roadshow as well as one-on-one introductions from our vast network of early-stage investors.

  • Coaching, insight, and hardcore pressure testing and de-risking via weekly office hours with managing directors

  • Weekly webinars and panel discussions with industry leaders around the topics that matter most for early-stage companies

Portfolio companies: DNAsimple, Kermit, MedStack, Prevnos, Suggestic

"A top 5 rated Health Accelerator in the country – from wellness apps to enterprise software, we’re helping startups build the future of health."

Investment amount: $20,000 in seed capital

Program benefits: 

  • Three months of incredible mentorship and weekly workshops from experts in healthcare innovation, fundraising, UX/UI and development, design, lean startup methodology, team formation and financing.
  • Demo Day exclusive session at Health 2.0, Silicon Valley Fall Conference.
  • Full year of free coworking space surrounded by other innovators.
  • Strong partnerships with industry experts including global medical research institutions, top pharma distributors and leading hospital systems.
  • Free legal services and amazing perks through GAN and F6S.
  • Great downtown housing in the same building as the accelerator and free access to bikes for getting around town.
  • Fun events to introduce you to the Upstate and the surrounding mountains. All work and no play makes Jack a dull entrepreneur.

 Mentor makeup: Kristian Andersen, Brian Corbin, Bo Fishback, Lissy Hu and Paul Singh.

Portfolio companies: ahoyDoc, Bioscanr, Blaze health, ChartSpan, Health Plotter, My Doc Time, VhedaHealth

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Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Vida Health
Description: Vida is a mobile, virtual care platform for primary and chronic care that connects consumers to health providers 24/7 for text, audio and...
Description: Suggestic delivers actionable suggestions that help people make the right nutrition decisions at key moments in their day.  The unde...
Bloom Technologies
Description: Bloom is designing the future of prenatal care with technology designed to improve the health of moms and babies.  We combine wearab...
SimplifiMed, Inc.
Description: TBD
CleanSlate UV
Description: CleanSlate UV is dedicated to enabling the use of mobile technology in healthcare, food processing, and other infection sensitive sectors...
500 Startups
Angel group/VC
Description: 500 Startups is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program located in Mountain View, CA. They invest primarily in consumer & SMB ...
Y Combinator
Angel group/VC
Description: Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you&r...
DreamIt Ventures
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Description: Dreamit advises and invests in startups. We invest in early stage entrepreneurs at all levels to create breakthrough technology companies...

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