Accelerators targeting addiction solutions

Steven Loeb · October 31, 2018 · Short URL:

They include Opioid Safety Accelerator Program and Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program

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.

Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on mentoring companies in the addition space:


"Founded by the California HealthCare Foundation, the California Opioid Safety Network is a community of coalitions working toward the shared goal of reducing opioid addiction and deaths"

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: The California Opioid Safety Network, based in PHI’s Center for Health Leadership and Practice, is launching an accelerator program for 23 local opioid safety coalitions. Spanning 31 California counties, coalitions consisting of dedicated stakeholders—parents, physicians, pharmacists, and professionals in public health, mental health, and law enforcement—will receive expert coaching, technical assistance and networking opportunities to accelerate their impact.

Portfolio companies: None yet


"Most communities have coalitions working to address the many facets of the opioid crisis.  Many are making progress on some topics, but most realize that they would benefit by gaining additional resources and having open access to details about activities producing results in other communities across the country.  

InsightFormation is offering a highly-interactive program to help coalitions everywhere take major steps forward and not only begin to have a greater impact, but also be better positioned as a high-performance coalition when it comes to winning competitive grants that will be issued by states as the new opioid funding is released."

Investment amount: Fall Registration Price: $2,000

Other Costs

There are several additional costs that need to be considered:

  • The Hosts and Sponsors may want to provide box lunches, snacks, coffee, etc. for the participants. We encourage the Host to provide lunch to ensure extra time for group work time. 
  • There may be costs for renting a facility or equipment. 
  • Printing some workshop materials.
  • An optional cost, that we strongly recommend, is to put together a community budget of $5,000 for groups to implement plans discussed during this workshop. This would not be paid as part of the program, instead, it would be set aside for your community to use when needed. This encourages and accelerates action in the community, since teams will know that some of the funding they need is there. 

Program benefits: 

  • The Local Host will help coordinate the logistics for their community's program and InsightFormation has developed and organized the high-impact content. The core of this program is the one-day Community Workshop on Tuesday, February 26th. World-class instructors will be simulcast live to interactive Community Workshops all over the country where local participants will be working together on their development/refinement of their own opioid strategies. The Local Host's main duty is finding a location for the Community Workshop event, and scheduling Post Workshop meetings including topic specific webinars and with our professional consultants, which is all included in the one initial fee. 
  • As low as $2,000 covers the cost of bringing a high-impact workshop to 100 participants from organizations across your community.   That's right, for the the cost of sending one person to a typical national conference, you can have 100 people participate in this national workshop to gain resources, training & free continual access to the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub to improve collaboration & outcomes in your community.  Of course each community will differ but many will find a sponsor (such as a hospital, mayor's office, or local health department) to fund the event, or perhaps each participating organization can pitch in to cover the cost.  Then all you need is a venue, each community will need a space to gather for the event.  If lunch & refreshments are to be made available communities have the option of charging a small fee (to cover lunch or facilities fees) or seeking out a larger donation from a sponsor so participants can all attend at no cost. 
  • Once funds are secured, the next step is spreading the word. You will receive a customized web page and registration for your Community Workshop event. We will help you manage and communicate with all registrants before the event. Introductory materials will be provided to & may be sent via email to inform coalition members & other stakeholders about the event.  This information will give context for the agenda & activities to occur on Workshop day. 
  • On Workshop day, Tuesday, February 26th, participants will gather at the designated location provided by the Local Host.  Participants will see simulcast training sessions and collaborate on developing or improving key parts of the community/coalition's opioid strategy. The workshop does not spend time defining the problem, we all are very aware of the issues.  Rather the focus is on accelerating progress on the solutions by sharing tools, ideas and techniques on specific topics.  During the workshop, participants will be split into Tracks for small-group work sessions. As community partners work on a specific topic, they will learn about resources and techniques that can then be used in other parts of their comprehensive community strategy in the future. 
  • In the weeks following the Community Workshop, 5 Webinars will be broadcast to each community.  These Webinars will be on new topics about tools and resources you can use for your strategy.  This will provide opportunities to talk with even more stakeholders. The Webinars are only available to communities who take part in the Coalition Accelerator Program, however, they will be recorded for you to re-watch or share with your partners or individuals in the community. 
  • As you have had time to work with community partners, there will be Coaching Sessions done for each of the five tracks via webcast. This enables teams working on similar topics from around he country to share what they are planning to do and what they have done. Each community will also receive a customized Coaching Session led by professional consultants to assess progress and/or help define next steps.

Portfolio companies: Not specified


"In July 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP), a collaborative between the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The goal of IAP is to improve the health and health care of Medicaid beneficiaries and to reduce costs by supporting states’ ongoing payment and delivery system reforms. Medicaid IAP supports state Medicaid agencies to build capacity in key program and functional areas by offering targeted technical support, tool development, and cross-state learning opportunities."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: The Medicaid IAP selected, in consultation with states and stakeholders, four program areas in which to offer technical support:

  • Reducing substance use disorders;
  • Improving care for Medicaid beneficiaries with complex care needs and high costs;
  • Promoting community integration through long-term services and supports; and
  • Supporting physical and mental health integration.

In addition, IAP also works with states through its functional areas, or levers, for Medicaid delivery system reform:

  • Data analytic;
  • Performance improvement;
  • Quality measurement; and
  • Value-based payment and financial simulations.

Portfolio companies: Not specified

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