Accelerators from top healthcare companies

Steven Loeb · February 26, 2019 · Short URL:

They include UnitedHealthcare, Bayer, Merck and UCSF

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 targeting faith-based companies:


Techstars UnitedHealthcare

"Based in Minneapolis, the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars will focus on new health care innovations that support payer and care provider efforts to help people live healthier lives and make the health system work better for everyone. The program will focus on digital health and wellness solutions that help support and enhance the experience of UnitedHealthcare members. Join us for the first class of the program which will run during Q3 2019."

Investment amount: A $100,000 convertible note is automatically offered to all Techstars companies upon acceptance.

$20,000 in exchange for 6% common stock

Program benefits:  

  • Access to Techstars resources for life
  • Acceleration in a 90-day Techstars program with intense, hands-on mentorship from Techstars Mentors
  • Connections to the Techstars Network of over 5,000 founders, alumni and mentors globally
  • 400 perks worth over $1M
  • Office space for three months
  • Demo Day and other investor connections
  • Equity Back Guarantee, the only one of its kind in the industry

Portfolio companies: None yet


"The Surgical Innovations Accelerator provides seed funding, engineering support, and personalized consultation and advising to assist promising medical device ideas from UCSF faculty through the product development process towards market availability and patient benefit. The award is supported by our dedicated network of consultants from academia, industry, and venture capital. Award sizes vary based on project needs and availability of funds."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: 

  • Applicants: The Surgical Innovations Accelerator is open to any UCSF faculty member with a promising medical device idea or project that, if accepted, is willing to invest the necessary time to work with the Surgical Innovations Program and its Innovation Advisory Board to develop the idea into a marketable product. Non-faculty applicants from UCSF may apply with the support of a faculty member. 
  • Projects: Medical device projects at any stage of development that could benefit from seed funding and specialized advising services are encouraged to apply. The therapeutic area can cover any surgical or medical problem where there is an unmet need or the potential for significant improvement over current treatments, diagnostics, or services.
  • Sustainability: Donations of equity and licensing income resulting from work funded by the Surgical Innovations Accelerator help ensure the future sustainability of the program and funding of future grantees. For Accelerator projects that result in startup creation or licensing agreement, we request that the grantee donate a small share of equity or licensing income back to the Department of Surgery. This requested donation is in addition to any equity or royalties paid by the startup to UCSF to license any patents. 

Portfolio companies: Not specified


"The ‘Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London’ aims to help companies who have demonstrated their potential to transform the lives of patients through digital innovation by connecting them to expertise within Pfizer and Pfizer’s networks in the UK and beyond."

Investment amount: Pfizer will take no commercial interest in the applicants’ business and will make no claims on their IP. Winners are free to work with any other potential partners, to pursue any investment or exit options they choose with other companies.

Program benefits: A personalised programme of mentoring, consulting and support for marketing and collaborating, as well as access to Pfizer’s know-how and support, to work with those beyond Pfizer who can help you have the biggest impact. The Hub is part of Pfizer UK’s Healthcare Operations team. A dedicated Hub team, including the Hub manger and a network of navigators, are supported by Pfizer’s global Director of Worldwide Innovation, UK and European colleagues to provide connections across the business and allow you to get the most from the scheme.

Portfolio companies: Cera, Echo, GiveVision


Hartford InsurTech Hub

"The Hartford InsurTech Hub, is an initiative that was created by a group of executives from the Hartford-area, including insurance carriers and other related firms, City of Hartford representatives, and several other community stakeholders. Opportunities to help spur increased InsurTech innovation activity in the region were identified by this group, and action against these goals was catalyzed by investment from CTNext: Connecticut’s Innovation Ecosystem."

Investment amount: Startups will receive an cash grant of $25k

Program benefits: 

  • 4 months of free office space for your team
  • 3-month intensive program based in Hartford and an additional two months to work on projects with insurers
  • Access to the Startupbootcamp global mentors and investors network with deep field experience and expertise
  • Exposure to 100+ investors, mentors and influencers during the acceleration program, and again on Demo Day, from across the US and our international networks.

Portfolio companies: Boundlss, Pentation Analytics, TrueDime


"The Spectrum Innovation Accelerator Pilot Program accelerates the translation of medical discoveries into better health through innovation training, mentorships and pilot funding of promising projects."

Investment amount: Up to $50,000

Program benefits: A further goal of this early-stage funding is to enable investigators to gather proof-of-concept data that enables follow-on funding, information dissemination and most important, momentum that helps to move these novel solutions from the idea stage to clinical use. Transdisciplinary collaborations are encouraged but are not a requirement for funding.

Portfolio companies: Not specified


"The Technogym Wellness Accelerator is an International Acceleration Program that aims to scout and invest in promising startups that operates in the fitness, wellness and health sectors. It is a 4-month full-services program that gives the opportunity to 5 selected startups to work closely with the world leader in the wellness and fitness industry"

Investment amount: Teams receive €15.000 in cash with a possibility for further investment from Technogym at the end of the program

Program benefits: 


Staying at Wellness Accelerator you only have to focus on your business. Startups have space for the whole team with access to all the necessary infrastructure to get their business moving. In addition, we also offer amazing food all day long (breakfast, lunch, dinner) in and accommodation to each team member: no other accelerator can offer you this kind of service! The Wellness Accelerator is hosted in H-FARM, one of Europe’s premier Innovation Hubs, with over 30 digital companies and 500 people on Campus. The location, 15min from the Venice airport (Italy), makes it the ideal place to dedicate 4 intense months to launch your Startup into the next phase of growth.


Wellness Accelerator will provide a full-time dedicated team that will work closely with the startups to answer their needs: it will take care of your stay and organize weekly meetings in order to monitor the progress of the project and support you in important activities.


Startups will have the possibility to attend workshops held by our experts covering key themes: Business Strategy & Development, Communication & Marketing, Coding & Dev, UX & Design, Legal and Fundraising, Fitness and Wellness. In addition you will meet with Mentors from Technogym and its international network: successful entrepreneurs, important investors, notable managers and business leaders will come to the Wellness Accelerator to give you valuable feedback and support on your project.


Wellness Accelerator makes your startup’s life easier by giving you access to more than 50 great perks, free or discounted services that our partners offer each team, including: web hosting, email marketing and many more. The value of these offers is more than € 450.000.

Portfolio companies: BeYou, DASHR, Hoolio, Coachademy, WeFitter


Innovation Center

"We are looking for real partners so that we can work together in shaping the future. With programs in our headquarters in Germany, in China and our Satellites events in Africa, startups can find their perfect fit and connect to our global network for collaboration. Are you ready to partner with us?"

Investment amount: Seed funding of up to €50,000

Program benefits: 

  • Partnership: We are looking for strong business alliances and want to partner up with promising startups to build sustainable and successful business relationships.
  • Mentoring: Receive mentoring from members of Senior Management and our global network of over 50,000 experts.
  • Curriculum: Benefit from tailored coaching sessions and workshops provided by our Innovator Academy.
  • Makerspace: Use our rapid prototyping labs in our Makerspace.
  • Events: Inspirational events will connect your startup across a range of industries. Access the Chinese market: Selected industry-ready startups will also have the chance to extend their stay by joining our China Innovation Hub Accelerator in Shanghai.
  • Community: Team up with others facing the same challenges and build lifelong relationships.

Portfolio companies: iXensor, Salve Tech, Syrona Women



"Are you a digital health startup or company with a ready to go solution? Are you interested in collaborating with us to solve healthcare challenges? If yes, G4A Dealmaker 2018 might be the program for you!"

Investment amount: funding of 50,000€

Program benefits: Our Accelerator program aims to offer mentoring by entrepreneurs and Bayer experts, office space for 100 days, funding of 50,000€, and exclusive networking opportunities for your startup. Over 100 Bayer experts are involved in the jury process to decide which companies Bayer will work with. Criteria of acceptance into the program include: company maturity, existing product prototypes, the team, as well as the applicant’s fit to Bayer’s areas of expertise and focus areas.

Portfolio companies: Not specified

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