StartUp Health Initiative launched to spur innovation

By Molly Merrill
04:49 PM

At the close of the Health Data Initiative Forum held on Thursday, Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra announced StartUp Health, a strategic initiative designed to improve access to capital, education and resources for health and wellness entrepreneurs.

StartUp Health CEO Steve Krein said the initiative will be led by former Time Warner Chairman and CEO, and current Director of OrganizedWisdom, Jerry Levin.

The initiative aims to close the health gap between entrepreneurs, private investors, corporations, universities, foundations and other stakeholders committed to accelerating meaningful health and wellness innovation.

“There has never been a better time to be innovating in health and wellness,” said Krein

StartUp Health will also be part of Startup America Partnership, a private sector initiative working in conjunction with the White House to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.

 StartUp Health’s goal is to help entrepreneurs create, fund and build sustainable health and wellness companies by improving access to:

  • Long-term support, guidance and mentoring
  • Data, technology, tools and other required resources
  • Sector-specific investors and stage-appropriate capital
  • A collaborative community of like-minded people and organizations
  • A talent pool of people dedicated to meaningful innovation in health and wellness

“StartUp Health has a long-term vision of what needs to happen to help foster a vibrant health and wellness system in this country by energizing entrepreneurs,” said Levin. “By building a detailed roadmap for health and wellness entrepreneurs, we aim to provide access to everything and everyone they need to significantly increase their chances of creating a sustainable business."

He added that "any entrepreneur who dreams of meaningful innovation in health and wellness deserves access to this roadmap and the critical resources that can reduce the barriers to success, and we intend on making sure that happens.”

The first initiative for StartUp Health will produce a series of three StartUp Health Roundtables, hosted in partnership with organizations like the Startup America Partnership and HHS, to bring together entrepreneurs, investors and organizations to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities in developing a roadmap for health and wellness startups.

The first roundtable will take place in New York City on July 13th, and will be moderated by Startup America Partnership CEO Scott Case. The Roundtable will also be broadcast live over the Web and viewers will be able to email and tweet their questions for participants. The second roundtable, called DC to VC, will be hosted by HHS CTO Todd Park and will focus on creating targeted engagements between senior administration officials and entrepreneurs, investors and students. The third will be held in September in California, said Krein

“Driving American entrepreneurship is critical to creating jobs and sustaining our nation's global leadership,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “The health and wellness sector is full of entrepreneurs creating innovative new companies, and we are thrilled to host the StartUp Health Roundtable to encourage and support the growth of scalable companies in this industry.”

Krein also touted a second initiative, called the StartUp Health Pledge, which was developed to demonstrate the commitment of those participating in the health and wellness startup ecosystem as an entrepreneur, mentor, investor, business or organization to help elevate the standard of care in America.

“By creating the pledge, we will begin to connect the dots and organize all of the like-minded people and resources dedicated to transforming health and wellness,” he said.

The initial entrepreneurs, investors, corporations and government agencies that have pledged their commitment to encourage and participate in the health and wellness ecosystem include U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Startup America Partnership, OrganizedWisdom, Jerry Levin, entrepreneur and philanthropist Esther Dyson, Digitas Health Co-founder Linda Holliday, Health 2.0 co-founders Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya and health technology startup accelerators Rock Health and Blueprint Health.