Healthbox, the healthcare accelerator partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, had their second Innovation Day on Tuesday, featuring nine promising healthcare startups.
Nina Nashif, the Founder and CEO of Healthbox, explained after the successful event just what makes the health-focused accelerator special. “Part of the goal of the event is to bring together a diverse group of individuals from across the industry," she said. “It’s not about the companies getting exposed to potential investors,” Nashif added, “but potential customers.”
Key sponsor, Blue Cross Blue Shield was excited about the longterm impact of the Healthbox accelerator and also the affect Healthbox is having BCBSMA identity. Last year, 5% of Blue Cross Blue Shield's employees participated in some way in the Healthbox project in a various capacities. This year, that number doubled; 10% of BCBSMA's employees served as mentors, acted as advisors, or helped the Healthbox startups in any way possible way. “We are a seventy-five year old insurance company, and we’re trying to change our culture,” said Tuoyo Louis, BCBSMA’s Director of Strategic Investments, “and this is one of the vehicles to do that.” “Everyone in our ecosystem is benefiting from this program,” he added.
One of the highlights of the event was the (literally) magic keynote of David Morey, CEO and founder of DMG and Vice Chairman of Core Strategy Group. The author of The Underdog Advantage: Using the Power of Insurgent Strategy to Put Your Business on Top, Morey implored to young entrepreneurs at the Revere Hotel’s Space 57 to “think out of the box, to think like a magician.” He continued by relaying anecdotes from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and several U.S. Presidents to bring home the idea of “going on the offensive." Morey also dazzled the audience with a couple of poignant magic tricks to bring his points home.
The main focus of the event was to showcase the great teams that have been working in Boston’s Healthbox Accelerator for the past few months.
At the end of the presentations, 3Derm Systems was awarded a $25,000 convertible note after being selected as the “Most Innovative” company/product at the event.
3Derm’s CEO Elizabeth Asai and CTO Elliot Swart gave one of the more entertaining presentations, demonstrating their low-cost skin imaging system that serves as an early detection tool for skin cancer. Their device, developed while the two were undergraduates at Yale (they graduated last week!), creates a 3D image that can be examined for signs of possible skin cancer.
Many present at the Healthbox event were gushing over 3Derm’s future prospects, and they’ve already won many awards and grants. “Just last month,” Asai said at the conclusion of their presentation, “We became the youngest executives in history to win a Small Business Innovation Research grant sponsored by the National Science Foundation.” Amazingly, they are already looking to raise a Series A round next year.
3Derm was not alone in impressing the healthcare executives and venture capitalists in attendance; here is a quick review of some of the other companies featured at Healthbox’s Innovation Day:
Caring in Place - Seeking a Seed Round of funding, the family caregiver mobile platform integrates checklists with simple technology and design in order to help coordinate dependant care for families and paid caregivers.
Josh Fotheringham, Caring in Place’s CEO and Co-Founder, gave one of the more polished presentations at the event. He later commented that his company chose the Healthbox accelerator over other incubators/accelerators they had been selected to, including Boulder’s TechStars. The decision came down to the access provided by the massive Boston healthcare community as well as the proximity to potential future developers coming out of the local colleges and universities.
LeanWagon - Also looking to raise some funds, LeanWagon is a healthcare coaching product created to help employers educate their employees on healthy living. The benefit of LeanWagon’s online health coaching program for employers is that it improves productivity, reduces turnover, and, most importantly, lowers the costs of healthcare.
TheraVid - As the company’s President and Co-Founder said, “TheraVid bridges the gap between the PT clinic and home.” Theravid, a patient management platform to help physical therapy patients, increases retention, offers video-based instruction, and offers customized care plans to better connect PT providers with their patients
SensingStrip - Started by Tan Rao and Meghan Chase, SensingStrip has built a fitness/health sensor prototype using Kinesiology Tape The company’s goal is to create a health monitoring device that has more capabilities and is more discreet than existing products such as the Nike Fuel Band and the FitBit Tracker.
myProxy - Also going by the name True North Healthcare, MyProxy is a way to document and access a patient’s end of life wishes. The product connects patients final wishes with the doctors who care for them.
Epion Health - Serial entrepreneur Joe Blewitt’s company is trying to fix the office visit intake process while creating patient engagement for health related products. Using a mobile device such as an iPad, patients can enter their personal health information or check in for an appointment through a secure mobile platform.
Casegem - Andrew Sartori introduced Casegem’s product that makes homecare documentation simple. One of the key features of Casegem's product is its post-visit dictation tool that makes clinical data entry easier and more efficient.
Operating Analytics - Trying to solve the problem of operating room underutilization, Operating Analytics believes that hospitals can save money and make OR’s more active; and, therefore, more lucrative.
Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.