Newswise — Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShieldis partnering with LifeBridge Health to launch 1501 Health, an incubator for healthcare startups. 1501 Health will provide investment and resources to help early-stage companies, located regionally or nationally, develop their healthcare solutions.
Companies participating in the program will receive up to $100,000 in investment and have access to unique mentorship and support from payer and provider experts, along with networking and educational events with other startups, investors and stakeholders.
“Our goal for 1501 Health is to create a platform for entrepreneurship that improves healthcare access, positively impacts patient outcomes and reduces the total cost of care,” says Healthworx Senior Vice President Ricardo Johnson. “We all have a stake in the future of healthcare. When the companies that participate succeed, we all win.”
Originally slated to launch with a physical incubator space last June, 1501 Health shifted to a virtual launch due to COVID-19, with plans for a blended model over time.
“At LifeBridge Health, we believe in the power of partnership and the promise of innovation. In launching 1501 Health with Healthworx, we look forward to seeing how our combined strengths and collaborative approach can propel these promising startups forward and accelerate new healthcare solutions,” says Pothik Chatterjee, executive director of innovation and research at LifeBridge Health.
Each participating company will be advised by healthcare experts selected by associates at CareFirst and LifeBridge Health. The team of experts, known as their cabinet, will work with the startup to identify quarterly milestones for 1501 Health’s year-long program and support the company to reach those milestones through advisory and targeted projects.
Participants will also have access to strategic relationships and potential customers, as well as resources to support their business model and sales strategies, and the testing and development of their product in simulated medical environments.
1501 Health seeks to find “disruptors,” according to Johnson. “Through 1501 Health, we’re looking to find and engage startups developing cutting-edge technologies and solutions that have the potential to significantly impact the healthcare ecosystem, whether that’s healthcare consumers, payers, providers or other stakeholders.”
1501 Health will also give participants the opportunity to network with other participant startups, payer and provider experts and key healthcare innovation stakeholders through its co-working environment and events.
Eligible applicants should offer a healthcare technology or service with fulltime team members and clear initial traction (revenue, academic validation, experienced founders), and have a solution that aligns with the strategic initiatives of Healthworx and LifeBridge Health. Due to restrictions, applicants categorized as a pharmaceutical company or those requiring space for manufacturing, storage or safekeeping of biological, hazardous or potentially harmful substances will not be considered.
Interested startups should go to www.1501Health.com to learn more about the application process, which opens on February 1, 2021 and closes February 22, 2021.
The 1501 Health name comes from the address of CareFirst’s Baltimore headquarters (1501 S. Clinton Street). When COVID-19 protocols allow, that building will be home to 1501 Health’s physical incubator, featuring co-working and collaborative spaces as well as a medical simulation lab.
“While we hope the advances developed at 1501 Health will improve healthcare around the world, we also wanted to offer a sense of place, as well as to connect these innovations to our shared foundations in Baltimore,” explains Daniel Durand, M.D., chief innovation officer and vice president of research for LifeBridge Health.
Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in companies that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility, affordability and equity. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, Healthworx envisions a healthier future for all people by changing the way health works. To connect with Healthworx about partnering, media interviews or speaking opportunities, email [email protected].
About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Maryland. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center and related affiliates. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org.