Rock Health, a new seed accelerator devoted exclusively to interactive health care applications, opened up their offices last week to eleven start-ups who are in the process of developing mobile and web based healthcare technology.
Rock Health is using the Y-Combinator model of making extremely early stage investments in a number of different startups in hopes of nurturing them to viability. They plan on doing this by providing access to office space in San Francisco, branding, communications and legal support as well as access to mentoring and Rock Health medical partners like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School.
I had the opportunity to speak with Rock Health co-founder and Managing Director Halle Tecco who explained that while things were somewhat chaotic in the new office space people were settling in and great work was being done.
Rock Health’s initial group of startups will all be working from within the new offices and they’ll be joined by at least 20 other ‘member startups’. These companies will have access to Rock Health support and expertise as well as access to the office space for meetings but Rock Health is not, at present, funding them.
We started our conversation by discussing the expectations that Rock Health had for this initial group of startups. According to Halle “the 11 startups came to us at different stages of their development. Some came to us with just a great idea and a great team while others had teams that had already released a product to the market. So across that spectrum we have different expectations based upon where they started.”
She continued by saying “generally we hope they make significant progress in two places. One is the product, getting a really well designed meaningful product up and running and being testing with our hospital partners, patients and medical professionals. And second there is the business behind the product. Thinking through the financing model and how they’ll get access to capital to grow. Coming up with the business plan and the revenue model, coming up with a really solid story and then connecting them with the investors.”
As a seed accelerator Rock Health wants to be able to remove the hurdles that most startups face when trying to launch their businesses. By providing access and support to the founders while they focus on building their applications Rock Health will significantly smooth the pathway to building the type of sustainable company that venture investors are actively looking to invest in. Of course the relationships that Rock Health has with their medical partners should be invaluable to new healthcare technology companies as well. [Read more…]