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DreamIt Ventures Partners With JHU and BHI to Expand Healthcare Accelerator to Baltimore

BALTIMORE and PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DreamIt Ventures is pleased to announce the launch of DreamIt Health Baltimore, a partnership with The Johns Hopkins University and BioHealth Innovation, Inc. to recruit, invest in, and speed the growth and success of a select group of early-stage health IT companies. The program comes on the heels of a successful health IT program in Philadelphia also built on strong industry partnerships that give participants access and advantages typically out-of-reach to startups.

"The key to making health care more accessible is innovation, and the most fertile focus for health care innovation is in acquiring, storing, analyzing and sharing information," said Ronald J. Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins. "This accelerator project will have important implications for the future use of information as we use technology to find solutions for the most pressing health problems of our day. Just as important, it sets up Baltimore to become even more central to the health care information revolution through the rapid validation of solutions."

"Technology holds the potential to transform the way in which we approach health care in this country and around the world," said Paul Rothman, MD, Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Johns Hopkins has been at the forefront in developing innovative solutions to the most pressing health care challenges. The partnership with DreamIt presents an exciting and unrivaled opportunity to develop the most cutting-edge solutions at the crossroads of information technology and medicine."

The Baltimore program is expected to take advantage of the many strengths of the region, giving participating startups both the opportunity to work closely with Johns Hopkins Medicine for potential pilots, and also access to key individuals throughout the region's wealth of federal health care institutions including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

"Creating the first health IT accelerator in Maryland is a vital step towards enhancing the innovation ecosystem in the region," said Richard Bendis, Chief Executive Officer, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. "This program established by DreamIt, Johns Hopkins and BHI – in partnership with the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore – will help make Central Maryland more attractive and competitive to emerging and existing health IT companies and to the entrepreneurs who lead them."

As with previous DreamIt programs, companies will be recruited and selected from around the world and reside in Baltimore for the four-month duration of the program. In addition to receiving an injection of capital and donated professional services, they will be paired and work closely with exited entrepreneurs-turned-mentors; benefit from an intense startup and health care curriculum taught by accomplished practitioners; meet with subject matter experts and investors; and, enjoy privileged access to executives, information systems and data from leading industry players including providers, payers and biotech/pharmaceutical companies. Participants also benefit from a vast alumni network of 127 companies DreamIt Ventures has helped grow since 2008.

Elliot Menschik, MD, PhD and a soon-to-be-added DreamIt partner will manage the program. Dr. Menschik, a Johns Hopkins alum and repeat entrepreneur, led the program in Philadelphia. He earlier founded and ran HxTechnologies, a pioneer in medical imaging and health information exchange that was acquired by MEDecision, the health IT subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation.

"DreamIt has considerable experience working with extraordinary people to create exceptional companies," noted Dr. Menschik. "We've learned that, in health care in particular, the most important thing we can do to help founders and reduce investor risk is to enable access to resources typically out of the reach of most startups. Working closely with Johns Hopkins and BHI opens up stellar opportunities for these teams to pressure-test and speed to market their solutions to significant problems that plague patients, providers, payers and other industry stakeholders."

DreamIt will accept applications from today through November 11th, 2013 from startups nationwide in the health care sector. To apply go to www.dreamithealth.com. Up to 10 startups will be selected by December 16th, 2013. The program will take place in Baltimore, Maryland from January 17th 2014 to May 9th 2014.

About Johns Hopkins

The Johns Hopkins University is a global leader in discovery, education and professional practice, dedicated since 1876 to putting knowledge to work for humanity. Johns Hopkins was established on what was then a revolutionary idea, that universities must do more than teach the collected wisdom of the past. Founding President Daniel Coit Gilman argued that they must also advance human knowledge and apply that knowledge for the common good. Gilman's philosophy guides today's Johns Hopkins, where faculty and students are partners in learning and discovery. Together, they explore what makes us human -- culture and society, art and literature, life science, health and medicine. Together, they study what drives the universe in which we live. Together, they learn how to use their knowledge to make tomorrow better.

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.

About DreamIt Ventures

DreamIt Ventures is a pre-seed stage accelerator, with the goal of helping great people with great ideas build great companies. DreamIt was founded in 2008 by three successful technology entrepreneurs who wanted to create the same type of opportunities that they were fortunate to have had themselves for the next wave of entrepreneurs. Since then DreamIt has accelerated the growth of 127 companies including Biomeme, AirCare, Stat, Osmosis, Speso Health, SCVNGR (Level Up), SeatGeek, Notehall (acquired by Chegg), Adaptly, Yevvo, SnipSnap, Parsely, Trendkite, Betterific, ShowMe, Take the Interview, Winston, CloudMine, and MindSnacks.

CONTACT: Media contacts: Dana Rygwelski DreamIt Ventures 424-235-0746 dana@dreamitventures.com Gavin Skillman LaunchSquad 212-564-3665 gavin@launchsquad.com Rich Bendis BioHealth Innovation, Inc. 301-637-6439 rbendis@biohealthinnovation.orgSource:BioHealth Innovation, Inc.