PHILADELPHIA, March 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC), Penn Medicine, and DreamIt Ventures today announced that DreamIt Health Philadelphia, the region's first healthcare accelerator, is now accepting applications from startup teams worldwide for its second Philadelphia healthtech program to begin in July.
Last year's inaugural DreamIt Health class brought six promising healthcare startups from across the country to Philadelphia to work alongside four Philadelphia-born startups on a wide range of significant healthcare problems, including hospital readmissions, cost transparency, healthcare payments, clinical communications, and mobile diagnostics. All ten companies, eight of which are still in the region, are continuing to execute successfully and achieve key business milestones from pilot implementation to revenue and profitability.
IBC and Penn Medicine, both leading health care institutions in the Philadelphia region, are deeply committed to helping the startup teams succeed through DreamIt Health. In June, DreamIt Health will select up to 10 early-stage companies from applicants from around the world in the healthcare sector, based on the strength of their teams, their market potential, and their traction to date. Beyond a stipend of $50,000 each, IBC and Penn Medicine will provide these promising young companies with mentoring, business contacts, and other critical resources, including access to claims and clinical data and technology the companies need to shape and implement novel solutions.
"We are very encouraged by the success of DreamIt Health last year in attracting exciting, innovative health care startups to our region, and by their enormous potential to apply technology to the challenges of keeping people healthy and providing more effective, affordable care," said IBC President and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. "Partnerships like ours with DreamIt Health are critical to helping us transform our region into a national magnet for healthcare innovation, investment, and employment."
DreamIt Health will accept applications through May 16 from startups worldwide in the healthcare sector, and expects by June 16 to select up to 10 early-stage healthcare companies. During the four-month boot camp starting July 18, the teams will work in space specifically designed to house and support startups at DreamIt Ventures headquarters at the Innovation Hub at 3401 Market Street in Philadelphia.
"Keeping up with the pace of healthcare delivery changes in the 21st century is a challenge, and partnering with these startups is key to this pursuit," said Ralph Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. "These tech innovators mirror many of Penn Medicine's commitments to patients, staff, and students, and together we can make Philadelphia even more of a hub for the future of medicine."
Each participating team will receive a stipend of $50,000, in-depth coaching from successful entrepreneurs, and access to other critical healthcare-specific resources to rapidly develop and test its product, validate its business model with potential customers, and launch the product. The program will culminate in a "Demo Day" when the participating companies will present their progress to date and future plans to an audience of leading investors and industry figures. Interested applicants can apply at www.dreamitventures.com/apply.
"Many of healthcare's most challenging problems are at the intersection between the doctor or hospital and the health insurer, but startups don't typically have early access to the customers and users they need to fully grasp the problems, craft meaningful solutions and then rapidly implement and test them in real-world environments," said Elliot Menschik, DreamIt Venture's Managing Partner for healthcare. "What makes DreamIt Health unlike any other accelerator is the depth and intensity of collaboration among the DreamIt teams and our strategic partners to more rapidly develop and deliver enterprise-grade products that create real value for customers and the foundation for scalable businesses."
DreamIt has helped speed to market 145 companies over the past five years, approximately half of whom have sought outside investment and have successfully raised $110 million with an enterprise value approaching half a billion dollars, Menschik noted.
Independence Blue Cross recently announced the creation of a Strategic Innovation Portfolio, which will invest up to $50 million in health related venture funds and early stage companies, such as the businesses in the DreamIt 2013 class, and any future classes with DreamIt.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 7.5 million people nationwide, including 2.2 million in the region. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Penn Medicine
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 16 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $398 million awarded in the 2012 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.
About DreamIt Ventures
DreamIt Ventures helps exceptional people build exceptional companies. We believe that if you create a community of entrepreneurs working side-by-side on their various companies, strip away as many impediments as possible, and makes as many resources available as possible, some magic can happen in a short period of time. DreamIt operates accelerators in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, Baltimore and Tel Aviv. Since its founding in 2008, DreamIt has launched 127 companies including: Adaptly, LevelUp, Parsely, SeatGeek, MindSnacks, SnipSnap, Reactor, Peeractive, TrendKite and Biomeme. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available at www.dreamitventures.com, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTACT: Media Contacts: Ruth Stoolman Independence Blue Cross 215-241-4807 (office) 215-280-3335 (cell) Ruth.Stoolman@ibx.com Holly Auer Penn Medicine 215-349-5659 (office) 215-200-2313 (cell) Holly.Auer@uphs.upenn.edu Dana Rygwelski DreamIt Ventures 424-235-0746 (office) 610-348-2202 (cell) Dana@dreamitventures.com
Source:Independence Blue Cross