HealthTech Arkansas, along with ten healthcare providers — Arkansas Heart Hospital, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Urology, Baptist Health, CHI St. Vincent, Conway Regional, Mercy, St. Bernards Healthcare, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and Washington Regional Medical Center — are again collaborating on a business accelerator that connects early-stage healthcare companies bringing disruptive technologies to the marketplace with Arkansas healthcare providers for the purpose of conducting pilot projects.
“The HealthTech Arkansas program introduces new technologies to our hospitals, which makes our hospitals stronger and increases the quality of care for all Arkansans,” said Jeff Stinson, director of HealthTech Arkansas.
He said it is the clinical and operational engagement that entices startups to apply to HealthTech Arkansas.
“The guaranteed opportunity to conduct pilot projects with healthcare providers is what truly sets our program apart from other programs,” said Stinson. “Provider access for early-stage companies is the most important thing you can do for their success. Through these pilot projects, our cohort companies get a direct connection to hospitals and physicians that give them the opportunity to demonstrate value with their technologies and products.”
By making connections to Arkansas healthcare providers, the participating startup companies can build relationships that require them to hire staff in Arkansas to manage the business after the conclusion of the accelerator program. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) awarded HealthTech Arkansas a grant under the Arkansas Business and Technology Accelerator Grant Program, which is designed to increase acceleration activities in targeted industries in the state.
“HealthTech Arkansas has been important to us in a number of ways,” said Dr. Gerry Jones, Chief Medical Officer at CHI St. Vincent. “It allows us to view a large number of early-stage technologies coming to market each year, and then choose the ones with which we want to work. But also, we want to contribute to healthcare entrepreneurship in Arkansas. So we really enjoy providing feedback to startups inside the state when we believe we can be helpful.”
This is the fourth year for healthcare accelerator programs hosted in Arkansas and the second year for HealthTech Arkansas, an expanded iteration of two previous accelerator programs. Stinson also managed the previous two healthcare accelerators in Arkansas and is the director of the Central Arkansas Angel Network, the first angel investor network in the state.
Applications for the HealthTech Arkansas cohort open on Saturday (Feb. 1), and the cohort will be selected by June 30. Follow this link for more information.
The program is seeking companies in three categories: digital health and software, medical devices, and diagnostic platforms. Each company will receive $75,000 of investment capital and is guaranteed at least two pilot projects with Arkansas healthcare providers.