Fuel Accelerator plans ‘demo day’ for health tech startups

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 323 views 

Startup Junkie of Fayetteville will host a demo day on Wednesday (May 15) for the second cohort of its Fuel Accelerator program focusing on health technology startups. The event begins at 5 p.m. at Record in downtown Bentonville.

Ten companies completed the 10-week program. For their capstone event, they will pitch their health innovation ideas to interested executives, investors, mentors, supporters and community leaders from across the region. Examples of their concepts range from clinic automation to reducing administrative fatigue in health systems, mental health practice, care for the aging population and advancement of male fertility care.

Fuel is a program that supports tech startups in their early stages at no cost and without requiring equity. It helps these startups prepare to enter the market by providing training, resources, and connections. Unlike other programs, Fuel prioritizes teaching practical skills alongside guidance on securing venture capital. Participants benefit from hands-on education, workshops, and feedback sessions, fostering valuable relationships and insights.

“Demo Day is an opportunity for us to contribute to the energy generated around healthcare innovation,” Fuel director Darian Harris said. “Here in Northwest Arkansas, Fuel brings together visionary health tech startups from across the globe, showcasing technologies that redefine the solutions for constant and ongoing problems in healthcare.

“It’s a glimpse into the potential of health and wellness that will thrive through cutting-edge technology.”

Healthcare consultant Diana McDaniel is a keynote speaker for the demo day event. Earlier this year, she started Prosper Med, promoting innovation and growth in health tech, medical practices and healthcare systems in Northwest Arkansas and around the country.

Before that, McDaniel worked for Arkansas Children’s for 12 years in progressive leadership roles. In 2017, the Little Rock-based pediatric healthcare organization appointed her vice president of operations for the Springdale hospital, which opened in February 2018 and is the region’s first and only pediatric hospital.

Fuel is organized in partnership with Catapult Consulting, led by Tom Douglass, former director of emerging technology at Walmart Inc., and with programming support from GrowthX, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund. The Walton Family Foundation and Arkansas Economic Development Commission are also supporters of demo day.