DENVER, CO – Prime Health, the Colorado based health innovation ecosystem declared its national leadership during its third annual Health Challenge Oct. 19. As judges for the Challenge assessed awarding $150,000 in funding from the Colorado Health Foundation to support pilot testing of new health innovations, the group presented their case to be the leading health innovation ecosystem in the U.S.
A recent visit from Steve Case, Founder of America Online, spurred the new claim. Case’s recent Rise of the Rest tour highlighted the nation’s up-and-coming innovation clusters, the hotspots of entrepreneurship. Case revealed his belief that Denver, Boulder and Colorado have already made it as a leading innovation hub. From his perspective, Colorado’s innovation ecosystem is already an economic powerhouse. He told members of Colorado’s thriving startup community “We almost didn’t come to Denver…. You are already there”.
Prime Health assessed its own metrics, used evaluation criteria from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto Report on Global Accelerators and Innovation Hubs (2013), along with recent national rankings of Colorado and its major cities to support its claim. Metrics included experience supporting large scale development, partnerships with healthcare providers, corporations and investors, support for innovation development and evidence of success.
Colorado is considered one of the top 10 health innovation clusters based on investment (Startup Health, Rock Health). Prime Health has identified 135+ health innovation companies in the state and $145 million raised in investment in 2015. A new 300,000 sq. ft. health industry integrator, Catalyst HTI, has broken ground to house many of the innovation ecosystem components.
The Prime Health Challenge showcases top healthcare innovations competing for $150,000 and the opportunity to test their products with leading healthcare organizations. It is one of the largest pitch competitions of its kind in the nation, bringing together every sector of healthcare focused on health innovation.
After this Challenge, Prime Health will have funded 15 pilot tests of innovation with over $430,000 directly focused on improving the health of populations served by regional health delivery systems. Of the first 69 digital health companies evaluated through Prime Health’s Qualify process, the companies have raised $34 million post evaluation.
Major investors and every Colorado investor focused on healthcare (14) are considering ecosystem investment opportunities including Case’s Revolution Ventures. Every major component of Colorado’s healthcare delivery system as well as national payors, providers, and health information exchange components are considering using innovations developed in Prime’s ecosystem (46).
Prime has attracted major partners (42) working with our ecosystem and participating companies including Startup Health, TechStars, 10.10.10, CU Innovations, Boomtown, Catalyst HTI, Innovation Pavilion, Innosphere, Colorado Bioscience Association, Colorado Technology Association and key government agencies.
Jeffrey Nathanson, CEO of Prime Health said after presenting his case, “By all these metrics, we are the number one health innovation ecosystem. It is now our goal to work with all the assembled 500 plus attendees to maintain it. It is our job to own this ranking and share these metrics with others.”
Nathanson went on to “challenge other health innovation ecosystems to demonstrate their metrics. Let the challenge to improve healthcare through adoption of innovation begin. From now on Prime Health is the #1 ranked health innovation ecosystem until someone unseats us by showing better results.”