On Monday, Startup Health announced that it was opening its second regional affiliate, Startup Health Colorado, in partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado, CU Anschutz, and UCHealth. The offices of the new affiliate will be located on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where Startup Health Colorado will work with its partners to develop and launch at least 30 health-tech startups.
At Prime Health, we have admired Startup Health since the founding of our organization. Over the past few years, I’ve personally attended several Startup Health events, and have had the opportunity to speak with Steve Krein, the CEO of Startup Health, on many occasions.
In fact, when Prime Health was exploring how to become a standalone organization, we studied the Startup Health model of innovation acceleration. We were eager to see if that model was something Prime Health should emulate.
However, it quickly became clear that with Colorado home to organizations like TechStars, House of Genius, and the Unreasonable Institute, accelerating innovation wasn’t going to be a challenge for our ecosystem. So, to provide Colorado’s health-tech startups with a competitive edge, we decided to help them overcome a major hurdle to the adoption of innovation within the healthcare system: the demonstration of clinical efficacy.
This decision led to the creation of the annual Prime Health Challenge, a three-month-long process in which clinicians, executives, technologists, and other relevant stakeholders come together to evaluate the health-tech startups in our ecosystem. Using Prime Health Qualify, our online evaluation platform, these judges assess the companies that have applied for the challenge, searching for innovations that are ready to be integrated into the healthcare system.
This evaluation process is part of our Value Integrator Model (VIM). Over the last four years, it has enabled the startups in our ecosystem to secure pilot opportunities, forge new partnerships, and obtain millions of dollars in funding. It has also distinguished us as a digital health organization, granting Prime Health a unique position within the health innovation value chain, while allowing us to collaborate with the generators, incubators, and accelerators in our ecosystem.
Startup Health is no exception. Last year, Florida Hospital asked that we send nine of Prime Health’s qualified companies to participate in their National Council of Presidents Innovation Challenge. Startup Health was also asked to send nine companies from its portfolio. For the duration of the challenge, our startups shared the stage with Startup Health’s, each doing their best to drive the adoption of innovation in one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems.
Additionally, two of the finalists from previous Prime Health Challenges, RxRevu and Test Appropriate, have joined Startup Health’s portfolio. As members of Startup Health, they will gain access to an international accelerator network, similar to TechStars, which will significantly help them in their mission to transform healthcare through innovation. It is my hope that a similar opportunity will be extended to this year’s finalists, just as a I hope that Startup Health’s portfolio will apply to future Prime Health Challenges.
With the launch of Startup Health Colorado, we foresee our collaborations with Startup Health increasing. Just like the addition of 10.10.10 Health, the Boomtown Health-Tech Accelerator, and Innosphere’s digital-health incubator program only strengthened our regional health-tech cluster, we believe that Startup Health Colorado will bring a range of new assets to our state that will benefit everyone in the health innovation value chain.
As we continue to convene the members of our regional ecosystem, from payers and providers like Kaiser Permanente, Aetna, and HCA, to health innovation assets like Colorado Biosciences Association, Innovation Pavilion, and Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, it is my hope that Startup Health will join us. There is an urgent need for solutions to the healthcare system’s problems, and if we work together, I am certain we will be able to meet that need as quickly and as safely as possible.
So, on behalf of Prime Health, let me say, “Startup Health, welcome to Colorado!” We look forward to collaborating to make Colorado the leading health innovation ecosystem in the nation.
President & CEO