Today Healthbox announces it has closed $7 million in funding to expand on its accelerator model and launch three new business verticals that will continue to drive actionable innovation through collaboration between entrepreneurs and the healthcare industry.
This is a bold vision for a healthcare accelerator. Healthbox closed the $7 million from a collaborative group of leading healthcare organizations to form Healthbox Global Partners, LLC, representing the common need to find and implement transformative solutions that will improve health outcomes.
Healthbox Global Partners is led by Intermountain Healthcare, an internationally recognized, integrated delivery system; Health Care Service Corporation, the operator of Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas; Chicago Pacific Founders, a healthcare focused strategic investing firm led by Mary Tolan and Larry Leisure; and other undisclosed investors.
"To drive system-wide improvements in both quality and service while reducing overall costs, we need to expand our thinking and partner with thought leaders who have a passion for excellence," says Bert Zimmerli, Intermountain's chief financial officer and executive vice president. "We must collaborate to affirm best practices and that requires new types of relationships, both within and outside of the healthcare industry."
With the funding, Healthbox will build on its core to execute on three new business priorities that all share the common goal of stimulating innovation across the healthcare system and driving necessary improvements. Throughout the rest of the year, Healthbox will:
Operate six accelerators across the country and the UK. Through the four-month programs, Healthbox works with entrepreneurs to reach their company's next major milestone of growth, focusing on customer traction and operational excellence. Healthbox, along with its strategic partners, will invest in more than 50 additional early-stage companies through these accelerators.
Grow Healthbox Solutions, a marketplace of high-potential, enterprise technology solutions that are ready for rapid distribution into an early-adopter provider community of industry customers.
Build organization-specific foundries, bringing the Healthbox accelerator model inside hospital systems, helping them develop their capability to source, catalog and scale internal concepts, preparing them for potential commercialization while sparking a culture of innovation.
Establish collaborative innovation initiatives, partnering with healthcare organizations to develop unique innovation and venture models meeting emerging strategic needs.
"Our role as a health insurance company is to seek entrepreneurial solutions to improve the performance of the health care system, provide information to empower our members and seek ways to facilitate the patient—physician relationship," says Maurice Smith, senior vice president business development, Health Care Service Corporation. "This will further enhance our long-standing commitment to improve the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve."
Healthbox launched its first accelerator program in January 2012, with the goal to help entrepreneurs navigate the healthcare industry and grow sustainable businesses. Only two years later, the organization has led seven programs in five unique locations across the US and Europe. In collaboration with 20 strategic industry organizations, the accelerators invested in more than 50 companies that have formed over 200 relationships with healthcare organizations seeking new solutions.
"After our initial accelerator in Chicago, we quickly realized that Healthbox has a unique role as a pipeline of innovation for the industry," says Nina Nashif, founder and CEO of Healthbox. "We provide the necessary access and insight for serious healthcare entrepreneurs to grow businesses in this complex industry and for the industry to source the solutions that they need to improve care delivery and outcomes."
Healthbox Global Partners, LLC