To help major medical and pharmaceutical sector companies come up with innovative solutions to some of their problems, Tigerlabs is calling for applicants for a programme which will enable pioneering startups to compete for the opportunity to work in close collaboration with mainstream players.
Techstars worked recently with Nike to provide a dedicated startup accelerator model designed to enhance the brand’s range of apps by cultivating companies interested in leveraging Nike+ technology. Now Tigerlabs Health Accelerator, a Princeton, New Jersey-based entrepreneurial campus focusing on Healthcare IT, has set out to emulate this approach on a wider industry scale. With this in mind, Tigerlabs has just set up an additional programme called Tigerlabs Health Innovation Track, whose aim is not to work with and improve the processes of just one brand, but to forge creative partnerships with several companies. The idea is to put several different startups in competition with one another and let them show which is the most suited to respond to the specific needs of an established company in the medical/ pharmaceutical sector.
Innovators in competition
The industry participants – ranging from pharmaceutical majors to companies working in the hospital system and also healthcare providers – will play an active role in the selection of Tigerlabs Health entrepreneurs. Bert Navarrete, co-founder of Tigerlabs, points out that as a result of his call for applicants, “the programme has attracted entrepreneurs from Denver, Chicago and New York, and also from France and Great Britain.” He therefore expects to have five to ten startupsworking in each subject area. The startups whose innovations demonstrate the potential to solve the specific problems which the partnering companies are facing will be selected. “The healthcare industry at large faces significant challenges in the coming years,”explains the Tigerlabs press release, underlining: “but these problems also open up opportunities to apply technology to improve care (…) and ultimately help society.”
Matching Health IT innovators with industry mainstays
Tigerlabs has come up with the idea of appointing an ‘entrepreneur-in-residence’ at each Innovation Track participant company so that each young startup can work hand-in-hand with one of the industry mainstays in order to find closely tailored solutions. Explains Marissa Dursin, an account executive at Tigerlabs: “Our industry participants have expressed the need for more regular and more hands-on interaction with accelerator startups. Having direct access to major firms is a great opportunity for the startups involved and a way in which we can add value to our programme.” Each startup chosen by a partneringcompany will have on-site access to the internal innovation team. In addition, adds Ms. Dursin, “Innovation Track gives both the established company and the startup a feeling of equality which helps to co-develop the relationship and make it more productive.”