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Collaborative Seeks to Boost Philadelphia’s Health IT Startups

June 2, 2015
by David Raths
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Collaborative seeks to remove barriers to market entry and growth

Philadelphia is home to some of the nation’s top institutions in clinical care, biomedical research and medical education. To foster more of a regional innovative ecosystem, eight Philadelphia-area organizations have banded together to form the Health Care Innovation Collaborative. Its goal is to connect early-stage health IT companies with large health care institutions so the startups can better tailor their solutions the needs of large providers.

Formed by the CEO Council for Growth, the collaborative’s eight founding members are Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Comcast, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System, and University of Pennsylvania Health System. Each partner has invested $50,000 in the initiative. Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Rittenhouse Ventures will each commit $1 million of available funding to support the companies from the collaborative that choose to commercialize and locate within the greater Philadelphia region.

“The collaborative creates an intersection between our large health care institutions and innovators in a way that removes barriers to market entry and growth,” said John Fry, president of Drexel University, in a prepared statement. “These two communities greatly need one another but often struggle to connect due to excessive ‘noise’ and unmatched product supply and demand.”

In the same official statement, Madeline Bell, president and chief operating officer at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said, “CHOP is excited to be a part of a regional asset that will improve connectivity across the ecosystem in a way that brings disruptive innovations quickly to market, which will advance health care delivery for children.”

The collaborative will hire a program director to identify common health care needs among partnering institutions, create and manage a process for receiving proposed health care solutions, and assist early-stage companies in navigating the region’s ecosystem.