February 12, 2021 - 2:17 pm

FAQ: HealthSpark Accelerator

By 20Fathoms

1) What is the HealthSpark Accelerator?

The HealthSpark Accelerator is a 12-week, high-intensity startup acceleration program for startups in digital and tele-health who are interested in engaging with rural health systems.

2) Where is the HealthSpark Accelerator?

HealthSpark is a program of 20Fathoms, a startup incubator and innovation community in Traverse City, MI. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 HealthSpark Accelerator will be held virtually.

3) What are the dates?

April 12th to June 30th, 2021

4) Are the sessions in-person in Traverse City?

No, due to COVID-19, the 2021 HealthSpark Accelerator will be held virtually, which allows us to bring together a national cohort of startups and world-class speakers from across the country.

5) What will I/my company get out of the HealthSpark Accelerator?

  • 100+ hours of instruction from senior healthcare leaders, serial entrepreneurs, and professional service providers, as well as angel and venture investors
  • 200+ new healthcare, innovation, and investor connections for your network.
  • Connections to innovative rural health systems with the potential to pilot your product or service
  • Mentorship and intense coaching toward the next value inflection point
  • The camaraderie of a cohort of like-minded healthcare startups
  • The opportunity to pitch to a panel of healthcare investors

6) What companies are eligible?

  • Industry domain: Startups in the digital and tele-health space who are interested in upskilling their team and, eventually, doing a rural pilot
  • Product technology readiness: MVP (minimum viable product) ready for a rural health pilot
  • Business: Pre-revenue to $2M revenue
  • Funding: Pre-seed to series A
  • Geography: Headquartered anywhere in the US, but we have preference for Michigan and Midwest.

7) My company does not fit one or more of the criteria, should I still apply?

If you’re close, always apply. If you’re not quite there yet, come back next year!

8) I’m a single-founder startup, do I need a team to apply?

If you fit the other criteria, you should absolutely apply! We’re here to help and maybe connect you to a team!

9) How does the HealthSpark Accelerator compare to other accelerators locally and nationally?

The problems we’re interested in are digital and rural health. They’re problems that are big enough that we can all work together, instead of against each other, as we work to solve them. We consider other accelerator programs our partners! But specifically, the differences are:

  • National focus on digital and tele-health in rural health systems
  • No investment, no equity
  • 12 weeks, high intensity
  • The program is free but we ask for a deposit (to be refunded upon completion)
  • Connections to world-class speakers, mentors and health systems

10) What does the curriculum look like?

  • Weeks 1, 5, and 10 are Monday through Friday with 11 am – 5 or 6 pm each day.
  • The intervening weeks are a half day of workshops and panels every Thursday.
  • Week 12 is an intensive week prepping for our Demo Day.
  • Each HSA day ends with a speed networking with investors, healthcare experts, and community leaders.

Here’s a week-by-week overview of select topics. A final curriculum will be sent out to accepted companies.

  1. Healthcare business models; rural hospitals, state & federal regulations
  2. Financial projections, KPIs; customer discovery; policy
  3. Regulatory considerations
  4. Market distortions; business development & sales
  5. Marketing; product development cycle/timelines; value chain; purchasing decisions
  6. Risk mitigation (legal, technical)
  7. Tools & processes for sustained growth
  8. Addressing the digital divide
  9. Funding strategy
  10. Hospital pilots; reimbursement
  11. Resilient founders, teams, companies, systems
  12. Bringing it all together in a pitch

11) Does the whole team have to attend all sessions?

We understand that not every member of your team can attend all educational, coaching and networking sessions. Still, we expect at least one person from your team to be present at each event. Only startups that are part of the full curriculum will be welcome to the final demo day and pitch to investors.

12) What are the costs associated with participation in HealthSpark?

Thanks to an EDA i6 grant, participation in the HealthSpark Accelerator is free of charge for all accepted companies. Upon successful selection and acceptance, we ask that startups pay $2k deposit that will be refunded after completion of demo day at the end of the program. The deposit ensures that our program is attended by companies committed to a rigorous program and accelerated growth.

13) Does HealthSpark take an equity stake in the companies?

No, unless we invest money into your company, we will not ask for equity.

14) Why Traverse City?

Traverse City is home to beautiful scenery, wineries, micro-breweries and a thriving tourism industry, yet also has a burgeoning startup ecosystem in aeronautics and IT as well as a well-regarded rural health system, Munson Healthcare. The HealthSpark Accelerator fits into a broader strategy of diversifying and empowering the local startup ecosystem by fostering healthcare innovation with an eye toward the rural setting that we call home. Even if the 2021 cohort is virtual, we hope to welcome you in person in the future and will make sure to share some of the beauty with you remotely.

15) I have a question, who do I contact?

Please fill out the contact form, we’ll get back to you ASAP.