ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND, April 7, 2015 – To capitalize on the region's significant human capital and resources driving health innovation, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) and ProductSavvy, in partnership with Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED), are launching a health technology accelerator program named, "Relevant Health." The accelerator will consist of a five-month intensive program focused on preparing eight early-stage health-related businesses for pilot product testing and financing. The program is scheduled to launch in September 2015 and will be located in the Rockville Innovation Center, part of the Montgomery County incubator network.
BHI is a public-private partnership that's been building programs to foster commercialization of health and life sciences assets in the Central Maryland region over the last three years.
"It's fitting that we are fueling the launch of the first dedicated health-technology accelerator aimed at 'moving minds to market' in Montgomery County with the product-acceleration company, ProductSavvy, and our strategic partner, Montgomery County DED," said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. "Montgomery County is a hotbed of brilliant scientific minds driving new innovation. Our mission is to focus these minds toward new commercial-oriented goals. This new accelerator will allow us to foster leadership teams in these companies, enabling them to interact with the rich health resources and talent located in Central Maryland."
Through the Relevant Health accelerator, the startup entrepreneurs will focus primarily on product development. From day one in the program, they will start the process of building and refining a product and will receive access to product management expertise and engineering resources. This will enable significant gains in product development and market validation during this period—a key differentiator from other national accelerator programs. Beyond product development, the companies will receive support from BHI strategic partners and industry mentors to establish footing in the marketplace and have access to beneficial relationships and contacts to advance their companies.
"While there are other incubators and accelerators in the region, the missing link has always been the focus on the development of the product—defining and building the appropriate solution to meet customer need. This new accelerator is filling that void," said Jonathan Chashper, ProductSavvy CEO and Founder. "Our goal is to help innovators develop products that they can deliver into the hands of customers at the end of their work in the program."
Participating companies will receive up to $50,000 to support their full-time commitment to their companies during the program. Each company will forego eight percent equity in their companies for the support that they will receive from Relevant Health.
"This new initiative clearly reflects our commitment to furthering the development of the county's health technology sector," said Sally Sternbach, Acting Director for DED. "By zeroing in on the product development phase of the startup lifecycle, this program will increase the rate of success among participants and realize the fastest return on our investment in terms of market-ready products."
The health-tech focused accelerator's location in Montgomery County offers distinctive advantages given that the County is home to the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and other industry-leading organizations. Additionally, the location for the accelerator course affords access to a vast network of biotechnology and health and technology stakeholders located within Central Maryland.
About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. BHI is known for providing commercial assistance to scientists and founders, educating and infusing Maryland's life science community with new and young entrepreneurs and fueling startups within Central Maryland's bio-ecosystem by connecting young companies to funding and business resources. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.
About Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED)
DED is charged with implementing the county's economic development vision of being a globally-competitive, highly-diversified, knowledge-based economy that provides for the retention and growth of existing companies, stimulates new job creation and enhances opportunities for all entrepreneurs. The Department offers a broad range of programs, services, partnering opportunities and strategic financing resources to stimulate and expand the County's business, job and tax base. More information can be found at www.choosemontgomerymd.com.
ProductSavvy is a product acceleration company that focuses on product management and product development management for startups and fast growing companies. The company helps its customers build the right product for the right market, on time. ProductSavvy bridges the gap between business and technology by leveraging their expertise in product strategy, product marketing, product management and software development management. Learn more at http://productsavvy.com.
BioHealth Innovation, Maryland, USA
DED, Rockville, Maryland, USA
ProductSavvy, Maryland, USA