The hardest part of owning a startup is always the beginning: the process of turning your idea into a company with a working business model and appropriate funding. Luckily, there is a multitude of accelerator programs in the South available to entrepreneurs who want to launch their startups quickly.
It’s common occurrence to meet someone in Nashville who is (or was) a musician. But what is more common is to meet a person who works in the healthcare sector. According to a 2015 study by Nashville Healthcare Council, nearly 250,000 total jobs in Nashville existed within this industry. And if the previous numbers are any indication, the trend of job and economic growth as a result of the healthcare industry will continue in the Music City.
With 16 publicly traded companies, 400 healthcare groups and over 400 professional services firms that offer expertise in the industry all located within Nashville, really, it’s a brain trust of the healthcare industry all in one place. It is only appropriate that a founder of a healthcare startup just might want to come learn in the ‘healthcare capital of the United States.’ And the first step in getting closer to such opportunity is just an application away.
Project Healthcare at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center is in its final weeks of accepting applications for its inaugural accelerator cohort, with a deadline of July 15. The 14-week program, which begins in September, is open to early stage tech startups that cater to patients, payers, providers/practitioners and hospital systems. An immersive accelerator packed with an educational curriculum, meetings and mentors, the selected startups will receive $50,000 in funding in exchange for 7% equity and an additional 3% equity reserved for program advisors. Because the EC was selected as a VilCap community this year by Village Capital, additional funding opportunities are also available.
While your 14 weeks will be intense, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center is a great place to be to get such experience.
One item of note: While the accelerator program is the capstone component of Project Healthcare, it is actually part of a year-round initiative at the EC that keeps the education and conversations around healthcare innovation going. It was announced recently that HCA is the title sponsor of the program. “HCA is pleased to support this important Entrepreneur Center initiative, and we encourage others to engage with Project Healthcare as a collaborative initiative to grow and support Nashville’s healthcare industry,” said Milton Johnson, HCA’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.