When the University City Science Center put out a call for the second iteration of its Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) program, 69 startups signed up for a spot.
Only six companies from that pool made the cut, and next week, you’ll have a chance to see what they were up to during the 12-month program at the second DHA Showcase — to be held next Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Quorum (3711 Market St.). Tickets for the free showcase quickly “sold” out, but organizers expect to open up to additional spots as the date nears. People interested in attending can email Lynette Moore at email@example.com
Here’s the lineup of mostly Philly-based companies. Many of them are venture-backed and more than half of them are DreamIt Health grads.
- Grand Round Table: The makers of an online platform that emails primary care providers a daily summary about their scheduled patient followups so they can better manage high-risk patients.
- Graphwear Technologies: The developers of the first graphene patch that detects dehydration, glucose and lactic acid levels based on sweat.
- InvisAlert Solutions: The Warminster, Pa.-based company developed a wearable device to help care providers monitor patients in institutional settings, improving compliance.
- Oncora Medical: The developers of a tool for planning personalized cancer radiotherapy that reduces the incidence of toxic radiation side effects in patients and improves cancer center efficiency (oh, and they recently raised $1.2 million with help from the Philly community).
- The One Health Company: This company helps to enroll ill pets in trials of advanced therapies, improving their wellness and helping to develop new therapies for human medicine.
- Tissue Analytics: This Baltimore-based company transforms the smartphone into a platform for evaluating and measuring things like chronic wounds, burns, and skin conditions.
How did these companies land the spot? According to the Science Center, the lineup was the result of a multi-stage selection process, which emphasized the inclusion of women and minority entrepreneurs. (How’d the Science Center do? All right. Both InvisAlert and One Health have women cofounders and GraphWear’s founders are people of color.)
Awardees got up to $50,000 in seed money, direct mentorship and introductions to stakeholders, along with free office space at the Innovation Center @3401 (ic@3401).
“The DHA is a highly competitive program that focuses on supporting companies that are transitioning from product development to customer acquisition and sales,” said Stephen Tang, CEO and president of the Science Center. “This is a critical stage for digital health companies, and helps bridge them to meaningful investment and enterprise growth.”
And while that opportunity is of great value to the community, especially the region’s burgeoning health IT sector, last time around, we voiced a concern: how can the program, which is backed by the Science Center and outside funders like the state and real estate developers Wexford Science + Technology, become sustainable without taking any equity in these companies? Tang believes the value these companies are yielding for the local ecosystem will continue to draw investment from both private and public spheres.
“We continue to explore opportunities to partner with organizations that have an interest in supporting digital health companies – and we believe that the results of the program make a compelling argument for potential partners,” he wrote in an email.