The Iron Yard, an incubator and accelerator in South Carolina, today announced the launch of a new accelerator focused on health.
The Digital Health Program follows in the footsteps of other health accelerators, such as DreamIt Health, Rock Health, and Blueprint Health. Participants get $20,000 in funding and three months of mentorship, and coworking space that extends a year after demo day. Plus, founders will be granted a bike to get around Spartanburg.
The mentors will be shared with the Iron Yard’s regular accelerator, which takes place 30 miles down the road in Greenville. Both locations also have coworking and programming education.
The new accelerator prides itself on opening doors to the medical industry. The Iron Yard has connections to various hospital systems in Spartanburg and Greenville, as well as to pharmaceutical company J.M. Smith. As such, they’re looking for software or software-hardware startups that relieve pains around things like internal hospital or pharmaceutical logistics, efficiency, and scheduling. Startups may also target the nearby Vanderbilt and Emory University Hospitals as potential customers.
Hospitals expect to be consolidating and merging in the next five years, says managing director Peter Barth, and increased productivity will help them survive.
“We’ve been talking to some of these other major players around the country,” recalls Barth. “They said, ‘A lot of what we see, that comes knocking on the door looking for pilot programs, just aren’t all that interesting. I mean, they’re interesting products, but they’re not the drivers behind our hospital system. What drives us is care of patients, billing for insurance, efficiency inside the hospital, reducing risk of litigation – those kind of boring business lines.”
The Iron Yard is looking for about 10 startups to start the program on July 15. Applications are due by June 7.