The Canadian Consulate General launched a three-to-six-month health IT accelerator for Canadian companies at the University City Science Center earlier this week.
The Consulate General sees Philadelphia as the ideal place to build “a global innovation hub for health IT,” said Vincent Finn, the Consulate’s Trade Commissioner of Life Sciences & Health IT. “Hopefully other U.S. companies and foreign entities will join us.” (At least one effort agrees with the Consulate General: DreamIt Ventures‘ new DreamIt Health accelerator.)
The aim of the Canadian Technology Accelerator, which will host six Canadian companies in its first class, is to get the participating startups to open Philadelphia offices, Finn said. Finn also encourages the startups to form partnerships with Philly companies that can help them with their export strategy.
The Canadian Consulate General has opened similar accelerators in other U.S. cities, including New York City, San Francisco and Boston, but the Philly version is the only health IT-focused one.
When asked why he believes in Philly as a hub for health IT innovation, Finn cited the city’s academic teaching hospitals, research centers and universities and pharma and life science companies.
Why would one country encourage its businesses to open up shop in another? Partnerships can be profitable, as well as job-creators.
“Canada and the United States are each other’s most important trading partners with bilateral trade between Pennsylvania and Canada exceeding $24 billion annually and already generating over 300,000 Pennsylvania jobs,” Finn said in a release.
The Consulate General will fund six more companies for a second class of the accelerator in the fall. If it’s successful, the program will continue, Finn said.
According to the release, the six startups in the first class are:
- Caristix transforms data flow and interoperability for hospitals
- Hospitalis is working to improve clinical processes throughout the care continuum
- Infonaut offers real-time clinical information hospital infection prevention and control
- Memotext is developing evidence-based personalization of patient compliance interventions
- Pulseinfo Frame offers database-driven informatics for disease management and clinical workflow improvement
- Sensory Tech is developing telemedicine solutions for in-home hospice care services