Two months after DreamIt Health‘s demo day, eight out of the ten participating startups are still in the region, said DreamIt Health managing partner Elliot Menschik, adding that four of the startups that are staying in Philadelphia were founded here.
While it’s still too soon to draw any hard and fast conclusions on the regional impact of DreamIt Ventures‘ health accelerator with its namesake program, especially because of the sample size (DreamIt Health has only had one cycle, while DreamIt Ventures has completed five), the comparison is striking: since 2008, nearly two-thirds of DreamIt Ventures’ Philadelphia companies have left the city.
How to explain the difference?
Menschik points to the partnerships with Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine. By demo day, many of the startups had launched pilot programs with one or both of the organizations.
“All the companies I know who are pursuing that work want to be as close to the pilots/sponsors/customers as possible and so its one more compelling reason to stay,” Menschik said in an email. It also helps to leverage what the more general DreamIt program leaders have learned during the last half-decade about choosing companies.
Philadelphia is also a city optimally positioned for certain health IT startups, like DreamIt Health company Osmosis. Originally founded in Baltimore, Osmosis offers an app to help medical students review and retain information. When the founders discovered that the American College of Physicians and the National Board of Medical Examiners, which administers tests for medical students, were headquartered in Philadelphia, they knew they would stick around.
“It made no sense to leave,” said cofounder Shiv Gaglani.-30-