Late next spring, DreamIt Ventures will launch DreamIt Health, a health IT-focused accelerator in partnership with Venturef0rth, Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross. It’s a nod to Philly’s “eds and meds” legacy but also an effort to revitalize that sector by connecting the local innovation community with health providers and insurers. The accelerator will have an eye toward enterprise-level innovations.
Elliot Menschik, founder of the Callowhill coworking space Venturef0rth where the 10 DreamIt Health companies [updated, see below] will be housed, said Philly is the ideal place for a health IT accelerator because of all its major healthcare players.
“There’s no better place in the country to do health IT than Philly,” Menschik said.
The four-month accelerator will be run by DreamIt Ventures Managing Partner Karen Griffith Gryga, who joined the DreamIt team this summer, and Menschik, who founded HX Technologies, a healthcare IT company that was later acquired by MEDecision, TechCrunch reported yesterday. Like DreamIt’s traditional accelerator, the program will consider all companies, regardless of their location.
The healthcare sector can often feel disparate, with doctors, insurers and pharmaceutical companies working in silos, but Menschik said DreamIt Health hopes to leverage its big-name partners in order to coordinate the field more effectively and drive innovation. DreamIt Health is working with Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross, but Menschik noted that the accelerator does not have a pharmaceutical partner.
Updated 3:34 p.m. 12/6/12 to reflect that DreamIt Health will include 10 companies, not 15, and also to include more detail about Menschik’s healthcare IT experience.