Relevant Health is a cohort-based health tech startup accelerator. Our five-month program involves an intensive product-focused curriculum that gives founders of health tech startups the skills to develop, position, and launch a viable health tech product. Relevant Health has been launched to bring the most creative minds in health technology to the market.
Relevant Health is based out of a brand-new cowork space in the Rockville Innovation Center. Admitted companies will get access to the cowork facility along with other support that includes up to $50,000 in funding, mentorship, access to the local health tech ecosystem.
Our approach is different from other accelerators in that we focus primarily on product: understanding the problem the product solves, the market it will enter, refining the product definition, positioning it, planning how to build it, and actually building an MVP version of it. Our goal is to help each company entering Relevant Health have a refined and viable product to showcase at the end of the program.
Relevant Health is based in the Washington, DC area, minutes away from a strong network spanning the health, entrepreneur, research, and regulatory communities. The area is positioned to become the leading health technology hub in the US.
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The foundation for Relevant Health will be a curriculum that covers a range of skills related to launching health tech products.
What is Relevant Health?
Relevant Health is a startup accelerator focused on helping founders of early-stage health tech companies develop the skills needed to develop market-ready products.
The program is five months long and cohort based (groups of founders enter and proceed through the program together). As a health tech accelerator, the program provides cash, a coworking space from which to work, mentorship, network access, and the opportunity to utilize a dedicated software developer pool for building the company's minimum viable product (MVP).
What makes Relevant Heath different from other accelerators?
Relevant Health is focused first (and primarily) on product: understanding the problem the product solves, the market it will enter, refining the product definition, positioning it, planning how to build it, and actually building an MVP version of it. This is quite different from many other accelerators.
We think the general model offered by many accelerators is a huge advantage for companies entering such programs. However, when you reach the point in Relevant Health equivalent to the end of many programs, you will still have two months of product development time in the program. Instead of feeling like you are on your own, you will be able to apply what you've learned and continue to make use of Relevant Health's resources along with the rest of your cohort.
Other differences include access to a dedicated pool of software developers and access to a unique mix of potential mentors, investors, and pilot customers from the provider, research, government, and regulatory spaces.
What does Relevant Health provide to entrepreneurs?
We provide each company admitted to the program with a package that includes:
- Up to $50,000 as a stipend for the program.
- An in-depth curriculum that features a product-focused bootcamp, product development and positioning, customer discovery, market strategy, product development, and much, much, more.
- A peer network of fellow startup companies in the cohort that are at a similar stage and work alongside you at our facility.
- Mentors who have been where you are and can help you get past the hurdles of starting a new business.
- Continued access to expert speakers from the local health ecosystem.
- Access to a dedicated pool of developers for participants who are designing software solutions.
What does Relevant Health ask in return?
In exchange for the resources companies receive, we ask for 8% of the startup’s common founding stock. However, you will remain in complete control of your business.
What kind of companies are a fit for the program?
We are looking for new health technology startups who, through hard work, have a solid chance of reaching the goal we have for all companies in the program: having a product to showcase by demo day at the end of the program. We are happy to hear from companies in any area of health technology, but given the goal described above, the best fit for the program are probably software products and software-hardware solutions that have a hardware prototype in place before the program. Some quick examples of areas that would fall under the banner of “health technology:”
- Electronic medical record-keeping (EMR, EHR, PHR, etc.)
- Electronic disease diagnostics
- Disease management
- Remote monitoring / healthcare access
- Health data analytics
Even if you are not quite sure whether your product fits, please feel free to contact us.
What is the format of the program?
The program will consist of three phases: an introductory "boot camp" phase focusing on product management, a Prep phase that focuses on readiness to build a MVP, and an MVP phase focused on build-out, network development, and validation. Programming will vary between talks, exercises, development time, presentations, as well as other events. Two other types of formats to point out: office hours (where the cohort will be able to meet one on one with experts from the market, policy, and product management sectors, and "rounds," where each company will share their progress and challenges for group input.
How do I apply to the program?
Our application is hosted on F6S. Check out the Application Page for a link and further instructions. Applications for the Fall 2015 cohort must be received by July 31, 2015.
Do you allow co-applicants?
Great question - yes, absolutely. We actually think it is ideal for co-founders to participate together since this helps with brainstorming and understanding what is being learned. Companies participating in Relevant Health with only a single founder is probably less optimal.
How do you evaluate applications?
The application process will include the following:
- Review and evaluation of the submitted application materials by a selection panel
- Interviews for selected applicants
- Offers to finalists
Can I apply if I am not from the area?
Absolutely, and we encourage you to do so (even if you are not a US company). We think that our home area offers a lot of unique advantages for health tech founders and we want to share them with founders from around the world willing to join us for the program. One important note: we will only accept companies that participate full-time in the program. To do so, you will need to relocate to Maryland for the 5 months of the program so we, our mentors, and your fellow cohort members can work with you in person.
How many companies will you accept into the program?
The cohort will be 5-10 companies.
If I put intellectual property on my application, will it be safe?
As a startup Founder, first challenge will be for you to talk about your business idea and technology without disclosing anything proprietary. For you to be ultimately successful, you will need to develop a pitch and discuss the value proposition and core differentiators of your business at a moment's notice with thousands of people. We see the application as your first test in this exercise.
We are not able to sign non disclosure agreements due to the volume of applications. We do respect the confidentiality of each application and ask applicants to provide only as much information as they are comfortable sharing in their applications.
What happens when the program ends? Are there obligations after the program?
No - once you complete the program, you are part of the Relevant Health community and may choose to continue to participate in events surrounding the accelerator as much as you like. Relevant Health's goal is to build customer relationships for you as one of the companies we work with, and we think there are a lot of great reasons to join us in the national capital region.
The area is home to the United States’ leading public sector health organizations, including The National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Health and Human Services. The region is also home to many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical, life science and health analytics companies. This is a rich environment for potential customers and partners that can help you grow, and we want to help you get ingrained into the robust health technology ecosystem here.