StartUp Health Receives Two Year Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Accelerate Innovation in Underserved Communities

    • December 2, 2013

New York, New York — StartUp Health, a global startup platform accelerating digital health and wellness innovation, has received a $500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to educate health care startups and improve health and wellness in underserved communities.

The StartUp Health Education Program for Entrepreneurs will launch in stages over the next two years, and provide a scalable platform that will help educate thousands of emerging health technology entrepreneurs on how to accelerate and scale their businesses by focusing on markets that often don’t have early access to new health care technologies. The long-term initiative will create free resources for startups such as an online curriculum, educational tools and an expert network, and will make it easier for digital health entrepreneurs to develop pilot programs in these underserved communities and build products and services to meet the unique needs of these communities.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has made it possible for StartUp Health to create a scalable program to educate a generation of health innovators about opportunities in underserved communities,” said Unity Stoakes, president and co-founder of StartUp Health. “This partnership comes at a critical moment, because the new solutions being created over the coming years must address the needs of these communities in order to truly transform health care. Together we will lay a sustainable foundation that will better connect entrepreneurs and underserved markets, and speed up the cycle of innovation.”

“StartUp Health will bring innovation to the providers and patients who are too often overlooked in product and customer development strategies,” said Paul Tarini, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “This program will create a roadmap for how health entrepreneurs can connect with underserved communities.”

Highlights of the StartUp Health Education Program for Entrepreneurs include:

  • An open database of needs and opportunities in underserved communities that will be available for free to entrepreneurs and startups.
  • An advisor network of community experts who will mentor entrepreneurs on emerging business models and the unique opportunities within underserved communities.
  • A scalable online curriculum and resource center that will include an educational podcast and video library.
  • Ongoing outreach and awareness to underserved communities interested in access to new technologies.

About StartUp Health

Startup Health, a global startup platform accelerating digital health and wellness innovation, represents a new model for helping entrepreneurs succeed in the health sector. StartUp Health is on a mission to inspire, educate, and provide access for 1,000 digital health startups to reimagine and transform healthcare by 2020. The StartUp Health platform includes the StartUp Health Academy, the StartUp Health Network and the StartUp Health Innovation Fund. StartUp Health was founded by health tech entrepreneurs Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes and is chaired by former Time Warner CEO, Jerry Levin. The organization’s investors include leading health, technology, and business minds: Mark Cuban, Esther Dyson, Roger Ehrenberg, Brad Feld, Richard Forman, Jason Finger, Linda Holliday, Jon Kaplan, Howard Krein, MD, PhD, Jon Miller, Jeff Stewart and Wayne Kimmel. Learn more and apply at startuphealth.com and follow @startuphealth.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

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