Pfizer, education company launch San Francisco health tech accelerator

By Aditi Pai

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, a division of Pfizer that maintains consumer health brands including Advil, Caltrate, Centrum, ChapStick, and Nexium24 HR, has partnered with education company Galvanize to launch a health tech accelerator.

The six month program will launch in early March at Galvanize’s San Francisco office. Pfizer and Galvanize plan to accept ten companies focused on improving sleep, stress management, energy, aging, and nutrition.

"Developing new ways for consumers to improve their health and well-being remains a priority for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare," Pfizer Consumer Healthcare President and General Manager Suneet Varma said in a statement. "Collaborating with new partners enables us to build on our own efforts to develop new, innovative ways for consumers to achieve better health and wellness by tapping into the creativity and thinking taking place all around us."

Accepted startups will be given access to workspace at Galvanize’s offices, as well as mentorship and networking. Startups will not receive funding for participating in the program.

About a week ago, India-based accelerator T-Hub announced it would recruit its first class focused on healthcare. The accelerator launched this new program in partnership with Merck and Microsoft Ventures. Merck is also planning to launch a digital accelerator program in Kenya that is equity free.

Two other health tech accelerators launched in the US in the past few months. 

In January, Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute announced that it accepted 13 companies into its four month health accelerator program, called TMCx. The accelerator plans to run two programs this year, its second year in operation.

The following month, The University City Science Center, a research park in Philadelphia, announced the six startups that will be part of the second class for its health tech accelerator, called Digital Health Accelerator. The program will run for a year. When the accelerator is finished, startups receive as much as $50,000.