This week, Healthbox launched a new accelerator program in partnership with BlueCross BlueShield in Nashville, Tennessee. Other Healthbox locations include Chicago, Boston, London and most recently, Jacksonville, Florida. Healthbox typically partners with the local Blue health plan in each of its locations.
Nashville, home to 31 hospitals and more than 250 healthcare companies is "the Silicon Valley of healthcare," according to Healthbox Founder and CEO Nina Nashif. In 2011, Nashville's venture capital community invested $104 million in healthcare services and HIT startups. The accelerator also partnered with the Nashville Healthcare Council, an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce to establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s healthcare industry capital. According to the Nashville Healthcare Council, in 2008, one in eight Nashville workers were employed by a healthcare provider.
In April, Healthbox announced a program in Jacksonville, Florida, sponsored by Florida Blue that will begin July 24.
Regardless of location, every Healthbox startup in the class participates in a 16-week program and receives $50,000 to fund development over the course of the program.
Nashif told MobiHealthNews in April that Healthbox has a strong focus on supporting its companies by building relationships with local industry players.
A few months ago, an additional two accelerators launched on the east coast, The Iron Yard in upstate South Carolina and Tigerlabs Health in Princeton, New Jersey. Like Healthbox's targeted locations, Tigerlabs Health used their location to their advantage, touting New Jersey's proximity to major pharmaceutical companies.
The application process for Nashville will continue until August 4th, and the program will start September 9th.