Lighthouse Labs, a nationally-recognized, top 25 seed-stage accelerator, and the Health Innovation Consortium (HIC), a collaborative alliance working to make the Commonwealth of Virginia a hub for health innovation, announced today that the deadline for their fall cohort has been extended to June 17. In May, Lighthouse Labs and HIC opened applications for Virginia’s only health-focused accelerator program that will be offered this fall alongside an industry-agnostic vertical. Due to the current health crisis, the organizations have extended the deadline to provide founders the best opportunity to present their companies and big ideas as part of the application process.
“Now is the time for innovation,” says Erin Powell, executive director of Lighthouse Labs. “The fall cohort by Health Innovation Consortium and Lighthouse Labs will provide traction for the most promising, high-potential startups to begin making an immediate impact in health-related industries.” Powell says that health technology companies, medical device companies, and any health-related business model that does not require FDA approval process should apply.
Selected companies in both health and industry agnostic verticals will participate in the accelerator from August 24 to November 13, 2020, in Richmond. During the fall program, the health-focused startups and the industry-agnostic companies selected will work with top-tier mentors as they participate in targeted and adaptive programs.
In addition to equity-free funding, programming and mentorship, all selected companies will have access to $1 million in advisory services and benefits from partners such as Global Accelerator Network (GAN), Kaleo Legal, Startup Virginia and other service providers. In addition, companies accepted will participate in Demo Day(s) designed to demonstrate each selected startup to investors, alumni groups, potential customers and peers.
Making the Commonwealth’s only health-focused accelerator program possible is Activation Capital, a nonprofit organization that focuses on early-stage ideas to foster the area’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. A grant by Activation Capital to Lighthouse Labs, along with the contributions of HIC, will support the health-focused programming by Lighthouse Labs in addition to VCU’s efforts to develop new innovations in healthcare.
“Prior to COVID-19, Activation Capital awarded Lighthouse Labs $1M in investment through the Ecosystem Direct Investment Fund to offer at least one cohort with a health related focus for the next two years,” explains Carrie Roth, COO of Activation Capital. Roth says that Activation Capital’s goal to create healthier human outcomes and improve the quality of life for all is now more important than ever. In addition to Activation Capital’s support of Lighthouse Labs, she points to efforts to rapidly bolster new ideas through a series of direct grants to early ideas and prototypes that can be deployed quickly to the frontlines as healthcare workers fight COVID-19.
“Health systems, particularly academic health systems like VCU, are looking for innovative solutions involving every aspect of health care—its delivery to consumers, its technology, and its business models,” says Peter Buckley, M.D., interim CEO, VCU Health System, and interim senior vice president, VCU Health Sciences. “The Health Innovation Consortium was designed to facilitate, support and scale health innovation. By partnering with Lighthouse Labs, a nationally ranked start-up accelerator, we have the opportunity to attract and engage with the most promising new technologies in the country that can improve the health of our community.”
The companies selected to participate in the health-focused accelerator will use the three-month programming as a springboard to develop digital health and medical device technologies, amongst others. Founders participating in the fall cohort will also have an opportunity to tap into HIC resources, including access to an exclusive network of industry experts, early-stage venture funding, and support, after the cohort has ended.
Beyond the three-month immersive experience this fall, the post-program opportunities, and access to the Health Innovation Consortium network and connection to capital, makes the fall cohort the most comprehensive accelerator offered to date by Lighthouse Labs. To apply, visit https://www.lighthouselabsrva.com/fall.