OrganizedWisdom’s Jerry Levin to Chair New Health Entrepreneurship Program
In April, OrganizedWisdom co-founder Unity Stoakes told Xconomy that his New York-based Web company was on a mission to improve access to health and wellness information online. Former Time Warner CEO Jerry Levin had just invested in OrganizedWisdom and joined its board. Now Levin and OrganizedWisdom are making good on their promise with a new health entrepreneurship initiative—one that comes with the blessing of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra, and former AOL CEO Steve Case.
This afternoon at the HHS headquarters in Washington, D.C., OrganizedWisdom is launching StartUp Health, a mentoring and support program for entrepreneurs who want to build companies focused on health and wellness. The announcement will be made at the Institute of Medicine’s Health Data Initiative Forum, where entrepreneurs from around the country are learning how to take advantage of a wealth of new health data being released by HHS at healthdata.gov.
StartUp Health will be chaired by Levin and will be the latest organization to team up with Case’s Startup America Partnership, a program initiated in January to
accelerate the creation of new tech companies. StartUp Health, says Organized Wisdom CEO Steven Krein, “is a long-term program geared to opening access to capital, mentorship, and resources, so health entrepreneurs can create real businesses.”
New York has witnessed a renaissance over the last year or so of incubators for tech startups, ranging from Polaris’s Dogpatch Labs to General Assembly. But none are focused specifically on fostering health-related tech companies. That’s the hole OrganizedWisdom is hoping to fill with StartUp Health. It’s not an incubator, Krein says, but rather a multifaceted program of events for entrepreneurs that are entirely focused on health and wellness topics.
For example, on July 13, Startup America Partnership CEO Scott Case will moderate a roundtable of health-tech experts in NYC. Entrepreneurs who can’t be there in person will be able to view a live Webcast of the event and tweet or email their questions to the panelists. Another roundtable later this year in D.C. will be centered on creating connections between the government and investors, entrepreneurs, and students.
Four-year-old OrganizedWisdom has itself been taking advantage of information from healthdata.gov to improve its site, which aggregates information from doctors and other health experts. Now the company is in a position to help other entrepreneurs make the best use of all the new data the government is making public, Krein says. “It used to be difficult and expensive to innovate around health and wellness,” he says. “Those days are over. The barriers are much lower now, and there are all these tools available. Why not provide a roadmap to help other entrepreneurs?”