1501 Health, an incubator for health care startups, graduated its first cohort of participants May 17 as the companties take the lessons from their intensive, accelerated year of business development, networking and mentorship and pitch their innovative solutions to investors.
The incubator was launched last year by Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and LifeBridge Health. The 1501 Health name comes from the address of CareFirst’s Baltimore headquarters (1501 S. Clinton St.) where 1501 Health collaborative space for participants.
In 2021,1501 Health selected five companies from a pool of more than 120 applicants that demonstrated the most potential and promise for improving health outcomes and the patient experience and who could benefit from the unique payer-provider expertise of the program.
The graduating cohort includes two Maryland and three California-based companies. Over the past year at 1501 Health, these companies have expanded their products, customers, and funding. Now, the cohort is ready to talk to other investors and partners to further evolve their work.
The cohort consisted of:
Even Health of Annapolis has created Cabana, the first digital counseling platform offering anonymous group support for health care workers and facilitated by licensed professionals accessible from desktop, smartphone or virtual reality device. Their product entered 1501 Health’s accelerant program at a time of critical need. The company offered the free service to its first customers — 13,000 employees from LifeBridge Health — who are giving it positive reviews and feedback.
Baltimore-based Live Chair Health recruits hair professionals and employs digital tools to initiate and facilitate client discussions about chronic health issues that disproportionately affect minority communities. This past year the founders partnered with LifeBridge Health to provide vaccines and build a culture of trust in west Baltimore.
BabyLiveAdvice of Calabasas, California enables providers to provide tech-forward, collaborative remote education, monitoring and support to expectant mothers and new parents. 1501 Health helped this product move into its first local market, in collaboration with LifeBridge Health.
San Francisco’s Pair Team created the first end-to-end provider enablement solution for Medicaid, providing wraparound technology, care team and electronic medical record (EMR)-embedded support tools to coordinate patient care and automate value-based care operations. Pair Team used its 1501 Health experience to leap ahead toward value-based care in Medicaid.
WellSet of Los Angeles uses a centralized platform to connect the holistic wellness industry. Users can find and book individual and group sessions with specialists including acupuncture, health coaching, holistic therapy, ayurveda and more. WellSet accomplished all its goals in 1501 Health, producing an integrative product and scaling it for success.
For the past year, the mostly-virtual program provided participants with investment and mentorship. As 1501 Health continues to evolve in 2022, the program will offer co-working and collaborative spaces and a medical simulation lab.
At the May 17 event, the graduating cohort members pitched their ideas and business plans to local and national venture capital firms, CEOs and executive leadership from CareFirst, Healthworx and LifeBridge Health, advisers to cohort companies and local startup ecosystem members. This external engagement builds on the work that payer and provider mentors have provided the cohort over the past year.
The companies in the first cohort and their advisers also welcomed 1501 Health’s sophomore class, a group that was selected from 112 international applicants. This group consists of seven companies, six of which are women-owned.
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