Christian Seale is on a 25-city expedition. He’s searching for the next generation of ideas to solve the world’s health care challenges with technology, data, and digital. What he finds will become the first class of Startupbootcamp Miami.
What is it?
Startupbootcamp is Europe’s largest accelerator program. Each city focuses on a different theme or industry. The organization’s first U.S. outpost is Miami, where the focus is digital health. The program will provide about 10 companies with $20,000 in seed funding, six months of office space, free digital services and tools, mentorship, business development support, and access to a network of potential customers.
“The special sauce is access to a network of relevant clients,” says Seale. “There are three hospital systems we’re working with here, and the CEOs say, ‘I want solutions to these 5 things.’ So we can help them get a contract. It’s pretty hard to get into a massive $2 billion hospital system.”
Where’d the idea come from?
“A startup isn’t necessarily talking to a health care buyer and startups don’t typically know the nuts and bolts of what goes on [for the customer],” says Seale. “They’re building a solution from a technical standpoint, and it might be incredible, but it might not be what the CIO of the hospital actually wants. The people in the system have day jobs; they aren’t going out looking for innovations to solve their problems. That’s our job.”
“I feel like an economic development corporation, because I do this presentation on ‘Why Miami’ and I barely talk about Startupbootcamp. We have these three hospital systems, we have 33,000 beds, we have CIC Miami. This is a place where you’ll have access and a willingness to help you scale your company. But people don’t know that message.
“I think Miami has a real opportunity to be a petri dish for products and services looking at underserved populations and elderly populations. We have a ton of money in digital health innovation, but a lot of it’s serving the top of the income pyramid. It’s the third largest uninsured population in the country. There’s a huge dual eligible population for both Medicare and Medicaid. We have a great history of medical devices and health innovation, and we can build on that.”
Why a 25-city tour?
“There’s great talent in Miami, but to build Miami for health care innovation you have to go outside. I’m looking for the best innovators in health care to bring here. There are care models in Latin America that have leapfrogged our system, because everything’s gone straight to the phone. They haven’t had 20 years of health care IT adoption.”
Who should apply?
“We’re looking for companies at the intersection of health care and technology. IT, services, delivery, biotech, biopharma. Anything that leverages digital to improve care models.”
A previous version of this article misstated the size of the US healthcare system as $2 billion, not $3 trillion. A typical hospital system is about $2 billion.