Curious about what life looks like as part of 1501 Health?
Below, our co-managers Soo Jeon and Jordan Evans share more about what makes 1501 Health special, and what they’re hoping to see from this year’s applicants.
Speaking of, applications are now open through October 25th for 1501 Health’s third cohort. Once you’re ready to submit, you can apply here.
Q: What makes 1501 Health different from other accelerators?
Jordan: We don’t operate like a big accelerator for a few reasons.
First, we have a small number of health entrepreneurs we accept into the program, and we invest a ton of time in them. This is a year-long program with a hands-on, close-knit approach.
Soo: 1501 Health is run collaboratively by a payer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and a provider, LifeBridge Health. It’s difficult to find that dual perspective elsewhere.
There’s a myth that the healthcare marketplace is unapproachable and that payers and providers are butting heads, but the truth is we’re working together every day to find healthcare solutions.
We’re looking for entrepreneurs who have a vision for how the healthcare ecosystem can improve for the patient. We’re all on the same team here: team patient.
Q: What can entrepreneurs expect to learn in this program?
Soo: We’ve heard from participants in the first and second cohort that 1501 Health gave them a holistic view of what it means to be in the healthcare marketplace, and how we all work together to serve patients.
Our entrepreneurs are really getting a 360° view of healthcare needs and realities.
Jordan: In addition to providing a direct eyeline into the issues facing healthcare, we provide the opportunity to forge relationships with their key stakeholders.
Because we accept a small number of applicants and have a large network, we can really pinpoint individual mentors and partners we know will help these businesses grow.
Q: What areas of business growth does 1501 Health focus on strengthening?
Soo: This program gives visionary leaders the early traction needed to scale properly in this competitive marketplace.
Some of our participants will be addressing broad issues, others will be disease focused, but whatever their goals, it’s about addressing issues the entrepreneur sees – and the ones they didn’t foresee.
Their team of advisors will be able to help them find solutions to fill in the gaps they didn’t even know were there.
Jordan: Since our program is so tailor-made and relationship-focused, it’s not about hitting canned goals.
Healthcare is a complex beast, so learning about specific opportunities and seeing where your solution fits in to the marketplace is what we focus on at 1501 Health.
Q: What does a year in the life of a 1501 Health cohort look like?
Soo: We match our participants with a team of carefully chosen advisors and mentors, and together they create and meet their goals.
There are touchpoints throughout the year and regular benchmarks, but they’re encouraged to get really specific and tailor these benchmarks to their healthcare solutions.
Jordan: Participants are also invited to attend summits and conferences, and we try to have a mix of formal and informal gatherings. The first six months are more internally focused: there’s bonding and development within each company’s teams and their mentors, as well as among all the companies in the cohorts.
At the six-month mark, we ramp up the impetus to get out there and start pitching to executive leadership. We provide the business development opportunities, and by the last three months, these networks are developing and moving forward.
Q: What types of industry experts will cohorts get an opportunity to meet throughout the incubator and how do they help?
Soo: Our mentors come from every corner of the healthcare industry. We have Medicare and Medicaid representatives, providers, payers, patient and stakeholder groups, people working in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, marketing team insight and more.
We’ve found participants are surprised to see what a wide array of resources they can access. It’s our job to match them up, and help our entrepreneurs get the answers and insights they need.
Jordan: Participants have told us the biggest help their experts provided has been the “hard truth telling” in a supportive, problem-solving environment.
I think having an honest sounding board about the reality of the healthcare landscape is what many of our participants value most.
That saying: “You don’t know what you don’t know” is especially true in the healthcare marketplace.
Q: Can you share any advice for entrepreneur applicants?
Jordan: We’re looking for entrepreneurs who are solving a problem. We hear about thousands of great ideas and innovations, but we’re focused on finding solutions to current patient pain points.
Also, do your homework, and come in knowing about the issues and themes in the current healthcare environment.
Soo: Tell us how we can help you. We care a lot about fixing problems in the healthcare system. We care a lot about being a valuable partner. In your application, tell us exactly what we can do to get you what you need.
Jordan: Also, be genuine. Be yourself. Let that shine through.
Soo: Yes. Numbers are important, of course, but we’re also interested in your mission, your vision and your team. You are what makes your application unique. We want to know you.
About 1501 Health
1501 Health is a unique partnership between Healthworx and LifeBridge Health, representing expertise in both health insurance and financing (payers) and healthcare delivery and services (providers). The investment and incubation program empowers entrepreneurs to get their innovative solutions to market and expand their impact in healthcare quality, access and affordability. To learn more about 1501Health, visit www.1501Health.com.
Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in companies that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility, affordability and equity. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, Healthworx envisions a healthier future for all people by changing the way health works. To learn more about Healthworx, visit https://www.healthworx.com.
About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Maryland. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center and related affiliates. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org.