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Giving Health IT Entrepreneurs a Jolt with Our New Accelerator Program

by Kyle Armbrester, VP of Business Development

The athenahealth MDP Accelerator program is officially open for business!

Our More Disruption Please (MDP) program has always been about disrupting the status quo in health care by helping to deliver access and connectivity to innovative solutions. This summer, we launched our newest addition to the initiative, the MDP Accelerator, a program designed to disrupt the industry even more, one start-up at a time.

Some background: When we started the MDP program, we made a commitment to foster innovation by bringing together like-minded health care professionals through conferences and hackathons. We then introduced the athenahealth Marketplace, where we integrate best-in-breed innovative technologies into our cloud-based network to enhance athenahealth services for our clients. Now, with the launch of the MDP Accelerator, we’re looking to help high potential, mid-stage start-ups enhance and scale their solution.

Since the MDP program inception, we’ve often been struck by how difficult it is for young health care companies to find clients. Entrepreneurs develop high potential solutions, but don’t have the access or resources to get their product or service in front of the right people. Each year, a growing number of start-ups graduate from health IT accelerator programs with a mature solution that’s ready to launch. Yet, many of these companies never make it from seed funding to Series A and they lose momentum. Our aim with the MDP Accelerator is to help reverse this troubling trend by continuing the work of many well-respected accelerators like Blueprint Health and Healthbox: taking products from concept to reality by bringing these proven solutions to market – specifically, to more than 55,000 providers on our cloud-based network.

MDP Accelerator is unique in that it attracts more mature start-ups ready to scale and offers a more hands-on, customized experience. In addition to a financial investment, we also offer companies free office space at the athenahealth Watertown, MA headquarters for 8-12 months. Our team builds a tailored program for each portfolio company, including direct access to our internal resources, teams, and expertise, based on what they need to help improve and scale their solutions. This could mean anything from having our architects facilitate integration with our cloud-based network, getting exposure to our sales teams to help improve their sales strategy, or receiving insight from our recruiters on how best to approach making technical hires.

A lot of the program design for MDP Accelerator was inspired by our first portfolio company, Smart Scheduling. They were born out of an MIT hackathon event and went through the Healthbox Boston accelerator program to take their product from concept to reality. Their solution helps take the guesswork out of patient scheduling by utilizing predictive analytics software to calculate the likelihood of patient no-shows and cancellations. This helps drive provider schedule density, a big benefit for our clients!

Smart Scheduling completed integration with our cloud-based network using our APIs and recently converted their pilot at Steward Health Care System to a full contract. Since Smart Scheduling moved onto our campus in June, we have been able to facilitate multiple pilots for them with clients ranging from small practices to large health systems. Ultimately, we hope to help Smart Scheduling scale so that they are ready to join the athenahealth Marketplace, giving our network of health care providers access to their solution.

With a brand new working space and the first company already moved in, our MDP Accelerator is ready to grow. Do you have a disruptive health care solution that is past the ideation stage and ready to scale? Learn more about MDP Accelerator and apply to be part of the program. We are busy reviewing applications and will be adding portfolio companies on a rolling basis.

We cannot wait to meet the next set of companies that will join us in fixing health care!

Follow @athenaMDP on Twitter.

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