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On Tuesday, Techstars LA announced the relaunch of its healthcare accelerator program and the application for the new cohort is now open. The three-month program will begin in March 2023. The application deadline is November 30, 2022. Techstars has recruited returning partners Cedars Sinai, United Healthcare, as well as new partners including UCI Health and Point32Health.

Matt Kozlov was recruited to create Techstars LA’s first dedicated healthcare program with Cedars Sinai seven years ago. A few years later, Cedars decided to launch its own independent accelerator program without Techstars’ participation.

Kozlov told dot.LA that the relaunched program “will be a truly remarkable ecosystem and resource for health tech founders looking to adapt to the product market and scale their business as quickly as possible.”

He added that it’s extremely difficult to grow in healthcare because most providers don’t have the time or risk tolerance to work with start-ups.

The new accelerator will accept 12 early-stage healthcare companies. In addition to the intensive 13-week program, mentorship, and access to the Techstars network, each startup will receive $120,000 in capital. In exchange, Techstars will take 6% of each company’s shares.

Kozlov said that in the past they’ve tapped into a few startups that didn’t yet know what they were building. In both cases, Pasadena-based clinical trial platform Deep 6 AI and Los Angeles-based medtech startup Regard Health have seen very high success rates.

“They were really strong teams with really good technical background in AI,” Kozlov said. “But we thought that through our program, we would give them access to customers that they could interact with, and they would find something really interesting to build.”

In general, companies chosen for this cohort must demonstrate traction and have a product in the pipeline. Maternal health, chronic disease management, and innovations in clinical trials are some of the areas Kozlov and his team are looking for in the incoming class.

The in-person program will take place in Los Angeles, but companies do not have to be based in Southern California. Kozlov said companies need to focus their efforts on the US market.

Another company that took part in the program when Techstars launched its healthcare accelerator is Los Angeles-based virtual reality processing platform AppliedVR.

Building a business is extremely lonely,” said AppliedVR co-founder Josh Sackman. “If you’re not connected through a network like TechStars or if you don’t have close relationships, people really aren’t as vulnerable to their experience.”

Sackman said it can be difficult and stressful, especially when founders need to stay strong for their team, but through his experience with the program, Techstars has cultivated a network that allows you to lean on yours.

“The national ecosystem we’ve built is really focused on businesses and helping them create really compelling solutions that can change healthcare access and quality for patients and systems in the United States across the country. over the next few years,” Kozlov said.

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