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Minnesota Gets First Medtech-Specific Startup Accelerator Program

The accelerator was made possible through a partnership between the University of Minnesota, Gener8tor, Boston Scientific and Mayo Clinic.

Minnesota Gets First Medtech-Specific Startup Accelerator Program
Through a multi-entity endeavor, the Twin Cities is getting its first medical technology startup accelerator program.
 
Backed by the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, Boston Scientific will launch the accelerator under Gener8tor, a business incubator that partnered with the University in 2016.
 
The program, called gBETA Medtech, will operate within a Gener8tor-designated model: seven weeks, no fee required and no equity involved, as reported by the Star Tribune. The program will be funded by Boston Scientific and offered three times a year.
 
“Minnesota’s Medical Alley is the premier ecosystem to launch a medtech accelerator,” said Adam Choe, director of gBETA Medtech, in a statement. “Our goal is to create a flywheel effect by supporting the best and brightest companies…alongside such strong collaborators.”
 
Six startup companies will participate in the inaugural program:
 
  • ExpressionMed — produces and sells medical tapes to create more durable and appealing wearable devices
  • Kobara Medical — developing technology to address heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias
  • NeuroVASx — develops interventional assist devices and therapies for victims of strokes and cerebral aneurysms
  • Quench Medical — offers a tool to help lung disease patients manage their symptoms
  • Soundly — created an app-based therapy to reduce snoring
  • Vitrose Health — offers a diagnostic solution that uses existing medical infrastructure to save patients and clinics time and money
 
“The next big ideas in healthcare won’t happen in a vacuum—meaningful innovation is the result of thoughtful collaboration,” said David Knapp, vice president of corporate research at Boston Scientific, in a statement. “We look forward to working with these ‘scaling’ companies in Minnesota to identify new opportunities to transform patient care.”
 
The startups will work with physicians, researchers, investors, and other industry players to develop growth strategies, gain customer traction and hone investor pitches.
 
The Wisconsin-and-Minnesota-based Gener8tor’s own programs have so far produced 65 graduates, whom have cumulatively raised more than $150 million in follow-on financing. Of these 65 alums, 57 percent have raised more than $1 million in follow-on financing or have been acquired.
 
“Gener8tor has a great track record of success in helping validate and scale early-stage companies and we think this partnership is another innovative step,” said Jay Schrankler, electrical engineer and industry veteran with the University, when the University first partnered with Gener8tor.
 
The Boston Scientific-fueled gBETA Medtech program is the first industry-specific program Gener8tor will run, and it will be the latest addition to Minnesota’s extensive medical business community — the state is home to hundreds of medical device companies that employ nearly 30,000 people and generate billions in revenue, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. It’s also home to industry giants like the Mayo Clinic and Medtronic.
 
The gBETA accelerator program is currently accepting applications for its second and third sessions in 2018.
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