Pfizer Inc, through its business unit Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, has joined hands with education company Galvanize to establish a health tech accelerator. The program, set to run for six months, will be launched early March in San Francisco offices of Galvanize. It will evaluate and board in ten companies whose ideas cover innovative solutions for enhancing stress management, nutrition, sleep, aging, and energy.
Startups to Benefit from Pfizer Mentoring and Networking
“Developing new ways for consumers to improve their health and well-being remains a priority for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare,” said Suneet Varma, president and general manager of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. “Collaborating with new partners enables us to build on our own efforts to develop new, innovative ways for consumers to achieve better health and wellness by tapping into the creativity and thinking taking place all around us.”
Once its proposal is reviewed and accepted, a startup will have access to workspace within Galvanize’s precincts, besides benefitting from networking and mentorship opportunities.
Unfortunately, no startup will receive any funding to participate in the program.
Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which deals in consumer health products such as Caltraet, Advil, ChapStick, Nexium24 HR and Centrum, joins other pharmaceutical giants in setting up healthcare accelerators across the world.
Almost a week ago, Merck partnered with Microsoft Ventures and India accelerator T-Hub to incubate startups, starting with those focused in healthcare and life sciences. The program also offers mentorship and networking opportunities as well as linkages to institutional investors.
Merck also announced plans to inject $45,000 into a Kenyan digital accelerator program that is devoid of equity stake clause. The three-month program will see three startups incubated at the Nairobi-based Merck Accelerator.
Health Accelerators are the New Rave
In the United States, various health tech accelerators have been established in the recent months.
Last month, Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute revealed that it had enrolled 13 startups for its four-month health accelerator initiative, dubbed TMCx. The accelerator, which operating in its second year, will run two programs in 2016; with the first one kicking off from January to June and the other from July to December.
This month, The University City Science Center, the Philadelphia-based research park, enrolled six startups in its Digital Health Accelerator program that is set to operate for a year. Once startups finish the program, they will receive funding of up to $50,000.
Meanwhile, Spartanburg, South Carolina-based Iron Yard announced January that it had discontinued its digital health accelerator program. The company cited the fact that time set for the program- -at three years- – had run out. The program had seen three classes graduate, with the third and the final one being in May 2015.
However, Iron Yard has pooled resources with Arkansas-based life science firm HubX, to establish a life sciences accelerator that will be named HubX-LifeScience. The program is set to be launched in April and will primarily assist startup founders to connect with large healthcare enterprises.
The most prolific US-based digital health accelerator program is the New York Digital Health Accelerator. This program runs for five months and connects startups with $100,000 funding from venture capital investors.