GCHI Welcomes New Accelerator Partner: Plug and Play

By Bill Siwicki

Plug and Play, a global innovation platform that connects startups to corporations, investd in over 100 companies every year and 22 global locations. Plug and Play is coming to the Global Center for Health Innovation, Cleveland OH which is home to the HIMSS Innovation Center.

Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart have announced a three-year partnership with Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play to create an accelerator focused on biotech and digital health innovation in downtown Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation.

The trio will work together – with support from Ohio Third Frontier and additional institutions and corporations – with the aim of attracting dozens of U.S. and international healthcare startups to Cleveland each year. While Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart are well-known entities in Northeast Ohio’s economy, Plug and Play is a new entrant that’s recognized for connecting startups to investors and corporations while also directly investing in more than 150 startups each year.

Beginning in Spring 2018, the Plug and Play Cleveland HealthTech Accelerator will operate two cohort programs annually. The HealthTech Accelerator team will evaluate hundreds of startups from across the globe, which then will be vetted down to cohorts of at least 10 companies every six months. Cleveland Clinic, JumpStart and all Ohio-based collaborators will also make every effort to encourage participating startups to stay in Cleveland post-graduation, the organizations said.

A successful international player, Plug and Play, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, has grown to become the largest accelerator program in the world, with operations in 24 other locations across four continents, the organizations said.

The Cleveland HealthTech Accelerator will initially be joint-funded by Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart along with support from their longtime partner The Ohio Third Frontier. Additional founding partners, including Ohio and outside-of-Ohio healthcare institutions, corporations and foundations focused on innovation and commercialization, also are anticipated to join the initiative in the future.

Additionally, Cleveland Clinic will collaborate with up to six Plug and Play cohort companies each year to pilot their new healthcare innovations, while JumpStart will help to select companies in each cohort as well as invest in many of the companies participating who have committed to stay in Ohio.

“We are excited to work together to attract large companies, small companies, entrepreneurs, investors and future employees to come together to advance healthcare innovation,” said Brian Donley, MD, Cleveland Clinic chief of staff. “Bringing this activity to our region will help continue the growth of our healthcare-based economy, leading to new treatments for our patients and patients around the world.”

This collaboration is an example of Cleveland Clinic leveraging its resources and expertise to increase Cleveland’s already formidable reputation for healthcare innovation, said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach.

“We join with Cleveland Clinic to attract more startups to Ohio while also doing a better job of connecting these firms to local and global corporations who are looking for new innovations to increase their competitiveness,” Leach said.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com

This article previously appeared in HealthcareIT News http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/cleveland-clinic-partners-new-digital-health-accelerator