5 Healthcare Hubs To Consider For Your Health Tech Startup

Nov 5, 2019

Health Tech startups are popping up all over the world with different strategies, ideas, and goals for their business. While most think of Silicon Valley when it comes to growing innovative tech companies, for healthcare startups, there are better suited options for someone starting a healthcare company. New hubs for health-focused startups continue to emerge as digital health companies lay roots in metro areas like Nashville, Denver, Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago. Understanding the available resources, the organizations to partner with and funding sources in each city is crucial when deciding where you should launch your healthcare startup.

That is why we pulled together our Top 5 Healthcare Hubs To Consider For Your Healthcare Startup.
Nashville, TN
Nashville, TN

1) Nashville

Musicians move to Nashville to make it big and healthcare startups should be doing the same. Nashville is not only home to seventeen publicly traded healthcare companies but in the near future will also be home to big tech as well when Amazon puts down roots in the city. As tech and healthcare talent begin to merge, Nashville is becoming one of the most logical places to start a healthcare company. Through organizations such as the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, LaunchTN, and us here at Jumpstart Foundry, healthcare companies have support from the earliest stages. This support can help companies as they look to raise additional capital through local healthcare venture funds such as FCA and Frist Cressey Ventures. Nashville based Aspire Health was acquired by Anthem in 2018 for over $400M, Change Healthcare had their IPO in the summer of 2019, and Stratasan ($28M raised), Axial Healthcare ($28M raised), and Contessa ($22.5M raised) all call Nashville home.
Denver, CO

Denver, CO

2) Denver

Denver is quickly rising to the top as one of the best places to grow a healthcare company. It’s one of the only places you can find a thriving ecosystem of Fortune 100 companies and early stage healthcare all under the same roof, thanks to the efforts of Catalyst HTI. Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Amazon all have a presence in Denver, attracting some of the top tech talent in the country. Just outside of Denver, early stage healthcare founders can find support in nearby Boulder through either the Techstars or Boomtown accelerators. Traditional players such as UC Health are also embracing early stage healthcare founders through the Care Innovation Center, partnering with early stage healthcare startups in an effort to transform care delivery. Additionally, Denver hosts the annual Prime Health Challenge and Innovation Summit. Denver-based Colorado healthcare startups have raised over $600M dollars and gave rise to startup Healthgrades (with over 30M website visitors a month), Welltok ($313M raised), and DispatchHealth ($67M raised).
Boston, MA

Boston, MA

3) Boston

Boston has become home to many early stage healthcare startups because of its supportive network of accelerators, Masschallenge and Techstars. With institutions such as MIT, Harvard, and Boston University churning out highly skilled tech talent, Boston is one of the best locations to be if your company is in need of quality, junior technical skills. Some of the most innovative large healthcare players such as Boston Children’s, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s are all located in Boston as well, providing early stage healthcare startups with a chance to partner with larger organizations. Boston healthcare startups have raised over $1.6B in capital and the city gave rise to companies including Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for nearly $1B), Iora Health ($250M raised), and PatientsLikeMe (acquired by UnitedHealth Group).
Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

4) Atlanta

Bolstered by the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub, Techstars, Atlanta Tech Village, the CDC, and startup incubator ATDC, Atlanta is growing in its popularity of becoming a great spot to grow a healthtech startup. Institutions such as Emory and Georgia Tech fuel tech talent in the city. Organizations like Wellstar offer a potential pilot partner for early stage companies looking to test their earliest assumptions. Venture funds such as BIP and Mosley Ventures provide local funding sources for early stage healthcare companies. Atlanta is home to startups including Sharecare (raised over $300M and has over 3,000 employees), Qgenda (used by over 200,000 providers), and PatientCo (over $30M raised).
Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL

5) Chicago

With incubator MATTER serving as the anchor for early-stage healthtech companies, Chicago has become a very attractive city for new healthcare companies. Schools such as Northwestern and University of Chicago bulk up the tech talent in the city. The University of Chicago operates the Polsky Incubator that serves as a great resource for founders at their earliest stages. Organizations such as Avia and Healthbox are enabling the traditional healthcare system to transition to a more digitally enabled future. Venture funds 7wire, OCA Ventures, and Arch Venture Partners are all located within the city. Chicago is home to startups CollectiveHealth (over $450M raised) higi ($30M raised), and VillageMD (over ($290M raised).

It’s important for healthcare startups to weigh the pros and cons of where they decide to plant their roots. Availability of funding resources, space and location, possible partners in the area, government regulation of healthcare policy, available technology and tech talent, and of course, relevant market trends are all important aspects to consider when deciding where to land.  Nashville, Denver, Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago aren’t the only viable hubs for a healthcare startup, but these cities are a great place to begin in your search for a permanent home for your new healthcare company.

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