Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Healthbox: an exciting platform for healthcare entrepreneurs

Leading Healthcare Organizations to Provide Early Support to Healthcare Startups

CHICAGO, August 2011 – Healthbox, a business accelerator for healthcare startups that was introduced by Sandbox Industries in May, today unveiled a diverse group of healthcare organizations as strategic partners. Additionally, Healthbox launched its website and simultaneously opened applications to the program, set to begin in Chicago in January 2012.

Healthbox strategic partners represent national players in the provider, payer, investor and retail spaces. They include BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Walgreens, Ridgeview Medical Center, the California HealthCare Foundation, Merrick Ventures, and a number of successful healthcare investors and entrepreneurs. Strategic partners will provide Healthbox participants with invaluable mentorship, guidance, beta site testing, and access to their broad customer bases.

“We are thrilled to partner with Healthbox on this exciting endeavor,” said Paul Brown, Managing Director of BlueCross BlueShield Ventures I and II. “We see the program as a valuable conduit into the next generation of healthcare startups that are bringing innovative solutions to the marketplace.”

The Healthbox website also launched today with further details about the program. Each of the 10 participants will receive $50,000 in seed capital and access to a broad group of mentors, including industry visionaries, leading investors, and successful entrepreneurs. The 3-month program will be hosted in a collaborative workspace in Chicago from January to April of next year.

“Given the dynamics of the industry, building a healthcare technology startup poses a lot of challenges,” said Sandbox Managing Director Nina Nashif, who founded Healthbox. “The market needs a platform that provides critical support for early-stage healthcare companies that are not yet ready for venture capital.”

Healthbox is now accepting applications, which will remain open on the website for approximately eight weeks. Additionally, Healthbox leaders and mentors will host networking events in September and October in key cities around the country – including San Francisco, San Diego, Minneapolis, Nashville, Boston, New York City and Chicago – in order to promote the program and encourage applications.

For additional information about the Healthbox program, applications and upcoming events, visit www.healthboxaccelerator.com.

About Sandbox Industries

Chicago-based Sandbox Industries is the exclusive fund manager for BlueCross BlueShield Venture Fund, a corporate venture fund sponsored by the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Sandbox creates and invests in businesses, searching for ideas with the potential to change markets, and then leveraging its expertise, resources, experience, and contacts to transform them into successful enterprises. A non-traditional blend of venture capital alongside a business incubator, Sandbox represents a new model for business development – one that helps rather than harasses entrepreneurs – and is redefining the way great ideas are generated and transformed into successful companies.

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