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Winrock, Heart Hospital, UAMS Team Up For Health Care Accelerator

AEDC-Funded Program To Support Innovative Startup Companies In Health Sector

Winrock International, Arkansas Heart Hospital, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and BioVentures announced last month that they are collaborating to extend and expand Health InnovatAR, a program that supports and accelerates the development of new startup companies with innovative solutions to improve health care delivery in Arkansas.

“Arkansas Heart Hospital has long been the leader in bringing new medical technologies to our state, and we now welcome the opportunity to partner with innovation leaders by opening our doors, letting startups and clinical science grow together within our walls,” said Dr. Bruce Murphy, CEO of Arkansas Heart Hospital. “Health InnovatAR and Arkansas Heart Hospital will work together to help healthcare startups have the very best chance at success.”

“BioVentures is dedicated to creating a statewide infrastructure to support a growing biomedical research capacity in Arkansas,” said Nancy Gray, Ph.D., President of BioVentures, LLC. “We believe Health InnovatAR is an important part of building the ecosystem that supports the biomedical industry.”

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission awarded Winrock $250,000 for Health InnovateAR and will support the healthcare accelerator through a new program designed to increase acceleration activities in targeted industries in the state.

“AEDC is excited to support Health InnovatAR,” said Executive Director Mike Preston. “These startup companies and their research will play vital roles in changing the landscape of the health care industry in the state, the nation and all over the globe. Getting in front of the game now will help our economic climate for years to come and place Arkansas in the forefront of those working in health care innovation.”

Applications for the Health InnovatAR cohort are now open, and the cohort will be selected in early 2018. The program will take place over six months. Each company will receive seed investment as well as intense mentorship and assistance as they rapidly proceed from concept to product development and customer acquisition. Initial seed investments into the companies will be $50,000, and the companies may also receive additional back-end investments.

Health InnovatAR is a new and expanded iteration of a previous accelerator program known as HubX—LifeSciences, the first-ever privately-funded and industry-specific business accelerator program in Arkansas. The 2016 program featured startups from around the nation and the world with innovative products for the healthcare industry. Each company spent three months testing their patented technologies and perfecting their business strategies. Participating companies collectively raised more than $2 million in private equity funding.

Health InnovatAR will be managed by Jeff Stinson of the Innovate Arkansas team at Winrock International. Stinson is also the executive director of the Fund for Arkansas’ Future, which is the state’s largest angel investment fund.

“We’ve built a powerful team around a successful model.” said Stinson. We’re honored and excited to have Arkansas Heart Hospital, UAMS, and BioVentures joining us as partners.”

More information about Health InnovatAR, including an online application, can be found at

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