2023 Project Healthcare First Look Event

The Venture Studio Model

Venture studios look at entrepreneurs with a certain set of characteristics: 1) people who have built things before – they know how to engage the investor community and build a team 2) product experience 3) subject matter expertise.

In the recent Project Healthcare First Look Event, over 150 attendees were introduced to our latest cohort of Project Healthcare companies that fit the bill. These entrepreneurs have proven success in building companies, many of which bring their industry knowledge with backgrounds in various healthcare sectors ranging from tech to pharmaceuticals.

The event at Nashville Entrepreneur Center kicked off with a Venture Studio Model panel, moderated by Tech Entrepreneur and Advisor, Brian Moyer. The panel included venture studios from Hashed Health, 25m Health, Ardent Health Services, and OSF/High Alpha Innovation.

Venture Studio Panel

To provide some context to the model, Moyer shared several well-known companies that have come from venture studios including Instagram, Twitter, Trello, Slack and the Dollar Shave Club. The model is particularly beneficial to start-ups within healthcare due to the barriers to entry within the industry including capital resources, customer adoption, and regulations. 

The Venture Studio benefits from the aspects of an accelerator and a venture fund with more involvement from a human capital perspective in the formation of companies. The concept dates back to 1996 with the invention of the “idea lab” but has gained real traction within recent years. 

John Bush of Hashed Health shares that the model has given us a real opportunity to “innovate innovation” by building smarter, better, and more efficiently. With the advantages of rapid ideation and validation, this model increases the likelihood of success of an entrepreneur twice or better than that of a typical venture backed company, notes Marty Bonick, CEO of Ardent Health. As co-founders with mutual “skin in the game,” the model minimizes risk for companies before moving to market. 

Often, there are wide-reaching networks made accessible through a venture studio. Panelist Chris Poole explains that 25m Health’s strategic partnership with Lifepoint has given startups the opportunity to build solutions that answer industry challenges alongside hospitals. “As an entrepreneur, a studio’s value, particularly one that’s attached to a hospital, is speed to product market at-scale. That helps you innovate quicker and brings down the cost.”

Project Healthcare

Much like these venture studio models, Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s Project Healthcare program works to accelerate the growth of these companies. “Starting a disruptive digital health company is challenging, but the curriculum, programming and network of advisors offered by Project Healthcare is unlike anything else in the country and will allow us to accelerate our product and market development beyond what we could accomplish on our own,” says Woody Baum of Local Infusion. 

Other founders within the cohort commented that they met more valuable contacts at this one event than previous cohorts they participated in.

A Tech Entrepreneur shared, “After seeing half a dozen of these over the last few years that was the best (cohort) I’ve seen in terms of delivery, confidence, and competence.”  

Project Healthcare extends a special thank you to program partner and sponsor, NTT Data.

2023 Cohort

Company list HERE


Friends of Project Healthcare Podcast

Listen to some of our First Look Venture Studio panelists in our podcast below.

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