Rock Health and KPCB Lead a New Initiative to Increase Seed-Funding for Digital Health Start-Ups

Rock Health and KPCB Lead a New Initiative to Increase Seed-Funding for Digital Health Start-Ups

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — August 28, 2012 – Rock Health, the first start-up accelerator exclusively for entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology and healthcare, today announced a new partnership led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — one of the leading digital and life science venture capital firms — to increase funding for entrepreneurs working on novel digital health applications. Through support from KPCB, Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV), Aberdare Ventures and the Mayo Clinic, each start-up will receive $100,000 in funding. Applications for the fourth class open August 28.

With offices in San Francisco and Boston, Rock Health seeks applicants with novel business ideas that use digital technology to drive innovation and change in healthcare (healthcare industry experience is not necessary). In addition to seed capital, Rock Health’s five month accelerator program provides access to a community of experts, mentors and office spaces.

“Our goal is to encourage the next generation of tech entrepreneurs to focus on ways to improve health outcomes,” said Halle Tecco, CEO and Co-Founder of Rock Health. “The increased amount of seed capital will allow us to provide more resources to entrepreneurs who are developing clever, product-centric business ideas that solve meaningful problems in healthcare.”

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, innovations in digital health are seen as a way to improve health outcomes while reducing costs. One example cited by a 2010 American Heart Association Journal article noted that automation of pre-approval requirements and other innovations could lead to increased billing efficiency by 50 percent and save insurers $27.2 billion, hospitals $17 billion and physicians $6.9 billion.

“Healthcare is an industry ripe for digital technology disruption, but has traditionally posed barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and start-ups,” said Beth Seidenberg, M.D., Partner at KPCB. “Our goal is to bring together KPCB’s 40 year history of leadership in information technology and life sciences with entrepreneurs who want to change the healthcare industry.”

KPCB partners Beth Seidenberg, M.D., who is a partner in the firm’s life sciences investment team, and Mike Abbott, who is a member of the digital venture investment team, will be co-sponsors of the initiative. Abbott was an advisor to Rock Health prior to joining KPCB.

“Mayo’s involvement is focused on working with others in the healthcare industry to advance the delivery of health care in new ways to meet the needs of patients now and in the future. Together, we can innovate more and accomplish more,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic Associate Director Center for Innovation.

Applications for the fourth class are open for three weeks, closing September 16, 2012.