Health Wildcatters said it’s accepting applicants from now until June 15 to join its accelerator program, which educates startups before pairing them with suitable mentors and investors. To date, 32 startups have graduated from its first three classes.
“Any healthcare innovation is welcome,” said Dr. Hubert Zajicek, CEO of Health Wildcatters, to the Dallas Business Journal. “We look for out-of-the-box thinking and novel ideas. That said, most applicants come from the Health IT/digital health and medical devices side.”
Accelerators like Health Wildcatters are different from incubators in that they’re fast-tracked, lasting just 12 weeks, during which time startups will be funded with an initial seed round ($30,000) and provided with office space, resources and access to mentors, in return for eight percent equity in each startup. The thinking behind this rapid timeframe is that it helps to create a sense of urgency, because there’s no time to waste, Zajicek said. But even so, many of Health Wildcatters innovators continue to co-locate with Health Wildcatters for months afterwards until they’re ready to stand on their own feet.
Health Wildcatters saw over 150 applicants for its 2015 class and is expecting to see even more this year, Zajicek added.
No doubt Health Wildcatters’ recent recognition as the leading healthcare accelerator in the Southwest, and number three in the U.S. overall, in MIT’s Seed Accelerator Rankings, has something to do with its popularity. MIT ranks accelerators using data-driven analysis that takes into consideration fundraising, founder satisfaction, alumni network and other factors.
Health Wildcatters top ranking for the Southwest was announced at SXSW in Austin just last month, where it exhibited alongside eight of its graduate startups.
“We have always believed that North Texas has the capacity to be recognized as a market leader in terms of driving health care innovation, and to be ranked as one of the top programs drives that point home,” Zajicek said.