Frequently Asked Questions
What types of companies does the program look for?
We are interested in technologies that can positively impact clinical care delivery, improve the consumer experience around healthcare, streamline inefficiencies for providers and staff, and improve the business side of care delivery.
Digital health and medical devices comprise the core of our classes, but we’re very interested in companies pushing the envelope across nearly all aspects of care delivery, finance and management. More specifically, we look for companies trying to commercialize into the provider system. Our sweet spot is with companies whose core business model is business to business – companies that have a product and are seeking clinical validation, building a business model and constructing an enterprise sales strategy.
Through our program, we aim to find and nurture solutions that can help improve health and healthcare delivery—but we recognize that those don’t always come from within the healthcare space. Companies from outside the traditional healthcare industry often provide provocative and exciting new perspectives that can lead to innovation and market opportunity.
Our program is not built to support deep biotech, pharmaceutical products, molecular development, or generalized wellness and fitness that are sold direct to consumer. While we have successfully worked with medical device companies, typically, we are more aligned with Class I or II devices rather than Class III or IV. We’re also looking for companies that already have a product and full-time founders, so we do not accept companies that are still in the idea stage or that have part-time founders.
What is the right stage of company for this program? Are we too far along?
Cedars-Sinai Accelerator can be a good fit for companies across the startup spectrum. Our alumni have been across a wide range of stages, from functional prototypes to established commercially deployed products. While most of our companies already have a product and some traction, we have worked with very early stage companies who are pre-product (prototype) as well as those with established recurring revenue.
Funding also varies widely. While our companies, prior to joining our program, have raised anywhere from a few thousand dollars in seed stage investments to over ten million dollars in Series A funding, the midpoint is typically between $500,000 to $5,000,000.
Ultimately, we are interested in highly promising companies who are in growth mode – talk to us and we can help you determine whether we’re the right fit for you.
How will the final companies be chosen?
A good team is the core of a strong early stage company. We believe that companies with strong management teams can make any product and idea successful. As such, the most important thing that we look for is the management team: We look at the experience and skillset they bring, how they function, and how they’ve done in the past. We are looking for focused, well-rounded companies with great teams, strong, thoughtful ideas, and the ability to execute.
Once we’ve identified a strong management team, we look for products that we think will have the most impact in the U.S. market. We also look for traction in the market, and we look to ensure that our program will add value and help a team achieve its goals.
What type of investment capital do participating companies receive?
Each company participating in the program receives a $100,000 convertible debt note with a $5 million cap and no discount. For companies who have already raised >$5M, we will work with you to define an appropriate cap based on your previous fundraising. Because of the unique provider-commercialization focus of our program, the time-value of the equity has become appealing for companies that may have already been through another accelerator or have some traction.
What are the most valuable components of the program?
We believe the program’s best value add is access to all aspects of a complex health system. This access can help companies learn how to achieve product/market fit, build a realistic business model, understand the complexities of technical integration, and price and sell product to enterprise clients:
1. Mentorship. Companies are introduced to key executives and clinicians and front-line staff at Cedars-Sinai and other hospitals across the country. These mentors work with companies weekly to help them figure out how their product best fits into the health care and provider delivery landscape. They are experienced in working with startup companies, and heavily invested in tapping their networks and experience to help our companies be successful. You’ll form organic, tightly integrated relationships working with the Cedars-Sinai team.
2. Technical Access. As a participant in the accelerator program, you will gain access to the stellar IT team at Cedars-Sinai with deep roots in technical integration. You’ll have the opportunity to design, test and troubleshoot, immersed in and with the support of our 600-person enterprise IT shop. Our team of developers and engineers are always eager to tinker and experiment with new technologies, bringing to you their deep experience in EHR integration, workflow and operationalization, digital strategy for mobile and web adoption, and virtual services, all within an enterprise, clinical context.
3. Product Testing. Companies may recieve an opportunity to test their product at Cedars-Sinai and by doing so, can adapt their product to find their place in the broader health system market. The access to clinicians, workflows and infrastructure at Cedars-Sinai allows companies to rapidly test and iterate their products with various parts of a health system. Companies can accomplish in just three months what would otherwise take them two years.
4. Customization. Every company gets a customized approach based on the needs of each company. The program classes are small, allowing us to design your experience according to your specific needs. We are flexible, adaptive, and work with each company according to what you need, week by week.
How do I ensure that I receive value for the program?
Your success is our success. We are deeply committed to ensuring the success of every single company. In the selection process, we spend extraordinary effort to identify mentors and champions, even before a company is accepted into the program. We involve Cedars-Sinai clinicians, decision-makers, executives, and subject matter experts, as well as the Techstars network of investors and entrepreneurs to ensure that we are accepting companies that are right for our program.
How is the program structured?
This is a 3-month program, broken down into three phases that are each one month:
Phase 1: Mentor engagement and feedback. We have mentors from around the country and the world. We connect you with the best mentor for you based on what you’re looking to achieve.
Phase 2: Guidance on product and market fit. This is where we help our companies understand how their product fits into a healthcare delivery system, how to develop a business, and revenue and pricing models.
Phase 3: Preparation for fundraising. In the final month of the program, we invite investors and venture capitalists to meet with you. We also host a Demo Day, in which our companies pitch their products to our network of industry leaders, buyers, investors, and the media. In all of our classes, these conversations have resulted in multiple commercial deals with health systems.
These Phases provide a rough structure to the three-month program, but many aspects, particularly around collaborating with mentors and engaging with the health system, vary widely for each company and are tailored to help you accomplish your goals.
What is a typical day like?
In a word: Busy. On most days, the Accelerator will organize group educational sessions with industry leaders, mentors and sponsors, followed by one-on-one mentor meetings, team meetings, presentation building or pitch practice. In between those times, your team will need to do the necessary work for your company and its products. Plan for long and inspiring days.
What happens when the program ends?
The relationships we start in this program last far beyond the duration of the program. Once you're a part of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, you earn a lifetime membership to an exclusive network of close allies. Companies use the time in program to identify where their product best fits at Cedars-Sinai and to begin mentorship relationships. All kinds of relationships, including commercial, technical, and mentorships, often continue beyond the program’s conclusion.
Who will I have access to at Cedars-Sinai? Will I have access to health care leaders outside of Cedars-Sinai?
Throughout the program, we connect you with an extensive network of experts, physicians, and business-side contacts across the entire provider ecosystem. We also take your company’s specific needs and offerings into account when arranging meetings and introductions for you.
Cedars-Sinai is immensely involved in the program. Over 300 people from the health system engage with our companies, with mentorship being the primary means of involvement. Depending on your company’s needs, you will meet with front-line clinicians, researchers, clinical experts, and executives.
External to Cedars-Sinai, our mentor list includes a wide variety of other health care buyers and providers. We are allied with representatives from across the ecosystem including health systems, payers, pharma, medical groups, risk-bearing entities, and more.
Do I need to be in Los Angeles to participate?
In short, yes. Direct access to Cedars-Sinai executives, clinicians and front-line staff is a pivotal value-add of the program. As a participant, the doors of one of the largest and most cutting-edge health systems in the nation fall open to you. To get the maximum benefit from the program, you need to be here to step through them.
In-person presence is the best way to take advantage of the many networking, mentorship, and in-person collaboration opportunities that the program offers, and as such, it is required for participation. To allow for us to deliver maximum value to participants, participants are here five days a week, across the street from our flagship academic medical center and directly connected to an expansive urban health campus that is accessible for them to learn as much as they can.
Who needs to participate from my company?
The program works best when at least two founders are fully participating in the program. We realize, however, that companies may need to have one founder with your company, so we ask that at least at least one co-founder, and two people total, are here five days per week for the full three months of the program.
Do you provide housing for the participants?
We provide a list of possible housing locations, but participants make and pay for their own living arrangements.
What is the Class 5 timeframe?
- Application open date: November 1, 2018
- Application close date: March 3, 2019
- Program start date: June 10, 2019
When and how do I apply?
Applications for Class 5 open November 1st and close on March 3rd. Apply online here.
The application asks you to provide:
- Information about your company and your team
- The market opportunity, the idea, and how you plan to execute it
- A short video that describes your business