Press Release: Village Capital-VentureWell Announces Health Technology Companies Selected for Boston Health Accelerator Program - with a Twist




For Immediate Release

May 13, 2014


Village Capital: Lily Bowles,;

VentureWell: Jo Ellen Warner,,


Village Capital-VentureWell Announces Health Technology Companies Selected for Boston Health Accelerator Program  - with a Twist

 Companies will converge to collaborate and choose best candidates for seed funding

Village Capital-VentureWell is a training program and funding opportunity for high performing early stage companies addressing a diverse range of health and healthcare challenges. The program focuses on accelerating the development of the ventures with a focus on addressing health challenges faced by low-wealth Americans. Different from other early stage accelerators, this program uses a “peer-driven” approach where teams participating in the training use specific business criteria to select two of their fellow companies for funding from a pool of pre-committed capital.

This program is a collaboration between Village Capital and VentureWell, with support from MIT H@acking Medicine. The program uses Village Capital’s peer-selected capital approach along with industry mentors to accelerate seed stage ventures for social impact. The program is part of the broader SOURCE initiative of Village Capital, the Hitachi Foundation, and Investors Circle.

Partners from venture development and the health care industry will join the Village Capital-VentureWell Health program to offer industry perspectives, coaching and mentoring to these early stage teams. The program will draw from some of the most prominent organizations in the Boston venture community and health care ecosystem.

When & Where:

On May 18-21 in Cambridge, Massachusetts 15 early stage companies will convene in the first of 3 sessions in a 4 month process to vet a range of health technologies with the hopes of being one of two companies who will secure up to $50,000 to support the continued growth and development of their commercialization efforts. The companies are addressing medical problems spanning from diabetes to stroke to breast cancer, and health care issues addressing medical record sharing, billing, and medication delivery.


The cohort includes:

TruClinic: Telemedicine to service without special hardware or software

Rimidi Diabetes: Diabetes self-management

Doctible: Price shopping for health procedures

Kohana: Wearable breast pump for working moms

eyeMITRA: Bringing retinal exams to routine care

Healthy TXT: Automated follow-up messaging for patients and physicians

EagleHealth: A wearable device to prevent strokes

HermesIQ: Extracting clinical information from scanned documents in real-time

Innoblative Designs: Treating early-stage breast cancer faster and ionizing radiation

Dock Technologies: Disposable, visible reminders to help nurses improve time-based quality measures

PEURegen: A biodegradable, synthetic skin scaffold for deep skin wounds

Semantic MD: Helping radiologists be more efficient and accurate via big data analytics

Eulysis UK Ltd: Single container system for integrated reconstitution of dehydrated biologics

Twiage: Accurate information about incoming ER patients

BeTH | Benevolent Technologies for Health: Reducing the cost and extending the life of prosthetics

About Village Capital:

Since 2009, Village Capital has provided training and investment in seed-stage social entrepreneurs around the world in the area of energy, environmental sustainability, agriculture, health, and education. Village Capital’s partner VentureWell provides training and access to capital to high performing entrepreneurial teams in the early stages of commercialization Five of its grantees are in the cohort of fifteen teams in the Village Capital-VentureWell program.

Village Capital sources, trains and invests in seed-stage social entrepreneurs around the world. Since 2009,Village Capital has served over 350 impactful ventures worldwide, building disruptive innovations in energy, environmental sustainability, agriculture, health, and education. Village Capital has launched 23 programs in 6 countries and made 32 peer-selected investments. Graduate enterprises have raised more than $40 million in follow-on funding, creating 5,000 jobs and serving 5 million customers worldwide.

About NCIIA:

VentureWell is part of the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) a non-profit organization that catalyzes positive social and environmental impact through invention and technological innovation by providing funding, training and mentoring for university faculty and student innovators. With support from The Lemelson Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, NCIIA engages approximately 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their campuses as working laboratories for invention and innovation and incubators for businesses, and ultimately helping them to bring their ideas to market.

Background Information

About the Village Capital/NCIIA VentureWell Health Program

The 15 competing enterprises from across the country will go through a three-month “accelerator” program where they build their business models, develop sales channels and pipelines, get direct, regular customer feedback to their services, and meet potential hires, customers, partners, mentors, and investors.

Innovation and entrepreneurship is a team effort, and the cohort will be drawing from the vast Boston ecosystem, with mentors hailing from the payer community, such as Partners Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield, industry leaders who can help demystify device manufacturing such as MassMEDIC, investors HLM Venture Partners, Massachusetts Medical Angels (MA2), and Long River Ventures, pharma companies, hospitals, clinicians, and more.

The cohort will close with a Venture Forum on September 16, 2014 at which two entrepreneurs will receive $50,000 investment through a peer selection model—the entrepreneurs themselves will select which of their fellow companies will receive investment.

Village Capital-VentureWell: Health is a core part of SOURCE, a national partnership between Village Capital, The Hitachi Foundation, and Investor’s Circle, which seeks to cultivate the entrepreneurial economy in the US through developing world-class ventures that are dedicated to solving problems faced by people in poverty and building a network of foundations, individual angel investors, venture funds, and corporations who can support them. Investors’ Circle and The Hitachi Foundation will partner with Village Capital to lead ongoing investor engagement, thought leadership, and public awareness of these entrepreneurs and the problems they are trying to solve.

Accelerating Accelerators: the Sustainability and Scalability of Accelerators

The last few years have seen a dramatic expansion in the number of accelerator programs and exponential rise in those applying to these programs. This has led to several questions about this burgeoning industry of innovation. Is it sustainable? What are the limits on expansion and what is the best method to grow? Finally, what makes a “good” accelerator and as an applicant what should you look for in a program?
Hear from four different programs as they offer their views this Thursday, October 18 at Venture Café. Andrew Foote from Village Capital, our partner in the Village Capital/VentureWell - Boston program will join Melissa Withers from BetaSpring, Ateet Adhikari from Healthbox, and Jeremy Bersin from MassChallenge in a roundtable moderated by Mike Norman founder of WeFunder.

Village Capital and VentureWell Bring Peer Investment Program to Boston

NCIIA and its VentureWell subsidiary are excited to announce a partnership with Village Capital to produce an educational program for innovators and entrepreneurs seeking early stage financing. Village Capital/VentureWell will provide a group of up to 15 teams with two intensive three-day sessions separated by eight weekly webinars. The program will start in Boston on November 29, and conclude with the peer selection of the two teams that merit investment of $50,000 each.

Attention E-Teams!
The Village Capital/VentureWell program is restricted to for-profit ventures and is ideally suited for E-Teams that have received and largely executed upon E-Team grant funding milestones. The focus of the current program is on IT and cleantech ventures, as well as those at the intersection of IT and cleantech, with a focus on serving low-resource populations in the U.S. or customers in emerging markets. Future programs are expected to focus on other sectors such as medical products.
Visit and select Village Capital for more information on Village Capital/VentureWell - Boston.

The day of the innovators has arrived...


In her latest column in Xconomy, 'The Day of the Innovator has Arrived,' Judy Giordan, NCIIA's senior advisor and chair of VentureWell, sets out VentureWell's vision for transforming scientific outcomes into innovations that can solve the world's most pressing problems.

To find out more about how to start the process of transforming the much touted 'Valley of Death' into a 'Time of Brilliance', read the article!

Former E-Team gets VentureWell Investment

Former E-Team Therapeutic Systems is the second student venture to receive investment funds from NCIIA's venture development company, VentureWell.

Therapeutic Systems, which formed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,  has developed a new therapy system - a wearable vest - for people with autism. The vest system provides a therapy known as Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS) that treats people by applying firm pressure to the chest, much like the feeling of a hug. The vest offers users much more control over the sensation they seek: the inflatable system can be inserted into any off-the-shelf vest and can safely apply a range of pressure. Autism is an increasingly diagnosed condition in the US: one in every 110 children will have the condition.

Therapeutic Systems was considered for VentureWell investment after progressing through NCIIA's venture development program. As a student team, Therapeutic Systems particpated in the 2005 BMEIdea competition, the Invention to Venture and Advanced I2V workshops, received an E-Team grant in 2007 and presented at the 2009 March Madness for the Mind showcase of student innovation.

Earlier in the year, VentureWell made its first investment in former E-Team Whole Tree.


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