JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthbox, a leading business accelerator that fosters early-stage healthcare companies, and their anchor partner Florida Blue, announced the opening of applications today for a 16-week accelerator program located in Jacksonville, Fla.
Adding to the success of their 2012 accelerator programs located in Boston, Chicago and London, Healthbox is expanding to Florida to support entrepreneurs throughout the state, expose the local healthcare community to new and innovative solutions and help the two segments work together.Ranked in the top 10 of most entrepreneurial states by the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, home to over 200 hospitals and 16 Fortune 500 companies, and providing a unique patient population and policy environment, Florida offers healthcare technology entrepreneurs the necessary foundation to grow sustainable companies within a complex healthcare industry. "Our goal at Healthbox is to establish regional hubs of healthcare entrepreneurship throughout the country and across the globe to help build sustainable companies and ultimately improve healthcare outcomes," says Healthbox Founder and CEO Nina Nashif. "We are excited for the opportunity to enter Florida with the backing of Florida Blue, bringing the industry together to support entrepreneurs and ultimately making a difference." Healthbox encourages all passionate entrepreneurs with early-stage healthcare startups aiming to deliver solutions to healthcare's largest challenges, to apply. The selected companies will receive $50,000 in seed capital and participate in an intensive 16-week program. Receiving strategic guidance from leading industry experts during the program, these startups will learn how to grow their companies within the complex healthcare industry. Towards the end of the four months, the companies will also participate in a large-scale Innovation Day, bringing together hundreds of investors, healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs to hear the pitches of Healthbox companies in the context of their industry needs. "We're excited to partner with Healthbox to launch the healthcare accelerator business model in Florida. We see this as an opportunity to bring together currently siloed healthcare hubs across the state to create one common ecosystem, and this project ties directly to our vision of being a leading innovator enabling healthy communities," said Pat Geraghty, chairman and CEO of Florida Blue. "In addition to aiding the healthcare industry, this program will also stimulate the state's economy by creating new jobs and promising, scalable businesses." Applications are currently being accepted on the Healthbox website at http://healthbox.com/acceleratorprogram/#apply. For more information, to ask questions and to find announcements about the program, please visit the website and follow the Twitter feed: @health_box. Those interested in talking to Healthbox representatives and learning more about the accelerator program should plan to attend networking events held throughout Florida from April 29 to May 3. Check Healthbox's website, Twitter page, and Facebook page for more details on timing and location.