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March 22, 2022 | Tom Ballard

“HealthTech Arkansas” takes different approach, exceeds early expectations

When officials launched start-up incubator and new business accelerator “HealthTech Arkansas” in 2018, they knew the potential was significant. Four years down the road, expectations have been far exceeded.

The statewide program is focused on bringing new medical innovations to market by offering something many competitors don’t: pilot projects in hospitals and clinics to test early stage products, services and software.

“There are lots of other healthcare-focused accelerators around the country,” said Jeff Stinson, Director of HealthTech Arkansas. “Most of those are based on receiving high-value mentorship from corporate partners in the healthcare space. But we differentiated ourselves by saying, ‘Let’s see if we can build a program around healthcare providers and not big med tech companies.’”

Ten state-based hospitals and health systems partnered with HealthTech Arkansas, which vets and screens companies that need real-world experience to improve their inventions. Partners include Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Heart Hospital, Arkansas Urology, Baptist Health, CHI St. Vincent, Conway Regional Health System, Mercy, Northwest Health, OrthoArkansas, St. Bernards Healthcare, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Washington Regional Medical Center. The state of Arkansas also supports the accelerator program.

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